October 20, 2020

New training standards for Missouri law enforcement officers approved on emergency basis and take effect Jan. 1, 2021

Beginning in 2021, all officers will be required to take one hour each of de-escalation and implicit bias training annually to maintain their licenses

New training standards that require annual continuing education training in de-escalation techniques and recognizing implicit bias for law enforcement officers have been approved on an emergency basis by Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft’s office, and will become effective Jan. 1, 2021. The new standards, which require one hour of continuing education training in de-escalation and one hour in implicit bias for officers to maintain their licenses, were approved by the Missouri Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Commission on Oct. 5, 2020.

“Our law enforcement officers take on extraordinary risks and make tremendous sacrifices to make Missouri safer,” Governor Mike Parson said. “These enhanced standards will help equip officers with relevant, up-to-date training to meet the challenges they face daily and facilitate better communication and interactions with the public.”

“The POST Commissioners appreciate Secretary of State Ashcroft’s office for its quick action allowing us to implement these new officer training standards so officers and all Missourians can benefit from the de-escalation and implicit bias training,” said POST Commission Chair and Platte County Sheriff Mark Owen.

As required by state statute, the new POST training rules had to be filed with the Secretary of State and the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules. The normal rule making process could not have been completed in time for the new training requirements to take effect in 2021. The emergency approval means they can be implemented on an expedited basis. While the rules are in effect on an emergency basis, the normal rulemaking process and public comment period will occur. After the process is completed, the changes may become permanent.

Missouri law enforcement officers must complete 24 hours of annual continuing education training to maintain their licenses. The POST Commission’s action on Oct. 5 required the one hour each in de-escalation and implicit bias training be part of each officer’s 24 hours of annual training, not in addition to it. 

The Commission is scheduled to next meet in Jefferson City on Dec. 15, 2020. 


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