Advancing 21 st Century Policing: The Arlington Police Department Report to the Community PILLAR 5: TRAINING AND EDUCATION As the scope of law enforcement roles and responsibilities continue to expand, the need for more training throughout an officer’s career is critical. Today’s officers must be prepared to meet a wide variety of challenges including a growing mental health crisis, terrorism, evolving technologies and changing laws. The skills and knowledge required to effectively deal with these issues require continuous training and education. PILLAR 5 Examples of training and education: A focus on reality-based training Reality-based training highlights the importance of critical thinking. This training is allowing officers to prepare for situations they don’t frequently encounter in their day to day assignments and is helping to improve decision making in critical incidents. The officer’s ability to make sound decisions under stress is an important element of our training. This underscores all of the important areas that challenge us in modern policing. We know that acute stress is present in almost every important decision an officer makes. As part of the training curriculum, the department is following a neuroscience- based roadmap to enhance the officer’s ability to overcome the effects that acute stress can have on the pre- frontal cortex. The pre-frontal cortex is the part of the human brain that is necessary for making good decisions. This includes tactical decisions as well as legal and procedural decisions. Acute stress can severely impair and shut down functions of the pre-frontal cortex. Training is helping to enhance the officer’s ability to make sound decisions under stress. Integrated and cohesive training At the Training Academy, instructors work together to ensure that every lesson is carefully constructed to conform with the department’s overall mission, goals and values. T raining is integrated and cohesive and includes procedural justice and police legitimacy, LGBT, crisis intervention, de- escalation and cultural diversity. Scenario training is integrated and involves police volunteers from the Citizens Police Academy and Hispanic Citizens Police Academy. Preparing leaders for success Additional training is offered to supervisors through partnerships with entities such as the ILEA School of Police Supervision, ILEA Command College, Leadership Arlington, the FBI National Academy, Leadership Command College and Senior Management Institute for Policing. 12 Reality-based training at the Arlington Police Academy Training Center.