Recapturing Peace Officer Training Costs
A common scenario that we hear from our cities about is when an eager peace officer is hired and later takes a job with another law enforcement agency. Generally, this is after completing his Department of Criminal Justice Training, but before his initial contract with the city expires. What are the city’s options to recapture the peace officer’s training costs?
KRS §70.290 deals with the reimbursement of a law enforcement agency when a peace officer accepts employment with another agency while under contract. At first glance, the statute can appear to be very confusing. In actuality, it is a fairly straightforward prorated calculation that takes into account the training costs provided by the Department of Criminal Justice Training.
City police departments may, as a condition of employment, require a newly hired police officer who will participate in the Kentucky Law Enforcement Foundation Fund Program to enter into an employment contract for a period not to exceed three years from the date of graduation from the Department of Criminal Justice Training or other training approved by the Kentucky Law Enforcement Council.
If a peace officer who has entered into a contract authorized by the statute accepts employment with another law enforcement agency, the subsequent agency has to reimburse the initial agency that hired the officer for the actual costs associated with the initial hire (application process, training costs, equipment costs, salary, fringe benefits, etc.). The initial law enforcement agency hiring the peace officer must be reimbursed for the costs from the time of the officer’s initial application until graduation from the Department of Criminal Justice Training.
The reimbursement amount must be prorated by the amount of time that the officer actually completed of the employment contract. In addition, after the pro rata amount is determined, the reimbursement amount must be further reduced by the cost of the officer training provided by the Department of Criminal Justice Training.
If a officer has been employed by a state law enforcement agency for three years or less and is hired away by a city, the city must reimburse the state law enforcement agency for the costs of the initial hiring (application process, training costs, equipment costs, salary, fringe benefits, etc.). The state law enforcement agency must be reimbursed for costs from the time of the officer’s initial application until graduation from the Kentucky Law Enforcement Council-approved training academy. Again, the amount of reimbursement must be prorated based on a percentage of time that the peace officer was employed by the state agency.
As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact KLC Member Legal Services at 800.876.4552.