Maitland City Talk(Online News)
Recently, many of our police officers have been going to school. This is good news for the citizens of Maitland, as a well-trained police force is better prepared to meet the rapidly changing challenges in technology, criminal trends and community patrol techniques. I have placed an emphasis on officer training, and the department has recently become involved in a number of educational endeavors. The most recent example was the graduation of Deputy Chief Dave Manuel from the FBI National Academy. Deputy Chief Manuel was nominated to attend the academy in April and completed the three-month program in June. This intensive course of instruction includes courses in law, behavioral science, forensic science, understanding terrorism/terrorist mindsets, leadership development, communication and health/fitness. Attendees participate in a wide range of leadership and specialized training, and they share ideas, techniques, and experiences with each other, creating lifelong partnerships that span state and national lines. Only 1 percent of police officers are ever invited to attend and Deputy Chief Manuel joins Deputy Chief McEachnie and me as FBI graduates. It is very unusual for a department the size of ours to have three graduates of the FBI Academy on staff.The department also has recently begun sending its command staff to the University of Louisville’s Southern Police Institute Command Officers Development Class. The Southern Police Institute is recognized as one of the top law enforcement educational and training schools in the nation. This 10-week class is held two weeks out of each month for five months and includes a program of instruction on leadership, fiscal management, policy formation, personnel issues and others. Lieutenant John Schardine and Deputy Chief Manuel recently completed their studies. Lieutenant Ralph Palmer and Lieutenant Jeff Harris are scheduled to attend beginning in September. It is my goal to have the entire command staff attend either the FBI Academy or the Command Officers Development Course.
The department recently partnered with the University of North Florida Institute of Police Technology and Management to host several advanced training classes at our new Police Headquarters Building. These advanced courses include courses in fraud investigation, juvenile investigation, effective recruiting and others. These courses are held in our city and eliminate the need to travel. The Maitland Police Department also partners with the Criminal Justice Institute at Valencia Community College to offer many advanced training classes to our officers.
While these advanced studies in law enforcement strategies and techniques are important, the department has not forgotten the advantages of a formal education. Officers with formal education and degrees are becoming the norm with many of our officers having bachelor and advanced degrees. Studies have shown that there are significant increases in the performance of officers who hold college degrees. It is the department’s goal that all of its officers obtain college degrees.
We all know that educational opportunities do not come cheap, and routinely, come at a significant cost. The Police Department has been able to offer these educational opportunities with very little to no cost to our citizens through the use of partnerships and alternative funding sources. The cost to attend the Command Officers Development Course and the FBI Academy would be prohibitive under normal circumstances in our economy, as tuition and travel expenses typically exceed $5,000 per course. The cost to the taxpayers is zero as forfeiture funds are used to fund this tuition. The other courses are offered to our officers at little to no cost through our partnerships. We allow schools to use our classroom in the Police Headquarters Building in exchange for no-cost tuition for our officers. Maitland residents can be assured that when they call 911, the officers who respond will be the best educated and best trained in the area.
—Chief Douglas Ball
Maitland Police Department