Lt. Tammy DeBow
The Training Academy is responsible for providing basic recruit training to all new officers, in-service training to current officers each year and provides other specialized training as needed and is available to keep officers current in new trends in professional policing. The Training Section is also responsible for providing training for the civilian employees of the department, which includes training for police cadets.
On July 10, 2014, 31 recruits graduated from the twenty six week Basic Recruit Academy. The Basic Recruit School consists of the traditional police training including driving, firearm skills, and officer survival courses. This school is unique in that it offers college level courses in Leadership, Cultural Awareness, Communications, Spanish and Ethics to help provide a well-rounded education for Knoxville's future law enforcement officers. Because of the level of training offered during the Basic Recruit School, the Training Academy applied for and was accepted as an Accrediting Agency, which will allow veterans to receive GI Bill benefits for attending the Basic Recruit School. Additionally, officers completing the Basic Recruit School can take advantage of potential college credit hours for their police training. Numerous colleges and universities have evaluated our training course and have offered up to 36 college level credits for its completion.
On December 4, 2004 the Knoxville Law Enforcement Training Academy became the first municipal academy to receive full accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies. This process includes an extensive review of the Academy's Policies, Procedures and Environment and to assure compliance with standards set by the commission. The Academy has since been reaccredited three times, once in 2007, once in 2010, and again in 2013.
The Phil E. Keith Training Center, an East Knoxville facility, (located on Cement Plant Rd.), houses a state of the art firearms center to include: one 30 point, 50-yard pistol range; one 30 point, 20 yard pistol range; one 20 point, 100-yard rifle range with a rappelling and sniper tower. The ranges are equipped with electronic targeting systems controlled wirelessly from the range tower, or on the line. The Phil E. Keith Training Center also houses a state of the art 360 degree indoor live-fire shooting facility. This facility allows officers to utilize weapons, including rifles, inside of a safe environment designed to simulate a typical house or apartment. This structure is the only one of its kind in the area operated by a municipal agency. The facility is also equipped with a 45-person classrooms, a large multi-purpose classroom, and computerized use of force simulator.
Located adjacent to the Phil E. Keith Training Center, is the Don Jones Driving track which includes a sophisticated skid pad, large skills area, and city response course, complete with street signs, markings, and traffic lights. A roadway to simulate highway and interstate driving encircles the track. The track is equipped with lighting for nighttime use and also has a central control point housed within its four-story control tower. This facility has become a regional resource for both government drivers training as well as providing education to the community.