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Basic Law Enforcement

In 1972, the Maine Legislature passed laws mandating the Trustees of the Maine Criminal Justice Academy to establish standards for training for Municipal and County Law Enforcement Officers. The purpose of this mandate was to ensure that no person could serve as a Law Enforcement Officer without meeting minimal training standards. The mandate called for officers to attend a basic course within the first year of employment.

In 1976 the program was expanded from ten to twelve weeks. In 1990 a "Job and Task Analysis" was conducted. To carry out this mandate, a questionnaire comprising over 800 police tasks, equipment, and physical activities was distributed to personnel from different local police and sheriffs departments. Line personnel reviewed each item and indicated how frequently, if at all, they performed each task. Supervisors rated each task in terms of its importance and when it should be learned.

The responses were computerized and the results analyzed to reveal tasks what are performed by local personnel, are important and should be known prior to certification as a full time officer. The Law Enforcement Officer's Certification Examination was instituted based on various critical tasks identified in this study.

In 1995 the Board of Trustees established minimum physical fitness and academic standards for all officers entering the Municipal / County Basic Police School. A report from the Board to the legislature was submitted recommending the implementation of joint training of Municipal / County and all State Law Enforcement officers.

In 2001 a new joint training curriculum was approved by the Board of Trustees for all law enforcement officers. This new curriculum which expanded the Municipal / County Basic Police School from twelve to eighteen weeks is known as the Basic Law Enforcement Training Program and was implemented in June of 2001.