How COVID-19 is Shifting Training Paradigms

How COVID-19 is Shifting Training Paradigms
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The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted many paradigms, including how we train professional skill sets and cognitive development. While training in the law enforcement profession differs broadly across regions and agencies, the need for more training in a safe setting has risen dramatically over the past year. Sgt. Shawn Roby, Training Sergeant for Show Low Police Department, is leveraging Vector Solution’s training platform to deliver more timely and relevant online training at a lower cost and in a more convenient setting.

About Show Low, Arizona

Show Low is a mid-size community in Arizona surrounded by mountains, a ski resort and many smaller communities that travel in for shopping, entertainment and services. During the tourism season, the population nearly doubles to around 20,000 residents and visitors, all of whom are well served by their local public safety professionals.

Commitment to training and professional development is one of the best investments agencies can make to ensure success of their mission and personnel performance when duty calls. Typical to many communities, Show Low Police Department includes several teams and special units, including:

  • Criminal Investigations
  • Patrol/Traffic Enforcement
  • K-9 Unit
  • Special Response Team
  • Communications Center
  • Animal Control
  • Records Department
  • School Resource Officers
  • Senior Patrol Program

Show Low Leverages Online Training Content Across Multiple Departments and Teams

While some skills require in-person training, like firearm drills, the social distancing needs that accompanied the COVID-19 pandemic opened up consideration for different methods of training. Since physical training gatherings require more time and expense than online training, Show Low Police Department was able to save physical training expense and use their training budget to purchase the Vector Learning Management System (LMS) which has an extensive course library that offers all types of training across the various teams.

Sgt. Roby has set up credential programs in the LMS for the Arizona CJIS Certification, CPR/First Aid, Drug Recognition Expert, EMD (Emergency Medical Device) training, and OIT (Office Information Technologies) which must be completed prior to completing the FTO program. The dispatch team has been using the LMS online training for courses in communication and stress management, and the FTO supervisor plans to use the system to house all the resources and tracking for their Field Training Officer program. Additionally, Sgt. Roby said they are offering several other training courses for their officers and staff, such as the duty to intervene, de-escalation tactics and mental health first aid.

Delivering and Tracking All Training in One Place

“We have 47 users across our departments who are using the LMS to deliver and track training,” said Sgt. Roby. “We are using some of the Calibre Press content offered through the LMS and we can track both our online and in-person training in the system.” Sgt. Roby is responsible for administering the LMS and works with the respective departmental supervisor to meet their team’s needs. Whether training for detectives, patrol officers, records staff, or other teams, everything is centrally located in the LMS and each leader can run reports and view the training status of their respective team members. While Sgt. Roby looked at other solutions to help deliver online training, he said, “The cost was about the same as other options but we could do more with the Vector LMS to reduce administrative time.”

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