oversight

D.C. Government: Information on the Police Recruit Training Program

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1990-05-24.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

GAO

May 1!)!I0
             D.C. GOVERNMENT
             Information on the
             Police Recruit Training
             Program


                              141502
                   United States
GAO                General Accounting Office
                   Washington, D.C. 20548

                   General   Government       Division

                   B-237061.2

                   May 24,199O

                   The Honorable Dean A. Gallo
                   Ranking Minority Member
                   Subcommittee on the District
                     of Columbia
                   Committee on Appropriations
                   House of Representatives

                   Dear Mr. Gallo:

                   Your March 24, 1989, letter asked us for information concerning the Dis-
                   trict of Columbia’s police recruit qualifications and training program. In
                   an earlier report, we addressed four questions concerning the entry-level
                   police examination, changes in recruit qualifications, and examination
                   scoring.’ On October 4, 1989, we briefed your office on the status of our
                   work on the remaining questions. At that time, we agreed to provide you
                   with a written report covering the questions discussed at that briefing.

                   This fact sheet addresses the remaining issues. The material in this
                   report reflects the program’s operations between August 1982 and early
                   1990.

                   In addition, we are providing the specific information you originally
                   requested about changes made to and the results of the police entry-
                   level qualification test administered by McCann Associates, Inc. The
                   McCann test is the entry-level police examination used by the District of
                   Columbia Office of Personnel for selecting potential recruits for the Met-
                   ropolitan Police Department (MPD).


                   We addressed your specific questions as follows:
Results in Brief
                   1. Have there been changes in the police academy course of study and
                   academic requirements?

                   Frequent changes have occurred in the academy course of study and
                   academic requirements, such as the number of hours of instruction and
                   the number of examinations recruits are required to pass. Some of these
                   changes have been documented, but we found that the academy did not


                   ‘DC. Government: Interim Report on Changes in Police Qualifications (GAO/GGD-90-OGFS, Oct. 3,
                   1989).



                   Page 1                                     GAO/GGDBO88F’S Police Recruit Training Program
B-237051.2




generally keep records accounting for all changes in recruit training and
performance standards. (See app. I.)

2. How many recruit termination recommendations have been over-
turned by officials above the Director of Training level?

The absence of academy documentation regarding termination actions
against recruits prevented us from independently determining the num-
ber of such actions disapproved by MPD officials above the Director of
Training level. According to the former Director of Training, a termina-
tion recommendation can be disapproved by the Administrative Services
Officer prior to any action by the Chief of Police. Former and current
Administrative Services Officers said they had not rejected any aca-
demic termination recommendations. Academy officials and MPD records
confirmed that in September 1988 the former Chief of Police disap-
proved five termination recommendations by the Director of Training.
We were unable to determine the basis for the former Chief’s decision
because we could not find any documentation and he declined to discuss
the rationale for his decision. (See app. 11.)

3. How does the police academy select and train its instructors?

Academy instructors are selected through a formal selection process and
receive both classroom and on-the-job training. The formal training con-
sists of a 40-hour Instructor Developmental course. New instructors also
observe more experienced instructors for 3 to 6 weeks prior to teaching.
In addition academy officials are developing an instructor certification
program. (See app. III.)

4. How could the Metropolitan Police Department proceed to acquire
accreditation?

The five-phase accreditation process begins with a law enforcement
agency’s application to the Commission on Accreditation for Law
Enforcement Agencies, Inc. Once declared eligible, the agency submits a
profile questionnaire describing its organization and management. The
agency then provides documentation confirming its compliance with
accreditation standards, and the Commission does an on-site assessment
to verify agency compliance. On the basis of the assessment team’s
report and recommendation, the Commission either awards or defers
accreditation. Officials from accredited police departments we visited
described many benefits to being accredited, including the containment



Page 2                           GAO/GGD-9068FS Police Recruit Training Program
                       B-237051.2




                       of liability insurance costs, improved management resulting from docu-
                       menting all policies and procedures, and the deterrence of litigation
                       against the departments. (See app. IV.)

                       Besides addressing your specific questions, we also compared the
                       McCann tests across years, as administered to each group of applicants,
                       to identify changes to the test questions since 1981. We identified six
                       changes to the test from the original 1981 version to the present. We
                       consider these changes minor in that they were made to correct spelling
                       or to reword phrases for clarity. For example, “moustache” was
                       changed to “mustache” and “assume not a one-way street” was changed
                       to “assume is a two-way street.”

                       More detailed information on each question is in appendixes I through
                       IV. Specific information on McCann test results is presented in appendix
                       V.


                       Our objectives were to (1) answer the questions concerning police recruit
Objective, Scope,and   training, (2) describe the nature of changes to the McCann test, (3) pro-
Methodology            vide information on how the MPD could proceed to obtain accreditation,
                       and (4) provide statistics on the qualifications of recruits since 1982. As
                       agreed with you, we focused on the period since August 19,1982,
                       because Title I of the District of Columbia Appropriations Act, 1989
                       (Public Law 100-462) requires that the District maintain police qualifi-
                       cations equal to those in effect at that date.

                       Most of our work was done at the MPD academy and at headquarters in
                       Washington, DC. To find any changes in the course of study and gradu-
                       ation requirements, we interviewed the training staff at the academy
                       and reviewed course syllabi, grade sheets, and Recruit Officer Hand-
                       books. We could not document all changes because personnel at the time
                       of our review were not always aware of past changes, nor could acad-
                       emy personnel provide us with records of the changes.

                       To research the accreditation process, we visited the Commission on
                       Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc., in Fairfax, Virginia,
                       and three police departments- the Houston, Texas, Police Department;
                       the Connecticut State Police Department; and the Glastonbury, Connecti-
                       cut, Police Department. We selected the Connecticut departments
                       because one is approximately the size of MPD while, in contrast, the other




                       Page 3                            GAO/GGD904%FS Police Recruit Training Program
                          B-237051.2




                          is a very small department, and both were among the first to be accred-
                          ited. We selected the Houston Police Department because it is approxi-
                          mately the same size as the MPD and is one of the two major city
                          departments to have been accredited. At your request, we also visited
                          the New Jersey State Police Training Academy.

                          To verify what changes were made to the McCann Examination ESV-
                          100, we visited McCann Associates, Inc., in Langhorne, Pennsylvania. In
                          the presence of the president of the company, we compared the original
                          examination with each succeeding examination.

                          Our work was done between October 1989 and March 1990 using gener-
                          ally accepted government auditing standards.


Agency Comments and Our   In commenting on the draft report, the Chief of Police found that a num-
Analysi .S                ber of our findings parallel his independent review of the recruit train-
                          ing program. He particularly agreed with our concern about the past
                          lack of documentation in recruit training. He also listed a series of
                          actions MPD has initiated to improve the recruit training program.

                          However, in regard to accreditation, the Chief said that while the report
                          accurately outlines one way a municipal police agency might acquire
                          accreditation, he emphasized that this is not the only way. He also set
                          forth other initiatives he intends to pursue to improve the quality of MPD
                          and its members including establishing a police officer standards and
                          training certification progrgm; establishing certification programs in
                          specialized skills, such as recruit training instruction; giving college
                          credit for completion of the recruit training program; improving entry-
                          level standards; and improving the education level of current employees.
                          These initiatives may prove beneficial to MPD operations if properly
                          implemented. As agreed with the Subcommittee, the scope of our review
                          was limited to describing the steps in the accreditation process and did
                          not include identifying and doing a comparative evaluation of alterna-
                          tive methods. We did not intend to imply that accreditation is the only
                          way that the quality of a police department can be improved.

                          The Chief also said we had been incorrect when we said the official MPD
                          position regarding the comprehensive final examinations for recruits is
                          that they are not necessary. In the absence of a written policy statement
                          providing the rationale for discontinuing the comprehensive examina-
                          tion, our statement was based on a November 21, 1989, letter to you in



                          Page 4                           GAO/GGD90&WS   Police Recruit Training Program
                                 -~. - .~-    .-.
 B-237051.2




 which the Chief wrote that because of “refinements to our training pro-
 gram we believe that a comprehensive examination is not necessary.”
 However, in commenting on the draft report, the Chief said that pending
 further evaluation, MPD has not determined whether these examinations
 are necessary. The District of Columbia’s response is printed in appen-
 dix VI.


 As arranged with the Subcommittee, unless you publicly announce its
 contents earlier, we plan no further distribution of this fact sheet until
 30 days from the date of this letter. At that time, we will make copies
 available to others upon request.

 The major contributors to this fact sheet are listed in appendix VI. If
 you have any questions, please contact me on 275-8387.

 Sincerely yours,




‘J. William Gadsby
  Director, Federal Management Issues




 Page 5                              GAO/GGD9043F’S Police Recruit Training Program
Contents


Letter
Appendix I                                                                                          10
Have There Been          The Current Recruit Training Program                                       10
                         Changes in Recruit Training Are Not Fully Documented                       11
Changes in the Police    Hours of Instruction Have Changed                                          12
Academy Course of        Recruit Examination Requirements Have Changed                              14
Study and Academic       Explanation for Changes in Recruit Training                                17
Requirements?
Appendix II                                                                                         20
How Many Recruit         Limited Documentation Exists on Termination Actions
                         MPD Reports Five Termination Recommendations Were
                                                                                                    20
                                                                                                    20
Termination                   Overturned
Recommendations
Have Been Overturned
by Officials Above the
Director of Training
Level?
Appendix III                                                                                        22
How Does the Police      Instructor Selection
                         Instructor Training
                                                                                                    22
                                                                                                    24
Academy Select and       Instructor Certification                                                   24
Train Its Instructors?
Appendix IV                                                                                         26
How Could the            The Accreditation Process
                         Police Agency Experience With Accreditation
                                                                                                    26
                                                                                                    28
Metropolitan Police
Department Proceed to
Acquire
Accreditation?
           Y




                         Page 6                          GAO/GGD9088F’S Police Recruit Training Program
                        Contents




Appendix V                                                                                           29
Have There Been
Additional Changes in
the Qualifications of
Police Candidates
Since 1982?
Appendix VI                                                                                          34
Agency Comments
Appendix VII                                                                                         41
Major Contributors to
This Fact Sheet
Table                   Table IV. 1: Phases of Police Department Accreditation                       26

Figures                 Figure I. 1: Hours of Instruction for Police Academy                         12
                            Recruits, 1982-89
                        Figure 1.2: Number of Hours of Police Academy Training                       14
                            by Type of Instruction
                        Figure 1.3: Minimum, Maximum, and Modal Number of                            15
                            Examinations for Training Cycles, 1982-89
                        Figure 1.4: Number of Examination Failures That May                          16
                            Result in a Recommendation of Termination From the
                            Police Academy
                        Figure 1.5: Percentage of Police Academy Recruits Passing                    17
                            and Failing the Comprehensive Examination on the
                            First Attempt
                        Figure III. 1: Educational Attainment of Instructors                         23
                            Assigned to the Academy as of September 1989
                        Figure 111.2:Years of Police Experience of Instructors                       24
                            Assigned to the Academy as of September 1989
                        Figure V. 1: Percentage of Candidates Who Passed and                         30
                            Failed the McCann Test
                        Figure V.2: Number of Candidates by Race Who Passed/                         31
                            Failed the McCann Test Since 1982




                        Page 7                           GAO/GGD4068Fs   Police Recruit Training Program
    Contents




    Figure V.3: Number of Candidates by Sex Who Passed the                      32
        McCann Test Since 1982
    Figure V-4: Percentage of Recruits Graduating/Not                           33
        Graduating by Year




    Abbreviations
Y




    CI'R       cardiopulmonary resuscitation
    MPD        Metropolitan Police Department


    Page 8                           GA0/GGD90&3F’S Police Recruit Training Program
Page   9   GAO/GGD-fJO48FS Police Recruit Training Program
Have There Been Changesin the Police
Academy Course of Study and
Academic Requirements?
                       Frequent changes have occurred in the academy’s course of study and
                       performance standards since August 1982. The hours of instruction
                       recruits receive have ranged from 294 to 880, and the subjects of class-
                       room training, while seemingly consistent over time, have been reorga-
                      nized continually. According to the Director of Training, additional
                       changes have occurred in the number of examinations for academic sub-
                      jects, the policies on comprehensive examinations, and the number of
                      examination failures permitted prior to a recommendation for termina-
                      tion from the program.

                      According to the Director of Training, numerous changes in recruit
                      training and performance standards have occurred, but MPD cannot fully
                      document them. Key records needed to account for all changes and to
                      provide the rationale for the changes have not been retained.

                      One academy official attributed the changes to changing Metropolitan
                      Police Department (MPD) priorities, the broad discretion available to
                      class instructors prior to early 1989 to modify the pace of instruction,
                      the periodic interpretation of recruits’ on-the-street training events,
                      such as demonstrations, and the discretion the Director of Training-the
                      top academy official-has to change the program.


                      The training program’s objective is to provide recruit officers with the
The Current Recruit   job-related knowledge and skills necessary for service in MPD. The course
Training Program      of instruction and the recruit performance standards applicable to a
                      given class are communicated in a handbook and syllabus covering that
                      class. The Recruit Officer Handbook communicates the policies and some
                      general rules of MPD. The syllabus presents the course content of the
                      recruit training program. These documents are subject to revision before
                      each class by decisions made by the Director of Training in consultation
                      with his top officers.

                      The current program duration is 653 hours and includes both specialized
                      and academic classroom instruction. The specialized segment of recruit
                      training covers blocks of instruction, such as physical training and self-
                      defense, use of firearms and vehicles, and administering cardiopulmo-
                      nary resuscitation (CPR). Recruits must physically demonstrate their
                      proficiency in these areas.

                      The academic training covers such blocks of instruction as the D.C.
                      Code; laws of arrest, search, and seizure; municipal regulations; han-
                      dling property; and report writing. Recruits must demonstrate their


                      Page 10                           GAO/GGD-90-68F-S Police Recruit Training Program
                         Appendtx I
                         Have There Been Chaugea in the Police
                         Academy Course of Study and
                         Academic Raquirementa?




                         mental proficiency through 14 examinations. Recruits are expected to
                         maintain a cumulative 70-percent average on the 14 tests, not fail more
                         than 2 original tests, and not fail more than 1 remedial test for any origi-
                         nal exam. Failure to meet these academic requirements may lead to a
                         recommendation for termination from the Director of Training.


                         The academy has not maintained the records necessary to account for
Changesin Recruit        all changes in the recruit training program since August 1982. A com-
Training Are Not Fully    1t
                         p e e accounting would require a review of all course syllabi and recruit
Documented               handbooks for each class. However, we were able to obtain only 7 syl-
                         labi and 4 handbooks for the 46 recruit classes held during this period.
                         We found no handbooks or syllabi dated earlier than December 1985.

                         The academy also has long recognized the serious nature of its problems
                         in documenting changes in recruit performance standards. In an April
                         16,1986, memorandum through the then MPD Administrative Services
                         Officer, the Director of Training at that time stated that:

                         “The Recruit Officer Training Program Academic Performance Standards employed
                         by the Training Division since 1981 have unofficially changed with the printing of
                         each Recruit Officer Handbook. The inconsistency with which we have employed
                         such standards has led to operational confusion and places the department in an
                         indefensible position should we be called upon to defend our practices.”

                         Because the academic performance standards in effect for each class
                         were not always approved by the Chief of Police and thus made official,
                         confusion over qualification requirements arose. For example, on April
                         16, 1986, the conflict between official and unofficial academic perform-
                         ance standards led the Director to conclude that he had no alternative
                         but to graduate two recruit officers who had failed three examinations.
                         These recruits would have been recommended for termination under the
                         unofficial standards in effect for their class, but they were within the
                         official standard of four failures, which had not been changed since
                         1981.

                         Despite the lack of complete records of changes in the academy pro-
                         gram, we used available records and discussions with the former Direc-
                         tor to develop information describing the nature of the changes in the
                         recruit training program.




                         Page 11                                 GAO/GGD90-68FS Police. Recruit Training Program
                                                          Appendix I
                                                          Have There Been Changes in the Police
                                                          Academy Course of Study and
                                                          Academic Requirements?




                                                          Information provided by MPD based on weekly classroom schedules
Hours of Instruction                                      maintained by the academy shows continual fluctuation in the hours of
Have Changed                                              instruction recruits received. They ranged from 294 to 880, as shown in
                                                          figure I. 1. However, we could find little documentation to explain the
                                                          changes. The Chief of Police said in written comments that the hours of
                                                          instruction ranged as high as 960 hours (24 weeks).



Figure 1.1: Hours of Instruction for Police Academy Recruits, 1982-89
900   Numkr   of Hours
840
780
720
se0
600
640
480
420
990
900
240
180
120
 90
  0

      1982                 1983                   1994
      YOM


      El       Shortest Training Claw In a Year

               Lor~est Training Class In a Year

               Mean Hours for all Training Claasea in a Year


                                                          Note: Four to eight training classes occurred each year varying in the number of instruction hours per
                                                          class.


                                                          We did find documentation for a portion of one recent reduction in the
                                                          instructional hours in the training program. Between July 16, 1987, and
                                                          March 22, 1988, 224 instructional hours were eliminated (from 817 to
                                                          593). The elimination of on-duty remedial training and field trips to the
                                                          D.C. Corporation Counsel Office, U.S. Attorney, and D.C. City Council




                                                          Page 12                                         GAO/GGD-90-68FS Police Recruit Training Program
Appendix I
Have There. Been Change8 In the Police
Academy Course of Study and
Academic Requirements?




led to a reduction of 138 hours. These changes occurred because infor-
mal recruit feedback indicated they were not useful. Another nine class-
room hours were eliminated by making the recruit responsible for
covering some subjects, such as metropolitan transit police and tow
crane operations, in home study. Home study subjects were still subject
to testing.

To obtain a more detailed understanding of changes in the recruit course
of study, we compared the syllabi for four recruit classes from Decem-
ber 16,1985, to February 10,1989. Our comparison showed that the
number of hours devoted to academic and specialized training varied
among recruit classes. (See fig. 1.2.)

Academy officials offered their opinion that the changes in the instruc-
tional hours represented no substantive change in recruit training. While
our review of the four syllabi showed a general consistency in the sub-
ject titles covered, we were unable to determine whether the content of
the courses, as indicated by the subject titles, represented a substantive
change in recruit training.

The frequency of changes in the course presentation and hours devoted
to over 100 courses of instruction make any definitive comparison
between classes difficult. For example, a course entitled “Preliminary
Investigation Skills Lab” did not appear on the December 16, 1985, syl-
labus but was allotted 24 hours in the July 1987 syllabus and 12 hours
in the March 1988 and February 1989 syllabi.




Page 13                                  GAO/GGD9088F’S Police Recruit Training Program
                                          Appendix I
                                          Have There Been Changes in the Police
                                          Academy Course of Study and
                                          Academic Requirements?




Figure 1.2: Number of Hours of Police
Academy Training by Type of Instruction   Number of Houm
                                          525
                                          770
                                          715
                                          550
                                          595
                                          539
                                          495
                                          449
                                          355
                                          339
                                          275
                                          220
                                          165
                                          110
                                           33




                                             Syllrbw Datr

                                                I      1 Miscellaneous
                                                         Specialized Training
                                                         Academic Subjects
                                                         Orienmtton

                                          Note 1:“Orientation” consists of subjects such as ‘Personal Appearance’ and ‘Overview of DC Govern-
                                          ment’ and City Geography.

                                          Note 2:“Academic subjects” consist of subjects such as ‘Rules of Evidence’ and ‘Affidavits and
                                          Warrants’.

                                          Note 3:“Speciaked   training” consists of subjects as ‘Firearms Training’ and ‘CPR Training’.

                                          Note 4:“Miscellaneous” consists of field trips to places such as Police Headquarters and DC. Superior
                                          Court.


                                          The number of examinations administered to cover classroom instruc-
Recruit Examination                       tion has changed greatly over time. From 1982 through 1989 the number
Requirements Have                         has ranged from 5 to 21. (See fig, 1.3.)
Changed




                                          Page 14                                        GAO/GGD90&3F% Police Recruit Training Program
                                          Appendix I
                                          Have There Been Changes in the Police
                                          Academy Course of Study and
                                          Academic Requirements?




Figure 1.3: Mlnimum, Maximum, and Modal Number of Examinations for Training Cycles, 1982-89
22   Numkr ot Euma




     1992
     Yur

            Mlnlmum Number of Exams
            Maximum Number of Exams
            Modal Number of Exams


                                         Note 1: Data on number of examinations were not available for all training cycles in 1982, 1983, and
                                         1984. Data were available for only one training cycle in 1983.

                                         Note 2: The modal number of examinations is the most frequently occurring number of exams in a given
                                         year.


                                         As the number of examinations changed, so did the number of examina-
                                         tion failures permitted before recommending termination. Before May
                                         1989, the academy examination requirements included an examination
                                         at the conclusion of each unit of study, for example “DC. Code,” and
                                         remedial examinations for each examination failed. However, the acad-
                                         emy has consistently placed limits on the number of permitted failures
                                         of both original and remedial examinations. Since 1982, from two to six
                                         examination failures-including    remedial examinations-have been
                                         grounds for recommending termination. These variations are presented
                                         in figure 1.4.




                                         Page 15                                         GAO/GGD-9068PS Police Recruit ‘hduiug           Program
                                     Appcndlx I
                                     Have There Been Changes in the Police
                                     Academy Course of Study and
                                     Academic Requirements?




Figure 1.4: Number of Examinatlon
Failures That May Result in a        Numbsr of Fallsd Examlnatlonm
Recommendation of Termination From   I
the Police Academy




                                     4




                                     Data That Standards Wet-a Otflclally Implomonted

                                     Note 1: The January 1981 and October 1989 standards refer to original examinations only.
                                     Note 2: The May 1985 and November 1985 standards include both original examinations and remedial
                                     examinations.


                                     Since August 1982, the academy also has followed different practices
                                     regarding the use of comprehensive examinations at the end of the
                                     recruit class. Comprehensive examinations were intended to measure
                                     what the recruit retained from the academic program. According to the
                                     Director of Training, the comprehensive examination was introduced, on
                                     a trial basis, in 1984. From September 1985 through March 1988, com-
                                     prehensive examinations were administered to recruits and counted
                                     toward their academic records, The former Director discontinued the
                                     use of the comprehensive examination in October 1988.

                                     We found no written policy statement providing the rationale for discon-
                                     tinuing the comprehensive examination. We did, however, find a Novem-
                                     ber 1989 letter signed by the Chief of Police stating that a
                                     comprehensive examination was not necessary in light of efforts to




                                     Page 16                                            GAO/GGD-9048FS Police Recruit Training Program
                                       Appendix I
                                       Have There Been Changes in the Police
                                       Academy Cwree of Study and
                                       Academic Requirements?




                                       shorten the recruits program and integrate various subjects to give stu-
                                       dents a more systematic approach to training. Subsequently, in com-
                                       menting on our draft report, the Chief of Police said that pending
                                       further evaluation, MPD has not determined whether these examinations
                                       are necessary. Our analysis of recruit performance on the comprehen-
                                       sive examination showed that a much larger percentage of recruits
                                       failed the test in their first attempt in 1988 (39 percent) than in prior
                                       years. (See fig. 1.5.)


Figure 1.5: Percentage of Police
Academy Recruits Passing and Failing   Psrcsnl of Cad&
the Comprehensive Examination on the   ,oo
First Attempt
                                        w
                                        50
                                        70
                                        50
                                        50
                                        40
                                        30
                                        20
                                        10
                                         0

                                              1984        1985     1986     1987      1988
                                              Calsndar Ysar

                                                         Failed Exam
                                                         Passed Exam

                                       Note 1: The comprehensive examination was initially given to recruits in 1984.

                                       Note 2: The comprehensive examination was last administered to recruits of training cycle 2 in 1988.


                                       In the absence of academy documentation for changes in the recruit
Explanation for                        training program, the former Director of Training offered an explana-
Changes in Recruit                     tion of the factors that influence the program. He said the course of
Training                               study is subject to continual change to encompass such routine events as
                                       revisions in the DC. Code and new court decisions. Changes also arise
                     v
                                       from suggestions from the academy staff on how best to present subject
                                       matter.


                                       Page 17                                         GAO/GGD-9088FS Police Recruit Training Program
Appcndlx I
Have There Been Changes in the Police
Academy Course of Study and
Academic Requirements?




In addition, the former Director offered four other reasons for changes
since 1982. These were (1) changing priorities within the MPD; (2) the
decentralized instructional system in place from 1981 until March 1989,
which gave considerable discretion to class instructors to modify the
pace of instruction; (3) the need to use recruits to respond to external
events, such as demonstrations; and (4) the discretion of the Director to
make changes.

The history of changes in the recruit course of instruction is an example
of how changing priorities influence the course of study. According to
the former Director of Training, the Chief of Police desired to get
officers on the street as quickly as possible to respond to crime emergen-
cies. In response, the former Director initiated a review of the recruit
curriculum shortly after assuming command in January 1988. The
review objective was to eliminate material not essential to preparing
recruits to serve as police officers. As a result, recruit training was
reduced by 226 hours. Such activities as field trips and classroom reme-
dial training time were eliminated and home study was emphasized.

The second factor contributing to the changes was the decentralized
teaching method employed by the academy from February 1981 until
March 1989. During this period, a sergeant and two officers were
responsible for guiding a class through the academy, including teaching
all academic subject matter. The Director said that the instructors had
considerable discretion in the pace they set in moving recruits through
the academy. For example, the pace at which certain subject matter was
taught could be affected by both instructor familiarity with the topic
and ability of the class to master the subject.

A third factor affecting the hours of class instruction was the require-
ment that recruits respond to external events. Academy recruits are
used as a reserve to help deal with a wide range of events, such as dem-
onstrations, crime emergencies, or needs for security during visits by
dignitaries. Time spent in such efforts is considered practical training
and is recorded in the total number of hours of instruction.

Finally, the Director has discretion to initiate change in the recruit train-
ing program. For example, the former Director recommended discontinu-
ing the comprehensive examination and modifying the teaching
approach. After a review of the academy’s teaching methods, the former
Director also instituted a team-teaching approach. Since March 1989,
instructors specialize in certain subjects, such as the D.C. Code or crimi-
nal procedure. The objective is to ensure greater mastery of the subject


Page 18                                 GAO/GGD90-68FS Police Recruit Training Program
Have There Been Changelr in the Police
Academy Course of Study and
Academic Requirements?




matter by the instructor than was possible when the sergeant and two
 officers were responsible for teaching all academic subjects. The new
teaching approach is also intended to reduce the variation in how sub-
jects are presented to classes and how long the presentations take. As
 part of this effort, the former Director established a schedule for com-
pleting recruit training.

The former Director received formal approval by the Chief of Police for
the various major changes he initiated in the recruit course of study.
The former Director added, however, that such approval has not always
been obtained, as indicated by the concerns raised in 1985 by the then
Director of Training about the absence of Chief of Police approval of
some academic standards.




Page 19                                  GAO/GGD9988Fs   Police Recruit Training Program
Appendix II
                                                                                                   I
How Many Recruit Termination
RecommendationsHave Been Overturned by
Officials Above the Director of Training Level?
                       Before September 1988, the academy generally did not maintain records
                       in its personnel files of proposed or actual adverse actions against
                       recruits. However, through discussions with academy officials and a
                       review of the correspondence files at the MPD, we learned that the Chief
                       of Police disapproved five recommendations for termination in Septem-
                       ber 1988. A recruit can be recommended for immediate termination
                       from the academy for such actions as academic failure; any act of dis-
                       honesty, such as theft, making false statements to or for the use of a
                       superior officer, or cheating on any examination; and the illicit or
                       unprescribed use of a narcotic or dangerous drug. Instructors initiate
                       recommendations for termination. The recommendations then proceed
                       through the Director of Training to the Chief of Police, who makes the
                       final decision on whether to accept the recommendation.


                       According to the Director of Training, the academy does not have a writ-
Limited                ten policy on what documentation must be retained on each recruit’s
Documentation Exists   training experience. According to the Director of Training, the academy
on Termination         practice before September 1988 was not to maintain records on adverse
                       actions against recruits. A recruit faced with a recommendation for ter-
Actions                mination was allowed to resign without a record being kept in the file of
                       the reason for the resignation. Further, the academy kept no records on
                       disciplinary actions, test results, or records of tutoring at the academy
                       after each recruit graduated or resigned the academy. The former Direc-
                       tor said that the rationale for this was to give the terminated recruit a
                       fresh start. However, the former Director said that the academy policy
                       has been to retain all recruit training documentation since January 1989
                       so that there will be a clear audit trail.


                       Because of limited documentation, we formally requested the MPD to
MPD Reports Five       report to us on the number of recruit termination actions disapproved
Termination            by the Chief of Police since August 1982. We focused our inquiry on
Recommendations        actions by the Chief because the Director of Training said the former
                       and current Administrative Services Officers have not rejected any ter-
Were Overturned        mination recommendations. The former Director, in a letter dated July
                       20, 1989, reported that the former Chief of Police disapproved five ter-
                       mination recommendations for academic failure made by the former
                       Director in September 1988. The letter stated no rationale for the Chief’s
                       action. We contacted the former Chief, but he declined to discuss his
                       rationale.




                       Page 20                           GAO/GGD-90-68FS Police Recruit Training Program
Appendix II
How Many Reeruit Termination
Recommend&one Have Been Overturned by
ofplciale Above the Director of
Training Level?




We reviewed the personnel files of the five recruits and determined that
the recommendations for termination were based upon failure to meet
academic standards. The recruits recommended for termination were
retested in areas they had failed, passed the remedial tests, graduated
from the academy, completed their probationary period, and are now
serving as certified MPD officers.




Page 2 1                            GAO/GGD-!MJ&WS Police Recruit Training Program
Appendix III

How Does the Police Academy Select and Tra&
Its Instruc-brs?

                       Since April 1988, the MPD has used a formal review process to select
                       instructors in which applicants are screened on a variety of factors.
                       After being selected, new instructors receive both formal and on-the-job
                       training. The formal training consists of a 40-hour Instructor Develop-
                       mental course. New instructors also observe more experienced instruc-
                       tors for 3 to 6 weeks prior to teaching. In addition, academy officials are
                       developing an instructor certification program.


                       The former Director of Training began using a new process in April 1988
Instructor Selection   to select instructors for the police academy. According to the former
                       Director of Training, the new process arose from the former Chief of
                       Police’s concern about the lack of a formal instructor selection process
                       at a time when more instructors were needed to train up to 260 recruits
                       at a time. Records were not available to document, nor could MPD offi-
                       cials tell us, what formal selection procedures were used before April
                       1988.

                       The current selection process begins with the posting of a vacancy
                       announcement for instructors. Applicants are required to submit a writ-
                       ten lesson plan on a predetermined topic; give a lo-minute oral presenta-
                       tion; and answer 10 general questions about their police careers,
                       personal interests, and reasons for seeking an instructor position.

                       The current process calls for a selection committee chosen by the Direc-
                       tor of Training to rank applicants on such dimensions as their ability to
                       determine training needs and to plan and prepare courses and/or blocks
                       of instruction to meet those needs; and their ability to conduct research,
                       evaluate information, formulate valid and objective conclusions, and
                       present findings in an organized and effective manner. However, the
                       Director of the academy can also independently conduct interviews and
                       select applicants,

                       Instructors were selected from two vacancy announcements in April
                       1988. Selections were by a committee for the first announcement, and
                       the Director independently selected for the second vacancy announce-
                       ment. All instructors were detailed to the academy rather than perma-
                       nently assigned because this approach facilitates reassigning instructors
                       if they do not perform well.

                       Recruit instructors are required to have 3 years’ service on the force.
                       The police department profile data on the 55 instructors assigned to the
                       academy in September 1989 show that 71 percent received at least some


                       Page 22                           GAO/GGDsQ68Fs Police Recruit Training Program
                                         Appendix III
                                         How Does the Police Academy Select and
                                         Train It8 IIl&ll~ra?




                                         higher education, and 78 percent had more than 10 years’ experience
                                         with the MPD. Figures III.1 and 111.2show instructor profile data.


Flgure 111.1:Educational Attainment of
Instructors Assigned to the Academy as
of September 1999                        Number of Instructors
                                         27

                                         24

                                         21




                                         15

                                         12

                                           9




                                           3

                                         1860        I           l-3
                                                         L       L     L




                     Y




                                         Page 23                                  GAO/GGD90&3F!S Police Recruit Training Progran~
                                         Appendix III
                                         How Does the Police Academy Select and
                                         TrainkfJhStNCtWS?




Instructors Assigned to the Academy as   36   Numb   of Intiructam
of September 1989
                                         33
                                         30
                                         27
                                         24
                                         21
                                         18
                                         15
                                         12
                                         9


                                         3
                                         0

                                                       610           11.15  16+
                                              Elm      Yearn         Yam    Yam
                                              Yearn of Pollca Swvlco Experlonce


                                         Instructors receive both formal and on-the-job training. Formal training
Instructor Training                      consists of a 40-hour course on impromptu presentation, communica-
                                         tion, principles of learning, training needs assessment, behavioral task
                                         analysis, and instructional objectives. New instructors will usually
                                         spend 3 to 6 weeks at the academy preparing to teach a class. This
                                         includes observing experienced instructors present course material. The
                                         former Director said that the last four new instructors also were tested
                                         on the material they were to teach to demonstrate that they had mas-
                                         tered it.

                                         Instructor performance is evaluated periodically through observation by
                                         a management team composed of the Deputy Director, the Assistant
                                         Chief of Police, and four lieutenants, or by any one member of the team.
                                         After such observation, the instructor is counseled on his/her perform-
                                         ance. Failure to improve any deficiencies could lead to reassignment.


                                         According to the former Director of Training, the academy is developing
Instructor                               a certification program for instructors in conjunction with the Univer-
Certification                            sity of the District of Columbia. Plans are nearing completion for a pro-
                     u                   gram for certifying physical training instructors. Plans for the




                                         Page 24                                  GAO/GGD-90-68FS Police Recruit Training Program
.
    Appentltx HI
    How Doea the Police Academy Select and
    ~ainkBhiJtNC!tD~?




    certification program for academic instructors include six seminars deal-
    ing with such topics as teaching adults, testing and evaluation, research,
    and curriculum development.




    Page 26                                  GAO/GGD-9O-t38Fs Police Recruit Training Program
Appendix IV
                                                                                                                          1
How Could the Metropolitan Police Depaxtxnent
Proceed to Acquire Accreditation?

                                          Accreditation is a certification granted to law enforcement agencies at
                                           the state and local levels that have demonstrated voluntarily that they
                                           meet professional standards. The process necessary to acquire accredi-
                                           tation is undertaken under the auspices of the Commission on Accredita-
                                          tion for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. The Commission was formed in
                                           1979 through the combined efforts of four major law enforcement mem-
                                          bership associations. These associations are the International Associa-
                                          tion of Chiefs of Police, National Organization of Black Law
                                          Enforcement Executives, National Sheriffs’ Association, and the Police
                                           Executive Research Forum. In the accreditation process, an agency is
                                          judged against a set of law enforcement standards in such areas as law
                                          enforcement roles, responsibilities, and relationships; organization, man-
                                          agement, and administration; the personnel structure and processes; and
                                          law enforcement operations.


                                          Accreditation involves five phases, which can take about 5 years to
The Accreditation                         complete depending on the size and condition of the agency. The accredi-
Process                                   tation phases are listed in table IV. 1.

Table IV.l: Phases of Police Department
Accreditation                             Phase               Activity                           ----..
                                          I     . ~-~--       Application
                                          II                  Agency profile questionnaire
                                          III             ____Agency self-assessment
                                          IV                  Commission’s on-site assessment        -.
                                          V                   Commission grants or defers full accreditation


                                          According to the Commission guidance in Standards For Law Enforce-
                                          ment Agencies: The Standards Manual of the Law Enforcement Agency
                                          Accreditation Program, the accreditation process begins with an appli-
                                          cation to the Commission from the law enforcement agency’s chief exec-
                                          utive officer and from the agency’s chief civil authority, where required
                                          by local laws or policies. The Commission determines from the applica-
                                          tion whether the agency meets eligibility standards. Eligible law
                                          enforcement agencies are defined as (1) legal government entities that
                                          are responsible for enforcing laws and have personnel with general or
                                          special law enforcement powers and (2) agencies providing law enforce-
                                          ment services whose eligibility is verified by the Commission. Once eligi-
                                          bility has been established, the agency and the Commission sign an
                                          accreditation agreement that identifies what is expected of each party.




                                          Page 26                               GAO/GGIMMMSFS Police Recruit Training Program
How Could the Metropolitan Police
Department Proceed to
Acquire Accreditation?




During phase II, the agency completes an agency profile questionnaire
providing information about its size, responsibilities, functions, organi-
zation, and management. This information helps the Commission decide
which standards are applicable to the agency.

Phase III is the agency’s self-assessment process in which it is to
describe how it complies with all applicable accreditation standards.
The agency is to assemble documentation to show its compliance with
the standards and to facilitate the Commission’s on-site assessment. The
Commission estimates that it takes an agency from 12 to 18 months to
complete the self-assessment phase.

Phase IV is the Commission’s on-site assessment, which begins after the
agency notifies the Commission that it complies with all applicable stan-
dards. This assessment determines whether the agency complies with all
applicable standards. To conduct the assessment the Commission assem-
bles a team of assessors, to the extent possible drawing officers from
police agencies of similar size and type to the agency under review. To
avoid potential conflict of interest, individuals are not to be assigned to
assessment teams within their own states, and the agency under review
is permitted to review the team make-up and can object to including cer-
tain individuals.

In phase V, the assessment team is required to submit a report to the
Commission and the Commission is to grant or defer full accreditation. If
the Commission defers accreditation, it provides the agency an outline
of the steps necessary to correct deficiencies and gain full accreditation.
During this period, the agency reverts to the self-assessment phase until
it again complies with applicable standards. The Commission encourages
the agency to correct deficiencies as rapidly as possible. When the
agency reports that it has corrected the deficiencies, it is to be rein-
spected in the deficient areas. At any point in the accreditation process,
the agency can question any decisions by the Commission, its staff, and
its assessors.

Accreditation is granted for 5 years. To maintain accreditation, agencies
must remain in compliance with the standards under which accredita-
tion was granted. Agencies must apply for reaccreditation before the
end of the fifth year. An on-site assessment is required as part of the
reaccreditation process. The reaccreditation review focuses on how poli-
cies are implemented, in contrast with the initial review, which focuses
on whether the formal procedures exist.



Page 27                             GAO/GGD9088FS Police Recruit Training Program
                   How Could the Metropolitan   Police
                   Department Proceed to
                   Acquire Accredit&ion?




                   To get some practical perspectives on the accreditation process, we vis-
Police Agency      ited three accredited police departments: the Houston Police Depart-
Experience W ith   ment; the Connecticut State Police Department; and the Glastonbury,
Accreditation      Connecticut, Police Department. Officials from all three departments
                   were positive about the value of accreditation. Benefits they cited
                   included deterrence of litigation against the police departments, the con-
                   tainment of liability insurance costs, and improved department manage-
                   ment resulting from documentation of all policies and procedures.

                   According to each department, a potential problem was that the Com-
                   mission might impose arbitrary standards that were not appropriate for
                   their jurisdictions. However, experience had shown that this was not a
                   problem. The Commission permitted each department flexibility to iden-
                   tify standards applicable to their jurisdiction and to request a waiver of
                   the inappropriate standards.

                   Department officials could not think of a current viable option to
                   accreditation as a recognized symbol of the quality of a police organiza-
                   tion. However, all said that they were looking at state accreditation as
                   an option for the future. The attraction of state accreditation is the
                   expectation that the state, rather than the local government, would pay
                   for the costs.




                   Page 28                               GAO/GGD9058PS Police Recruit Training Program
Appendix V

Have There Been Additional Changesin the
Qualifications of Police Candidates Since 1982?

                 Since we issued our earlier report,’ we have developed additional infor-
                 mation you requested concerning the qualifications of police candidates
                 since 1982. The new information includes the

                 percentage of candidates who passed and failed the McCann test (see
                 fig. V.1);
                 number of candidates by race who passed/failed the McCann test since
                 1982 (see fig. V.2);
                 number of candidates by sex who passed the McCann test since 1982
                 (see fig. V.3); and
                 percentage of recruits graduating and not graduating, by year, from the
                 academy (see fig. V.4).




             Y




                 ‘DC. Government: Interim Report on Changes in Police Qualifications (GAO/GGD-90-OGFS, Oct. 3,
                 1989).



                 Page 29                                    GAO/GGD-9088FS Police Recruit Training Program
                                       Appendix V
                                       Have There Been Additional Changes In the
                                       Qualifications of Poke Candidates
                                       Since 19821




Figure V.1: Percentage of Candidates
Who Pamed and Failed the McCann Teat   P.mtig.      ,,, CandlLtm
                                       1QQ

                                        90

                                        80

                                        70

                                        60

                                        30

                                        40

                                        30

                                        20




                                             1882       1983       lQ85      IQ66   1887      lQ8a      1989
                                             YoarofTosting


                                             I-J       Pawed: 60-l 00 Correct
                                                       Paased:50-59Co1~ect
                                                       Falled

                                       Note 1: The passing score for the McCann Test administered in 1982 was 60 correct out of 100. Data are
                                       unavailable for how many of those who had scores below 60 (failed) scored between 50-59.

                                       Note 2: The McCann Test was not administered in 1984
                                       Note 3: The passing score for the McCann Test was changed to 50 out of 100 beginning with the first
                                       examination in 1983.




                                       Page 30                                       GAO/GGB90-68FS Police Recruit Training Program
                                      Appendix V
                                      Have There Been Additional Changes fn the
                                      Qnallflcations of Police Candidates
                                      Since 19827




Figure V.2: Number of Candidate, by
Race Who Pasred/Falled the McCann     7000   Numkr of Cendldatw
Test Since 1982                       owe
                                      woo
                                      Moo
                                      woo
                                      4500
                                      4ooa
                                      3300
                                      3ooo
                                      2300
                                      2ooo
                                      16QO




                                                                     Llvllib
                                      1000
                                       300
                                         0

                                              Blsck                  Whit.           Hlspnic             olhsr        Unkncwn
                                              l&s     of Candldatr

                                             1         1 Passed
                                                         Failed

                                      Note: Candidates who left the “Race” question blank are listed as “Unknown.”




                                      Page 31                                       GAO/GGD-904WFS Police Recruit Training Program
                                          Appendix V
                                          Have There Been Additional Changes in the
                                          Qualtftcatione of Police Candidate9
                                          Since 19821




Figure V.3: Number of Candidates by Sex
Who Passed the McCann Test Since          Number of Candidatea
1982
                                          5500
                                          s?oo
                                          43001          I
                                          4400
                                          4ooo
                                          3300
                                          3200
                                          2300
                                          2400
                                          2ooo
                                          lso0
                                          1200
                                           ooo
                                           400
                                             0                            .

                                                             9
                                                  J&J
                                                                 P
                                                  Gender of Candidatea
                                          Note: Candidates who left the “Gender” question blank are listed as “Not Reported.”




                                          Page 32                                       GAO/GGD-90-68FS Police Recruit Training Program
                                     Appendix      V
                                     Have There Been Additional Changes in the
                                     Qualifications of Poke Candidates
                                     Since 19827




Flgure V.4: Percentage of Recruits
C3raduating/Not Graduating by Year   Porcontago of     Rso~lls

                                     199

                                      90

                                      60

                                      70

                                      60

                                     50

                                     40

                                     30

                                     20




                                            1932
                                            Year


                                           I             Did Not Graduate
                                                         Graduated

                                     Note 1: Data were not available for all training cycles in 1982, 1983, and 1984. Data were available for
                                     only one training cycle in 1983.
                                     Note 2: “Drd not graduate” includes those who resigned from the academy, were terminated for aca-
                                     demic failure or disciplinary reasons, or for any other reason did not finish the training cycle.




                                     Page 33                                          GAO/GGD90-68FS Police Recruit Training Program
Appendix VI

Agency Comments



                                       GOVERNMENT    OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
                                                      EXECUTIVE OFFICE


              OFFICE OF THE CITY ADMINISTRATOR                              CAROL B. THOMPSON
              DEPUTY MAYOR FOR OPERATIONS                                   CITY ADMINISTRATOR
                                                                            DEPUTY MAYOR FOR OPERATIONS
                                                                            1350 PENNSYLVANIA AVE., N.W.. RM. 507
                                                                            WASHINGTON, D.C. 20004



                                                      MAY I 6 1990



                   Richaxd L. Fogel
                   Assistant   Comptroller  General
                   U.S. General Accounting    Office
                   441 G Street,   NW Rm. 3860
                   Washington,   D.C. 20548
                   Dear Mr. Fogel:
                   Tn reply to your letter            dated April   11, 1990, please find
                   enclosed the comments of the District                government to your
                   draft   report    titled,      "DC Government: Information       on the Police
                   Recruit    Training       Program".    Please direct     further inquiries
                   regarding     this matter to Marc D. Loud of my staff              at 727-6053.




                                                       City-Administrator/Deputy          Mayor
                                                       for Operations




                            Page34
             Appendix VI
             Agency Comments




 D.C. 44
 labmary   191



 Memorandum                            a             Government          of the District      of Columbia
                                                              Metropolitan Police Department



 TO:             Mayor Marion Barry,       Jr.                 Department.               Office of the
                                                               Agency.       Office:     Chief of Police
TWRU:            Carol B.
                 City Administra
                    for Operations
 PROM:           Chief   of   Police                           Date:          MAY 4 Igso


 SUBJECT: Comments Concerning the U.S. General                Accounting        Office     Draft   Report        on
          the Police Recruit Training Program


                 The following  are my comments concerning the draft report on the
                 Police Recruit Training   Program prepared by the U.S. General
                 Accounting Office (GAO) for the U.S. House of Representative's
                 Subcommittee on the District    of Columbia.
                 While I take exception to several of the specific     comments made by GAO
                 concerning our Police Recruit Training    Program, as outlined in my
                 comments, a number of their findings   parallel   my Independent review of
                 this program.  I particularly  agree with the GAO concern about the
                 past lack of documentation in recruit   training.

                 APFENDIX I:  Have there been changes in the Police                    Academy course       of
                 study and acadlaic requiremente?

                 There have been a number of changes and improvements in the Police
                 Academy course of study and academic requirements  since August 1982.
                 According to the charts provided by GAO, there were periods in 1982
                 end 1983 when recruit         training     classes received minimum periods of
                 training    near the 294 hour range cited in the report as the minimum
                 training    during the period.          Since that time, however, minimum
                 training    periods have significantly           increased.    The Police Academy
                 currently     provides 654 hours (a little           over 16 weeks) of recruit
                 training    to new officers.          This training    cycle is down from its
                 previous high of 960 hours (24 weeks).                This was accomplished by
                 eliminating      non-essential      training    and three weeks of “administrative
                 duties” from the curriculum.




             Page 35                                       GAO/GGD-9068FS Police Recruit Training Program
    AppendixVI
    Agency Comments




                                       -2-


Ae might be expected, changes in the recruit             training   curriculum have
tracked changes in the service demands on the department, laws and
regulations,     and court decisions.      Additionally,       the department has
made fundamental changes In the way in which recruit               officers are
trained.      As is noted in the GAOreport,        the decentralized
instructional      system in place until March 1989 was replaced with a
“tesm teaching” system.        Among other benefits,        this change
significantly      reduced individual   instructor     discretion     In course
content.
GAO reported that the department has long recognized the serious
nature of its problems in documenting changes in recruit  performance
standards.   While the department has made improvements in recent
years, more work remains to be done in this area.

Several   issues    concerning the number of examinations    administered      to
recruit   officer    classes were discussed in GAO’s report.

As might be expected,      as the hours of instruction   increased (or
decreased), so did the number of examinations administered         to recruit
officers.    Additionally,    as the number of examinations    changed, so did
the number of examination failures      permitted before recommending
termination.    Except for problems associated with documentation,        none
of this is remarkable.
Concerning the issue of a comprehensive, final examlnatlon for recruit
officers,    GAO reports that the official       position    of the department Is
that such an examination      “is not necessary.”        GAO is incorrect;    that
is not our policy.      Comprehensive examinations were developed,
Indiscriminately    administered,    and then discontinued       without sanction
from the Chief of Police.        Pending further     evaluation,    the department
has not determined whether these examinations are necessary.

APPENDIX II:  Eow many recruit  termination        ret-ndationa        have been
disapproved by officials  above the Director         of Training   level?

Again, as I have previously      noted in other areas involved in recruit
training,   improvement is needed in the documentation associated with
the termination    of recruit  officers.   Although there were five
termination   recommendations disapproved by the former Chief of Police
in September 1988, as was noted, there have been no recommendations
for academic terminations     disapproved since that time.

In one case last fall,    the Administrative Services Officer
disapproved a termination    recommendation based on physical          standards
(running a given distance within a specified    time period).           Upon
further  review of the basis for the standard, the Director            of Training
withdrew the recommendation.




    Page36                                     GAO/GGD-9088FSPoUceRecruitTrainingPro~~
.
             AppendixVl
             AgencyComments




                                               -3-




    %esumnaryprcvidedintbG?Qrepxtaccuratelyreflectsthe
    sektionandlxainingofM.lce&ademyinstn&ors.                              IWdtiy
    notethatthis~sispatternedafterthssystemuserlbythe
    F.B.I. in its training of naw Lnstructors.



    Ime~~acwatelyoutlinesonewayinwhichamunicipalpolice
    agencymightacguke     accreditation;     thatis,thraqhaprocessun&r
    theauspioesofthecomnissiollanAccreditationforLawmforcement
    Agmnoies, Inc. (camA). Tl-ieGPDrqortoutlin8stheCRIEAprccess
    aprectlyjllOWWBr,    1diSagr~thZltth.b          iSti0d.y      approachtotbs
    matter.
    W      wb9 established    in 1979 snd involves doamgltation              of
    approxdmtely     900 standards  whkhcovervktuallyeveryaspctofa
    police department's opraticu~        It is but me of a numbr     of programs
    thatarceefranthem         ovementto improve theprofessionalismof       police
    officersthralghoutthisccuntry.         other programs inolude an increased
    q$asis      cnhigher education, both for current~oyees          and future
    elnplcyees;policeofficerstandards       andk&Li.ng(KST)certification
    for individual officers; higher standards of police corrbct; snd
    higher entry-level      standards.
    There are appraxlmately    17,000 police   agencies   nationwide;   most of
    tkese police agencies are staffed with fewer than 100 employees.
    Department23of that sizehave difficulty        prcMd.inga full range Of
    police service tc their -ties.             ixMitionally,thesedeparkk&~s
    baditimlly      havehad greatdifficultylndevelopingmeaningful
    Written policies anAproc&ures toguide their enqloyees. These
    difficulties   experiencedbyvery     smallplicf~agenciesareger~3JAy
    not shared by large municipal police departments; co nsequently, the
    CiUE&accreditationpxcessisnu~chrmxebeneficial                tothesevery
    wrall agencies than to a large municipal police deparbnsnt.
    Despitea stronglobbyingeffortby       CAL& there is considerable
    disagreement within the lawenforcement~ty             --especiallyarrnng
    largenunicipald~ts            -- caxerningits   efficacy.     While small
    police departments, in need of significant    ~~WVWIM toftheir
    written policies and prccedures, have bearne involved in the CALEA
    accreditation   prccess, fewmajor citydepartm~&s     have taken this
    approach.           (?Ioustmandhicago    axe theonly       notable   exceptions,   as
    farasIkncf4.)




            Page 37                                      GAO/GGD-90-68FS Police Recruit Training Program
    Appendix VI
    Agency Comments




                                       -4-

caLEA's~10~cdl~~appearsto~~tby~~g                                          a
aeparboent’s   written   pollcles   and p.-ocsdurei3,   Its   management mn be
Lnptoved. 'Ihis is illustratedbytheway        fnwhlchC%LEAaccreditsa
policedqartmmt.       lhe firstcycleof     accredltationarlydetmmlnes
whr&herthedsg;irtmenthasadequatewrittenpmcedurestomeet~
standards. Itfsnotuntilthe~cyclethattheinqplwnentaticll
ofwrittenproceduresisassessadintarmsofthewayinwhichthe
@artmnt      actually operates.
Inspiteofthe~lems~ichhavebeencutllnedwithdoarmentaticn
ofourrecmittE&lngpt7cgmm,           this de-t        has an extensive
policiesandpr~esnlanual,whichwecallalr                 "Generalorders."
My ccfarn about our policies and procedures is not Tent$n&in
lnostinstances;thatwehaveinvol~.Mycalcern
degreetowhichaur~~membarsarecqFizantofourproceduresand
follow tkll In their applicaticn in %treet?' situations.       we need to
inprove the application of our policies and procedures; CXEA wculd
not asslst us in the nmaeurementofthatprocessformanyyears.
%3G?Qreportoutl.lnes       visits tothreepoliceagencies          whichhave
sw#lt CzALEaaczcr~tatlon.        Representativesfranthesedeparhawts
cited three lxnefits:     (1) deterrsncefranlitigatlonagainstthe
Police dewrfmmt,      (2) an lL&lmmtof liability       insurance costs, and
(3)impraveddepartmantmanagementresultCngfrcmdoclmnenta~olofall
policies and procedures.
While these may have keen benefits to those depadmmts, Idonot           feel
that they will benefit this depxtmmt:        (1) much of the litigation
against this departmentarises   franallegations    that established
policies and praz&ures were not follawed; (2) this police depwbnmt
isrlotpriwe3lyirlsured;    and (3) our maMgwmntFoblminthisarea
ralate totbsapplicationof     establishedpoliciesandprccedures,mt
their absence.
C!ALEAwas desigred to wove         policies and prccedures for police
depxtmmts with significant        deficits in these areas. It is a labor-
intensive -ng,            andmstpolice       clepdmats    must identify   a
cadreof stafftodevote        totheprccess.       cbnsideredinthecontextof
all of the deparhmt's      efforts to develcp a Ccmamity Elqmemmt
Pdicing    male1 desigmd to address the specific needs of this
mmnmity, to stem the tideofdmgs            andviolence,    toimprwe the
quaLltyofaustaffandmanagement,andtoensure~deliveryofa
high-qualitybaslc    pcJ.i.ce semice,undergoing      theCALEAaccreditat.ion
process is mtinthe      bestinterestof       thisdeparhnentorthe
ccfmlldty it serves. Finally, I shouldnotethatC?UA               (aswasnoted
inthaGAOrepart)willnotexamineour~~ttrainingf~~onin
iscilation -theappar~tfocusoftheGkOrepart.




   Page 38                                     GAO/GGD-90-68FS Police Recruit Training Program
  Appendix VI
  Agency Comments




                                          -5-

Aswasc4ltlinsd,       c!Nmisbutoneofssoleral            -tsto~ove
police   professioMus4n.        There are other     ways in which   tb   qlaauty   of
tbede~anditsmenlberscanbeimpeoved,andIint~topuFsueJ
tsevwal     initiatives   in this   regard:

      (1)     SeektoeaQU.ish        a District of ColumbiaW.iceOffioer
              Stanaarclsandrraining(POST)certifica~~programwhCch
              wouldbslmd&3dafterotherstate-levalpospprclgrams(such
              as in California).      Uherthanfocusingcmtheagency,a
              FC6Tprogramfocuses ontheindlvidualofficertoeklsure
              thattheofficerhastherquisitelevelofkaining,
              skills,aIldknawledge.        SuchaprogramwU.lbedevel~in
              conjunctionwlthlocaluniversities            a&/or thecbnsmtiumof
              Universities.     3dditkmally,Iintmdtoexplorearegiaxal
              #)sTcwtificationprogramino~njunctiontiththe
              MetrqpolitZUl wa&n#al-1ofGcrvernmants.
      (2)      Seek out professional organizations that Offer
               cf?rtification   in specific, specialized skills (such as
               recruit training irlstrllCti~)   so that lneders can bealm
               cerLifiedinspeci.alizedareas.
      (3)      Seekanagrementwith        a local universltytograntcollege
               creditforampletimof         thePolice Academy. Forthose
               wlthoutacollegedqree,thiswcxlldenaxragerecmit
               offfcerstopursue     a callegedegree.
      (4)      Seektoimprcnreentry-levelstandards.      ASIshC4lldoUtline
               latEcinthese   currents, theTestEevel~tOfficewil1
               wqAore this issue.
      (5)      Seektoimprovetheeducati.cnlevelof      current emplayees,
               especially new employees. 'rhe skills and insights
               associatedwithacollege&3zationare       increasingly
               irqmdant, especially for future police managers, as the
               envimnmentinwhichp6liceopxatebeames          more ccmiplmc.



WhFlethedepaWmnthasmdelmprcwemm            tsinaurrecruittraining
laograminrecentyears,~eareseveralareaswhich~are
currentlyqivlng   significantattention:




      (2)      Changes in the recruittraininqcurriculmarebeingketter
               documented, as is the case with perscxIne lactionstaken
               durinqtherecnlittrainFng~ocess.




   Page 39                                        GAO/GGD9088FS Police Recruit Training Program
    Appendix VI
    Agency Comments




                                      -6-
      (3)    llmpoliciesandproc&uresforrmxuit~gareinthe
             processafb&lgincludedincnrrGenaral~systeOo
      (4)    Aneffortisbeingmadeto     identi.fyinstnl~s            forth
             BAiceAcademywhohaveafonnslcoll~backgraFnd.
      (5)    A lasardisl~vldeo    system is goinq to be tested for Use In
             recruit training.    I;ywayofSample,      recruitafficC3wlll
             watch a "shoot don't &cot'* samario       unfold on a ncc&tor
             andthen alls&questions~wd.lat-seen.                          !ms
             systenwillalscbeusedforin-semlcetraining.
      (6)    Ad crcca@uternetwarkhasbeen~whichwillgatmit
             tk2l!minlngpcadeanytoautaaatetheentiretrainFng
             aperation.    Many functlals that are ax-rently      performsd
             maumlly, suchas ?33axdsmnagelnlmtandtest
             aLmnistzatiCrl,willbeautanrated.
In additlcn to these endeavors, a Test Develwt             OffiCe is being
created. pcls office will be staffed by ixlividuals          with admnced
degrees tiarehighly        skilladarn3mperiencad      lnmasuremntand
statistics,programevaluation,andeducatianaltrainingandresearch.
Tl3r3staffWilllncludeapsychcmtrician.
2beprlmryfocus      of thisofficx3willbe         tovalidate       andintegrate tlm
dep?lrtmm~strainingaudevaluaticnsyste4ns.                mepoliceentry-level
CSaminaticxlanderllclry-level    z3tan&&willbeeva1uatedt0identify
thedegreetonhichtheyFeedictsuccessinrecnrittraining,later
successanritenureinthafiald,andultLmatesuccessinthe
de-t's         career ladder.     Similarly, theafficetillvalidatethe
recruitofficar    acadf3miccurriculumandphysical            sklllstrabing,as
-well as de-        gthedegreetowhichtheypredictlatarsuccesscn
42~13cIqa&mnt.     This office will also be responsible for develwnent
andadmWLstrat.ianof       theprancUonalprocess          andothar selecticn
procedures, suchas thesel.ectknofGradeOmDetectiveS.
I have taken affirmative     steps to achieve these impr ovenwts,andwFll
forward areportwithin       60days cancarning axrprcqressinthisarea.
Mditionally,     I amtaklnq steps to improve OuT Fn-service training for
officers,    and supervisory and manaqewnt traininq for officials.




   Page 40                                   GAO/GGD-90-68FS Police Recruit Tra.ining Program
Appendix VII

Major Contributors to This Fact Sheet


General Government      Tyrone D. Mason, Evaluator-in-Charge
Division, Washington,   Lillie Collins, Staff Evaluator
D.C.                    Nelson S. Payne, Jr., Staff Evaluator
                        Gregory H. Wilmoth, Senior Social Science Analyst
                        Marsha A. Matthews, Secretary




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