Higher training standards for police officers have been approved by the full House. A proposal by Baton Rouge Representative Ted James would require officers to receive at least 400 hours of basic POST training before entering the field.
“Right now POST they’re about at 365, that’s their minimum. They’ve been meeting to increase those standards, and some police departments go over and above the 400 hours,” James said.
James says he’s worked with law enforcement around the state to come up with the best practices to prepare officers for work in the field. The measure also mandates 20 hours of additional training annually. He says his bill also requires more training in some key areas.
“It also adds to the curriculum certain practices as training for de-escalation, sudden in-custody death, crisis intervention training for peace officers,” James said.
James authored the measure after Alton Sterling, a black man, was killed in a confrontation with two white police officers outside a convenience store last July. He says that’s why his bill also includes training on bias policing recognition.
“There are certain instances where they feel that bias may come into play for officers or those that they encounter. So this will have our officers better equipped to handle those situations,” James said.
The measure passed on an 82-5 vote and heads to the Senate.