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Many Texas police officers lack pursuit training after academy

Many Texas police officers lack pursuit training after academy
Many Texas police officers lack pursuit training after academy 04:41

WILLIAMSON COUNTY, TX — Almost every day, someone is killed in the U.S. during a high-speed police chase. These pursuits inherently pose significant risks and often demand a high level of driving skill from police officers to mitigate danger.

In Texas, the state mandates a minimum of 643 hours of training for police officers, with at least 32 of those hours dedicated to emergency vehicle training. However, once officers complete their academy training, none of the mandatory 20 hours of annual continuing education is required to be driving training.

Instead, individual Texas police departments have the discretion to determine the frequency and extent of additional driving training for their officers.

While some departments require driving training yearly or every other year, others do not.

For example, the Georgetown Police Department ensures that its officers participate in annual behind-the-wheel training, including mock vehicle pursuit scenarios.


Commander Renee Koog, a driving instructor at the Georgetown Police Department, emphasized the importance of simulating chases: "It's not just about reading the pursuit policy on paper. Our officers understand it and apply it in real-world situations."

However, a CBS News Texas I-Team investigation revealed that not all police officers in the state receive this type of continual training.

At the Dallas Police Academy, cadets receive 40 hours of emergency vehicle training—eight more than the state requires. Yet, after completing the academy, Dallas police officers do not receive ongoing behind-the-wheel training.

The same holds true for Arlington police officers. The Arlington Police Department told the I-Team that veteran officers are not obligated to receive additional driving training.

When the I-Team asked the Fort Worth Police Department about whether it requires officers to complete driving training after the academy, a department spokesperson said its Advanced Training Unit "does offer several driver training courses for officers to update and renew their skills periodically".


Last fall, a report from the U.S. Department of Justice emphasized the need for police departments to limit pursuits.

Among the report's recommendations was the crucial directive to ensure officers receive regular vehicle pursuit training. The report specifically highlighted that officers who are not current in their training should not be allowed to engage in a pursuit.

Koog echoed this sentiment: "The more training we get, the better we're going to be, and the better we'll be able to make critical decisions."

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