News & Stories

Thu, 08/06/2015 - 11:30am by Nicole Hudson

Ferguson Commission Co-Chairs call for police training increase of 120 hours

A statement from Ferguson Commission Co-Chairs Rev. Starsky Wilson and Rich McClure

FERGUSON COMMISSION CO-CHAIRS WELCOME NEW POST APPOINTEES
URGE ADOPTION OF INCREASED TRAINING STANDARDS


We congratulate the new members of the Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Commission and welcome their experience and expertise as we all continue our work toward making lasting and substantive change on behalf of our region and state.

In April, community and law enforcement leaders came together with members of the Ferguson Commission to endorse a baseline model for improved law enforcement training standards in Missouri. The model calls for an additional 24 hours each per three-year period in the areas of tactical, anti-bias and officer wellness training for a total of 120 additional hours of police training. The model, which came out of the Ferguson Commission Citizen-Law Enforcement working group, was developed in consultation with key members of the community, law enforcement and subject matter experts in the each of the training focus areas. We believe that more than doubling the current training standards is the minimum amount to ensure the safety of our region’s citizens and police officers.

We urge POST to prioritize the swift adoption of these training standards. While POST works through the rules process, we call on voluntary commitments from law enforcement departments across the region to enact the systems level change needed to put our region in the best position to heal and to thrive. We are appreciative of those who have already voluntarily increased their training in agreement that increased tactical, anti-bias and officer wellness training is a key step toward our shared goal of enabling law enforcement agencies to serve and protect all citizens based on principles of trust, mutual respect, transparency, cultural competence and justice.

While Senate Bill 5 calls for department accreditation within 6 years, we call on departments to accelerate that timeframe and become accredited as soon as possible.  

Additionally, we invite POST to consider the Commission’s other calls to action in the area of Citizen-Law Enforcement Relations in the areas of anti-bias and cultural competency, approach to demonstration, civilian oversight, community policing, officer wellness, structural reform, use of force, use of force investigations, and use of technology. A detailed list of Citizen-Law Enforcement calls can be reviewed here.