Once employed by the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office, training continues through an in-house Field Training program of several hundred additional hours. It is during these trainings that employees learn the practical daily applications of those basic training skills while working alongside veteran training officers who continually evaluate their progress.
School Resource Officers require additional state mandated levels of training and certifications. Others, such as Crisis Negotiators, polygraph and explosives training, often require extended training outside the area at national or state sponsored schools.
Besides these required trainings, all officers are also eligible to enroll in elective courses, both in classroom settings and through limited and appropriate online trainings. It is here that technical skills are honed through classes such as emergency response, criminal investigations, community outreach and crime prevention. Personnel may locate and request these trainings through the NC Justice Academy, very much like enrolling in a local college course.
Effective training above and beyond these minimums, training that builds greater bonds with the community and improves our levels of professionalism and service as guardians of our community, is at the heart of the remainder of the unit’s yearly planning at the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office.
We start with an agency-wide initiative each year to engage our personnel in four required quarterly training events, part of which are classroom based and the remainder of which are “reality-based training.” Using planned scenarios and/or role players, this reality based training provides for realistic physical training focused not only on officer safety and tactical skills improvement, but also on the necessary skills of Crisis Intervention, De-escalation techniques, overall communications and performance under stress.