DOL regulations make clear that attendance at a bona fide police academy or other training facility, when required by the employing agency, constitutes engagement in law enforcement activities outlined in 29 U.S.C. § 207(k). Therefore, basic and advanced training is considered part of the employee’s law enforcement activities. Time spent in actual training constitutes compensable hours of work.
Time spent studying or in other personal pursuits is not compensable even if the employee is confined to campus, such as at a police academy, 24 hours a day (Wage and Hour Opinion, February 5, 1990). Police officers who attend a police or other training facility are not considered to be on duty during the time they are not in class or training, as long as they are free to use such time for personal pursuits. 29 C.F.R. § 553.226(c).
When officers are assigned to in-service training classes, the time is considered compensable hours of work. In-service pay supplements provided by the state for completing state-mandated in-service training are just that: supplements. The state training supplement payment is not payment for the hours worked. The employer is responsible for compensating the employee for the hours worked during in-service training.