How the Indianapolis Metro Police Department uses PoliceOne Academy to improve quality of training and save money
The IMPD enlisted P1A’s sophisticated, law enforcement-centric online training portal to create highly-customized training for officers and efficiencies.
The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) was created on Jan. 1, 2007, by consolidating the Indianapolis Police Department and the law enforcement division of the Marion County Sheriff’s Department. With a headcount of 1,730 personnel, the IMPD’s operational jurisdiction covers 372 square miles and a population of over 850,000.
Sq. Miles Covered:
Like many departments, training officers more efficiently was a major priority for the IMPD, said James Cleek, IMPD training commander.
Cleek’s primary motivation in looking for an online training solution was to ensure all personnel completed 8 of 24 hours of mandatory training on the platform. He also needed a better way to quickly distribute general orders across department personnel.
Another concern was the rising costs associated with training. Cleek said it was essential to find a way to provide officers with effective education and training options thus reducing travel time and fuel costs to and from training centers. Cleek also wanted to reallocate the service hours officers spent traveling to and from training, as well as decrease overtime costs.
The cost savings could then be reallocated for other needs within the department, such as purchasing new equipment.
IMPD turned to PoliceOne Academy to develop a customized training program that could address their goals, including having a training platform available to officers 24/7 accessible from any location and device, including mobile.
PoliceOne Academy, which is certified or accepted for training credit in 37 states, offers convenient, affordable online law enforcement training with more than 1,000 HD training videos and nearly 200 courses.
PoliceOne Academy can be used to fulfill all 24 hours of Indiana Law Enforcement Academy annual training requirements.
IMPD uses the Academy for several courses, including topics such as:
- Active shooter
- Distracted driving
- Officer safety
- Response to mental illness
Cleek said the department also worked closely with PoliceOne Academy experts to utilize the custom course builder tool for offline training to record and track all of their Use of Force training in 2016. They also used the Academy to create and distribute time-sensitive training on Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance to meet a legal requirement.
Supervisors at the department had 30 days to complete the training and achieved compliance in just 10 days.
Cleek said the system’s ease of use and seamless deployment to IMPD’s personnel were the main drivers in accomplishing those results.
“The platform not only provided readily accessible training, it also provided a tool by which we could quickly communicate new general orders and design our own training in a system our officers could use around the clock,” Cleek said. “PoliceOne Academy is now the only system we use for sending out all new or amended general orders.”
Cleek added that PoliceOne Academy is user-friendly, built with the officer in mind and features course content relevant to what officers face in the field.
He also praised the highly responsive customer service and support team of PoliceOne Academy in helping IMPD get up and running quickly.
The department quickly realized the many benefits of choosing PoliceOne Academy’s online training platform to keep officers trained and informed of department messages, policies and lessons.
Cleek said the Academy platform was well received by officers, as they could access their training assignments from any device and at the times most convenient to them.
“Since it is online, they can work with the system from any location, 24/7,” he added.
Cleek noted that within a year of using the learning management system the training hours recorded exceeded 50,000 hours between online course completions and offline course hours documented.
The Academy platform lets administrators set highly customizable deadlines and notifications for all assignments. Cleek found this helpful as it let him set two-week deadlines for each course and meet his goal of getting training done right, but also quickly.
“The deadline created a sense of urgency and as a result officers completed the courses on time or before deadline,” Cleek said.
Cleek also appreciated the ability to quickly provide courses to officers training on scenarios relevant to current events.
“We also are able to respond to ‘happening now’ issues by assigning courses on topics like ambush or active shooter,” he said.
The Academy also removed duplication of efforts and streamlined the process, since all incomplete and completed courses can be tracked and monitored, Cleek added.
Finally, PoliceOne Academy is used to train IMPD Recruits, who are required to be in training for one year, 28 weeks of this in the classroom. In addition, IMPD Recruits complete all courses assigned to the rest of the agency’s officers. This includes pre-assignments for each recruit class, tracking completions and running reports that list all the information Cleek needs about course completion. It was also used for officers who returned to duty from military deployment, sickness or injury to stay well-trained and to quickly get back up to speed.
Cleek said the training helped the department save substantially—impacting lower fuel costs, reduced overtime, reallocated service hours and reduced brick-and-mortar costs associated with in-person training. He estimated the department saved in excess of $100,000 in the first year, a total Cleek said could actually be much higher since it “doesn’t account for fuel saved or overtime.”
IMPD will continue to use PoliceOne Academy for some mandatory subjects in 2017 and 2018, thus freeing up time to complete other critical face-to-face training in response to their current needs. This platform will continue to allow IMPD to seamlessly complete mandatories anywhere, anytime online while they carry out a major mental health training initiative.