The Training/Personnel Unit is responsible for critical functions within the police department. Primarily, the officers are to ensure that all personnel receive the proper training and certification for each person’s job assignment/rank. These assignments range from police officer to communications specialist to jailer to records clerk, and all the varied support positions. The Training Staff works closely with outside agencies and academies in the development of training programs for basic recruits and experienced officers.
The Training/Personnel Unit assists the administration in the selection process for police officer twice each year. For candidates who are not certified police officers, this process consists of administering a written examination, conducting a physical agility test for the candidates who pass the written examination, and scheduling an oral interview for the applicants who successfully pass the physical agility test. For those candidates who are certified police officers, the written examination and physical agility test are waived, and they are scheduled to appear before the Oral Review Board. In 2011, 290 persons applied for employment with the Kingsport Police Department (an increase of 50.26%), and 51 completed the written examination (a decrease of 42.00%). Of those, 39 passed the written examination and physical agility test (an increase of 39.29%) and were scheduled to appear before the Oral Review Board. In addition, 21 certified police officer applicants were scheduled to appear before an Oral Review Board (an increase of 61.54%).
Once hired, the Training Unit supervises the recruit throughout his/her academy and field training. This unit is also responsible for the certification and continuing education of senior personnel, developing lesson plans/curriculum for training courses, and maintaining specialized certifications, e.g. Bomb and Arson Technicians. State law requires annual training for police officers, jailers, dispatchers, and record clerks. A total of 24,421 hours of training occurred in 2011. This is a decrease of 12.54% for 2010. In 2011, 10 police applicants were hired. Five of these new recruits received police academy training. The Department hired three certified police officers who did not require police academy training and two officers from other states that required a three week transition academy.