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Funding the Training

Effective training techniques and programs, especially in regards to public safety, often need special or alternative funding. As states, counties, and cities undergo budget reductions, what are the available options for maintaining funds for training? What impact do these options present with regard to public safety? Based upon this week’s assigned readings, compare and contrast two (2) alternate means for funding law enforcement training. What restrictions or limitations are placed on departments by the funding agency? Are there any funding sources that go untapped? Why?

Our discussion first, individuals response, list bad and good of post list reference

(Ra)In the wake of 9/11, it was brutally obvious that our nation’s first responders, including police were simply unprepared for a catastrophic mass casualty incident of that caliber. There were many heroes who lost their lives trying to save the innocent people, but ultimately one of our nation’s largest agencies was simply overwhelmed. Since that fateful day, there have been many government programs to improve preparedness not only for response, but increase vigilance and efficiency of our nation’s first responders. Our communities look to law enforcement to be the universal solution to every problem, from missing persons, to unruly teenagers, to violent crime and even terrorist events. They will not accept less than perfection. These government programs have assisted in the acquisition of funding for various tools, and the training to go with them. Cops love getting new toys, but without the proper training in how to use the fancy thermal imaging system, or the high end bio detection kit, at very least, the equipment will not be used to its full potential (Bastian, 2007). These tools not only assist in preparation and prevention of terrorist events, but are extremely useful in the day to day calls for service. Shortly after 9/11 as a result of these grants, I was able to use a thermal imaging camera on a foot pursuit where two suspects had disappeared into a rural area. Within about 10 minutes, I was able to locate them with the camera hidden under some grass on a creek bed.

The down side to this influx of government programs is the money is drying up.  All of this equipment and training that was initially provided still needs maintenance, updating, and replacing, but the money to fund these supplies is limited. As the post 9/11 sentiment naturally reduces, so does the sense of urgency to fund these important tools and their training. Most of these items are now reduced to local budgets for their upkeep, which in the tough economic times we are facing is very difficult. (Spagnoli, 2007) Even in the past few months, in an attempt to reduce tensions between the public and law enforcement, President Obama has dramatically cut back the program that allows military surplus vehicles and weapons to be “loaned” to local law enforcement. The tension between law enforcement and the communities they protect has brought about another crippling effect on the ability of law enforcement to properly respond to major catastrophes. In removing this equipment, the crucial tactical training that is required to optimize the use of this equipment has also been cut. (Pickler, 2015)  Modern threats to our communities have focused less on major catastrophic attacks, and now seem more localized with individuals making attempts on smaller groups. The removal of law enforcement’s ability to respond to these events to prevent them from spreading has been limited. Without government assistance, local small town agencies could never hope to afford the equipment or the training needed that could help save lives, including the use of armored personnel carriers, for inserting or removing people from volatile situations.  If or when a major incident happens in one of these small towns, who will be liable for the inability of the department to properly respond to the threat? Ultimately it will likely fall on the department, for failing to train and prepare for the incident.

Bastian, J. (2007). Equipment and training for the taking. Law Enforcement Technology,

34(9), 122-126.

Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/229829758?accountid=32521

Pickler, N, (May 18, 2015) Obama Limits Military-style Equipment for Local Police PBS.org

Retrieved from: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/obama-limits-military-style-equipment-local-police/

Spagnoli, L. (2007). Home field advantage. Law Enforcement Technology,34(6), 116-125.

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