Department of Criminal Justice Training (DOCJT) officials told legislators on Tuesday that they are on track to meet the online training provisions of House Bill 565, a KLC initiative legislators passed in the 2022 session. The bill requires DOCJT to offer 10% of basic training hours online by Jan. 1, 2024, and 30% of annual in-service courses by Jan. 1, 2025.
Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet Deputy Secretary Keith Jackson and DOCJT Commissioner Nicolai Jilek testified before the Interim Joint Committee on State Government. Jackson acknowledged the need for online classes. “Expansion to virtual training will also help the commonwealth recruit a more diverse and new generation of public safety officers,” he stated. “Law enforcement agencies will be able to better staff their agencies and save money and their officers time to spend with their families.”
Representative Kim Moser (R-Taylor Mill) sponsored the 2022 measure and enquired about implementation. “I want to know if you are on track to fulfill the 30% of online classes as classes, not as seats,” she stated. Jilek reported that of the 6,700 seats needing 40 hours of in-service credit in 2023, more than 2,000 are “virtual in some form or fashion.” He said DOCJT is still working to make “as many classes that are suitable for online delivery.” He told legislators DOCJT has a new instructional design section to develop online training. “We clearly hear the need for virtual training options,” Jilek added. “We are well on our way, I feel like, to making sure that our clients have that ready access to virtual training options, if that’s what they chose, and how best to deliver that. We are well on our way to be there by 2024.”
Jackson also updated legislators on a new potential training facility in western Kentucky. Legislators included $2.5 million in the 2022 budget to conduct a feasibility study about building a new facility in Madisonville. Jackson reported that the study is complete, and the Cabinet expects to submit a report soon to the legislature. He revealed that the survey identified a location on Bean Cemetery Road as the best possible location, with an expected construction cost of $150 million and a $7 million a year operating cost.