As the nation debates the role of police in the community, efforts are underway to redefine the concept of qualified immunity and expand the degree to which public safety organizations are held accountable for the actions of their personnel. This paper traces the modern evolution of failure-to-train lawsuits against law enforcement and other public-sector entities, which effectively begins with 1989’s City of Canton v. Harris. From there, the legal concept of failure-to-train becomes a labyrinth of rules and procedures, with more changes on the horizon. Still, some key factors remain essential to organizations seeking both to prevent misconduct and to defend against allegations. One is effective and continuous training, and another is comprehensive, accurate, and easily accessible data recording that training. This paper presents a compelling case for the twin roles of training and documentation in the ever-shifting environment of public safety.
Borne from a bureaucratic personnel issue turned tragedy, the San Jose Police Department’s “Field Training Plans” are arguably the most influential addition to industry training protocol in half a century—and undoubtedly the most widespread. Using their Field Training and Evaluation Program as a starting point, this paper will discuss the practice, its influence, and the positive impact technology can have in its continued evolution
Generic software is simple to use and built for a broad number of potential use cases, but that does not make it the best choice when choosing a training management system (TMS). The unique needs of public-sector organizations are best met by software built to serve the industry—a fact that holds both in the field and in the courtroom, where a lack of effective documentation can bring down even the most stringent training policies. This whitepaper will discuss the hidden and not-so-hidden downsides of “going generic” when considering a TMS by contrasting their value against purpose-built solutions, with topics that touch several aspects of first-response life: fieldwork, cybersecurity, certification, and learning exercises, among others.
Gender politics project a considerable presence in most of the working world. So too do ills associated with gender, like sexual harassment and discrimination. The resultant effect is especially pronounced in historically male-dominated fields such as first response, where biases in hiring and testing practices have contributed to an ongoing, undeniable gender gap. Physiological, mental, and societal differences between males and females may further contribute, as can the broad, often volatile range of opinions surrounding gender issues. This paper will explore the biological and societal aspect of first response’s gender gap, reflecting on scientific research, statistical analysis, and real-world examples to provide context and factual basis; it will then discuss the benefits of a gender-aware approach to the hiring and continued employment of first responders of both genders.
As those who work within the fire, law enforcement, and EMS fields know, there is very little middle ground between those who favor cross training—often referred to as “consolidation,” or the act of training one professional group with some combination of the other two groups’ skills—and those who oppose it. Voices on both sides of this debate make cogent points. Though the practice has recently come into vogue as a cost-cutting measure, communities may also utilize it as a talent- or staffing-optimization tool, among other uses. However, several potential risk factors and the need for a highly tailored deployment make initial success anything but guaranteed. The purpose of this report is to provide an objective overview on the topic, including relevant facts, comparison of success and failures, and takes on the opinions first responders have expressed regarding this contentious topic.
Failure to manage training records correctly cannot only upend a department's ability to defend itself from criminal and civil claims, but can subject it to claims of spoliation. As the definition and consequences of spoliation continue to broaden, departments must ensure that their records management policies and systems are capable of providing them with the necessary layer of legal defensibility.
With information easier to share than ever before – whether through e-mail, text messaging, social media, or otherwise – recent cheating incidents involving public safety professionals serve as a grim reminder that high stakes testing procedures have not kept pace with advances in technology.
The purpose of this report is to discuss how modernizing the way in which training and compliance records of officers are maintained can save department’s money while increasing an officer’s chances of being defended and, therefore, minimizing a department’s liability.
There are strong correlations between rising temperatures and crime rates. To keep the public safe, leaders need not only to be aware of this relationship, but also to engage peers and the public in developing solutions to the impending resource gaps.
When fitness yardsticks accurately measure the ability to perform essential job functions, first responders are safer and more effective. Inaccurate assessments, however, can result in endangerment of life and extensive litigation.