Training Division
Lt. Darren Kester, Commander



The Training Division of the Clifton Police Department has the responsibility to provide its officers with updated concepts, theories, philosophies, practices and procedures related to constantly changing social needs and mandates. The benefits of training are subtle and produce long term results. There is never an end to the need for training which is why the Clifton Police Department takes advantage of every opportunity to improve the performance of its officers. The goal of the Training Division is to provide the citizens of Clifton with the best trained professional officers who can meet the needs of the people they serve.

I.    In-Service Training Conducted at the Clifton Police Department.


      A.  Regular Police Officers and Special Police Officers 

All regular police officers are scheduled for semi-annual in-service training.  This involves removing and rescheduling all members from their respective divisions twice annually during the Spring and Fall for a ďrange dayĒ.  In the past, one day at the range was sufficient to fulfill the State-mandated requirements of classroom instruction, practice shooting and firearms requalification. 

Because of recent State-mandated requirements and other needed training, the 2005 training schedule had to be modified to add additional days. 

The Spring cycle was maintained at one day.  However, the Fall cycle had to be increased to two days.  In each training cycle, 23 sessions of approximately six officers are conducted over a 12 week period. 

The Attorney General mandates a minimum semi-annual training in the following topics: 

            1.   Domestic Violence

            2.   Use of Force and Deadly Force

            3.   Pursuit Driving

            4.   Firearms Instruction and Qualification         


The Spring 2005 training cycle included the abovementioned requirements as well as an additional block of instruction on Officer Survival.                

The Fall 2005 training cycle was two days.  The first day covered the State-mandated training in regards to Domestic Violence, Use of Force and Pursuit Driving.  All members of the department including dispatchers were recertified in CPR and in the use of the AED.  In total, 175 personnel were recertified.  In addition, the State mandated that each officer receive instruction in dealing with Alzheimerís patients.  This course was also completed on the first day.  The second day was range qualification and a block of instruction given by the Clifton Health department on Bloodborne Pathogens. 

Each training session includes a multiple choice test in the three mandated topic areas, as well as a lecture/review and a question and answer segment.  In addition, any new case law, policy and procedures, and current events are discussed. 

During each training session, officers receive a refresher lecture on firearms safety issues including but not limited to firearms storage in the home, transporting, safety on the range, etc.  They are instructed as to firearms/ammunition they are and are not authorized to carry/use. 

Each officer is required to demonstrate his ability to use his on duty and off duty handgun as well as the department shotgun achieving a minimum score of 80% on a specific State-mandated qualification course. 

In the event an officer fails to meet the minimum score, the officer is counseled and given extra practice until he can meet the requirements.


Special Police receive the same required mandatory training as the regular police officers.  However, because of their work schedules, their training is performed at night.


      B.   Additional State Mandated Training 

In 2005, the Attorney Generalís Office required that all officers attend Racial Influenced Policing Training.  This training was coordinated with the Passaic County Prosecutorís Office and instructed at the Passaic County Police Academy.  Every member of the department participated in this training. 

The Special Police Officers also received this training at night in the Training Division room. 

In 2005, the Attorney General issued two directives that directly affected the entire Police Department, particularly the Training Division.  The first directive, 2005-3 mandated that every first responder, which included police officers and public safety telecommunicators, take four on-line Incident Command courses.  The first course ICS-100 had to be completed by all the employees of the Police Department prior to December 31, 2005. 

To meet this mandate, the Police Department purchased six computers and installed them in the Training Division room.  Training Division personnel administered the ICS-100 course to 172 personnel.  As required by the State, ICS-200 and 700 will be administered in 2006. 

The second directive, 2004-3 mandates that all police officers and public safety telecommunicators receive on-line training in the following areas: 

            1.   Hazmat Awareness

            2.   Weapons of Mass Destruction

            3.   Counter-Terrorism Awareness


All this training, current and future, is being accomplished utilizing the newly purchased computers located in the Training room.


II.   In-House Training of Newly Appointed Personnel 

      A.  Police Officers  

In 2005, we hired 13 police officers.  Two officers had previous police service and a Police Training Commission Certificate.  These officers received ten days of in-house instruction and were assigned to the Patrol Division.  The remaining eleven police officers received five days of instruction prior to attending the Passaic County Police Academy.  They also received ten days of instruction after graduation from the Academy.


B.     Special Police Officers     

In addition the Police Department went through the process of hiring 10 new special officers.  The Training Division was involved in the initial phases of the selection process as well as the purchasing and distributing of all the equipment needed by the special officers for the Academy.  All the officers received mandated training prior to attending the Special Police Officers course at the Passaic County Police Academy.  Upon graduation, the Special Officers received additional training.


C.     Civilian Public Safety Telecommunicators 

In 2005 we hired three civilian Public Safety Telecommunicators.  They were given five days of in-house instruction and assigned to the Communications Center.


III.  Additional Training Division Responsibilities/Duties 

      A.  Special Police Officers 

The Training Division Commander is also the Director of the Special Police.  As such, he is responsible for supervising the 24 Special Officers under his command.  The primary duty of the Specials is to patrol the parks for the City.  They are also utilized for special events, such as, parades and other various special assignments.  In emergency situations, they can be used to supplement the regular police officers.


      B.   Drug Screening 

The Training Division Commander also administers all drug tests.  This includes random tests for current officers as well as police applicants.  During 2005, the Commander administered 31 random tests on officers.  In addition, 39 tests were administered for police applicants as well as 29 for special police applicants.


     C.   Employees Performance Evaluations Forms 

Once a year the Training Division issues employee performance evaluations forms to supervisors of all personnel.  Officers who are recent graduates of a police academy or who were officers at another department and are new to Clifton are evaluated every two months.  The performance ratings are utilized to access the training needs of the individual officers and the department.


      D.  Ryan White Issues 

The Training Commander is also the infectious disease officer for the Police Department.  Any situation in which an officer comes into contact with bodily fluid either through a bite, cut, spitting, etc. must be investigated to determine if a transfer of an infectious disease may have occurred.  In 2005 the department had five such cases.


      E.   Training Bulletins 

Throughout the year, the Training Division receives, reviews, summarizes and disseminates information through various written internal bulletins.  This includes informational bulletins routinely received from the Passaic County Prosecutorís Office and the Attorney Generalís Office.  This includes new laws, procedures, and New Jersey and United States Court cases relating to law enforcement.


      F.   Breathalyzer Program 

The Training Division has the responsibility of maintaining the Breathalyzer machine as well as maintaining all its records.  In addition, the Training Division must ensure that all breathalyzer operators maintain their certifications and attend training to keep updated on current procedures.


      G.  Specialized In-Service Training Courses 

Throughout the year the Training Commander assigns officers to various in-service training classes to enhance their professional skills.  Because of the ever changing world and liability issues, every effort is made to provide our officers with the best qualified training available.  All of this training is done within the budget and manpower constraints placed upon the department.


      H.  Semi-Automatic External Defibrillator Program 

The Training Division monitors and oversees the Police Department defibrillators and serves as liaison with the Atlantic Health Systems.  In 2005 the defibrillators (AEDís) were utilized on 18 occasions.


      I.    Distribution/Training of MSA Millennium Gas Masks and WMD Safety Suits

            (Millennium First Responder Kit) 

During the year 2005, the Training Division continued the task of ensuring that each member of the Police Department received and was trained in the use of the Millennium First Responder Kit.  By the end of 2005, the entire department was equipped.  This included all the new officers and the Special Police Officers.


      J.    Honor Guard 

The Training Commander maintains and supervises the Honor Guard.  The Honor Guard has 13 members and attends numerous funerals, parades, and City functions.  In 2005, the Honor Guard attended 10 such functions.