The streets of Madison will see 23 new police recruits in early March for field training, after more than five months and nearly 900 hours of training, according to a Madison Police Department statement.
The state requires 720 hours of training before recruits can begin field training, which MPD exceeds. The curriculum covers a range of topics including constitutional law, handling people in mental health crises and ethics.
In March, the recruits will be paired with a veteran police officer to learn how to apply what they have learned to situations with real implications.
Field training occurs over 13 weeks with five different phases, which the department’s statement said attempts to make recruits more autonomous as they advance.
“We want our recruit officers to be fully prepared and proficient in meeting the needs of our community,” MPD Captain Thomas Snyder said in the blog post. “As our recruit officers demonstrate proficiencies, they will then move on to the next phase of field training.”
MPD officials said residents can expect an increased officer presence during the field training because some squad cars will have a training officer and recruit.
In most cases, field training is not the recruits’ first exposure to the public. While it is the first time they are in an officer role, they have worked with various community members to understand different aspects of being an officer, according to MPD.
The official graduation date for recruits is July 16, after which they will be assigned beats in specific districts across the city.