The Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) determines all training requirements for police officers within the Commonwealth. Those requirements applicable to Wintergreen officers are the same as officers employed by governmental agencies and include the following:
- Receive a minimum of 100 hours field training with a trained field training officer.
- Required to successfully graduate from a DCJS certified criminal justice academy and pass the State Competency Exam for police officers in the Commonwealth.
The above at a minimum must be completed within twelve months of hire. Extensions may be requested under certain circumstances for approval by DCJS. The Department presently is a member of the Central Virginia Criminal Justice Academy in Lynchburg, Virginia. The schooling at the academy presently requires 22 weeks for completion.
In addition to the above training requirements, an officer must receive a minimum of 40 hours in-service training every 2 years thereafter. This training includes the requirements of a minimum of 4 hours legal training, 2 hours of cultural diversity and racial profile training and 34 hours of career development training. Most of the required in-service training is completed on- line over the internet with the academy to which the department is a member agency. Annually all officers must receive training in the use of firearms and qualify on a shooting range. At present joint training exercises are conducted with the City of Waynesboro Police Department and the SAW Range located in Augusta County.
The Wintergreen Police Department also requires each patrol officer to receive a minimum of 40 hours dispatcher training so, when necessary due to unforeseen circumstances or emergencies, an officer can dispatch until other alternative solutions are available. The Department requires in-house training in the use of OC spray, ASP and tasers before an officer is allowed to carry and use such tools. This training is in conjunction with use-of-force training and pursuit driving training. Certain officers are trained in the use of radar and must be re-certified every 3 years. Officers who participate in the deer harvesting program receive training and must qualify annually in both day and night shooting with the rifles and night vision equipment.
The Department presently has 3 officers trained as firearms instructors, 1 radar instructor, and 1 report-writing instructor and taser instructor. Instructors participate in academy training, helping to train new officers during the two sessions held each year at the police academy. Instructor requests from the academy generally range from 1 to 8 days per instructor.