10 Reasons Not to Train Campus Officers

Complacency and a fear of losing staff are just a couple of reasons why Chief Will Donothing likes the status quo.

Chief Will Donothing has a philosophy about training, or rather why you should not train. Follow his 10 rules, and your organization will remain the same today, tomorrow and years from now.

  1. Training is too expensive. The college has enough money to gamble on a lawsuit that may cost $250,000 or more, so there’s no need for me to pay for expert training that costs a fraction of that amount.    
  2. Nothing ever happens here. This is a sleepy little campus. I’m not worried. 
  3. We’ve already met state requirements. Aren’t the state-mandated hours enough? If I must train, I’ll limit it to those essentials required by law or the powers above. Conduct all your training in-house so your people won’t pick up outrageous ideas from outsiders.
  4. We can always call the city/county/state. I’m perfectly happy with mediocrity and incompetence. Besides, if we really need help, there’s someone else to call. 
  5. I have enough to do. Do you know how much time administering a training program would take?Scheduling is painful enough without factoring in training. I avoid those costly staffing headaches that accompany training schedules. Besides, if I train workers, they will do more and that means I have to do more.
  6. Training is unavailable. If is it more than 20 miles away, costs money and requires adjusting the work schedule,then it’s “unavailable.” And don’t mention online training — we are not computer geeks.
  7. Train them and they’ll want my job. I’m the boss! And a little paranoid. If they know more than I do, there’s no telling what might happen. 
  8. Train them and they’ll leave. We will not be a training ground for others. When my people acquire skills and abilities, they will be attractive to higher-paying opportunities.  So what if they aren’t as effective as they could be for us?
  9. It’s not brain surgery. Most of the job is common sense anyway, right? Check a few doors. Be seen. Smile and wave. We need training to do that?
  10. Written policy is enough. Hey, they all have a SOP manual. They can read. I don’t care if the courts say policy is worthless without training to reinforce it.

Donothing’s philosophy: Do things the way they have always been done. There is no need to be proactive. Ignore problems and they will hopefull go away.  

It’s your choice: train or not to train. The easy way, at least in the short term, is to do nothing. But eventually the odds will catch up with you. If you prefer another path, follow the philosophy of Chief Ima Smartone:

  1. Find creative ways to provide low-cost training. Training cannot be an incidental function of management. While sufficient funds are important, planning and ingenuity will ensure funds are used to their fullest.
  2. Prepare for serious risks as best you can, regardless of their probability of occurrence.
  3. Minimum requirements are only a starting point.
  4. Develop the highest level of competence possible within the limitations of your organization.
  5. Reorganize priorities to make training a priority.
  6. Overcome the obstacles and make training happen!
  7. Train your staff for the sake of the future of the organization.
  8. Trained people for any period of time are more effective than untrained ones.
  9. The complexities of securing a campus are greater than ever and require competent, capable staff. 
  10. Start with policy, reinforce with training.

WESLEY HARRIS has spent 35 years in law enforcement agencies in Louisiana, Georgia, and Texas as a patrol officer, trainer, administrator and police chief.  He is a member of the IACP and an affiliate member of IACLEA.  The author of several books and many articles, Harris now works for Louisiana State Parks and serves on the Criminal Justice Faculty of the University of Phoenix.  He can be reached at roughedge57@yahoo.com .

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Note: The views expressed by guest bloggers and contributors are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, Campus Safety magazine.


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