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Training cues for the people in blue

A bulletproof audit trail is just one of the benefits of a new learning management system implemented by the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Departmentin North Carolina.

The solution also has improved the police force's ability to schedule training, deliver procedural changes to officers and enroll them in training programs, according to a recent press release. Implemented in late December, Plateau 4 LMS from Plateau (plateau.com) is said to have already reaped a return on investment, cutting the staff time needed to register and reschedule training in half.

Since December, 1,000 Charlotte Mecklenburg police officers in 12 districts have used the system to enroll in mandatory firearms training. Prior to its installation, officers enrolled by calling the training office or signing a paper roster. Administrators had to manually schedule 6,000 training sessions each year for a firing range with 20 slots, while trying to ensure that enough officers remained on patrol at all times. The system made it difficult for officers to cancel training, enroll at the last minute or learn about scheduling changes.

With the electronic solution, the department's 1,500 officers can check their personal development plans and enroll for training online. After they enroll, the system automatically sends them an e-mail attachment that can be saved in a calendar on their desktop. Officers can use their home page to review procedural changes in real time and enroll in a variety of other courses offered online or in the classroom.

"It's much more intuitive for the officers, and because it's Web-based, it provides much greater availability and access," says Officer Brian Russell, in-service training coordinator for the department.

Additionally, every time officers, investigators or detectives take a course or review a training revision on their Web browser, Plateau LMS registers the event and puts it into their development plan and training history. The training event is time-stamped, and security features prevent alterations.

In the future, the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department plans to put a number of its courses online, covering such topics as hazardous materials, radar certification, OSHA instruction and diversity training. It also plans to use Plateau LMS' career and succession planning tools to help officers proactively develop career tracks and to help supervisors choose the most qualified personnel for new positions

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