Statutory law enforcement training requirements are in place in at least 48 states and the District of Columbia. These laws require law enforcement personnel statewide to be trained on specific topics during their initial training and/or at recurring intervals described by statute as in-service training or continuing education.
In some states, statutory training requirements can be very detailed, with the law specifying how many hours are required, the subject of the training, required content to be addressed, whether the training must be received in person and who is approved to provide the training.
However, in most states the law very basically requires training on a subject, with a few details, leaving the rest to be determined by state training boards or other local authorities designated by law. For example, Tennessee requires law enforcement be trained annually on “proper procedures to respond to persons with mental illness” and New Mexico simply requires child abuse incident training be included in basic law enforcement training and as a component of in-service training annually.
Some of the training topics most commonly addressed in state statute are summarized below.
- At least 34 states require training or education on physical and mental health conditions.
- At least 42 states require offense specific training, with at least 9 states requiring training related to hate crimes and at least 17 states requiring training on human trafficking.
- At least 15 states mandate training on use-of-force and related topics.
- At least 26 states mandate some form of bias reduction training.
- At least 38 states require training on myriad other topics including first aid, high-speed pursuit, victims’ rights, use of body worn cameras and other technology, criminal procedure matters, death investigations, interactions with juveniles and training on interactions with animals, animal cruelty and service animals.
Using the Database
Learn more about law enforcement training by exploring the 50-state statutory database.
Note that this section of the database encompasses statutory law enforcement training requirements only. It does not include regulatory requirements, police officer standards and training (POST) board requirements, or any other non-statutory training requirements developed at the state or local level.
The database can be navigated by using state and subtopic filters. Text searching is available for statutory summaries or statutory language contained in the database. The map is also interactive and allows you to more quickly select multiple states to review―just hold down the control key to select more than one state. Use the reset button at the top left to clear all filters and start a new search.
Note that this database only contains statutory provisions that address each policy area. Case law, regulations or agency policy may further impact the current state of the law in each state. This database also does not address policies adopted by local jurisdictions or law enforcement agencies.