Commonly, academies provide information on where funds are spent, but provide very little non-anecdotal information on what is accomplished through the expenditure of those funds. When done well and used appropriately, performance measurement contributes to improving service delivery and program effectiveness; better informed decision-making, evaluating program performance and results, and communicating program goals. Complying with standard 3.3.1 of CALEA’s Standards for Public Safety Training Academies, which calls for the establishment of an academy performance measurement program, provides this opportunity.
When the Prince William County (VA) Police Department Criminal Justice Academy began the CALEA Public Safety Training Academy Accreditation Program, it instituted new risk management policies based on the training academy standards. The academy staff recognized that a high proportion of the county’s law enforcement injuries were occurring during training (a controllable environment), rather than in field operations.