Office of Homeland Security
Kentucky Law Enforcement to Receive Homeland Security Training in 2006
FRANKFORT, Ky.—Terrorist attacks, bombings, agricultural attacks, biological health contaminant threats and radiological material – all are possible threats Kentucky communities could face at some point in time. Beginning in 2006, all of the Commonwealth’s local law enforcement officers will have a much better handle on how to deal with them.
Every law enforcement officer in Kentucky will now be required to complete a 40-hour course in homeland security — a topic that has become increasingly important in policing in recent years. Approximately 7,800 certified officers will complete the new class in 2006.
“Kentucky’s law enforcement officers are a critical piece of our Commonwealth’s overall preparedness and first response capabilities,” Lt. Gov. Steve Pence said. “By providing every officer with this training, we are ensuring they can effectively handle homeland security and public safety issues.”
Dubbed the 100% Project, the recently mandated training will consist of a five-day course conducted by the Department of Criminal Justice Training (DOCJT) and will include an introduction to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Kentucky Office of Homeland Security (KOHS), Kentucky homeland security concerns and an overview of the Incident Command System.
During the 1975-76 training year, the Kentucky Law Enforcement Council focused exclusively on a crime prevention course in an effort to alter the direction of policing toward crime prevention rather than responding to or following up on reported crimes, DOCJT Commissioner John Bizzack said.
“That one year of focus on crime prevention embedded new thinking and police management philosophy within the ranks of police leadership and those officers evolved into leadership positions over the next 30 years,” he said.
Bizzack envisions similar results with the homeland security training.
“We want homeland security to become embedded as a management philosophy among all law enforcement agencies ensuring that all agencies will operate from the same guidelines if there is an incident,” he said.
DOCJT trains nearly all of the law enforcement officers in Kentucky. The department will suspend most professional development courses normally offered each year, and will also extend basic training for recruit officers from 16 to 18 weeks to include the 40-hour class as well as other training.
“Changing curriculum and taking the initiative to concentrate on homeland security preparedness training for the entire year demonstrates the importance that this topic bears in Kentucky and the impact we believe it will have on Kentucky’s peace officers and the communities they serve,” said Horace Johnson, DOCJT Training Operations Division director.
KOHS director, retired Maj. Alecia Webb-Edgington agrees.
“This training will identify a number of areas that will improve law enforcement’s prevention and response capabilities, not only to a terrorist incident, but in their daily activities as well,” she said.
The class will cover topics such as legal issues, intelligence sharing, cyber terrorism, agricultural threats, biological and public health contaminants, explosives and non-explosive threats, equipment issues, radiological materials risks, hazardous materials risks, assessing threats to communities and practical exercises.
“As someone who has spent their entire career in law enforcement, I am extremely proud of the partnership we have developed with DOCJT to extend homeland security training to our state’s officers,” Edgington said. “I believe this will have a tremendous positive impact in our efforts to ensure Kentucky’s communities, first responders and families are ready and prepared.”