During the 1981 regular legislative session the Mississippi Legislature enacted a bill to establish standards for the employment, training and education of law enforcement officers. Governor William Winter signed the “Law Enforcement Officers Training Program (LEOTP) Act” in April of 1981, and the law became effective 1 July 1981.
The Law Enforcement Officers Training Program established the Board on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Training (BLEOST) to implement the law and its provisions. The Act directed the Criminal Justice Planning Commission to provide the Board with administrative and fiscal support and designated the Executive Director of the Commission to serve as staff director of the Board on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Training. Since 1981, the Commission has changed its form several times. Currently, the Commission is known as Public Safety Planning, a division of the Department of Public Safety.
Governor Winter and the 1981 Legislature recognized that the activities of law enforcement officers are important to the health, safety and welfare of the people of the state. Within many communities, the law enforcement officer represents government and may in fact be the only contact for a large segment of the population. As a result, the modern law enforcement officer has a far reaching complex role in society. The scope of duties performed by law enforcement officers in our communities has been greatly expanded in recent years by changing demographic factors, rising crime rates and society’s expectations.
The objective of the Board is to insure that law enforcement candidates are selected according to high standards of education, fitness and morals. Once selected, the Board insures that these candidates have the best preparation feasible to enable them to carry out their duties in a manner that protects the health, safety and welfare of all citizens of this state. By coordinating and developing training programs both at the beginning of and during an officer’s career, the Board strives to keep the law enforcement officer abreast of current developments and capable of satisfying the ever increasing needs of society.
The Law Enforcement Officers Training Program (LEOTP) authorized the establishment of a fine assessment system to insure adequate funding for the program. The assessment is added to all court imposed fines and orders of bail forfeiture as a penalty for violation of criminal laws of the state or criminal ordinances of municipalities and counties (excluding parking violations). Fine assessments are collected by the courts and then forwarded to the State Treasurer for deposit.
The majority of the Board’s activities are directed toward training. Approximately ninety percent of the current budget is devoted to this activity which encompasses training in Board approved courses, in-service training and maintenance of the law enforcement audio-visual library. Training has proven to be invaluable in insuring that our law enforcement officers are capable of meeting the complex needs of the communities they serve.
Of the ninety percent of appropriated funds, the majority of the training funds expended are monies that go directly to the law enforcement agencies to offset the cost of mandated training. The agencies represent all facets of law enforcement endeavor in the state.
Policies and Procedures
The “Professional Certification Policy and Procedures Manual” located in the navigation menu, describes the policies and procedures the BLEOST has established concerning the employment of law enforcement officers in Mississippi. This manual is promulgated pursuant to authority granted the Board on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Training by Chapter 474, General Laws of Mississippi, Section 4. The policies and procedures therefore have the force and effect of law and are written for the guidance of heads and personnel officers of law enforcement agencies whose personnel come under the jurisdiction of the LEOTP.
Board Approved Firearms Training Courses, Target List and Scoring Procedures
Current Board approved firearms training standards.