Law enforcement is responsible for preventing the occurrence of any criminal activity, deterring the commission of crimes; the enforcement and service of writs, warrants, and court orders; providing immediate response to emergencies and threats to public safety; maintaining public order; protecting public infrastructure and facilities; protecting public officials; and the handling of some local level correctional facilities operations.
The US federal government and almost all US states have set up an interagency network that has adopted the minimum standard training requirements for officers with powers to arrest. The standards comply with the standards set by the Department of Justice and refer to the periodic requirements for re-certification, required entry-level training, and in-service training, in the proper use of firearms.
Though the majority of law enforcement training institutes do not offer training for free, it is best to check the following websites for the courses and schedules of training classes that are funded and supported and given for free:
- The FLETC or Federal Law Enforcement Training Center is composed of over 80 federal agencies that utilize interagency law enforcement training. The Center provides services to international law enforcement, local and state agencies. FLETC is headquartered at Glynco, GA but also operates two training sites in Charleston, SC and Artesia, NM. You can browse the site: fletc.gov, and use the Training Finder to search for free law enforcement classes, the types of training, dates, and locations of training classes the center offers.
- The Bureau of Justice Assistance has a BJA Law Enforcement Training site: bjatraining.ncjrs.gov, that has a database of federally supported and funded training available for local and state law enforcement officials. Choose a topic, enter a keyword or select a provider to obtain information about a course description, the training provider, the criteria for eligibility, and your needed contact information.
- The Institute for Intergovernmental Research (IIR), found at iir.com is a nonprofit training and research organization that specializes in criminal justice, law enforcement, homeland security and juvenile justice issues. The institute provides law enforcement education and assistance to federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies in implementing changes to promote better government effectiveness.
- The Public Agency Training Council is a source for law enforcement education and training. You can find it at patc.com, a list of categories for the law enforcement classes the council offers. Choose a category to view the details of the classes available.
- The POSEIT or Peace Officer System for Education and Internet Training site, texas-poseit.org was set up to primarily support law enforcement officers in Texas who wish to make use of Internet-based training certifications, and individuals certified by the TCLEOSE or Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education. The site is open to anyone interested in information about law enforcement classes, law enforcement education, law enforcement exams, and law enforcement memorials.
In compliance with the minimum standard training requirements for officers, candidates must take up law enforcement classes, or law enforcement education in accredited institutes. To review the candidate's suitability for the job, interviews are conducted with law enforcement exams, physical fitness tests, and medical examinations. A comprehensive background investigation is done, with drug testing, fingerprinting, and a polygraph exam. A psychologist is also consulted to determine if the candidate is qualified to be a law enforcer. Since recruitment is very competitive, failure of the candidate to meet the minimum standards may disqualify him. The established interagency network shares information about applicants that can be accessed by all the agencies in case an individual tries to apply in other agencies.