Archive for Thursday, June 8, 2006

Chief details BCPD training

June 8, 2006

Although there was no discussion about a memo from Police Chief Mike McKenna regarding officer training at Monday night's Baldwin City Council meeting, it was made clear that all officers have proper training.

The issue was raised at the previous council meeting when resident Brian Kelly, a school resource officer in Lawrence, claimed that Baldwin police don't have proper CPR or weapons training. In McKenna's memo to council members, it was shown that all officers have received the training.

At the first meeting and Monday, council members did not address the citizen's concern. City Administrator Jeff Dingman felt the memo answered questions anyone might have and was surprised there wasn't any discussion.

"The chief's comments in the memo were intended to specifically address the issues raised at the last meeting for the council's information -- and the public's too -- namely CPR training and weapons training. The reason for including it in the packet (which goes to council members) was just that, and I thought there would be more discussion on it, as well."

In the memo, McKenna first addressed whether officers have CPR training.

"In reviewing the files of all the past and current Baldwin City Police Officers that I have hired, it has been noted that all of the officers were either already certified or have passed their CPR training through KLETC (Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center) or other agencies," McKenna wrote. "The new officer awaiting the next class at Hutchinson in August was certified in 2005 in CPR, AED (Automated External Deliberator) and first aid certification through the American Red Cross."

He also explained how all candidates take a psychological test and interviewed by a licensed psychologist. McKenna is informed of the findings and the opinions on whether the person can serve before being hired.

McKenna also said procedures are followed regarding firearms training.

"After each officer has passed their psychological they receive personal instruction on the handling of the weapon by the sergeant or me," he wrote. "They are also provided a booklet about the functions of the firearm. This booklet is printed by the manufacturer. A lock, which is made by the firearms manufacturer, is issued to each officer. The lock is to ensure proper and safe storage at the officer's home. In addition to these procedures, the officer also receives a copy of the department's policy on Weapons/Use of Force regulation.

"In the event an officer was hired and had no knowledge or history of semiautomatic weapons, they would be instructed by a certified firearms instructor and have to fire the weapon until they passed the standard KLETC course before being released with the weapon," McKenna wrote.

In closing, the chief assured the council that the department's officers are capable.

"You can rest assured that all the people in your police department have and will continue to operate well within the confines as described by state statute," he wrote.

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