Polk County Sheriff’s Office, FL
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The Polk County Sheriff’s Office serves roughly 650,000 residents in central Florida with a force of 725 sworn officers, 350 certified corrections officers and hundreds of support staff. The jurisdiction covers 2,011 square miles between Tampa and Orlando.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd wanted to standardize the agency’s training by providing short videos to be shown during daily roll call to address high-liability topics such as pursuits, arrests and firearms. The agency initially created its own training system, but developing the videos in house proved a slow and arduous process.
Another concern was tracking compliance. The agency had no reliable way to ensure consistency or account for who had or hadn’t viewed a video or completed a training assignment.
Beginning their PoliceOne Academy training in July 2013, Sheriff Judd emphasized global training and signed a contract for the entire county, giving most cities and municipalities access to the platform.
Once implemented, captains chose their lesson plans but moved to a standardized training plan across the agency. Supervisors began using the video-based training for their daily roll call and have been documenting attendance electronically.
Polk County uses PoliceOne Academy for several features, including:
- Creating custom courses
- Meeting CALEA accreditation requirements
- Assigning courses for credit to officers
- Staying in compliance with department objectives
The department quickly realized the many benefits of choosing PoliceOne Academy’s online training platform to keep officers trained and informed of department messages, policies and lessons. Lt. Rauch appreciates the responsive customer service as well, and says the Academy platform is “worth its weight in gold.
For Polk County Sheriff’s Office, the benefits of training with PoliceOne Academy are three-fold:
- Their agency can create custom content and training resources quickly, addressing hot topics and having access to on-demand remedial training and accreditation needs.
- More units within the sheriff’s office and municipalities within the county are using the PoliceOne Academy solution for more consistent training throughout their agency. This helps improve agency visibility and collaboration. With global training, everyone receives the same resources and consistent training across the county.
- The minimal cost per hour saves the county over $100,000 in potential lost time. Lt. Rauch estimates that Polk County Sheriff’s Office has saved $180,000 in manpower in 2016 alone.
“[PoliceOne Academy] was a huge game-changer for us. I can’t say enough good about it. Prior to using PoliceOne Academy’s solution, it would take quite some time to develop training videos. I had to make sure I got releases on every video, which delayed our process a little bit more. Now we have consistent training content, adding our own to the mix as well, with the custom course tool, which allows us to deploy agency-specific messaging seamlessly.”
As one of PoliceOne Academy’s largest users, Lt. Rauch says the agency wants to utilize the platform even more over the next year. “There’s a million ways we can and do use the system, and we could be doing so much more,” he said. “We have some growing that we want to do along with PoliceOne Academy, so our goal is to increase the use of it. I’ve been doing this for 29 years, and it has been the best change in training that I have ever seen.”
Polk County Sheriff’s Office will continue to use PoliceOne Academy for county wide training and resource management, implementing training for new hires, as well as a platform for re-training and compliance management. Custom course creation and global training are important to their agency and with PoliceOne Academy, not only will they continue to realize cost savings, but they can keep their personnel accountable and in compliance.