The focus of the Training Division is to increase the effectiveness of our members through training and education. The Training Division is responsible for Post-Basic and Field Training programs, Advanced Officer Training, Continuing Training, and specialized programs including the Citizens Police Academy and the Safe Teen Accident Reduction Training (START) program.
The Training Division is located at the City of Tucson Public Safety Training Academy (PSTA). The PSTA is a multidiscipline fire and police training facility. The campus is located on 115 acres in scenic southeast Tucson. The facilities include amphitheater and standard classroom configurations, weight-training room, defensive tactics room, driving track, shooting ranges, and specially-designed buildings to add realism to scenario-based practical training.
New Tucson Police Officers attend Basic Training at the Southern Arizona Law Enforcement Training Center (SALETC). SALETC is a regional law enforcement training center serving law enforcement agencies of southern Arizona. SALETC is responsible for providing law enforcement agency recruits with training and practical experience to achieve certification by AZ POST as law enforcement officers. SALETC is housed at the PSTA.
Within the Training Division, the Advanced Officer Training (AOT) unit is responsible for providing Tucson Police Department employees with training that supports and/or enhances the department's policing strategies and implements and/or defines the department's policies and procedures. The AOT Unit supports the following dimensions associated with the SALETC mission statement and goals: Pursuit Immobilization Technique, Citizens Police Academy, and sworn and non-sworn supervisory training opportunities.
Since the late 1990s, law enforcement agencies across the country have searched for techniques to stop fleeing vehicles. Once the decision has been made to forcibly stop a vehicle, options include stop sticks and the Pursuit Immobilization Technique (PIT). Large agencies currently using this technique include: the Georgia State Police, Idaho State Police, Des Moines Iowa Police, Jefferson County Alabama Sheriff’s Department, Fairfax County, Virginia Sheriff’s Department, and the California Highway Patrol. This technique involves direct vehicle to vehicle contact and is intended to cause the fleeing vehicle to spin out and stall, thereby bringing the pursuit to an end. The PIT is a tactic available to all TPD officers under very limited circumstances. Several requirements must apply before an officer is authorized to employ the PIT technique, including the concurrence of a supervisor.
Sponsored by the Tucson Police Department, Tucson Police Foundation and Tucson Central Safety Services, this teen driver class is open to any licensed driver 16-18 years old. Students must pass a motor vehicles records check completed by the Tucson Police Department. Students pay nothing but are asked for a donation of a $25 payable to the Tucson Police Foundation. The class begins with a 1-hour session on vehicle dynamics and how they affect driving. Then it is out to the track with a TPD instructor for behind-the-wheel instruction. An instructor is in each car with 3-4 students. Each student must perform successfully the five maneuvers listed below to receive a completion certificate at the end of the class:
- Off-road recovery
- Evasive steering
- Skid recovery
- Controlled braking
- ABS familiarization
Members of the Tucson Police Department are offered state-of-the-art, meaningful and effective training at the Public Safety Academy twice a year. Topics range from contemporary issues facing law enforcement that are held in a classroom setting, to the latest in proficiency skills in terms of driving and firearm tactics. Students spend the day learning and demonstrating proficiency in myriad established curriculum. Instructors may be experts in their field from outside the agency; however, the majority of instruction comes from those subject matter experts currently employed by the Tucson Police Department.