Training Process and Standards
New Recruit Training
The Lincoln Police Department's role within our community goes far beyond investigating crimes and enforcing laws. In recent years, we have been increasingly tasked with navigating complex social issues, including mental health issues, drug and substance abuse and addiction, homelessness, school safety, and more. LPD has increased our partnerships and training in these areas to provide officers with the skills and resources to address these concerns. We have developed new training and worked with outside instructors from across the country to provide curriculum which addresses the constantly evolving and changing environment in which we work.
The department typically operates two basic academy classes each year, with classes beginning in January and July. The LPD Academy is a 22-week academy comprised of roughly 800 hours of training. Our academy is 6 weeks longer than the state's standard training academy. Training topics include legal concepts, firearms, defensive tactics, de-escalation techniques, vehicle operation, mental health investigations, domestic assault investigations, victim, assistance, cultural awareness, unbiased policing, and more. Recruits are constantly evaluated on their knowledge, skills, and abilities throughout the academy. These evaluations are in the form of written, verbal, or practical examinations which all occur multiple times per week. Recruit officers must meet not only LPD's standards, but also the standards established by the Nebraska Law Enforcement Training Center (NLETC).
Upon graduation from the 22-week basic academy, recruit officers are paired with veteran officers for a five-month Field Training Program. During this phase, recruit officers are constantly monitored and evaluated by the training officers in 18 different categories. Recruit officers are also still required to meet with LPD Training Unit staff and to pass monthly written knowledge examinations throughout the Field Training period. The recruits must also complete monthly task checklists and a master task checklist over the entire Field Training Program. The recruit must prove that they are proficient in all training aspects in order to move graduate from this phase. If the recruit successfully completes this phase, they begin working as a solo patrol officer while still being shadowed by a veteran Field Training Officer. If the recruit meets the standards for a solo patrol officer during this phase, they successfully complete training and begin working for one of the department's five patrol teams. If a recruit's performance is insufficient at any point, they can be extended in the program and are required to attend additional training until they meet the standards of the department.
Veteran Officer Training
Veteran officers are also required to attend continuing training. Each officer is required by the department to complete 40 hours of training per year. This is above the NLETC standard of 32 hours per year. The LPD Training Unit provides scheduled training opportunities for veteran officers. Veteran officers are also encouraged to attend approved outside training opportunities as well. Veteran officers have some courses that they are required to successfully complete each year. Examples include firearms qualifications, Taser certifications, defensive tactics, de-escalation, ethics, fair and impartial policing, cultural competency, legal updates, mental health, and vehicle pursuits. These high continuing education standards are one of the ways we ensure that LPD remains one of the best trained agencies in the country.