Libby police already putting new training budget to good use

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The Libby Police Department has wasted no time in putting to use its new training budget.

Police Chief Scott Kessel thanked the City Council Monday night for approving the $6,000 line item, and as part of his regular monthly report to the governing body discussed recent and upcoming training.

“In the month of September, all the guys went through an online course that gave them 21 hours of state certified training for sexual assault investigations,” Kessel said, noting that he and Sgt. Darren Short “did the same thing on a leadership level.”

In October, he said officers will receive ten hours of online domestic violence training.

Offsite training plans for October include sending a couple officers to attend drug enforcement training and another to learn how to interview, Kessel said.

In previous years the department had no training budget, making it a challenge for the force to fulfill a state mandate requiring officers to receive 40 hours of training very year.

To that end, Kessel said in a June interview he worked with the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department and Troy Police Department to cooperate on training opportunities and make them more affordable to each department.

Kessel also said he made clear his concern about the lack of a training budget when he interviewed to be chief. He was appointed to the position in January.

Councilwoman Peggy Williams said in June that the City Council previously had never had a request for training funds come from the department.

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