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Content and Adequacy of Specialized Police Training to Handle Youth-Related Incidents: Perceptions of Trainers, Supervisors, and Frontline Officers

NCJ Number
International Criminal Justice Review Volume: 19 Issue: 4 Dated: December 2009 Pages: 456-477
Jennifer L. Schulenberg; Deirdre M. Warren
Date Published
December 2009
22 pages
This study investigated the content and perceived adequacy of specialized training received based on duty assignment.
Findings show differences in the perceptions of training content and adequacy for training, supervisory, and frontline personnel; the differences were most pronounced between the trainers and practitioners than they were between supervisors and frontline officers. Data suggest that the academy focus on training generalists has the effect of increasing the impact and importance of informal socialization by field training officers on officer perceptions and procedures for handling youth-related incidents. Informal instruction, particularly mentorship and experience on the job, although not considered as training from an official perspective was deemed legitimate and valuable by both supervisory and line officers. According to the majority of respondents, there is a lack of emphasis at the academy on instruction specific to the handling of incidents involving youth. As a result, supervisory and line officers generally evaluated their formal training to be inadequate, with several officers articulating their operational needs were not met particularly in the areas of interviewing and the identification and negotiation of the "social aspects" associated with youth crime. Data were collected from interviews with 67 Canadian police officers who received training from 1 of the 2 training facilities: Justice Institute of British Columbia and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Depot. References