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SC – LE – S.C. laws may let officers with ‘insufficient’ training into deadly situations

South Carolina’s code of laws allowed Officer Jackson Winkeler to patrol the Florence Regional Airport and conduct a traffic stop Sunday where he was shot and killed, despite the fact that Winkeler only completed 33% of his basic law enforcement training. While Winkeler was uncertified, or “Pre-Academy,” he was able to perform all of the duties of a fully certified officer while patrolling alone, even though he had not been taught all of the procedures for keeping himself safe on the job. He was scheduled to start training at the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy (SCCJA) on Sunday, exactly one week after he was killed. The ability for uncertified officers to work the streets dates back to 1976, a few years after the SCCJA was set up. Lawmakers at the time passed a bill requiring all newly hired officers to receive certification within a year of their start date. According to SCCJA leaders, that policy continues today. Upon being hired, they said, new officers must complete firearms training, four weeks of online basic law enforcement training at their department and have a scheduled start date with the academy. If they check those three boxes, the academy director said, they are allowed to carry a service weapon in the field.  [full article]

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