Mo. commission votes to require de-escalation, bias training for officers, establish basic training academy

Mo. commission votes to require de-escalation, bias training for officers, establish basic training academy
POST approved to require all Missouri law enforcement officers to take an annual course on training in de-escalation techniques and recognizing implicit bias. (Source: Ohio Attorney General's Office)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KFVS) - The Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Commission has voted on new training for police officers and to grant preliminary approval to establish a law enforcement basic training academy.

POST approved to require all Missouri law enforcement officers to take an annual course on training in de-escalation techniques and recognizing implicit bias.

The courses would be part of the officer’s required 24-hours of annual education training.

The new training requirement will apply to officers in 2022.

The public will be allowed to comment on the new POST rules after they are filed with the Missouri Secretary of State and the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules.

“We believe these training changes, which were unanimously approved by the POST Commission, will lead to better interactions between officers and the public and can help strengthen relations with the communities we in law enforcement serve,” said Commission Chair and Platte County Sheriff Mark Owen.

In addition to the new training for officers, POST preliminary approved Lincoln University’s proposal to establish a law enforcement basic training academy.

The proposed training academy would be Missouri’s 20th facility. POST stated it would also be the first law enforcement basic training academy at a Historically Black College and University in the nation.

Lincoln University, located in Jefferson City, said the new academy could be impactful in attracting minority law enforcement recruits.

The Missouri Department of Public Safety (DPS) would have to approve the new academy after reviewing the proposal which includes the following: site visit and review of planned policies and procedures, proposed courses, lesson plans, instructor qualifications and the academy’s advisory board.

After the review, POST will then make a final recommendation to DPS in granting a license.

As a result of public discussions and the review of more than 2,000 surveys, POST has appointed two committees to work on the following proposals:

  • Developing a course of instruction for Missouri’s basic training academies on the history of policing and minority community relations, including the origins of policing in the United States.
  • Exploring ways to require law enforcement agencies to check with Missouri’s POST program on an applicant’s past history as an officer before hiring experienced officers.

The POST Commission is tentatively scheduled to review the committees’ work during a special meeting on December 15.

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