What does training look like for LPD? How many hours? What does that look like in comparison to other departments in the state and the US?
Chief Douglas Stephens: So another program we’re very, very proud of is our training. I’ve always loved training personally. I think it’s imperative that just like our policies can get stale, our tactics can get stale, and our brains can get stale. I’ve always been a proponent of continuing education and continuing learning throughout my life. So being the chief is kind of cool. I can make sure that our culture supports that. We have a tremendous support and funding through city council to have a good training budget and our agency, and it’s reflected in our hours of training, in the diversity of our training. We have structured our patrol shifts. So we worked four 10s in patrol, and which I talk about patrol, but our organization has opportunities to do the same thing. But our Wednesday is an overlap day for our organization, which means every patrol officer works every Wednesday. We use those Wednesdays for training days for our people, which built in training capacity for our organization far beyond what a lot of agencies have.
The state requires 24 hours of in-service training per officer per year. Our Littleton officers receive well over 100 hours per year in training and oftentimes much more than that, and it’s a variety of subjects, based on the ability of us to have that training schedule in place and the overlap day and then the funding that we have available through the city council to provide that training for officers. It was interesting when the Georgia Floyd tragedy occurred, and then you saw a lot of outcry for diversity training and implicit bias training. In addition to what the police department does, the City of Littleton also does a great job with training employees, all employees throughout the city. We had just as part of the City of Littleton employees training gone through a pretty extensive online implicit bias training for every city employee, including all police officers prior to the George Floyd tragedy. So very timely, very appropriate and recurrent training, and we’re very proud of it.