Trainers from large agencies tell me, “It is so much easier for small agencies. They do not have the logistical issues we have to try and get all the training done.”
Trainers from small agencies tell me, “It is so much easier for large agencies because of all the resources they have to be able to do the training.”
The issues are different for every agency. It does not mean it is any easier.
Yes, large agencies often have more trainers, more equipment and more resources. They also have more people to train, more facility issues, more personnel scheduling issues and other logistical challenges. In my former agency (which is now about 2100 officers) it use to take us 85 to 90 days every year just to put everyone through the mandatory one day Subject Control Tactics training day. That meant that you had to schedule the officers to attend, find a facility for each of those days, schedule instructors and keep track of who showed up, who participated and who passed. You also had to find a system to deal with people that did not show up and qualify by the end of the year as mandated by policy.
It is no easier for an agency with 10 officers, it is just different. If the 10 officer agency has to certify 9 of their people every year they have different scheduling issues. Assigning two officers and an instructor to control tactics training for a day ties up 30% of their agency’s manpower. That would be the equivalent of my former agency assigning 650 people to training on one day, something they would never do. The 10 officer agency likely has to send people on their day off as they cannot afford to pull people off the street for the day to attend training. This creates scheduling and budgetary issues. If one of the two officers scheduled for training is sick, now you have one participant and one instructor which creates new challenges.
It is different for every agency, it is not easier.
Some agencies have officers spread throughout a province or a state creating a whole new set of logistics as far as scheduling, facilities, equipment, trainers, travel and budgets.
I recently had a trainer tell me recently that my former agency had it easier when it came to Field Training Officers as his personnel were spread across an entire state and they only had a few people that are great FTO’s. My former agency use to training 120 recruits a year meaning that we had 240 Field Training blocks that needed to be filled year after year. The year prior to hosting the G-8 Summit we trained 200 recruits meaning we had 400 FTO slots that needed to be filled. Different, not easier.
In my old unit the trainers were all assigned full time to training and were boots on the ground teaching an average of 32 to 40 hours a week 48 weeks of the year. Other agencies trainers only get to teach a few times a year. When you teach every day you get very skilled at teaching and develop a deep understanding of the material (provided you are committed to excellence in training). However, it is easy to get burned out when you teach the same class over and over and over again. Teaching less often keeps it fresher but you have to work harder to maintain your proficiency as a trainer. Different, not easier.
It is easy to get caught up thinking that other agencies have it easier than you do. It is important to realize that every trainer and every agency has unique challenges that make it different, not easier.
Learn to appreciate different.
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