OIG finds limited cooperation in DHS component and law enforcement training

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An audit by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) found that Department of Homeland Security (DHS) components’ collaboration on virtual law enforcement training simulators is limited.

The OIG said the components are not always aware of other DHS components’ research, procurement, capabilities, or availability of virtual law enforcement training simulators.

The September 2018 DHS Use of Force Policy requires that the Office of Strategy, Policy, and Plans, in consultation with DHS components employing officers and law enforcement officers (LEOs) , establish a DHS Use of Force Council to provide a forum through which components can share lessons learned regarding use of force policies, training, and oversight.

But the OIG found that DHS has experienced delays and challenges in implementing initiatives that could lead to better collaboration and resource mobilization across the Department. In September 2021, DHS established the Law Enforcement Coordinating Council, which coordinates department-wide law enforcement issues in training and policy. However, this initiative and others did not always include all relevant offices and components, such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Without additional coordination on virtual training activities, OIG says DHS faces challenges in training LEOs and may limit potential cost savings.

Additionally, the audit found that the United States Secret Service did not have a system to track use of force incidents. According to the DHS Use of Force Policy, “DHS components employing LEOs shall establish internal processes to collect and report accurate data on component use of force activities.” Without a system to track use-of-force incidents, the OIG says the Secret Service is unable to effectively assess use-of-force activities, conduct meaningful trend analysis, or take corrective action. appropriate, such as providing additional training.

Among other recommendations, the OIG called on DHS law enforcement task forces, councils, or similar coordinating bodies to include assessments of the use of virtual training simulators to include research, purchases, usage, best practices and opportunities to leverage existing resources.

Read the full report on OIG

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