Training Cops About Kids: Still in the Toddler Stage

Michael J. Grabowski, Prairie View A & M University

The amount and type of training in a police academy is fundamental to the preparation of police officers for their future role as tatekeepers of the criminal justice system. Police academy training is designed to enhance police officers decision-making processes without the use of personal beliefs and attitudes. This is critically important when dealing with juveniles, who have one of the most fragile and misunderstood relationships between police. Current police academy training curricula reflects little attention to the subject of understanding juvenile justice and delinquency. A preliminary nationwide survey indicates that on average, only a few hours of training in juvenile issues is mandated to instruction when compared to the total number of training hours in the academy curriculum. This current trend may be critically shortchanging a police officer's initial understanding of juveniles and delinquency.

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Updated 05/20/2006