On the next Verify Road Trip, guest reporter AJ Brown wants to know: when it's life or death, can you train police to be fair?
How did AJ answer that? In part, by spending two days at police academy-- including live shoot/don't shoot training.
To get prepare for that trip let’s get some context. There are no shortage of police critics in this country, like outspoken journalist Shaun King and NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick who's said;
"You can become a cop in six months and don't have to have the same amount of training as a cosmetologist. That's insane."
So the statement on the table is: cops have less training than the average cosmetologist.
It's a bit of an apples to oranges comparison but it does get your attention.
In Texas the law requires "1,500 hours of instruction in a licensed beauty culture school"
What about cops? The law mandates a minimum of 643 hours of training.
So, less than half. But not the whole story because-- beyond that minimum-- local departments can create their own training programs.
So, take a large Police Department, like Arlington, TX. They bulk up those classes by adding 214 additional hours of instruction.
On top of that, Arlington teaches its own classes, beyond what the state requires. That adds another 199 hours.
Then when a recruit graduates from Arlington's academy, they have another 720 hours of field training.
That's 1776 hours of training, for the Arlington PD.
The comparison to cosmetologists-- does shine a light on state minimum training standards for cops. But in practice, police training standards are local issues and vary from city to city.
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