Let’s imagine there is an organization providing training for people wanting to get their Concealed Handgun License — in one class only 7 out of 27 students passed the written examination on the first attempt. An examination that requires students only to get 70% of the answers correct.
Well that could be a fluke, right? Just a bunch of people who didn’t take it serious.
What if you found out that out of the last 4 classes there were similar problems; students seemingly unable to master the concepts of when to use force, what the law says, etc?
I don’t know about you but I would worry just how much those students had learned.
Now what if I told you that organization was the Dallas Sheriff’s Training Academy?
An exclusive NBC 5 investigation reveals a crisis inside the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department.
The Dallas County Sheriff’s Training Academy is at risk of being shut down by the state because last year’s recruits did so poor on the state’s basic licensing exam.
NBC 5 Investigates obtained records from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, which certifies Texas Police Academies, that indicate only 25 percent of last year’s recruits passed the exam on the first try.
Their records show 27 recruits took the exam at the academy in 2013 but only seven passed on the first try. The state requires 80 percent of recruits pass on the first attempt and every police academy in Texas did that last year, except Dallas County who had the worst percentage in the entire state.
NBC 5 Investigates learned the state put Dallas County’s academy on probation last fall, which means they are at risk for losing their license.
NBC5 posted that report back in May — sorry blog and real life issues kept me from addressing this sooner.
Does that fill you with confidence and security knowing that it took multiple attempts for the majority of the class to get a “C” on the final exam? In interest of full disclosure, for a Concealed Handgun License with its admittedly shorter/less comprehensive test also requires a passing grade of 70% on the examination.
Before last year, the academy had stellar grades. In 2012, recruits logged a 100 percent passing rate.
Law enforcement training experts said a sudden drop often points to a poor recruiting class or poor teaching and that both could be a problem.
Follow up investigations reveal that the issues do not appear to be with a single class.
NBC 5 Investigates obtained copies of the scores for the last four academy classes. A score of 70 is a passing grade for individual cadets, but in the last four classes the average score on the problem solving and critical thinking portion of the test ranged from just 50 to 60 percent. Three of the last four classes had failing scores on the force options section — which gauges their knowledge of when it’s OK to use a weapon.
Recent Dallas County academy classes also had scores averaging below 70 percent in test areas including controlled substances, arrest search and seizure, traffic laws and crisis intervention – mental health code training.
In one recent academy class, the average score on the family code and juvenile justice portion of the test was a mere 36 percent.
So, let’s consider the ways that the recent classes, including the 2012 class which had a 100% pass rate could have passed.
a. The prospective peace officers took the test repeatedly until they got it right.
b. The prospective peace officers received illegal assistance in passing the test.
Does either scenario fill you with confidence and security about the peace officers coming out of that organization? Especially when you consider that once they passed the test; any department or agency could have hired them!
The anti-rights cultist generally harp on how people who carry firearms need to be trained like professional law enforcement officers are trained. Yet the reality of the situation is peace officers aren’t held to incredibly high standards. I’ll be covering the training requirements in more detail later. I want to assure people this isn’t a knock on law enforcement in general; more of pointing out the problems with a major training institution and the tendency of the antis to put law enforcement on a pedestal.
The simple fact is most officers are decent people trying to do the right thing. Unfortunately they are also working for agencies usually headed by political appointees or elected officials trying to stay in office. Unfortunately most officers do not possess the in depth knowledge of the law or the Constitutions.
In fact, I was shocked that for a Basic Peace Officer certification only 8 hours out of 643 — a measly 0.16% of the of the time — is spent on the Bill of Rights, the U.S. Constitution and the Texas Constitution.
Please join the discussion.
And thanks for sticking around and the messages regarding the blog; it really helped to know that people were reaching out to me during the past couple of months.