For the fourth straight year, the police department was appropriated just $15,000 for training.
“Many officers took advantage of free online training courses offered by the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy (OPOTA),” Detective Sgt. Seth Fry wrote in his year-end training report.
“These courses are offered through eOPOTA and cover a wide variety of topics,” he added. “These online courses provide a low-cost alternative to traditional training.”
In March 2015, Norwalk hosted important drug-related training.
“We hosted a two-day criminal patrol and drug interdiction seminary at Norwalk High School,” Fry said in the report. “The two-day course provided officers with training on how to recognize criminal behavior, unusual driving behavior, (and) questioning and evaluating persons during a traffic stop to name a few. This training was attended by 74 people, representing 33 departments throughout Ohio.”
In October 2015, the Norwalk Police Department conducted progressive use of force training at the Norwalk reservoir and police department firing range.
Also in 2015, Fry attended and graduated from the spring session of the Police Executive Training College (PELC) which focuses on supervisory and leadership skills.
“All sergeants within the department attend PELC as time and budget allow,” Fry said. “Sgt. Ken Stiert submitted his application and it waiting to be placed in the next available class. All other supervisors in the department have attended PELC.”
The training continues this year.
“During 2016, we will be hosting more training (including) Glock Armorers School, Street Survival Training and search and seizure training,” Fry said. “This will allow us to receive free or discounted training and stretch our training dollars further. As the training requirements increase for peace officers, we will need to explore adding additional funding to our training budget.”
The report broke down what individual officers took in training inn 2015.
Chief David Light took seven training courses, while Capt. Mike Conney took 14 training courses.
Sgt. Tom Cook participated in eight training programs last year and Detective Sgt. Jim Fulton had 12 training courses.
Fry participated in 13 courses and Stiert took 15 training programs in 2015.
Officer Dave Daniels had 12 courses a year ago, while Officer Zachary O’Neil took seven training programs.