The offices of the Municipal Police Officers' Education and Training Commission (MPOETC) are currently operating remotely due to the statewide response to COVID-19. While all functions related to municipal police officer certifications are still being conducted, users may experience delays due to communications issues and limited access by staff members to certain resources required for processing applications. Below is some additional information addressing specific concerns related to obtaining and maintaining certification as a police officer during this situation.
Most if not all municipal police academies have cancelled classroom-based in-service (MIST) training classes. Despite this, police officers certified by MPOETC will continue to have access to MIST classes on the PA Virtual Training Network (PAVTN.net). Certified officers or their departments should follow instructions on the PAVTN website to request an account. Training that is completed on PAVTN automatically transfers to TACS for use by MPOETC to satisfy mandatory training requirements. There is no cost to access and use PAVTN for this training. Cancellation of in-class MIST instruction will not be considered a valid reason for failing to complete 2020 MIST requirements.
Initially MPOETC extended CPR/AED/First Aid expiration dates for all officers scheduled to expire between March 16, 2020 and June 30, 2020. New information indicates the American Heart Association is extending certifications for 120 days beyond their scheduled renewal dates and the American Red Cross is offering a free, provisional on-line course good for a 120-day extension of certification.
No accommodations are being made regarding firearms qualification at this time. Officers will have until the end of 2020 to complete their annual firearms qualification.
Previously scheduled certification examinations were cancelled and MPOETC is currently conducting weekly certification examinations for smaller groups of officers. Hired officers and individuals with conditional offers of employment have priority. All individuals participating in testing will be required to adhere to state-mandated social distancing measures that include wearing a mask while testing. Individuals may sign up for testing using the Training and Certification System.
Waiver applications for officers who have completed all required training and are eligible for certification will continue to be processed, while applications to attend training, and the training activities of most academies, are delayed to varying degrees. Of special note, tele-health examinations for purposes of psychiatric review for Act 120 academy enrollment and certification will be permitted for the duration of the COVID-19 state of emergency, as long as they comply with guidance from the American Psychological Association (https://www.apa.org/practice/guidelines/telepsychology) and the requirements for telemedicine under HIPAA.Please contact the training staff (firstname.lastname@example.org) or certification staff (email@example.com) with any questions you may have.