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Updated: 08/22/2013 08:02:18AM

Lake Placid police are well-trained, Chief says

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Are Lake Placid police officers being trained? Yes, they are among the best trained in the state.

Every police officer in Florida must attend 40 hours of specific training every four years to keep their police standards. During the budget year of 2012-2013, the Lake Placid Police Officers attended over 600 hours of training. That places the officers at Lake Placid Police Department at over 10 times the mandatory requirements in just one year.

Officers attend courses to make them better suited to benefit the community and the department. Officers receive education in multiple disciplines within law enforcement such as investigative courses to make them better communicators. Other classes officers have attended are more tactical oriented.

In a society where a mass shooting seems to have become the norm, LPPD officers have continued to train and qualify with different weapons to make themselves highly capable of confronting dangerous shooting situations. Each officer has received Tactical Medical training as well.

Two officers recently attended a three-day Child Safety Seat course that qualifies them to teach the community how to properly install safety seats in their vehicles. An upcoming Child Safety Seat course is currently being planned for the community. During the event, free child safety seats will be given to those in need.

Lake Placid officers take advantage of free training that is offered through various law enforcement training facilities. South Florida State College offers several courses to local agencies at no cost. Officers also receive courses that are provided at no cost through various educational institutes that have been awarded grants either from state or federal grant funds.

Several Lake Placid Police Department employees are certified CPR instructors; a volunteer program that is still headed by Town Administrator Phil Williams.

Those training hours do not take into consideration the training hours that the office staff receives. Constantly evolving laws in regards to property and evidence and public records require several hours of training. All members of the Lake Placid Police Department strive to be the best asset to the community we serve.

Training in law enforcement for both sworn and civilian means a sacrifice on many levels. Anywhere from eight hours to hundreds of hours can be invested in any given course. This is time away from their families and personal time. A complete list of training certificates obtained by department staff can be viewed at the Lake Placid Police Department.

I am very proud of the dedication exhibited by all LPPD staff. Each member continues to bring a very unique element to the department.