Basic Training Update
April 7, 2020
Communication is a value at the CJTC: These are challenging and frustrating times. Director Rahr, Commander Tangen, and their staff intend to be as communicative and transparent as possible while keeping stakeholders throughout the state informed on progress and concerns as we figure out our “now” normal and our “new” normal when the current situation is resolved. To help with communications and to relieve some burden from the Basic Training Division staff, Rick Bowen from the Advanced Training Division has been given some additional duties to assist with communications. You will be seeing updates from Rick from Commander Tangen’s email and through Leanna Bidinger’s distribution list at least bi-weekly and more often as necessary. Feel free to contact Rick with any questions, comments or concerns about BTD operations. He can be reached at (206) 307-3474 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Closure of CJTC Campus: In alignment with federal and state recommendations and requirements the closure of the CJTC campus has been extended and we are now scheduled to re-open on Monday, May 4th. We will continue to keep you appraised if this date changes further.
Services Academies: At this time no Juvenile Services Academies are scheduled for the immediate future. If this status changes affected agencies will be notified ASAP.
BLEA Equivalency Academy: The upcoming academy that is scheduled to run from April 27 through May 6 is still on schedule. Work is being done to prepare for the contingency of delivering this academy remotely in case our closure is extended further.
From the Commander:
This is the final week for BLEA Class 799 so as we prepare to launch into distance learning for 800 and 801, we again appreciate your patience and cooperation. We are learning this delivery method together and with your continued support we will be able to move through the curriculum these recruits still need on the path to their certification. Please also check in with your firearms instructors to be sure they are current. If you need our BLEA Firearms team to assist your instructor(s) with lesson plan delivery and methodology, don’t hesitate to ask. A final reminder on safety: we ask all instruction groups to follow the general COVID-19 safety guidelines. No more than 10 people in any group. Practice social distancing. Wear a mask that is properly fit tested. And finally, wash and use hand cleaner frequently. Thanks again for partnering with us to keep recruit training on track.
Firearms – Program Manager
Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission
Message to Stakeholders
March 25, 2020
The student in class 801 that was suspected of having the COVID virus learned today that his test was NEGATIVE! This is a huge relief to him, his family, agency, classmates, and trainers. While we can all heave a sigh of relief, please remain diligent in monitoring your recruits that were sent back from the academy and have them complete the 14-day self-quarantine that we recommended. We are working very hard to modify our BLEA training delivery so that your recruits from classes 802 and higher can return to a safe training environment. CJTC staff will need to know that when the recruits return they were unlikely to have been exposed to COVID during their absence. We are currently working on protocols for re-admitting recruits to complete their BLEA training when we re-open the campus
Message to Stakeholders
March 24, 2020
A recruit from BLEA class 801 has reported symptoms that indicate he has COVID. We are awaiting test results right now. I will be sending an email to each recruit and agency rep in that class before the end of the day. I strongly urge that members of that class maintain the recommended 14-day self-quarantine through March 30. For agencies whose recruits did not self-quarantine, please take appropriate steps to notify those with whom your recruit has had contact since returning to your agency.
We will continue daily monitoring the health of each recruit that was on campus the day we closed and will keep all stakeholders informed of any similar cases or other information about health risks.
General Information About Suspension of Training
The CJTC campus remains closed for training but the entire staff is working quickly and diligently (remotely) to create ways to get current BLEA recruits through their training and testing and back out to the field as quickly as possible. We recognize the critical need to provide additional staffing during the current crisis.
BLEA trainers are working directly with local agency trainers to assist with delivering the remaining blocks of training to classes 799, 800, and 801. Some training will be delivered using distance learning technology. BLEA staff will travel to the agencies to conduct final testing.
There are many agencies that have recruits in classes 802 and above. Those classes have a significant amount of BLEA training left to complete and much of it cannot be delivered remotely. Those recruits will need to return to the academy and will be 30+ days behind their scheduled graduation date. We encourage those agencies, while CJTC training is suspended, to assign recruits to a training car where the recruit functions primarily as an observer.
There is value in their bringing that experience back and applying it to the remainder of their BLEA training. This training model is applied by WSP and other academies across the country. In some cases, this may allow FTO/PTO training to be accelerated after BLEA is complete. Another option is for agencies to begin the agency specific training that often follows BLEA (sometimes referred to as “post BLEA”). Please let us know if there is anything, we can do to provide input and support.
We are considering information from public health and guidance from the state and federal government each day whether we will be able to resume BLEA and other training on April 13. We are optimistic that we can achieve that goal and will keep you informed. That decision will balance the health and safety of our staff and students with the public safety need to put additional officers on the street. A dilemma I’m sure all our law enforcement partners are facing every day.