Interested in Submitting an Article for the Newsletter? If you are interested in submitting an article for the newsletter, please email Michael Cummings. Articles should be no more than 1,000 words.
Our Job Bank webpage is one of our most viewed pages. To see current job openings, click on this link:https://ncdoj.gov/ncja/job-bank/. If your agency has job openings, please complete the Submit New Job form, and we will be glad to advertise it for you on our website.
Training at NCJA
If you are interested in receiving training at NCJA (in-person or online), make sure you are registered to take classes. Links for registration and a complete listing of courses are below:
NCJA 10-14 is the podcast produced by NCJA. Topics covered include human trafficking, hemp, opioids, human trafficking, and more. Don’t worry if you’ve missed an episode. You can listen or download any time on our website or any place you listen to your podcasts.
NCJA Online Bookstore
As a reminder, you can order materials from our bookstore online. Head on over to the Academy Bookstore to see what’s available. Please remember to stop by to check out the bookstore while on the Salemburg campus. We’ve got a lot of new items, including new Lady V Neck Tees, Chambray button-down shirts, and Ladies’ Tunic Hoodies. We’ve also added toddlers’ t-shirts and a whole lot more! Our 511 line is still 40% off until it’s gone, and we still have everyone’s favorites, our classic T-shirts, sweatshirts, and hoodies, and we have more colors coming.
NCJA Library/Research Center
Did you know that you don’t have to be on the Academy’s campus to take advantage of our available criminal justice resources? If you are interested in researching a topic, click on the NCJA’s Research Center page. Here you will find links to the Criminal Justice Database, NC LIVE, and freely available reports from the Police Foundation, Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), US DOJ Community Oriented Police (COPS), and more. Note: you will need login credentials to access the Criminal Justice Database and NC LIVE, but these credentials can be obtained by contacting the NCJA Library. You can also reach us by phone at 910.926.6016 or 910.926.6090. Additionally, we can loan out materials from the library collection and mail them to you. All you need is a library account. Contact us to set up an account if you don’t have one.
Specialized Instructor Training Courses
Trevor J. Allen, NCJA Director
The North Carolina Justice Academy (NCJA) acknowledges the critical service that Commission-certified Specialized Instructors provide to our many agencies, officers, and stakeholders. To ensure our operational objectives align with the needs of our stakeholders while measuring the growing demands for Specialized Instructors, NCJA leadership is implementing a plan to increase training deliveries for Specialized Instructor qualifications and training courses. NCJA will always remain committed to evolving and adapting to the needs of our stakeholders.
The specialized courses will transition to a new registration process at the time of the 2023 training cycle publication. This publication cycle will occur on September 6, 2022, via the NCJA Acadis Portal. The new process provides one registration point for each specialized instructor course by the calendar year in the form of a “Master List.” This single registration point will create the list of students to fill all future classes during the one-year training cycle. All prospective student names will be organized in one list, date and time-stamped, with all pre-requisite paperwork attached to the student request. Additionally, the student applicant will select the preferred training location at the time of their request. NCJA is confident this updated procedure will allow for more efficient management of Specialized Instructor qualifications and Specialized Instructor training courses while eliminating confusion through duplicate student requests for enrollment, and should also eliminate duplication of work during the enrollment and prerequisite verification process.
Lastly, NCJA asks for your support in our effort to streamline this process. That support is best provided by selecting your most qualified instructor candidates available to attend the Specialized Instructor training programs. This support extends to properly preparing your selected student instructor by investing in practicing and refining their skills prior to attending qualification and training. These efforts will benefit everyone by ensuring that only well-prepared students are enrolled and have the greatest opportunity for success. Thank you for your partnership and trust in NCJA to train and prepare the finest instructor cadre in the United States.
Richard Baric, Instructor/Developer, North Carolina Justice Academy
The North Carolina Justice Academy can assist N.C. Law Enforcement Agencies with their field training program. The academy offers templates in electronic format for Field Training Standard Operating Procedures and FTO Critical Task Instruction Checklists for fifty-five areas of knowledge and proficiency. Agency representatives may acquire the forms by contacting Instructor Richard Baric at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Academy also offers web courses for FTO Supervisor and FTO Instructor. Check the NCJA student website for registration.
NCJA Leadership Certificate Program
Kevin Tingen, Instructor/Developer, North Carolina Justice Academy
Do you know about the NCJA Leadership Certificate Program? If you are a current or aspiring criminal justice leader, the LCP may be just what you’re looking for to aid in personal leadership development. It is a minimum 400-hour pursuit toward leadership excellence. The hours are cumulative based on the completion of specified leadership-based courses through NCJA, with limited credit allowed for leadership courses and programs completed through other recognized schools. Examples of other programs recognized are AOMP, FBI-NA, FBI-LEEDA, West Point Leadership Program, Credible Leadership Modules I-V, and more. If you want to learn more about the LCP, please visit https://ncdoj.gov/ncja/certificate-programs/ncja-leadership-certificate/, or contact Kevin Tingen at email@example.com. Lead well!
NCJA Conducts Forensic Discussions for District Attorneys
Michael Glenn, Instructor/Developer, North Carolina Justice Academy
On Friday, September 16, 2022, NCJA’s Michael Glenn, in partnership with Jonathan Holbrook, Conference of District Attorneys, Deputy Director Elizabeth Patel, and lab experts from the North Carolina State Lab, conducted training for the Conference of District Attorneys on forensic sciences and lab techniques. The training was designed to inform district attorneys on the aspects and nuances of how law enforcement conducts crime scene investigations, collects evidence, and processes items to comply with state lab standards. In addition, lab personnel conducted brief training programs in their areas of expertise and explained how they conduct their examinations and what the findings look like. The training was submitted to the NC Bar Association for CEU credits for attending prosecutors. In attendance were approximately 25+ District Attorneys from around the state.
Topics introduced and discussed included scientific methodology over the frame of reference-based investigations, sequential processing strategies for criminal investigators, and strategies to search crime scenes to include minute to macro items of interest. Additionally, lab personnel introduced forensic testing and demonstrations on subjects including trace, DNA, latent fingerprints, firearms, tool marks evidence, ballistics, and more. Many prosecutors were interested in further breaking down each discipline with more time allotted. In addition, many requested a hands-on course to allow them to understand and see first-hand the techniques discussed. The response to the course was overwhelmingly positive and well-received. The program was intended to open dialogue between the three separate entities involved with criminal offenses and create a working team with all parties sharing equally in future endeavors.
As a result of the open dialogue and discussions, the Conference of District Attorneys is in the preliminary phase of creating brief training videos to teach new prosecutors the nuances of introducing evidence. Furthermore, the conference has expressed a desire to develop courses, in partnership with NCJA, to aid prosecutors in better understanding how law enforcement operates so they can be more proficient in explaining those operations to court officials and juries.
Royce Gracie at NCJA!
Arron Stevens, NCJA Instructor/Developer
Over the past year, NCJA’s Subject Control and Arrest Techniques program has been going through significant revisions to modify the curriculum to assist officers in decision-making regarding the use of force. Various subject compliance techniques and methodologies were researched and tested to identify a more suitable path for humanely handling different levels of resistant individuals.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) has been making waves throughout law enforcement training for several years and is steadily becoming more commonplace within standard practices. As North Carolina moves toward this type of training, what better way to train our instructors from around the state in these techniques and methods than to invite the pioneer of BJJ, Royce Gracie, to the Justice Academy?
Royce Gracie is the son of Helio Gracie, the creator of BJJ, which was founded in 1925. Royce was the first UFC champion when it debuted in 1993. He went on to represent the Gracie family in their introduction of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to the world by winning the championship multiple times. Royce was only scheduled to be at the NCJA East Campus for one week to teach his Gracie Defensive Tactics Instructor Course, but there was such an overwhelming response that all of the seats were sold out in less than a week. Royce graciously agreed to stay a second week to accommodate the considerable interest in the course; this second course also filled up immediately.
This course includes techniques that have been added to the upcoming BLET Pilot program set to be released in 2023 for the newly revised subject control arrest techniques training block. The students enrolled in this course will have a unique opportunity to learn the latest techniques taught by one of the greatest martial arts practitioners of all time. Course offerings such as this will continue to keep the North Carolina Justice Academy at the forefront of training our officers to meet the constantly evolving demands placed upon them.
Academy Graduates New Batch of Challenge Course Instructors
Michael S. Glenn, NCJA Instructor/Developer
In partnership with Signature Research, the North Carolina Justice Academy conducted a new instructor training and certification course for current staff instructors and outside agencies utilizing the Academy’s Challenge course. The program was delivered by Rachel Robinson and Christina Gibbs from Signature Research and lasted from April 11, 2022, to April 14, 2022. The Academy Challenge Course has been designed to develop and promote team-building skills and open forms of communication through problem-solving scenarios, obstacle management, and a myriad of training opportunities. The intent of the course is for the student to transfer their learning back into their individual lives and understand their limitations, work as an effective and involved team member and promote resolution over conflict in problem-solving situations.
New instructor candidates received training on team-building dynamics, educational games, challenge-based events, and problem-solving on individual and team levels. The program aims to promote healthier interactions across team structures and open communication forms to resolve challenges and obstacles individuals and departments encounter. In addition to the dynamic personal education, new candidates received instruction on how to set up and utilize mechanical elements, climbing/rappelling/rescue operations for the forty-foot climbing tower, and how to perform safety inspections, monitoring, and reporting procedures per ACCT (Association of Challenge Course Technologies).
The Challenge Course programs have been developed to foster a team-building atmosphere and address possible blocks individuals may have in personal and community settings. The course promotes communication between individuals and levels of the command structure, encourages problem-solving strategies and how to incorporate them into the student’s professional and personal lives, and challenges the participants to push beyond their perceived limitations. The individual courses and programs have proven to be invaluable assets to both departments and individuals. When appropriately utilized, students undergoing the course operations learn how to listen to others, respect different viewpoints, determine what aspects work and do not work in negotiating obstacles, and create a sense of responsibility in looking after others’ safety, development, and success in team and individual settings.
The course has been utilized by SBI cadets, Wildlife, DMV, Tarheel Challenge, individual police and sheriff’s units, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Explorers, and Burlington At-Risk Youth.
The Academy has utilized the Challenge Course for over two decades and began as part of the Police Corp training center course structure. The Academy Challenge Course has nine low elements: Trust Fall, All-Aboard, Energy Circle, People Pass, Zig-Zag, Tire Swing, Triangle Traverse, Spider-Web, and Twelve Foot Team Climbing Wall. In addition, the course has six high elements performed on the forty-foot climbing tower: Rock Climbing Wall, Postmans Walk, Incline Log, Heebie-Geebies, Flat Log Cross and Open Side Rappell.
All participants performed exceptionally in learning and executing all course elements, operating all course equipment, and developing their personal growth. These talents will translate into the course delivery for future students and law enforcement generations. This specific class of candidates had the highest success rate and completion in comparison to other courses offered in years past.
The Academy is pleased and proud to introduce the new Challenge Course Instructors: (Academy Staff) Scott Grantham, Ramona Higgins, Nathan Bright, Merrily Cheek, Alex Gazaway, Kevin Tingen, Scott Tyson, and Aaron Ligo. In addition, (Outside Agencies) Richard Chase, Jennifer Geisinger, Brandon Potter, Dwight Robinson, Mark Myers, and Jeremy Honeycutt.
The new Challenge Course instructors will join existing instructors Tony Losada, training manager; Michael Glenn, course manager; Russell Strickland, Jennifer Fisher, Floyd Yoder, Cliff Herring, and Damon Wyche in the operation and utilization of the course for future courses.
16th Annual Eastern NC Gang Conference
On Friday, October 7, the 16th Annual Eastern NC Gang Conference was held at the North Carolina Justice Academy. There was a good turnout for the conference, and the keynote speakers were Michael Easley Jr. (U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina) and NCDPS Secretary Eddie Buffaloe Jr. There were discussions and presentations on several topics, including gun violence among youth, gang trends, Project X, and human trafficking and gangs. For more information, see the North Carolina Gang Investigators’ Association.
Building a Legacy: Instilling Conflict Management Skills in Our Mid-Level Managers (Part I of III in a series of short columns)
-Laurie Austen, NCJA Training Manager
There is a great deal to be said today about law enforcement and criminal justice agencies working to build their legacies for the future. Personal and professional relationships have continued to change as individuals rise the ranks at their agencies. It is all well and good to say that supervisors cannot be friends with their subordinates; however, if you were once friends with a coworker, does that end when you get promoted?
Throughout the past couple of years, our field has faced many first-time trials that have definitely separated the true leaders from those who lead by title only. In North Carolina, we felt the impact of the George Floyd incident, multiple other use of force incidents, and let us not forget COVID. When I hear “climate change” on the news, I think about the climate change felt in the law enforcement atmosphere.
This past year brought legislative changes and changes in our vocabulary. We are hearing de-escalation, decertification lists, task forces, racial inequity, and a litany of other terms to create a more customer-friendly law enforcement environment. Interestingly, this timing also brought three (3) task analyses for major certification programs; the Basic Law Enforcement Training, the Detention Officer Certification Course, and the Telecommunicator Certification Course.
Tough times? Perhaps. But maybe they don’t need to be. Maybe we need to re-employ our life skills more robustly. Let’s look at what we already know and put it to the test.
What is a conflict? Conflict can be defined as a “…disagreement through which the parties involved perceive a threat to their needs, interests, or concerns.”(1). If you break down the definition, you will note that several words require some further examination. (2)
The first element of the definition is “disagreement.” Is the disagreement clear, or is there some incorrect perception by one or both of the parties involved in the disagreement?
The second element of the definition is “parties.” Who are the parties that are involved? What is the relationship between those involved? Sometimes we believe an individual is involved in the conflict and is unaware it exists. Conversely, as a supervisor, we may not know that someone is involved that does have a vested position in this conflict.
The third element of the definition is “threat.” When we say this word in law enforcement, it is a serious issue. When someone is in conflict, they may feel very threatened, and we can use this as a guideline for our approach to the situation. Real threats and perceived threats can be very different.
The fourth and final element in the definition of conflict is “needs.” Needs may equate to the interests or concerns of the parties involved. We tend to look at conflict from a “narrow” perspective. It is essential to understand that agency conflicts can be very complex, involving emotions and relationships.
Now that we have looked at what a conflict is let’s look at conflicts that can occur in the workplace. “According to psychologists Art Bell and Brett Hart, there are eight common causes of conflict in the workplace. Bell and Hart identified these common causes in separate articles on workplace conflict in 2000 and 2002.”(3). Using Bell and Hart’s causes of conflict, here are some thoughts applying to typical types of law enforcement conflict.
Conflicting resources – Bell and Hart identify conflicting resources as supplies, equipment, and physical space. One of the first things that may come to mind for me is that of an agency receiving new vehicles. Right from the beginning, you can hear the chatter in the parking lot about who is due for which new vehicle. Unless your agency has a clear policy for the dissemination of equipment, this is a situation that can stir the conflict. (4)
Conflicting styles – Bell and Hart refer to the employees’ work styles. Some employees work diligently and at a regular pace. Some officers may wait until the last minute, citing how they work well “under pressure.” These two work styles can come into conflict. An example might be the officer that needs overtime to complete reports at the end of the shift. Did that officer wait until the end of the shift to get his paperwork done, hoping to score some overtime pay, or were they that busy that it could not be completed during the shift? Do certain officers wait to clear from calls until their incident reports are completed, even when calls are pending? (5)
Conflicting perceptions – How do officers see things through their personal lens? Are turf wars and gossip issues a concern for management? Do certain officers seem to have more information than others because they have the office politics to get that information? (6)
Conflicting goals – This is where employees are getting mixed messages about what is essential. This can occur when management is not consistent in delivering a message. All supervisors must relay the same information to the officers about how the chief or sheriff would like things done. How many managers do you have in your agency, and are they all delivering the same message? (7)
Conflicting pressures – Bell and Hart indicate that this usually involves an urgent task. As in the conflicting goals above, much of this conflict may stem from differences in the communication between the supervisor(s). Is this response as urgent a request from one supervisor as it is from another? (8)
Conflicting roles can occur when a person is asked to step up and take on a task that falls under someone else’s usual area of responsibility. Real or perceived, stepping into someone else’s area may threaten the parties involved. (9)
Different personal values – What happens when someone asks you to complete a task that makes you feel uncomfortable or is outside your ethical beliefs, yet this individual is a coworker or a supervisor? (10)
Unpredictable policies – Change is inevitable. As policies and procedures are developed and disbursed among the agency’s personnel, conflict can arise when communication of the change is unclear. Any confusion can have a traumatic impact on the agency, up to and even including a lawsuit. (11)
Understanding what can create conflict is the first step in attempting to prevent it, manage it, or work for resolution. In this Part II of this series, there will be an examination of how individuals respond to conflict.
“About Conflict.” Madison, WI: Academic Leadership Support, Office of Quality Improvement and Office of Human Resource Development. [On-line]. Available at: https://www.ohrd.wisc.edu/onlinetraining/resolution/aboutwhatisit.htm. [January 2017].
“Bell and Hart’s Eight Causes of Conflict: Understanding the Causes of Workplace Tension.” MindTools. [On-line]. Available at: https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/eight-causes-conflict.htm [January 2017].
- About Conflict, para. 1.
- About Conflict, para. 1.
- Bell and Hart’s Eight Causes of Conflict, para. 7.
- Bell and Hart’s Eight Causes of Conflict, para. 10-13.
- Bell and Hart’s Eight Causes of Conflict, para. 14-16.
- Bell and Hart’s Eight Causes of Conflict, para. 17-20.
- Bell and Hart’s Eight Causes of Conflict, para. 21-23.
- Bell and Hart’s Eight Causes of Conflict, para. 24-26.
- Bell and Hart’s Eight Causes of Conflict, para. 27-29.
- Bell and Hart’s Eight Causes of Conflict, para. 31-34.
- Bell and Hart’s Eight Causes of Conflict, para. 35-38.