Commonly Asked Questions

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1. What information and when does an agency have to report to LEPS Staff concerning officers?

2. How and when does an individual apply to attend the Academy's entry level training program?

3. How much training does an officer have to complete if...

        a. an officer has never been certified as a law enforcement officer in West Virginia?

        b. an officer has been cerified in another state other than West virginia?

        c. an officer is currently certified as a law enforcement officer in West Virginia and ...

                1) has not worked as an officer for less than 24 months?

2) has not worked as an officer for more than 24 months but less than 60 months?

3) has not worked as an officer for more than 60 months?

4. When does training have to be completed?

5. How is training approved for in-service?    

        a. Classes being held in West Virginia.    

        b. Classes being held outside West Virginia or within West Virginia where sponsoring organization has not secured LEPS Subcommittee approval.    

        c. Can other classes be approved for in-service credit, i.e. college, military, etc.


 


Question 1 Answer

A Change-In-Status (CIS) form, electronic submission through the Law Enforcement Professional Standards Information System ( LEPSIS), or other applicable notice via fax, email, or standard mail, listing necessary information, is required to be submitted to the LEPS Staff within ten (10) days when an individual is hired at an agency or, any other form of change in status as a sworn officer, i.e. promotion, resignation, dismissal, retirement, leave of absence due to military activation, illness, etc. 

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Question 2 Answer

An individual who is not a previously certified West Virginia law enforcement officer who is hired, whether part or full time, as a sworn officer as a law enforcement officer in West Virginia has ninety (90) calendar days from the date of their employment to submit a fully complete and medically accepted application to the West Virginia State Police Academy. Employment is considered to have begun at any point that the individual assumes and is in a position to exercise sworn arrest powers within the jurisdiction that is employing him or her. There is NO time allowed as a temporary officer or for on the job training.

Individuals who are hired as an officer who have been a certified officer in another state in good standing and those previously certified West Virginia law enforcement officers who have not been employed as an officer for more than twenty-four (24) months in West Virginia are also required to submit a fully completed and medically accepted application to the Academy.

An application packet may be obtained from the Academy by contacting Ms. Michelle Watson at (304) 766-5800 or Linda.M.Watson@wvsp.gov.

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Question 3. a. See Question 2 Answer

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Question 3. b.  Answer

Officers who are not previously certified as an officer in West Virginia or approved to participate in the equivalent certification program as being a certified officer in good standing from another state, are required to complete the full entry level training program at the West Virginia State Police Academy as either a basic; city, airport, county, conservation, college or public service commission officer; or as a cadet in the Trooper training program. These training programs are live in training programs at the Academy in Dunbar, WV. West Virginia is a single academy state, there is no other currently approved training program in the state by the Law Enforcement Professional Standards (LEPS) Subcommittee to attend and become certified as a West Virginia law enforcement officer.

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Question 3. c. 1.  Answer

Currently certified West Virginia law enforcement officers who have not worked as an officer for less than twenty-four (24) months, who at the time they stopped working were in good standing as to the certification, and become employed again as an officer in the state, full or part time, have ninety calendar (90) days from their date of employment to complete sixteen (16) hours of in-service training and qualify with their duty weapon to keep their certification in good standing.

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Question 3. c. 2.  Answer

Certified West Virginia law enforcement officers who have not worked as an officer in more than twenty-four (24) months, who at the time they stopped working were in good standing as to the certification, and become employed again as an officer in the state, full or part time, are required to complete the re-certification process. They must submit a complete application to the Academy within ninety (90) calendar days of being re-employed. They may exercise full arrest powers from the date of their re-employment as approved by their employing agency. On submission of a complete application, the Academy staff will schedule them to determine if they can test out or must sit in on the core classes of the entry level training program. These core classes must be completed at the Academy and are required to be completed within one year of the date of re-employment.

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Question 3. c. 3. Answer

Certified West Virginia law enforcement officers who have not worked as an officer in more than sixty (60) months, who at the time they stopped working were in good standing as to the certification, and become employed again as an officer in the state, full or part time, must first receive the approval of the LEPS Subcommittee to be recertified as a law enforcement officer. The Subcommittee, on review of the entry level training and other training completed by the law enforcement officer who has had such a separation, may prescribe training to be completed in addition to the completion of the re-certification process, up to, but not limited to the full academy.

Upon completion of their entry level Academy training, certified officers are required to complete in-service training. The amount of training and time frame in which it must be completed is based on their rank. All officers, regardless of rank, are required to complete sixteen (16) hours of annual level in-service each year. The yearly training period runs on a fiscal year from the 1st of July to the 30th of June.  Officers with the rank of Sergeant and above are required to complete an additional eight (8) hours of supervisory level in-service within a two year training period. The two year period runs on a  continuous cycle regardless of when a promotion occurred.

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Question 4 Answer

The current training period for certified officers for completion of in-service training is as follows:

All Officers                  16 annual level in-service            1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018

Sergeant and above     8 supervisory level in-service    1 July 2017 to 30 June 2019

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Question 5-A Answer

Training for in-service classes is approved for classes sponsored by either police departments, law enforcement related training companies and organizations/associations who are presenting training which they feel will be beneficial to officers in the performance of their respective assignments. All requests for training to be approved must be submitted to the LEPS Program for review and submission to the LEPS Subcommittee for final approval. Training may be approved after it has already occurred, but such submissions are discouraged. Every effort should be made to get the information submitted in a timely manner for applicable review and approval. 

At this time, there is no fee for a class to be reviewed for approval. The LEPS Program does not pre-approve classes that “may” be presented in the state at some future point. On submission for review and approval, the entity submitting should know dates, locations, and registration costs for officers to attend. 

Training may be “closed” in that it is only for members of a certain agency or agencies. It may also be “by invitation” where the sponsoring entity limits who may attend. Lastly, the training may be “open” to any officer wishing to attend, and it is the decision of the entity submitting as to what cost, if any, will be required for officers to attend. 

The review by the LEPS Program of submitted training will be to determine that the subject of the training does relate to the general and/or specific duties of a law enforcement officer in this state. If not, the training maybe denied approval.

The information to be submitted for review should overview the training course/subject to be presented, provide information on the qualifications of the individual teaching during the training, and information addressing if the class is open, closed or by invitation. There is a course application form that can guide in the preparation of the submitted request but is not required to be submitted at this time. Such an application is available on the forms section of this website. 

Classes will be approved as either annual or supervisory level in-service (law enforcement version of continuing education units – CEUs.) Annual is the level for which the majority of the training is approved. To be approved for supervisory level in-service, one-fourth, 25%, of the class must directly address management/supervisory concepts or officer safety related concepts. The training will be approved in half hour increments. Breaks do not count against the overall time approved, but meal breaks do. A class should be no less than one (1) hour in length nor more than ten (10) hours long per day. 

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Question 5-B Answer  

Officers, or their agency representatives on their behalf, may request approval for in-service training approval for such training classes, programs and/or conferences officers may wish to attend held outside of West Virginia or within West Virginia where sponsoring organization has not secured LEPS Subcommittee approval. If the training is approved by a state level body equivalent to the LEPS Subcommittee, the training will automatically be approved with minimal information submitted. If not, information will need to be submitted addressing what the training is, its focus, and who is sponsoring/presenting the training. As with all training, every effort should be made to submit such approval requests prior to the training but they may, at this time, be submitted for review and approval consideration after the training is completed.

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Question 5-C Answer

Yes, officers may receive in-service credit for such training. Applicable information overviewing the training is to be presented to the LEPS Program for review and recommendation to the LEPS Subcommittee. If it is not clear by the title/description of the training on how it relates to the duties/responsibilities of a West Virginia law enforcement officer, a description must be provided. While on-line and webinar training can be approved for in-service credit and will be posted to the officer’s training record, only up to four (4) hours in each training year period may be counted towards the officer’s yearly in-service training requirements. 


Question 6 Answer

Yes. West Virginia offers an equivalent certification program for officers certified by a Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST) Commission in another state.  However, there is no automatic approval based on your state certification and/or training.  Each officer is reviewed individually by the Equivalent Certification Review Committee of the LEPS Subcommittee to determine if he/she meets the qualifications to participate in the program.  An individual must obtain employment with a West Virginia law enforcement agency prior to a review being conducted. To determine if an officer would be a good candidate for the program, please follow the link for additional information. 

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Question 7 Answer

Yes.  A law enforcement officer who has been certified and completed at least sixty (60) months of full time employment and leave their prior agency in good standing can maintain their certification in an active status through the Certification Retention Program. 

An officer interested in participating in the Certification Retention Program must make a timely request, from their date of separation, to maintain their certification to the Division of Justice and Community (DJCS).  The program requires individuals to meet the annual training requirements of an officer below the rank of Sergeant, 16 hours annual in-service and two (2) firearm qualifications, one under low light conditions, separated by ninety (90) days.

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Additional questions or concerns can be forwarded to LEPSProgram@wv.gov or call (304) 558-8814.