While restrictions imposed by COVID-19 affected most of the planet in different ways during the second half of 2020, our Reserve Unit’s Training Department took advantage of the changing times to develop a new way of conducting live training sessions.
Captain L. Dooley instituted an innovative way to use technology to provide live in-service training for members of the Sheriff’s Office. During our June 2020 in-service training, he piloted our first live in-service training using Zoom to conduct a webinar session. This pilot had the approval of both the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office and Georgia P.O.S.T., with some strict guidelines for its implementation and the granting of course credit. The first session had 57 on-line attendees and received rave reviews from many of them.
This format permitted the participants/attendees to use Android and Apple devices such as cellphones, tablets and iPads, or PCs, or Mac computers to join the training sessions.
The second in-service training session using the same platform, was conducted on the evening of July 21, 2020 by Cpt. Dooley, and had 69 on-line participants/attendees.
The innovative use of this technology has increased the attendance in the scheduled training sessions by four-fold (4x). The success of both sessions is driving the decision to continue using this or similar electronic platforms to provide our regular in-service training.
Hopefully, only in-service courses that require live in-person interactions will be conducted in that format. Some of those courses may include:
- Live-fire firearms training and re-certifications
- ASP baton training and re-certifications
- Taser training and re-certifications
- Defensive Tactics
- CPR and First Aid
Using this webinar format to provide live instruction, allows the instructor to share videos and documents with a much larger audience, when compared to those normally in attendance at the in-person classes. The webinar sessions are interactive with live question and answer sessions, and opportunities to submit questions or comments in real-time using the Chat feature.
At the conclusion of the training sessions, each participant/attendee must complete a Georgia P.O.S.T. required electronic Attestation form to obtain P.O.S.T. training credits. The online session’s sign-in records serve as confirmation of one’s participation/attendance.
We will continue to find and use innovative ways to leverage technology to enhance the learning opportunities of our deputies.