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History of DOCJT
September 1, 1966 is considered to be the birth date of the present Department of Criminal Justice Training. On that date Eastern Kentucky University received a small grant from the Office of Law Enforcement Assistance, United States Department of Justice, to research training needs, establish a limited training program at the university and determine whether local police officers would welcome training in this state.

The agency created under this grant was named the Kentucky Peace Officer’s Standards and Training Council. This agency conducted experimental courses in cooperation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Kentucky State Police, Lexington Police Department and the Eastern Kentucky University School of Law Enforcement. The first course was conducted in July 1968 and was a management level course. The first Basic Training course was a three week course conducted in July 1969.

A bill to make the Peace Officer’s Standards and Training Council a state agency and police training mandatory was introduced in the 1968 session of the General Assembly. The bill that was passed established the Kentucky Law Enforcement Council (KLEC) as a state agency but kept training on a voluntary basis. Eastern Kentucky University continued to provide office and training facilities to the agency.

In July 1972 the Kentucky Law Enforcement Foundation Program Fund (KLEFPF) was established by the legislature. This fund provided a pay incentive to municipal and county police officers whose agencies adopted the established KLEFPF standards to include sending all full-time officers for training. Sheriffs, their deputies and all other law enforcement agencies not specifically named in the statute were excluded from the KLEFPF. However, training was made available to them.

The training programs proved to be successful and the Basic Training courses increased from three weeks to four weeks, then six weeks and finally to ten weeks.

In 1973 Governor Wendell Ford issued an Executive Order (later confirmed by the Legislature) which reorganized state government and established a Kentucky Department of Justice headed by a Secretary of Justice.

The Department of Justice was comprised of three bureaus: the Bureau of State Police, the Bureau of Corrections and the Bureau of Training (presently the Department of Criminal Justice Training). The Kentucky Law Enforcement Council staff members who conducted the training courses comprised the Bureau of Training. Mr. Robert C. Stone was named the first Commissioner. The remaining Kentucky Law Enforcement Council Staff became the advisory and certifying agency for law enforcement training in Kentucky.

Governor Ford’s Executive Order provided for law enforcement training as well as the training of corrections personnel and judges. Two divisions were formed within the Bureau of Training, the Division of Law Enforcement Training and the Division of Judicial Training. A Corrections Training Division was created in 1976.

In 1977 three field offices (in-service training programs) were established for the purpose of making training more accessible to police departments in the northern and western areas of the state. The Northern Kentucky office was located in Highland Heights at Northern Kentucky University. The Louisville area office was located on the Shelby Campus of the University of Louisville. The Western Kentucky office was located in Bowling Green at Western Kentucky University.

Also in 1977 the Kentucky Law Enforcement Council was moved from the Bureau of Training and placed under the Deputy Secretary of Justice and the Law Enforcement Services Section in Frankfort, Kentucky. The purpose for this move was to separate training and certification so that the same organization would not be conducting training as well as evaluating and approving its own training. At this time the Kentucky Law Enforcement Council had responsibility for certifying instructors and training programs as well as evaluating all training of Kentucky law enforcement officers.

In 1978 the General Assembly passed legislation mandating the training of Kentucky coroners and designated the Bureau of Training to conduct this training. This training was divided into two categories: Basic Training and an annual In-Service Training.

Also in 1978 the Administrative Office of the Courts assumed all continuing education of judges. The Division of Judicial Training became the Division of Legal Services and was assigned the responsibility for all instruction in legal matters for the Bureau of Training, as well as legal research and bulletins.

In 1981 the Bureau of Training was reorganized. The Corrections Training Division was eliminated by the Bureau of Training and its function was transferred to the newly created Corrections Cabinet. The Law Enforcement Training Division was reorganized into two programs: Basic Training and In-Service Training. The Planning, Development and Evaluation Program was transferred to the Legal Services Division.

In November 1981 the Kentucky Law Enforcement Foundation Program Fund (KLEFPF), previously located in Frankfort, was assigned to the Bureau of Training. Also, the Kentucky Law Enforcement Council (KLEC) staff was transferred back to the Bureau of Training and was placed under the Office of the Commissioner. In February 1983, the KLEC was transferred back to the Justice Cabinet.

In 1982 the legislation was enacted to standardize agency names and the Department of Justice became known as the Justice Cabinet and the Bureau of Training as the Department of Training. In March 1985, by Executive Order, the Department of Training became the Department of Criminal Justice Training.

In December 1984 the Department of Training created a Breath Test Training Section to assume all breath test training of law enforcement officers, which had previously been done by Eastern Kentucky University’s Traffic Safety Institute.

During the period 1984 to 1986, the Department of Criminal Justice Training enacted procedures to require lesson plans, written course objectives and improved testing. A formal uniform was adopted by staff members. All departmental policies were reviewed. Also during this time period, the Legal Services Division was reorganized and renamed the Administrative Division. The Law Enforcement Training Division was renamed the Training Division and the Northern Kentucky field office was closed.

In 1986 the first comprehensive Job Task Analysis for patrol level officers in Kentucky was completed and a proposed 14 week Basic Training curriculum was created. However, the new curriculum was rejected by the 1986 General Assembly. The data obtained from the Job Task Analysis was utilized to create a new 10 week curriculum. Also in 1986, the Communications Training Section was created to meet the legislative mandate for training police communications personnel.

The first 10 week Sheriff's Basic Training course, for sheriffs and their deputies, conducted in 1987. The training was in basic police skills with emphasis on the special duties of the office of Kentucky sheriff. In 1989 the Kentucky sheriffs suggested the basic training curriculum be the same as required of other law enforcement officers. Sheriffs and their deputies presently attend the same training as all other law enforcement officers. Also in 1987, the Legal Training Section was created as part of the Training Division.

On August 24, 1990 the Department of Criminal Justice Training held its 200th Police Basic Training Class graduation. Also in 1990 the General Assembly approved the plan for the addition to the law enforcement complex for exclusive use as a facility for training law enforcement officers. Construction of the new addition started in February 1992 and was completed in 1993. The Department of Criminal Justice Training staff moved into the new facility, the Funderburk Building, on September 1, 1993. During this same time period, a new firing range and driving range, the McKinney Skills Complex, was built within walking distance of the Funderburk Building.

In 1996 a career path for the training instructor position was established to allow for advancement within that position. In 1997 the pay structure for training instructor was revamped to increase the starting salary from the minimum rate of $1,820 per month to $2,446 per month. .

Also in 1997 the DOCJT was designated by Governor Paul Patton to be the lead agency for the Kentucky Police Corps Program. The Police Corps is a national effort to motivate highly qualified young people to serve our cities and counties for four years as police officers on community patrol. Kentucky’s focus is on the rural and small police agencies. Scholarship recipients receive up to $30,000 in college scholarships, as well as full salary and benefits during their fours years of service. Nine students were selected in 1998 to receive the four year scholarships

A completed occupational analysis of the job tasks performed by both non-ranking officers and law enforcement agency telecommunications personnel was completed in 1997 and utilized for the new Basic Training curriculum and physical training standards.

In 1998 architectural plans were developed for an adjacent residence hall of 200 beds, gymnasium, armory, 42 offices, and 7 classrooms in a 138,000 square foot complex. Plans were also developed for upgrading the McKinney Skills Complex to increase classroom and office space. Construction is expected to begin in 1999.

In March 1998 the DOCJT was accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) at its conference in Vancouver, British Columbia. The agency became only the second training facility in the United States to be accredited.

The Criminal Justice Executive Development (CJED) Course, an eight week program designed specifically for small to medium size law enforcement agency administrators and managers, was offered by the DOCJT in 1998. The course is intended to provide students with the academic background, management techniques and leadership skills to perform more effectively and efficiently in their positions.

In July 1998 the Kentucky Law Enforcement Foundation Program Fund (KLEFPF) was restructured to include sheriffs and university police. Approximately 1,350 peace officers were added to the fund, which had increased the total number of peace officers to 5,600 by the end of 1998. The annual pay incentive for all KLEFPF participants was also increased from $2,500 to $2,750.

In October 1998 physical training standards were established for the Peace Officer Professional Standards (POPS) and Basic Training. Also in 1998 a sixteen-week basic law enforcement curriculum was developed and approved for use in 1999 by the Kentucky Law Enforcement Council. On December 1, 1998 the Peace Officers Professional Standards through the Kentucky Law Enforcement Council, as a result of Governor Patton’s 1998 Crime Bill, went into effect.

The DOCJT staff increased to 124 full-time employees and 11 part-time employees in February 1999. The fleet of travel and training vehicles increased to 53 requiring the construction of a new parking lot at the rear of the Funderburk Building in 1998.

1999- Present is currently being gathered for publication. If you have any questions, please contact the Public Information Office.