The director of the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy this week briefed Governor Branstad on morale at the school after the recent shootings of Des Moines area police officers Justin Martin and Anthony Beminio.
The comments came as director Judy Bradshaw presented her agency’s budget request to the governor and his advisors.
Bradshaw says she gathered students together for a briefing shortly after the assault on the officers.
“It was an incredible conversation and very personal and it’s encouraging because they’re hopeful,” Bradshaw said. “I was struck with the hope that was still in our student’s eyes that they wanted to go out and make a difference.”
Both officers were graduates of the academy. Martin had completed his training just last year.
“There were a lot of students that knew both officers and showed their support,” Bradshaw said. “But it made them stronger and more energized and more willing to go out and to serve.”
Bradshaw told the budget panel they plan to train 9,000 law enforcement personnel over the next two years, up from less than 7,000 over the past two years. She says communities are positioning themselves to fully staff and support their law enforcement.
That includes replacing what Bradshaw calls a bubble of retirees.
“I also think the kinds of specialty training we would like to offer will draw in more trainees,” Bradshaw said.
Bradshaw hopes to create a community outreach program with an additional law enforcement academy instructor position.