SLCPD TRAINING & HIRING
Training and Hiring focus group sessions concentrated on requirements for employment, training upon initial hiring and continued professional development, and the public’s perception of qualities needed to be a successful police officer. SLCPD explained that state law governs a great deal of training practices for all Utah police officers. Many voiced concerns about bias in policing practices and called for independent cultural competency education for all officers. People were also very interested in all of the requirements needed to become and continue to be a police officer; more transparency in the hiring process for the public and for applicants was also requested. Both the police and the public stated a need for recruitment and hiring efforts that resulted in police department employees that were more reflective of the community they serve.
SLCPD additionally stated that they needed to do a better job of including training that cultivated expertise in working with the community, not just training that centered on equipment and technology, for example. People wanted to see officers out in the community more on a day-to-day basis and at public celebrations and events. Members of the public were very concerned about the effects of trauma on police officers because their jobs require them to see a lot of society’s most bleak events. The public wanted help and programs for police officers to address the hardships of their professions not only to benefit the officers and their families, but also because trauma and stress influences the way in which police officers interact with the public.