New training standards that require annual continuing education training in de-escalation techniques and recognizing implicit bias for law enforcement officers have been approved on an emergency basis by the Missouri Secretary of State’s office, and will become effective Jan. 1st of 2021. The new standards will require one hour of continuing education training in de-escalation and one hour in implicit bias for officers to maintain their licenses. Those standards were approved by the Missouri Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Commission on October 5th.

As required by state statute, the new POST training rules had to be filed with the Secretary of State and the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules. The normal rule making process could not have been completed in time for the new training requirements to take effect in 2021. The emergency approval means they can be implemented on an expedited basis. While the rules are in effect on an emergency basis, the normal rulemaking process and public comment period will occur. After the process is completed, the changes may become permanent.

Missouri law enforcement officers must complete 24 hours of annual continuing education training to maintain their licenses. The POST Commission’s action on Oct. 5 required the one hour each in de-escalation and implicit bias training be part of each officer’s 24 hours of annual training, not in addition to it.

The Commission is scheduled to next meet in Jefferson City on Dec. 15, 2020.