Police Community Committee discuss police training tactics

Published: Jul. 30, 2021 at 6:34 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The City Council Police and Community Committee met with Topeka Police to share how their recruit evaluations have evolved.

The state of Kansas does not mandate it but TPD is evaluating their recruits ans officers more in depth with their field training officers.

The new “Reno” training method evaluates how they, the trainees, are doing and asking why they are doing their tasks. As opposed to the old, “San Jose” way of teaching that gave officers scores.

Their field training evaluation tasks have more than 30 tasks that the new recruits have to pass. With the new way, they are re-training them earlier than they did before if they are struggling with a task or not performing correctly.

For example -- one task is command presence. If the trainee acts timid, or angry, or cocky, not listening is unacceptable.

Listening, being in control of the situation, multitasking are acceptable.

Superior is — confidence, respect of victims, suspects, and witnesses without compromising their safety or giving up ground.

“I think that’s a lot of questions we’ve been asked is, how do they handle this and how do they train their officers. So, to know that they don’t even have to have, they’re not required to have that training but they’re going above and beyond and the mechanisms they have in place are pretty awesome,” said Committee Chair Sylvia Ortiz.

TPD training spans the officers’ 18-month probationary period, with 3 phases -- recruit, field training, and solo evaluation.

They say the times have changed from just being a tenured officer to be a teacher for the next generation of police.

Interim Police Chief Bryan Wheeles does make the final decision on who becomes a FTO.

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