Training Viewpoints


Community Police Academy wraps up with discussions on patrol, training The last two weeks of the Burlington Community Police Academy focused on the professional standards and patrol divisions. The Community Police Academy is a nine-week program where community members learn how the Burlington Police Department runs and hear from people in various units throughout the department.  The professional standards division is in charge of recruiting, hiring and training.  Officers from this division explained how the hiring process works for the department. Those who want to become officers first go through basic law enforcement training for about four months. After training at Alamance Community College, officers go through training specific to the Burlington police. Then, officers have field training, where they are paired with different officers to practice on-the-job skills. Officers go through more than a year of training before they're sent out on their own, said Lt. Shelly Katkowski.  Officers are never finished with training. In 2019, the department went through 29,800 total training hours. This is 80-90 hours per officer per year, compared to the 24 that are mandated by the state.  The police emphasize reality-based training, as police work is something that can't be fully taught in a classroom, Katkowski said.  As Chief Jeffrey Smythe discussed earlier in the program, he places a large emphasis on training and sees it as life insurance for both the officers and people they come into contact with.  More: Burlington Community Police Academy focuses on evidence collection, storage internet The patrol division responds when someone calls 911.