The Specialized Training Section creates, promotes and fosters individual and organizational effectiveness by developing and facilitating an array of innovative and diverse entry-level and in-service training programs in support of the department's commitment to professional development, organizational enrichment, community partnerships, and public safety. This is accomplished by leveraging an array of content delivery modalities, ranging from mobile online learning to interactive scenario-based formats, to deliver a wide assortment of training curricula. The following units operate under the supervision of the Specialized Training Section.
The Advanced Training Unit provides uniformed and civilian members of the service with frequent and relevant in-service training, introducing new concepts that will enhance and expand each participant's existing knowledge base and skill set. Training content is distributed through a number of programs including:
The Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training program instructs uniformed members of the service on how to effectively respond to critical incidents and communicate with emotionally disturbed persons. Crisis Intervention Team-based policing brings together the criminal justice and mental health systems with the joint goal of reducing the risk of injury to police officers and emotionally disturbed persons, or persons in crisis, while promptly, effectively, and efficiently diverting such persons from the criminal justice system to mental health treatment, when appropriate. This training program emphasizes that our department values human life, respects the dignity of each individual, and renders our services with courtesy and civility. The training concepts include a best practices approach to safely and effectively address the needs of persons in crisis. Crisis communication is the foundation of this program and uniformed members of the service learn skills to realistically de-escalate crisis situations. Trainees are taught how to affect behavioral change through active listening, developing empathy and rapport, and influencing the person in crisis. Department procedures and tactics relating to dealing with emotionally disturbed persons are covered in depth.
The program is four days in length and is team-taught by tenured uniformed Police Academy instructors and licensed mental health clinicians from our partner agencies. These clinicians are subject matter experts with hands-on experience in dealing with persons in crisis. They provide professional instruction on a wide array of mental health disorders and conditions including symptoms, prevalence, and available treatment options, as represented within the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. With each mental disorder or condition, engagement considerations are discussed so that the trainees know what to be aware of when dealing with a person in crisis as it relates to that particular condition. In addition, trainees are taught best practice communication strategies for each specific mental disorder and condition to prepare them to respond to these incidents in a well-informed manner. A panel of mental and behavioral health service consumers attends each training session and provides the trainees with first person insight into how their lives are affected by living with a mental or behavioral health disorder.
This training program also utilizes an extensive amount of scenario-based training which places trainees into simulated crisis situations in the Police Academy’s scenario training environment where the skills and techniques taught can be enacted and evaluated. Trainees encounter a wide array of storylines and utilize props simulating all of the items they may use during an incident including, but not limited to, conducted electrical weapons, oleoresin capsicum spray, polycarbonate shield, and other patrol-related items. Each scenario is acted out by several professional improvisational actors who adeptly portray individuals in crisis. During the scenarios, the actors depict the mental disorders or conditions that were discussed earlier in the program. In order to successfully navigate the scenario portion of the training and achieve a voluntarily compliant resolution to the crisis incident, trainees are required to utilize the full assortment of crisis communication and de-escalation strategies while displaying tactically sound techniques and always remaining professional. When completed, each scenario is extensively debriefed with the entire cadre of trainers and classmates in order to provide constructive criticism, both positive and negative, in order determine what could have been done differently to more effectively gain voluntary compliance and a successful outcome.
The Tactical Training Unit is dedicated to providing in-service defensive tactics instruction with the goal of ensuring the safety, survival, and success of uniformed members of the service in the field. The unit strives to develop tactical proficiency through hands-on physical training designed to de-escalate encounters, enhance individual and squad performance, offer flexibility through a range of force application options, and improve a trainee's knowledge of the department's use of force guidelines. The staff is comprised of seasoned uniformed members of the service with diverse backgrounds and competencies, most having extensive schooling in several different martial arts. Each member of the unit is also a New York State certified defensive tactics instructor. Instructors come from many different posts throughout the department, including but not limited to, investigative and undercover assignments in the Detective Bureau, plainclothes anti-crime enforcement teams in the uniformed patrol commands, and the department's Emergency Services Unit. Their collective enforcement and investigative experiences support the curriculum they teach, making for a more realistic training experience. This includes instruction of the rigorous three day long plainclothes training course which is required to perform any enforcement or investigative assignment outside of the standard uniform.
The Medical Emergency Response and Critical Intervention Training Unit trains uniformed and civilian members of the service on a recurring biennial basis, in compliance with Briana's Law in New York State and New York City Local Law 137 of 2016, to provide lifesaving intervention techniques to those experiencing a medical emergency. Through the use of realistic, goal-oriented instruction, the unit facilitates hands-on skills training focused on how to properly deploy department-issued equipment at the scene of an emergency. Their fundamental training program, the Basic Life Support and Trauma Treatment (BLASTT) course, includes instruction on cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the use of an automatic external defibrillator. Trainees also receive instruction on basic first aid procedures, the administration of intranasal Naloxone/Narcan medication in response to opioid overdoses, and the use of a trauma kit comprised of a tourniquet and hemostatic agent. Staff members routinely sponsor and attend specialized training events and frequently collaborate with other department units and City agencies to develop more advanced response techniques. Staff members are certified by the American Heart Association as basic life support instructors and possess Emergency Medical Technician certificates issued by the New York State Department of Health.
The Continuing Professional Education Training Unit (In-Tac) conducts numerous in-service training programs intended to build upon the strong foundations laid in other entry-level and in-service training programs by challenging uniformed members of the service to simultaneously bring together all of the skill sets necessary to effectually police in a modern city like New York. Training is conducted at the Urban Tactical Village located alongside the department's firearms range in Rodman's Neck, Bronx. Each program requires a trainee to participate in a significant amount of interactive scenario-based instruction that covers a wide assortment of topics drawn from current events. These topics are woven together to create an immersive training experience that replicates uniformed patrol in the field. Topics include scenario-based training with simunitions which replicates adversarial force on force encounters, street-level narcotics enforcement, vertical patrol in high-rise buildings, and Terry Stop investigations.
The Computer Training Unit strives to facilitate the placement of information, real-time analysis, and intelligence directly in the hands of members of the service, whether they are utilizing a desktop workstation or mobile device in the field, to promote safety, efficiency, and effectiveness. This is accomplished through high-quality instruction on the proper operation of both commercially available and department-specific computer hardware and software applications across several key areas.
This unit is responsible for developing new curricula, or updating existing curricula, to meet the growing technological needs of the department. Coursework is often tailored to the needs of specialized department personnel and frequently includes instruction on how to utilize the various law enforcement databases associated with the Domain Awareness System, a powerful counterterrorism and policing tool developed by the department and Microsoft. Ongoing training is also conducted with Neighborhood Coordination Officers to strengthen their computer skills and assist in their mission of connecting with the communities they serve as part of the department's Neighborhood Policing strategy.
The Civilian Training Program provides entry-level and in-service instruction across a wide array of civilian employee titles that are assigned throughout the department. Through a responsive curriculum development and design process, they facilitate high-quality training programs that impart the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary for civilian members of the service to accomplish the objectives required to support the many functions of this agency.