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|Frequently Asked Questions|
These "FAQs" are meant to be informative and not worded to be interpreted legally. The law and regulations control where technical interpretation is required.
Q. Who is subject to the standards of the Police Officer Standards and Training Council?
A. Any person who has authority to enforce the General Statutes of this State and is a member of a law enforcement unit and is not specifically exempted from compliance with the Council's training statute.
Q. What is Certification?
A. Certification is the formal acknowledgement that a police officer has met, the minimum, selection and training standards of the Council and is thus authorized to exercise the authority of a police officer. Certification is awarded after the minimum selection standards have been met and entrance-level training has been completed, and is valid for a period not to exceed 3 years. For those who have not completed the entrance-level training but have been appointed to a police officer position, a probationary appointment period of up to one year is allowed to complete the necessary training. After selection standards have been met, the officer is issued a certificate as a PROBATIONARY CANDIDATE during that time.
Q. What are the selection standards?
A. To qualify for police officer certification in Connecticut, an applicant must meet all relevant entry level standards, some of which are that the candidate: be a citizen of the United States; be at least 21 years of age; be a high school graduate or have passed the General Educational Development Test; possess a valid motor vehicle operator's license; have passed a validated written entry test; have been tested by an oral interview panel; have been fingerprinted and a search made of fingerprint files for any record; not have been convicted by a court of any felony, any class A or class B misdemeanor or have committed any act which would constitute perjury or false statement; have been the subject of a background investigation; have been the subject of a polygraph examination; have been the subject of a psychological examination; have not tested positive on a controlled drug screen; have been examined and certified by a Council accepted method as fit to perform the duties of a probationary candidate police officer; have met all physical fitness requirements; have personally certified knowledge that any falsification of any statement in the application process constitutes grounds for termination.
Q. When do I have to meet the selection standards?
A. These standards must be met prior to being appointed to the status of Probationary Candidate.
Q. If I received entrance-level training in another state or while employed as a police officer, do I have to be trained again?
A. Not necessarily. You may be eligible for a certificate of Comparative Compliance if: the employing law enforcement unit recommends the Council consider an alternative route to satisfy basic training requirements; the training was taken at a certified academy an is equivalent in content to that which is required in Connecticut; certification from the original state was granted; police service is not interrupted by any absence greater than two years; and specified portions of the Connecticut POST entrance-level training are received or another form of evaluation is specified by the Council.
PROBATIONARY CANDIDATE APPOINTMENT
Q. When does a Probationary Appointment apply?
A. For those who have not received the entrance-level training, but have been appointed to a police officer position, a "probationary candidate" status exists. When your law enforcement unit submits a completed Notice of Appointment form which includes information that all of the selection standards have been met and is signed by your unit's appointing authority, a probationary candidate certificate is issued. It is only good for one year from the date of appointment as a police officer in this State to allow you the opportunity to complete the entrance-level training and receive full certification. Each law enforcement unit may establish its own probation period to evaluate job performance and it should not be confused with the Council's probationary appointment period.
Q. What happens when the probationary period expires and entrance-level training is not accomplished?
A. The probationary period ends and the individual may not serve as a police officer. By order of State Statute, the individual must lose his appointment and position.
Q. What if I am a part-time officer? Do I get more time?
A. Yes. individuals who are appointed to work part-time are eligible to enter the part-time police basic training program. That program, administered in portions (called Blocks), is in 3 parts. In most cases, training takes place during the evening hours and on weekends. It commonly takes about 18 months to complete a part-time training program. The Council will automatically grant an extension to complete basic training, beyond the one year maximum, to any part-time officer who is attending a Block Training program provided that the officer attends each successive portion of the program.
Q. Is my certification different if I am part-time?
A. No. In Connecticut there is no distinction between full-time and part-time officers with regard to their certification. The only difference is the length of time afforded to complete basic training.
Q. As a probationary candidate, are there any restrictions on my activities and duties?
A. Yes. Probationary Candidates, while undergoing basic training, may not have official police contact with citizens unless such probationary candidates are accompanied by, and working with, a currently certified police officer.
Q. What is required for renewal of certification?
A. Certification is predicated on continuous employment as a police officer. Certification cannot be renewed by any person after leaving police employment. Employed officers renew their certification by completing certified Review Training every 3 years. The subject matter of many of the hours of training is specified and the remainder is elective in content. A minimum of 3 hours of firearms training each year is required.
Q. If I am a part-time officer, do I get more time?
A. No. The Council does not distinguish between full and part-time officers after the date of original certification. Part-time officers are obligated to renew their certification every three years by completing certified Review Training. A minimum of 3 hours of firearms training each year is required.
Q. What if I do not pass my in-service program or firearms qualification?
A. You may be retested or retrained in order to complete the training successfully. If this is not done, your certification will lapse and it may be revoked. Your law enforcement unit also has the option of removing your authority to act as a police officer, though you may continue to be employed in non-police activities (non-officer status). That would be a local decision. However, before certification can be renewed and the officer's police authority can be restored, the appropriate Review Training and firearms qualification requirements must be met.
Q. How can I prove certification?
A. Either a probationary or regular certification card will be issued to eligible officers, as appropriate. The card will serve as a primary means of indicating your certification status.
Q. What if I leave my law enforcement unit or become disabled?
A. The certificate is issued to you by the Council through your chief law enforcement officer. When you no longer function as a police officer for that unit, the card must be returned to the Council through your unit. In the event you become disabled for a substantial and uninterrupted period of time, your period of certification may be interrupted and continued when you return to police service.
Q. What if the card is lost or stolen?
A. Report this immediately to your training supervisor. The Council can arrange for a replacement to be issued.
Q. Is my certification public record?
A. Yes. Anyone may request information regarding your certification and training record.
Q. What is a recertification?
A. Recertification is required when an officer who was formerly employed by one law enforcement unit again resumes employment with the same or another law enforcement unit and meets all of the applicable standards of the Council.
Q. What standards apply to a recertification?
A. If you have been previously certified and are subsequently hired by a law enforcement unit within two years of your termination from the previous law enforcement unit, and you previously served at least two years as a certified law enforcement officer in Connecticut, you are eligible to be recertified without again completing the entrance-level training program. However, if you have not met all of the applicable review training and firearms qualification requirements in the previous period of certification, you must complete these training requirements. No certificate will be issued until these standards are met.
Q. What if I am out of law enforcement for over two years?
A. The Council requires anyone out of law enforcement over two years to meet all selection standards and complete the full entrance-level training program. The Council, in unusual cases, may consider a waiver of some portion of the mandatory training.
LOSS OF CERTIFICATION
Q. When does certification lapse?
A. Certification can lapse when you are scheduled for certification renewal and the appropriate Review Training has not been received.
Q. Can my certification be suspended or revoked for other reasons than not being trained?
A. Yes. Your certification can also be cancelled or revoked by the Council for any of the grounds specified in Sec. 7-294d (c)(2) of the General Statutes.
Q. What if my law enforcement unit failed to provide or allow attendance at the required training?
A. If you believe that you were either not provided an opportunity for training or were involuntarily assigned to an activity that prevented you from receiving your training, and therefore that you did not have the training required by law, through no fault of your own, you may request a hearing by the Council. The council may stay the. lapse of certification so you may receive the necessary training.
Q. Who is responsible for me getting my Review Training?
A. State Statute places this responsibility on each police officer.
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