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De-escalation, prevention of racial profiling are top responses to Missouri Department of Public Safety’s training survey

Published: Sep. 2, 2020 at 4:54 PM CDT
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KY3) - A group of officers from around the state met Wednesday in Jefferson City to continue their education while on the force.

The topic for the officers was training to be a drug recognition expert.

“This is made up of primarily of city and county enforcement officers from around the state who obviously want to learn more about the different types of drug impairments and how that affects people, and how they can identify the particular type of drug that they’re impaired by,” said Capt. John Hotz of the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

The Highway Patrol and its academy do a lot of different trainings and continuing education courses.

”We have supervision type training, we have firearm side training, tactical type training,” Hotz noted.

Last month, the Department of Public Safety’s POST Commission, which is in charge of the training curriculum for officers, wanted to hear from Missourians who have had interactions with police within the past year to get an idea on how those interactions went.

More than 1,600 people responded to the survey.

”The largest group of people are satisfied with their relations and the job law enforcement officers are doing,” said Mike O’Connell of the Department of Public Safety.

He said that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement. About 450 people who responded to the survey say more training needs to happen.”

Above are the responses from those who responded to the Missouri Department of Public Safety's POST Commission survey, who felt training was needed after an experience with law enforcement in the last year.
Above are the responses from those who responded to the Missouri Department of Public Safety's POST Commission survey, who felt training was needed after an experience with law enforcement in the last year.(KY3)

“De-escalation? 17%. 14% would like to see more training in the area of racial profiling, 14%, the use of force,” O’Connell said of the survey results.

Community engagement, reducing violent crime, recognition of implicit bias, and officers failing to report another officer’s misconduct were also top concerns for those surveyed.

Now that the POST Commission has these comments, what’s next?

”It’s possible there would be some type of recommendation or at least a discussion of what do we want to do as far as the training and disciplining of law enforcement officers goes,” O’Connell said.

The POST Commission will meet on October 5.

Click here to see results of the public survey.

Click here to see results of the law enforcement officers’ survey.

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