In the state of California and many other states across the country, individuals working in many industries must be properly trained if they are to do their jobs legally. As an example, a cosmetologist in California must undergo about 1600 hours of training. However, in that same state, a police officer, someone who wields and sometimes must use deadly weapons, only 664 training hours. For many, this is an obvious issue – and one that should be addressed.
The Startling Reality
Although it is difficult to believe that you need more training to give someone a manicure than legally point a weapon at a suspected burglar, it is very true, and it is very startling. California is not the only state like this, either. In fact, there are several.
- North Carolina – Barbers need 1520 hours of training; police officers only need 620.
- California – Licensed cosmetologists need 1600 hours of training; police officers need 664.
- Florida – Interior designers must have 1760 hours of training, but police officers only need 770.
- Massachusetts – Licensed HVAC technicians need 1000 hours of training and policemen need 900.
- Michigan – Licensed electric sign specialists need 4000 hours of training; policemen need 594.
- Louisiana – Manicurists need 500 hours of training while police officers only need 360.
The Obvious Problem
Police officers find themselves in a variety of situations each shift. Even traffic cops – those who simply stop people for speeding or failing to stop completely at stop signs – put themselves in grave danger each and every day. The sheer number of police-involved deaths is mind-boggling, and that number continues to climb each and every year. It stands to reason that the training involved in becoming a police officer should be just as thorough – if not more so – than the training it takes to become a licensed interior designer, but in many states, that simply is not the case. People across the country argue something should be done to change this.
Decreasing Risk with Supplemental and Ongoing Training
Although it is very true that police officers require a great deal less training than those in other professions in many states across the country, it should be considered that training does not have to stop once an officer receives his or her badge. The quality of the training an officer receives will also play a role in adequately preparing an officer to do his or her job, as well. Supplemental and ongoing training, such as use of force simulator training, firing range practice, and even de-escalation simulations can all go a long way toward better preparing a police officer to do his or her job without the same risks.
If you are bothered by the fact that a barber needs more training to do his or her job than a police officer, you are not alone. Many people all over the country believe that officers should be better trained in order to truly protect and serve. Fortunately, with products like VirTra’s use of force simulator training, it is possible for departments and academies to better prepare officers even in that short amount of time.