Group trains law enforcement to make split second decisions

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COLUMBIA – The International Association of Chiefs of Police started a three-day training program for local law enforcement Tuesday at the CPD Regional Training Center.

Agencies such as MUPD and the Columbia Police Department are participating. CPD is sending eight of its own, ranking from officers to lieutenants.

“We’re all required to do a certain amount of training,” CPD Officer Clint Sinclair said. “This is important training because there won’t always be a supervisor around, so it’s good to know what to do in those cases." 

The IACP’s website says the Advanced Supervision Skills training is meant to help those working in law enforcement with “changes in the generational, ethnic, and gender composition of the workforce“ that “creates challenges for the supervisor.”

“Everyone should really be prepared and trained to act as a supervisor, or as a leader,” said Retired Chief Larry Mathieson, the instructor of the course.

Mathieson said the course covers a lot of real-life, work situations, including “split-second” decisions.

“Whether you’re an officer, a sergeant or you’re a higher rank, some of the most serious decision you make on the job have to be made in an instant,” Mathieson said. “You don’t have the luxury of time, and so this training helps with knowing what to do in those situations.”

Sinclair acknowledged the recent unrest in Columbia and said the training may make him an even better officer in handling the related tensions.

“I really think we’ve already been doing a great job in dealing with what has been happening lately, the protests and things of that nature,” Sinclair said. “But more training can’t hurt, and it’s important for someone like me to have those skills in my pocket if a supervisor isn’t immediately available.”

The training started at 8 a.m. on Tuesday and ends at 5 p.m. on Thursday.