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APTA Benefits

THE BENEFITS OF APTA    by Tommy Carswell
     The Alabama Police Trainers Association (APTA) is an organization born out of the desire for ethics-based training and created by men and women who are interested in providing high-quality training for today's law enforcement officers.  The idea is not new, but the progress is real:  a group of loosely associated individuals has come together, developed by-laws, elected officers, acquired non-profit status, and is offering cost-effective, quality training.
     APTA was founded as a way for peace officers to acquire training and updates on trends and technologies and as a way for trainers to share their ideas, material, and expertise with other officers and agencies.  Today, APTA offers many benefits to the law enforcement community and to those interested in training our officers.  
     APTA offers an avenue for those wishing to network and associate with present and future law enforcement leaders.  This association holds a vast amount of diversity and experience, and, already, lifelong friendships have been forged and training that would have otherwise been unavailable has been acquired by our members.  
     APTA makes no attempt to compete with other organizations but instead works closely with others to train law enforcement officers.  Our association's effort results in partnerships, as well as higher standards and professionalism, which APTA believes is a service to all citizens and to our profession as a whole.  
     Having identified the need, APTA board members developed an Instructor Development Course (IDC) that is designed to provide the tools needed for the research, development, and presentation of ethics-based training.  During the inception phase of IDC, the Board conferred with the Alabama Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission (APOST) to produce a program believed to become the "industry standard" for Alabama law enforcement.  APOST was, in fact, represented during the planning of APTA and on the original Board of Directors.  Today, APOST continues to offer advice and encouragement to the organization in support of the common goal of training law enforcement officers.  
     The IDC is held on five consecutive Fridays, as topics progress from: learning behaviors and teaching methods to lesson plans, and from PowerPoint™ to actual presentations.  The demonstration of strategies learned and proficiencies acquired concludes with an instructor-on-student evaluation and critique.  Participants leave as certified instructors with a recording of their presentations for assessment and future improvement.  As an added benefit, the $350 tuition is waived for APTA members.
     The "members only" section of the website, www.apta.us, serves as a forum for members to post biographies and lesson plans.  Members may find course materials or qualified trainers to satisfy a specific need or may offer their own materials and expertise.
     Each year APTA strives to provide year-end training, allowing officers to meet State mandated requirements for Continuing Education Units.   This training is free for members and is offered to non-members for a nominal fee.  In fact, APTA accepts membership applications at the door on the day of year-end training.  By doing so, officers can become members and obtain valuable training at low cost.  
     APTA offers a level of membership for those interested in supporting police training and a level for peace officers actually involved with training duties within their organizations.  A ten-year membership is offered and agencies can enroll multiple members at a reduced rate.  
     Regardless of position or status, you, your agency, and your community can benefit from APTA.  Training is offered, skills are taught, and friendships are developed between criminal justice professionals.  The Alabama Police Trainers Association is an organization in its infancy, with room for anyone wanting to learn, teach others, and reach a higher standard of law enforcement.