Training & Professional Standards
We believe that staffing a healthy police agency starts with the hiring and selection process in order to weed out applicants who may be unsuitable for our department. Our hiring process includes a comprehensive written and physical fitness examination, interview board, polygraph, background investigation, character references, and psychological testing, among other steps. Any indications which raise concern about the candidate’s ability to do the job in anything but a legal and ethical way will disqualify that candidate from hiring consideration. Less than 5% of applicants are offered a position with our department.
During the course of our duties we are regularly thrust into volatile situations involving persons who are experiencing a high level of stress, emotion, mental health crisis, or intoxication. We have taught and emphasized de-escalation techniques for many years, starting in the police academy and continuing with regular “in-house” refresher training throughout an officer’s career. We believe that appropriate communication by our officers, both verbal and non-verbal, is vital to de-escalating a tense situation. This includes verbal tone, volume, clarity, as well as physical distance and posture. It is our desire to resolve situations as peaceably as possible, without the use of force. Unfortunately, there are times where an individual’s actions necessitate the use of force to place them under arrest or to protect the safety of others.
Use of force
We recognize and respect the inherent value and dignity of every human life. Unfortunately, using force to effect an arrest or stop a threat from endangering the public is part of our profession. Investing police officers with the lawful authority to use force to protect the public welfare requires a careful balancing of all human interest. It is our mission to ensure that we always follow best practices in law enforcement and be accountable to ourselves and the community we serve. Our officers are expected to adhere to department policies and to intervene when witnessing another officer acting in a manner that is obviously out of policy and morally wrong. We train our officers to use the minimal force necessary, given the totality of the circumstances, to effect an arrest or protect the safety of others. When force is used and the situation is stable, officers are trained to switch to a caretaker mode to ascertain if the individual needs medical attention and is not in danger of injury.
Biased based policing
We understand that the unreasonable use of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity in taking enforcement action is illegal, unethical, and has no place in a healthy law enforcement agency. Every member of our department receives regular biased-based policing and implicit-bias awareness training.
In order to bring a well-rounded breadth of knowledge to our department, we recognize the value of learning from law enforcement trainers both inside and outside of our agency and geographical region. As such, we regularly host in-house seminars for our officers, put on by experts from around the country. We also send officers to outside seminars and conferences to gain knowledge and skills that can directly benefit our department and community. These opportunities allow us to see beyond our four walls and look globally at issues; providing up to date and forward-thinking discussion on topics that shape our policies and procedures.