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"Law Enforcement is a profession with a high price in a democratic society. The goal of the Training Division is to see that police officers acquire the common body of knowledge necessary for them to assume their role in helping communities establish a crime free environment that is safe for all."
The Training Division is an integral part of the police department’s duty to maintain the highest standards and ethical values in the hiring and training of new and current police department employees.
An essential element found in all successful organizations is a well-designed and implemented training program. A program that remains both committed to raising standards while remaining flexible. A program that incorporates into its very foundation, the concept that training must meet not only the needs of the organization, but must provide for the growth of its most important asset, its employees.
This commitment to training is the responsibility of the Police Training Division.
One of the responsibilities of the Training Division is to provide on-the-job training for recruit officers after they have completed the 14-week POST Basic Training Academy. Upon successfully completion of the basic academy, officers are assigned to the Training Division for field training. The recruit officer must successfully complete the 24-week Field Training and Evaluation Program to retain employment with the agency as a Probationary Police Officer. While in the field training program, officers are trained through four training phases with three different Field Training Officers (FTOs). The primary FTO covers phases 1 and 4, while the other two FTOs handle the training in phases 2 and 3. The Field Training and Evaluation Program is rigorous and provides officers with competent, real-world training, which is dynamic when compared to the sterile training environment of the Basic Training Academy. The Field Training and Evaluation Program is a critical component of the employment selection / retention process. The transition from an academy environment to the streets is difficult and stressful for most recruit officers, which is why the role filled by the Field Training Officer is so important; the FTO that must assure that the transition between the two very different learning environments is smooth.
Another component of the Training Division is the Firearms Training Unit. This entity is charged with providing ongoing firearms training for all sworn personnel. POST requires annual handgun qualifications for all peace officers. The Alexandria Police Department’s FTU is responsible for yearly qualifications with pistol, shotgun, and patrol rifle.