Sworn law enforcement officers generally receive training throughout their careers, beginning with basic training for entry-level recruits, followed by in-service training. Basic law enforcement training academies are operated by state-level organizations such as—
- Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) entities
- state police or highway patrols
- local law enforcement agencies such as sheriff’s offices and county or municipal police departments
- and academic institutions such as 2- and 4-year colleges.
BJS surveys basic law enforcement training academies in its Census of Law Enforcement Training Academies (CLETA), which collects data from all state and local academies that provided basic training for newly hired or appointed law enforcement officers. In addition to general characteristics about academies, CLETA collects information on recruits, personnel, facilities, resources, core subjects, and special topics curricula of basic training.
As part of its surveys of law enforcement agencies, particularly its Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics (LEMAS) survey, BJS collects data on the amount of annual in-service training required of sworn personnel.
In 2018, 86% of recruits completed basic training and 14% did not. Among the basic training outcomes measured, 4% of recruits did not complete basic training in 2018 because they voluntarily withdrew from their program, and 7% did not complete basic training for involuntary reasons (such as injury or illness, failure to qualify, or being withdrawn by their sponsoring agency). Eighty-eight percent of male recruits completed basic training in 2018, compared to 81% of female recruits.