Online Training For Law Enforcement, Corrections Officers, Fire, dispatch & ems

Law Enforcement Officer Training History

The Maine Criminal Justice Academy (MCJA) was established in 1972 to provide permanent facilities for law enforcement training in the state of Maine. In 1990, new legislation required that all law enforcement officers in Maine, including state, county, and municipal officers with the power of arrest and the authority to carry a firearm, come under the jurisdiction of the MCJA’s Board of Trustees. This greatly expanded the responsibilities and tasks of the Academy. 

The MCJA is responsible for developing and implementing comprehensive training programs, both at the Academy and through outreach programs across the state. Some significant events in the history of the MCJA include the implementation of regional law enforcement in-service training in 1976, the development of a Basic Corrections Training Course in 1978, and the mandate for in-service training for corrections officers in 1980. 

In 1983, training for part-time and reserve police officers was mandated by the legislature, and in 1985 the Academy became responsible for administering Justice Assistance Act funds for Maine. In recent years, the MCJA has continued to expand its training offerings and resources, including developing online training options through Dirigo Safety, LLC.

The History of Maine Law Enforcement Requirements

In 1978, the state of Maine passed legislation requiring the Maine Criminal Justice Academy to set training standards for Corrections Officers. This legislation was designed to ensure that all Corrections Officers in the state met minimum training standards and included a requirement for both a basic course and ongoing in-service training. 

The current Basic Corrections Training Program consists of 200 hours of training over five weeks, focusing on maintaining the care, custody, and control of inmates in state and county facilities, as well as courses related to the safety and well-being of Corrections Officers. Each year, a Corrections Advisory Committee recommends mandatory in-service training topics to the Academy Trustees based on the needs of individual facilities. All officers must complete this training to maintain certification.

As of July 2015, the position of Part-Time Corrections Officer has been eliminated, and all officers must complete 200 hours of basic training regardless of their employment status. Upon successfully completing the training program, certification exam, and field training, individuals will be certified as Full Time Corrections Officers by the Maine Criminal Justice Academy, with transferrable certification throughout the state. In the last decade or so, many classes have moved online, being entrusted to Dirigo Safety, LLC.

The Value and Importance of Online Training for Law Enforcement, Corrections Officers, Fire & EMS

Online training can offer a range of benefits for officers and organizations. One of the main advantages of online training is that it can reduce overtime costs and scheduling issues, as well as the need to find coverage for shifts that would otherwise be left unattended while staff attend training. Online training also allows for constant availability, allowing staff to access training at a time that is convenient for them, and it can be an effective way of updating staff on changes in policy, laws, processes, or procedures.

Another benefit of online training is that it can be used to provide introductory course information prior to classroom instruction, allowing instructors to make better use of face-to-face time by focusing on hands-on skills development. This can be particularly useful for high-liability courses, such as use of force and firearms, which should be reserved for classroom training.

To ensure that online training is effective, it is important to carefully consider the course selection and ensure that online training is best suited to preparatory or refresher training or for topics that require disseminating a high volume of policy or statistical information. Dirigo Safety, LLC offers a range of online training options for law enforcement, correctional, dispatch fire & EMS in Maine and New Hampshire, including courses on topics such as implicit bias, suicide prevention, and the use of force. These courses are designed to help officers stay up-to-date on the latest practices and procedures while also providing a convenient and flexible way to access training.