Arizona’s police oversight board is rewriting officer training programs with new scrutiny on how force is used, and board officials say they want more input from the community.
The Arizona Peace Officers Standards and Training Board creates the lesson plans for police academies statewide. AZ POST also certifies people to work as police officers in Arizona, as well as suspends or revokes certification for those who violate the rules.
For more than a year, AZ POST has been analyzing modern-day policing needs. Now, they are working to reflect the changing needs over how officers are trained.
Matt Giordano, AZPOST’s executive director, said they will be seeking out more input from diverse community leaders, from black pastors to block watch captains, before finalizing the training changes in 2021.
Giordano said a key area of change will be in defensive tactics, such as how officers take-down suspects, handcuff them, or use force.
“We police to the expectation of our community, and if our community is saying we want more of this, we owe that to them,” Giordano said.
Giordano said he wants community participants to have frank, open discussions which will result in officers providing better service to all neighborhoods.