OPD Training Unit

Sgt. J. D. Winkler

Sgt. J. D. Winkler

Sgt. J. D. Winkler, Training Unit Supervisor

The Owensboro Police Department Training Unit Supervisor, Sgt. J. D. Winkler, is under the direction of the Support Division Commander, Major Tim Clothier.

Sgt. Winkler exercises supervision and has staff responsibility over matters within the jurisdiction of the police training and education.


The Training Unit coordinates, develops and conducts training programs for the police department. This includes recruit and in-service training. The Training Unit conducts training in the areas of firearms, physical fitness, self-defense, officer survival, interpersonal skills, legal issues and current topics.

Police Training and Education Responsibility

  • Coordination of DOCJT training for police recruits
  • Developing and maintaining a comprehensive program of professional and technical training for members of the department by conducting classes and promoting training opportunities outside the department
  • Providing in-service schools for Veteran officers
  • Consistently monitor training and update to better prepare officers
  • Ensuring departmental compliance with the rules and regulations of state, federal and departmental law enforcement training
  • Maintain a firearms training and qualifications program, weapons inspection, and issuance of appropriate equipment
  • Reviewing and evaluating policies, curricula, and program delivery
  • Ensuring compliance with established criteria and effectiveness of instruction for all department sponsored training programs
  • Assessing existing training programs
  • Reviewing criteria for implementing new training programs
  • Designing general methods of evaluating the effectiveness of training in the field
  • Formulating recommendations for improvements in short and long term retention of instruction
  • Verifying compliance and effectiveness of all training programs and approaches
  • Researching methods to improve instructional and learning processes
  • Formulating strategies to aid in training methods and content of instruction
  • The product evaluation process and selection of safety and tactical equipment as well as the weapons systems for all general purpose field use
  • The research, development, and administration of training which includes recruit, lateral and training officer training
  • Contracting with specialized schools and outside contractors as required
  • Advising department of current developments in educational methodology applicable to police training
  • Maintaining contact with professional associations to keep abreast of the latest developments in the training and education field.

Recruit Training

The OPD Training Unit is responsible for coordination of DOCJT training recruit officers . Recruit training is conducted by the State of Kentucky DOCJT in Richmond for the Owensboro Police Department. Recruits are hired after an indepth selection process and are required to attend state recruit training for 18 weeks.

Recruits receive training in the following disciplines:

  • Criminal and Constitutional law
  • Officer Survival Training
  • Firearms Training
  • Mechanics of Arrest Training
  • Traffic Accident Investigation
  • First Responder Certification
  • Report Writing
  • Defensive and Pursuit Driving
  • Diversity Training
  • Investigation
  • Physical Training
  • C.P.R. (Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation)
  • Myriad of Other Subjects

After Graduation

New officers are on probation for 18 months while they train/patrol with Police Training Officers. They ride with assigned PTO’s for 4 months. During probation the new officers will be required to work varying shift hours in designated patrol areas of the city. A scheduled evaluation process between all the PTO’s and Patrol supervisors is held at the end of each training phase and at the end of the new officer’s probationary period to decide whether to keep the officer, extend probation, or terminate employment.

In-Service Training

The OPD Training Unit administers in-service training for veteran officers. Training is consistently monitored and updated to better prepare officers for any problem they may encounter.

In-service training consists of forty hours of mandatory yearly retraining. An extra 16 hours is devoted to firearms training/qualification (low light, cover, multiple subjects, handgun and shotgun training). Updates in criminal/constitutional law, diversity, management, officer survival, child sexual abuse, administrative issues, verbal confrontation management, arrest procedures, and inspections are part of the topics covered. A written test is administered at the end of the week training and the officers must make a passing score.

Officers must qualify with any firearm they carry twice yearly. Additional practice on the officer’s own time is encouraged throughout the year. Officers failing to pass firearms tests are brought back for remedial training.

Continuing Education Division Current Projects

Continuing Education Division is currently involved in several long-range training projects for the department. One project is continuing education, which will ensure quality and consistency in the presentation of consent decree and POST mandated training topics.

The OPD Training Unit has also developed an Arrest and Control curriculum to train officers how to safely take combative suspects into custody.

All recruit and in-service training is approved and monitored by the Department of Criminal Justice Training (DOCJT).

For information on Employment, please click on the below link
OPD Recruitment