Police Academies Make Changes Due To Pandemic
SALISBURY, MD– Police academies are working to adapt the way they do things during the pandemic, and officials it is very important they keep going.
Lt. Tim Robinson of the Wicomico County Sheriffs Office says, “It’s crucial that they keep operating because we need to train these great young individuals that are stepping up to be law enforcement officers.”
These academies are essential for training new officers but given the hands on nature, officials say certain drills are presenting new challenges during the pandemic.
John Moses, Director of Criminal Justice at Wor-Wic Community College says, “You have to do defensive tactics, you have to do certain things but you take extra precautions such as putting goggles over the eyes and making them wash their hands more and more.”
Officials tells us that the officers in training are social distancing when they can and are taking necessary precautions.
“When they come in the morning they are spaced out six feet apart, they have a mask on,” Moses said.
If recruits can’t be socially distanced, we’re told safety is still a priority.
“There are going to be times where these recruits, trainees and trainers are going to have to be in close proximity and the academy is doing a great job that everybody stays safe and they follow the protocol as best they can,” Robinson said.
If these academies stop because of the pandemic, it could hurt the department in the long run.
“If the police academies were to stop functioning it could affect staffing levels, we depend on the police academies help to produce new officers,” Robinson said.
Officials say that it is important for officers in training to have interaction during the academy so that they learn tactics properly, and instructors also say that they will continue to adapt amidst the Covid 19 pandemic.
We are also told many departments are facing challenges when it comes to recruitment, so academies are doing all they can to ensure cadets graduate on time.