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Thread: Central Virginia Criminal Justice Academy FOIA Results

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    Regular Member Jero1987's Avatar
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    Central Virginia Criminal Justice Academy FOIA Results

    Hello everyone. Long time no see.

    I recently submitted a FOIA request to the Central Virginia Criminal Justice Academy located in Lynchburg, VA. My intention was to not only get an insight on how officers are trained, but also address any mistakes or false information in the material. I requested any training material on the carrying of firearms and firearms law in general. They were very professional and responding in a quick manner. I was sent their course lesson plan for Open Carry. It covers more than just open carry and is a great insight into how law enforcement in my area are being trained. VCDL is mentioned multiple times and has approximately 6 power point slide dedicated to the group.

    I have noticed multiple mistakes as far as law goes and very confusing language used to describe certain laws.

    Please NOTE: I will be addressing these mistakes with the head of CVCJA, Ron Staton. He has been very polite and I make the humble suggestion we do not overload him with emails/letters/etc until he has had time to respond to my emails.

    I will keep you in the loop with his responses.

    Feel free to point out mistakes and list them below. I will bring them to his attention.


    Full Copy of FOIA results: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BxhH...p=docslist_api

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    Regular Member Jero1987's Avatar
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    My personal favorite part of the training is where they state that VCDL members:

    "Feel that they should be treated similar to off duty police officers". (Top of Page 4)

    I personally do NOT feel that way. I just want to be treated like a law abiding citizen.

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Nice job Jero..I read through page 2 and they defiantly need some guidance. My favorite was you can OC Ina vehicle as long as it's in a secure container.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Wow! There is a ton of erroneous information there.

    Not only does the Basic Law Enforcement Course need revision, but so too would I suspect that any in service training would need modification.

    Meanwhile, squad room announcements should be used to fill the time delay gaps.

    With the resources that DCJS has, I am surprised that some of this information wasn't corrected long ago. Course syllabus must be submitted for approval - accuracy is foremost on the agenda.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Regular Member Jero1987's Avatar
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    I would need a lawyer to confirm, but it does say that "ONLY US CITIZENS" can carry a firearm.

    I do believe that is wrong, from what I have seen as long as they have a hunting permit they can carry a firearm.

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Sounds like this would make a good group project. Is this used by all academies?

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    Regular Member Jero1987's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    Sounds like this would make a good group project. Is this used by all academies?
    No, this training material is specific to the Central Virginia Criminal Justice Academy. (www.cvcja.org)
    And as the name states, I believe only departments in Central Virginia go there for training.

    I plan to put in FOIA requests one by one to the rest of the state training academies.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jero1987 View Post
    I would need a lawyer to confirm, but it does say that "ONLY US CITIZENS" can carry a firearm.

    I do believe that is wrong, from what I have seen as long as they have a hunting permit they can carry a firearm.
    The hunting permit only allows carrying a gun with certain limitations while hunting - it is not a substitute for a CHP.

    Legal aliens may qualify for a CHP IF they have been admitted for permanent residence.

    18.2-308.09. Disqualifications for a concealed handgun permit.
    10. An alien other than an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States.
    https://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/leg...od+18.2-308.09
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    Sounds like this would make a good group project. Is this used by all academies?
    Quote Originally Posted by Jero1987 View Post
    No, this training material is specific to the Central Virginia Criminal Justice Academy. (www.cvcja.org)
    And as the name states, I believe only departments in Central Virginia go there for training.

    I plan to put in FOIA requests one by one to the rest of the state training academies.
    No, no, no! There is one standard for all regional academies.

    "September 1, 2012 The Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS), under the direction of the Criminal Justice Services Board, is the policy making body for carrying out the duties and powers relative to criminal justice standards and training. The Department is empowered by the Code of Virginia to establish policy as well as compulsory minimum entry-level, in-service and advanced training standards for criminal justice officers and certified training academies.

    As part of our ongoing goal to provide all members of the criminal justice community current standards and policy, the Criminal Justice Training Reference Manual has been completely revised in content and design. A new highlights of the revision include the online only format to better ensure the content is always current and officers have the same version, elimination of unnecessary duplication of information and the ability to automatically notify users of any changes. The 2012 edition supersedes all previous versions."
    http://www.dcjs.virginia.gov/standar...aining/cjm.pdf

    While the link above is dated 2012, I think it incomprehensible that DCJS would create a checkerboard square of differing training standards.

    You might do better to contact/FOIA central, than each separate academy.
    Last edited by Grapeshot; 02-10-2015 at 02:51 PM.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Last edited by Grapeshot; 02-10-2015 at 03:04 PM. Reason: Double post
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Regular Member Jero1987's Avatar
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    You may be correct. However, I do not know what the scope of DCJS authority is.

    Questions to be answered, can individual academies train on extra material besides what the DCJS standard is?

    Does this specific course (Titled:Open Carry) fall under that scope?

    I will have to clarify that with Mr. Staton when the time comes.

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    I would not waste my time highlighting to them their errors.

    US Citizens only? Really? So the constitution does not apply to all people with feet on US soil? No need for a trial for you Hanz ...


    keep them ignorant.

    The purpose of a FOIA request is so that public gains knowledge.
    Last edited by davidmcbeth; 02-10-2015 at 03:16 PM.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jero1987 View Post
    You may be correct. However, I do not know what the scope of DCJS authority is. DCJS authority is absolute within the confines of the law.

    Questions to be answered, can individual academies train on extra material besides what the DCJS standard is? No.

    Does this specific course (Titled:Open Carry) fall under that scope? Yes as to "under that scope", but it may not be authorized.

    I will have to clarify that with Mr. Staton when the time comes.
    No disrespect intended, but I would not care what Mr. Staton thinks.

    I was a DCJS certified general and police firearms instructor for years. I was monitored periodically and was subject to having my certification yanked if in non-compliance.

    The closest I ever came to skirting the rules/standards was back when one agency had a mandate to "shoot to wound" before it was changed to "shoot to stop." I would point to my forehead and ask the class, "If I shoot you here, what are you." Somebody would always say, "Your dead!" Wrong answer says I..........."You're wounded. Now call for an ambulance."

    The point was made and I was never called down for it.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Regular Member Jero1987's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidmcbeth View Post
    I would not waste my time highlighting to them their errors.

    US Citizens only? Really? So the constitution does not apply to all people with feet on US soil? No need for a trial for you Hanz ...


    keep them ignorant.

    The purpose of a FOIA request is so that public gains knowledge.
    The point is they are training new officers, and those officers are going to act a certain way in public. I would prefer they are trained properly.

    I can't count how many times I have heard police give outright wrong law advise, and heard "my uncle is a cop" legal advise. If they are being trained incorrectly, this will never change.
    Last edited by Jero1987; 02-10-2015 at 03:23 PM.

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    No disrespect intended, but I would not care what Mr. Staton thinks.

    I was a DCJS certified general and police firearms instructor for years. I was monitored periodically and was subject to having my certification yanked if in non-compliance.

    The closest I ever came to skirting the rules/standards was back when one agency had a mandate to "shoot to wound" before it was changed to "shoot to stop." I would point to my forehead and ask the class, "If I shoot you here, what are you." Somebody would always say, "Your dead!" Wrong answer says I..........."You're wounded. Now call for an ambulance."

    The point was made and I was never called down for it.
    Who should it be directed to Grape?

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidmcbeth View Post
    I would not waste my time highlighting to them their errors.

    US Citizens only? Really? So the constitution does not apply to all people with feet on US soil? No need for a trial for you Hanz ...


    keep them ignorant.

    The purpose of a FOIA request is so that public gains knowledge.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jero1987 View Post
    The point is they are training new officers, and those officers are going to act a certain way in public. I would prefer they are trained properly.

    I can't count how many times I have heard police give outright wrong law advise, and heard "my uncle is a cop" legal advise. If they are being trained incorrectly, this will never change.
    David does things his way......according to him. That is not necessarily the Virginia way.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    Who should it be directed to Grape?
    Would suggest Francine C. Ecker, Director via this link: Contact the Director

    That should get one the fastest and most complete response.

    If there is to be a charge, limit the amount you are willing to pay w/o prior approval. They have 5 days to comply.




    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Regular Member Jero1987's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    Would suggest Francine C. Ecker, Director via this link: Contact the Director

    That should get one the fastest and most complete response.

    If there is to be a charge, limit the amount you are willing to pay w/o prior approval. They have 5 days to comply.





    DCJS already has a page dedicated to FOIA requests.
    They aren't handled by Francine.
    http://www.dcjs.virginia.gov/about/foia.cfm

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jero1987 View Post
    DCJS already has a page dedicated to FOIA requests.
    They aren't handled by Francine.
    http://www.dcjs.virginia.gov/about/foia.cfm
    Great - your choice then.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    ....
    With the resources that DCJS has, I am surprised that some of this information wasn't corrected long ago. Course syllabus must be submitted for approval - accuracy is foremost on the agenda.
    Last time I had to submit lesson plans to DCJS they were reviewed as to form. Content was never considered. (I know that back in the day (before dinosaurs roamed the earth and I was still young) they were all over content. That having been dropped I doubt they will ever go back to it - especially as so many of the folks there are covering multiple areas where they may have but a passing knowledge as opposed to expertise.)

    The OC Lesson Plan conforms to form requirements. The instructor has tried to cram both OC and CC issues into one lesson and has failed miserably. The instructor probably had no bad intent but as has been noted the errors and confusion are setting LEOs up for some serious headaches.

    Sadly, LEOs who rely on that period of instruction are going to walk away thanks to qualified immunity because they followed teir course of instruction. The instructor, OTOH, is wide open for liability - but few if any folks are going to dig deep enough in discovery to find out the instructor is to blame for any screw-up the LEO made. Pro tip: Every lesson plan must be signed/dated and attested as to being an accurate and complete record of what trainig was delivered, and have a copy of the class roster attached. I'm too lazy to check the Record Retentions Act to see how long that has to be kept on file. If it's past the retention date an attorney can quiz the current instructor on how/when they prepared the current lesson plan. Excpect the answer to be "I copied it from the one that was in the old files."

    Full disclosure: I was a DCJS-certified instrctor. For stuff in my area of instruction that never ever changed (how to fill out Forms A, B, and C) that's what I did along with every other instructor. For stuff where the law was dynamic I subscribed to several legal bulletins and ran all lesson plan revisions past an Assistant Attorney General who specialized in that area - and had them sign off as to the correctness of the information as of the date they reviewed it.

    stay safe.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

    "No matter how much contempt you have for the media in all this, you don't have enough"
    ----Allahpundit

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jero1987 View Post
    You may be correct. However, I do not know what the scope of DCJS authority is.

    Questions to be answered, can individual academies train on extra material besides what the DCJS standard is?

    Does this specific course (Titled:Open Carry) fall under that scope?

    I will have to clarify that with Mr. Staton when the time comes.
    Lesson plans may "amplify" information or cover material that is not in the DCJS Standard. In order to do they they are sopposed to be submitted to DCJS for vetting and to ensure that the extra material does not reduce the time required for the core instruction.

    Depending on the method of instruction and the depth of instruction it was possible to "cover" the minimum standards information for many subjects in anywhere from half to one-quarter of the time allotted. The additional time usually was used up in review or answering "What if A, What if B" types of questions - which did show the students were awake and thinking.

    stay safe.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

    "No matter how much contempt you have for the media in all this, you don't have enough"
    ----Allahpundit

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidmcbeth View Post
    I would not waste my time highlighting to them their errors.

    US Citizens only? Really? So the constitution does not apply to all people with feet on US soil? No need for a trial for you Hanz ...


    keep them ignorant.

    The purpose of a FOIA request is so that public gains knowledge.
    IGNORANT - a place in the dictionary where one may find david's photo.

    Getting it wrong does not always end with a "Gotcha" moment. And even when it does it may take years and financial resources beyond what the individual can cover, as well as cause irrepairable damage to relationships along with physical and mental health. But heck, that's mere collateral damage. Got to break a few eggs to make an omlet and all that, amirite?

    stay safe.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

    "No matter how much contempt you have for the media in all this, you don't have enough"
    ----Allahpundit

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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    IGNORANT - a place in the dictionary where one may find david's photo.

    Getting it wrong does not always end with a "Gotcha" moment. And even when it does it may take years and financial resources beyond what the individual can cover, as well as cause irrepairable damage to relationships along with physical and mental health. But heck, that's mere collateral damage. Got to break a few eggs to make an omlet and all that, amirite?

    stay safe.
    Skid !


    They aint gonna change nothing .. they are the experts, remember? I'd rather just use the info in testimony before he legislature to show that any testimony that they give is coming from morons.


    Anyone who wants to see an example of showing that an agency is infested with morons, shoot me a PM ... I have some sweet testimony to give soon .. my collection of records and a report is ready for bombing ! Open bomb bay! I'll shoot my portion of testimony meant to make public officials look like total idiots. (its not hard to do lol , cause they are)
    Last edited by davidmcbeth; 02-10-2015 at 04:49 PM.

  24. #24
    Regular Member Jero1987's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    Lesson plans may "amplify" information or cover material that is not in the DCJS Standard. In order to do they they are sopposed to be submitted to DCJS for vetting and to ensure that the extra material does not reduce the time required for the core instruction.

    Depending on the method of instruction and the depth of instruction it was possible to "cover" the minimum standards information for many subjects in anywhere from half to one-quarter of the time allotted. The additional time usually was used up in review or answering "What if A, What if B" types of questions - which did show the students were awake and thinking.

    stay safe.
    I just got off the phone with the DCJS directors office. I was told that individual academies can cover extra material as long as the minimum has been met. For example, my FOIA request would be acceptable because it covers a legitimate topic (although the accuracy suffers).

    Just as I thought I will need to FOIA individual academies to get any extra material, that may or may not be used by that academy.
    Last edited by Jero1987; 02-10-2015 at 05:27 PM.

  25. #25
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    Last time I had to submit lesson plans to DCJS they were reviewed as to form. Content was never considered. (I know that back in the day (before dinosaurs roamed the earth and I was still young) they were all over content. That having been dropped I doubt they will ever go back to it - especially as so many of the folks there are covering multiple areas where they may have but a passing knowledge as opposed to expertise.)

    --snipped--
    That is a danged shame. Leave it to a state agency to screw up what works.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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