WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) – The Waterbury Police Department is changing the way their officers complete recertification training. 

Waterbury Police Chief Fernando Spagnolo signed an agreement with Post University to offer its 300 police officers access to the university’s police recertification online program.

Amanda Nardozzi, the program director for police recertification at Post University said the post-university recertification program was designed to keep police officers in their community functions while allowing the flexibility of getting the training they need on demand.”

Every three years, Waterbury police officers complete the recertification program as required by state law. Officers can now access the training from any device anywhere instead of taking a class in person. 

Course offerings include implicit bias, use of force, and de-escalation training. 

“The more we train our police officers, the better we serve our community, the better equipped we are for situations that may arise,” Chief Fernando Spagnolo said. “Any opportunity we have to create a relationship or think of alternatives to de-escalate an issue where potentially an arrest would be affected or do it in as compassionate way as possible is going benefit the police officers, our department as well as the community.”

This change in training comes as the police department tries to recruit more officers. The department is currently down to 40 officers. Spagnolo is hoping to bring on 15 recruits for Waterbury’s police academy this fall. 

Officers will still be in-person for some training that requires it, such as firearms training and defensive tactics.