Two South Texas Police Academies Investigated for Brutality

One incident involved video of an instructor “violently” slapping down trainees.

By Alexandra Hart & Laura RiceJune 6, 2016 11:00 am

Two Texas police academies in the Rio Grande Valley have been temporarily shut down as the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement investigates allegations of excessive brutality in the training of future police officers.

The facilities – the Lower Rio Grande Academy in Harlingen and Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office Training Academy – were involved in unrelated incidents. Gretchen Grigsby, Director of the Office of Government Relations at the commission, says that they received several reports of practices that compromised safety of trainees.

“We want to be sure that cadets are safe in their academies, and the academies are meeting the standards of their contract with us that allows them to operate,” Grigsby says.

Reports say that some instructors were instructing cadets to hit each other at “80 to 100 percent” of full-strength blows. Grigsby says that standards outlined by the commission aren’t that specific in their guidelines, but they expect trainees to be able to deal with the job’s responsibility without significantly injuring themselves in the process.

“They are in that training expected to develop their own sense of really their own sense of what’s appropriate at what time, and that’s part of what the instructors are responsible for,” Grigsby says.

Listen to the full interview in the audio player above.