Los Angeles Police Academy Curriculum Change Evaluation ProjectKatharine M. Putman, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Fuller Graduate School of Psychol, Pasadena, California
Luann Pannell, PhD, Director of Police Training and Education, Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles, California
The curriculum at the Los Angeles Police Academy is being changed to a scenario-based format in order to better prepare recruits for the challenges they will face in realistic settings.
The Los Angeles Police Academy Curriculum Change Evaluation Project is a collaborative effort between the LAPD Training Division, the State of California’s Peace Officer Standards and Training Division, and Fuller’s School of Psychology. The aim of the project is to evaluate the impact of a change in curriculum at the Los Angeles Police Academy on officers’ perceptions of preparedness for the job and their performance in the field. Specifically, officers will be evaluated on their problem solving skills, community orientation, professionalism/ethics, tactics, and communication skills.
The performance of officers in the field with regard to problem-solving, critical thinking, professionalism, community relations, and communication will be evaluated before and after the change in the Academy. Implications for training people for high-risk occupations to be resilient in the face of stress and adversity will be assessed.