Kansas Peace Officers to Save Money with Online Training
By Katie Lambaugh, Topeka, Kansas | Mon, 24 Jun 2013
Despite state budget woes, innovative Sheriffs’ and Chiefs’ of Police in Kansas are finding ways to improve training quality for their officers, while reducing costs.
In May, Kansas lawmakers approved a $13.41 billion FY2013 state budget that Gov. Sam Brownback signed into law on June 1, 2012, saying the budget reduces overall state spending by $465 million. Targeted is the total state debt estimated to be $28.4 Billion, when adding the total of outstanding official debt, pensions, employment benefits, loans, and the FY2013 budget gap. This means that each taxpayer in Kansas is in debt by more than $9,900 and growing. This statewide debt is a larger mirror of what towns and counties are facing throughout the state.
The Kansas Law Enforcement Training Act, requires all peace officers in the state to complete 40-hours of in-service skills training each year, but does not tell agency how to fund this requirement. Under state regulations, 20-hours of this training can be taken online. Moreover, that is what agencies are doing.
The OSS Academy, located in southeast Texas, has been providing Instructor Led Training (ILT) and e-learning training content in Kansas since 2001. Under a 2012 agreement, this Texas based academy will expand and upgrade their course offerings to provide critical needs training throughout Kansas. One of these critical needs is a specialized course to address officer distracted driving habits, accidents, and injuries, which represent more than 36% of insurances losses by officers in this state. Other online training courses address such critical areas a use of force, high-speed pursuit, and law enforcement liability. Courses can be taken from any computer with access to the internet, and costs are low, saving agencies both time and money. The OSS Academy’s website can be found at www.policetrainingcenter.com.