HD19 - Regional Criminal Justice Training Academy Guidelines

Executive Summary:
The Department of Criminal Justice Services in conjunction with the Liaison Committee conducted a survey of the ten regional training academies (see Appendix B). The survey was designed to provide additional information and allow for academy input regarding the areas of the regional academy training system generally, regional jurisdiction, curriculum review, staff qualifications, competency standards, and miscellaneous items concerning various areas of academy operation. The results of the survey were added to other historical information regarding regional academy jurisdiction and operation obtained from previous studies, regular meetings with the regional academies, past concerns addressed, and continuous contact and communication with regional academies. Based on this historical data and the survey results, the Department of Criminal Justice Services and the CJSB Liaison Committee made the following recommendations.

Recommendations regarding regional jurisdiction:

1. That the existing CJSB Policy for Regional Criminal Justice Training Academies be modified to reflect the additional tenth academy and be accepted as the base for the new guidelines document specifying regional academy boundaries (see Guidelines Appendix C).

2. In addition to these guidelines, the CJSB Liaison Committee recommended that the existing procedure for an agency to change academy status as provided by the CJSB Policy be retained in the new guidelines.

3. In order to ensure agency and academy compliance with the new guidelines, the Liaison Committee further recommended that enforcement authority and sanctions be added to these guidelines and reflected in the Rules Relating to Regional Criminal Justice Training Academies allowing the Committee on Training the ability to enforce these procedures.

4. DCJS will develop a form for agencies to use when changing academy membership (see Form Appendix D).

Recommendations regarding curriculum review:

1. Except as currently required by existing legislative and regulatory authority for the CJSB and DCJS to set minimum training requirements, all other non-mandated curricula should be left to the purview and discretion of the regional academy governing boards.

Recommendations regarding the issue of staff qualifications:

1. Guidelines for staff qualifications as currently exist in the CJSB Policy should not be changed and authority for addressing specific staff qualifications should be retained by the regional academy governing boards.

2. Each of the regional academy governing boards should re-examine their charter and by-laws to ensure staff authority, responsibility, and accountability are clearly delineated.

Recommendations regarding the issue of competency standards:

1. A standardized test for each topic area of mandated entry-level training based on the minimum standard training objectives be developed and administered on a periodic basis as appropriate during training. Successful completion of these tests will be required for officer certification.

2. Any testing for non-mandated training should be left to the discretion of the regional academy boards and the academy director.

Recommendation regarding general areas of concern:

1. An addition be made to the new guidelines included in this report requiring each academy to appoint a fiscal agent from a member political subdivision to handle academy finances, that an independent audit be conducted annually of the academies’ finances and a copy of the audit be sent to DCJS.