We’ve arrived. The law enforcement and security professions are in states of great change as we open our virtual doors to the world. Technology is driving new crimes and new investigative methods, budget pressures are ensuring new priorities, and generational transitions are inspiring new techniques and introducing new conflicts to the workplace. Over the past decade, many officers have seen immense improvements in the equipment they use, the technology they employ, and the processes they follow to obtain evidence, track criminals, and solve crimes. With relatively few exceptions, though, these improvements have been concentrated in operations while training methods have remained rooted in the traditional classroom paradigm. Outside of the ineffective and often despised computer-based training modules that officers click through as fast as they can, the computer has remained of secondary or tertiary importance in most law enforcement and security training contexts. In a world where more than 60% of private US colleges and universities offer online classes and massive studies by the US Department of Education conclude students in online learning conditions performed ”better than those receiving face-to-face instruction,” law enforcement entities remain largely tied to in-person training methods.
We’ve launched this company because we believe the continued absence of a focused distance learning capability leaves law enforcement and security professionals on the outside of a massive revolution in the way people learn, teach, access data, and transfer information. While we recognize that many law enforcement and security training objectives require hands-on application components (an officer needs to put handcuffs on someone to really become competent in the discipline), we are convinced that well-designed, engaging distance learning courses can deliver much of the information transmitted by law enforcement and security trainers. At the micro level, distance learning allows officers flexibility, departments cost-savings and information tracking, and companies new delivery mechanisms. At the macro level, the integration of distance learning into the law enforcement and security training environments fits into the larger, ongoing evolution of education and training from the classroom-based Jesuit approach to something more expansive that combines classrooms, self-paced studies, technology, and community. While we’ll expand on these ideas in future posts, our basic belief is the way people, including members of the law enforcement and security communities, think, learn, and share information is changing due to technology and culture, and trainers must respond or lose the ability to connect with their target audiences.
We also believe that the law enforcement and security communities are full of individuals, training companies, and departments that possess unique ideas, insights, and solutions. Until this point, the disaggregated nature of the law enforcement and security communities and the absence of an effective delivery mechanism resulted in an environment where best practices were not widely shared and most learning occurred on a peer-to-peer, localized basis. In other words, a detective in Charleston, South Carolina may have developed a great interrogation technique, but culture, geography, and technology prohibited him from sharing that technique with many officers outside his geographic area or peer group. Although the community does have professional societies and social networking opportunities, this reality has still resulted in a wide variation of processes, standards, and best practices. Some of this variation is necessary due to local conditions, laws, and capabilities, but some of it is because officers just do not have an effective way of accessing or transferring information on a large-scale level.
With the launch of Law Enforcement Learning, we aim to solve these two problems by making it easy for law enforcement and security professionals to learn, teach, and share. Drawing from the latest distance learning technologies, modern pedagogical techniques, and feedback from the law enforcement and security communities, we’ve built a secure, streamlined way for instructors to deliver anything from college-style multi-week classes to open courses that do not require any instructor involvement. This gives training managers, individuals with unique talents, and companies new tools, new ways to deliver information, and new strategies to employ technology in a manner that is aligned with their students’ learning preferences and information requirements. Conversely, the same technology that enables instructors to deliver secure distance learning courses also allows students to browse courses, select content that they wish to experience, and learn. These items – giving instructors a place to teach and students a place to learn – are helping us create a learning community where officers and professionals from all over the world can transmit best practices, develop new skills, and improve their capabilities.
As we begin this experience, we’ll work hard to attract the best law enforcement and security instructors from around the world, provide them with the best learning technologies, and make it easy for students to access great material. To complement this effort, we’ll use this blog to discuss the latest trends in curriculum design, law enforcement and security training, and other relevant topics. Furthermore, we’ll rely on a combination of university professors, police chiefs, law enforcement instructors, and other stakeholders to lead the blog’s discussions and provide users with theoretical and practical insights. We’re excited to get started, and we can’t wait to positively impact the law enforcement and security communities. If you want more information about us, check out the About page for a brief overview of our company’s mission, goals, and leaders. If you are interested in creating a course or enrolling in an existing offering, head to the Teach or Learn pages for more. Finally, if you have questions or would like chat, send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be in touch soon.
The Law Enforcement Learning Team