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Management Counseling, Leadership Development
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Melanie Dunn
(916) 227-3908

Mike Davies
(916) 227-4892

Command College Program


The Law Enforcement Command College is an 18-month program designed to prepare law enforcement leaders of today for the challenges of the future. The program focuses on:

  • Leadership principles needed to influence the future direction of the organization
  • Strategies to identify emerging issues and provide a proactive response
  • Skills and knowledge necessary to anticipate and prepare for the future
  • Methods and benefits of sharing information
  • Use of stakeholders in problem solving

The primary goal of the Command College is to provide an enhanced leadership course with a futures perspective to prepare the law enforcement leaders of today to lead into the future. The program has an emphasis on adult learning theories, placing accountability and responsibility on the student.

Involvement in community and professional activities, an understanding of the dynamics of leadership, an understanding of issues and concerns facing the future of California law enforcement, letters of reference attesting to the applicant's leadership abilities, and knowledge of computers at the word processing level are minimum requirements for participation in the Command College.

Participants in the program must be nominated by their agency chief executive and will be selected by an interview panel of law enforcement leaders, which include Chief Executives and Command College graduates from throughout California.

Sections of the application correspond to the criteria used by the interview panel to select participants. Those selected to the Command College will be on a first-come, first-served basis as established by the date the application is received by POST.

  • Additional information is available in the Command College brochure.
     

Requirements

Applicants must meet minimum experience requirements at the time the application is submitted.

All Applicants

  • Be currently employed in a management position or higher, as determined by POST, with an agency in the POST regular or specialized program
  • Have a minimum of two years experience in a leadership position (comparable to a lieutenant or higher) with the ability to influence policy or impact the operation of the agency
  • Be involved in community and professional activities
  • Possess basic word processing skills and the ability to conduct research on the Internet
  • Be able to express an understanding of the dynamics of leadership in a law enforcement agency, both in writing and verbally
  • Display interest in major issues and concerns facing the future of California law enforcement
  • Receive a written nomination by your agency chief executive to attend the program
  • Receive a written recommendation from a leader in your community who can provide first-hand knowledge of your leadership skills
  • Complete and submit a comprehensive POST application packet
  • Be interviewed by a panel of Command College graduates and receive their recommendation to attend the program
  • Agree to stay at the course site during each session
  • Commit to remain in law enforcement for a minimum of three years after completion of the Command College program
     
Sworn Peace Officers
  • Be eligible for a POST Management Certificate
     
Professional Staff and Correctional Staff
  • Have completed the POST Management Course, OR
  • Have completed the POST Civilian Management Course and the POST Advanced Civilian Management Course, or equivalent as determined by POST

Application Process

Applications are now being accepted for Class 58 starting on December 7, 2014.  Deadline for applications is Friday, August 8, 2014.  Applications are received on a first-come first-served basis.   View Class 58 Schedule.

Command College is a leadership and futures-oriented course designed for management level law enforcement officers and professional staff in the state of California. Attendees are selected by a panel of previous graduates and must agree to attend all the classes and complete a futures study project and article by the end of the course.

Command College is an 18-month program consisting of six one-week bi-monthly sessions with a final culmination session occurring about 6 months after the sixth session. Students are instructed by distinguished lecturers and experts in various futures-related fields. Students reside at the course location during each session.

The Command College Application Package consists of:

California law enforcement professionals wishing to apply to the program must send a completed Command College Package to the Commission on POST, 1601 Alhambra Blvd., Sacramento, CA 95816-7083, Attention: Management Counseling, Leadership Development. Applications are accepted on a continuous basis.

Upon receipt of the application, applicants will be sent a letter confirming that their package was received.

Futures Portfolio Guidelines

Through the course of the Command College, the student will be required to complete a series of reports, letters and similar documents as evidence of their learning. The sum of these research reports will be contained in the student’s Futures Portfolio. The Futures Portfolio is required for all students, and it will demonstrate their understanding and application of skills, knowledge and abilities in the three core areas of emphasis of the Command College:

  • Futuring and Strategic Foresight – the skills and tools necessary to scan the organizational, transactional and global environment for the trends and events that may impact law enforcement, and then how to form strategies to capitalize on opportunities and deflect obstacles to achieve organizational and community success
  • Executive development – the concepts, skills and tools used by individuals and organizations to create strategic plans and then enact them in an organizational setting. These skills include strategic planning, transition management, leadership, employee development and management and related skills
  • Systems, Design and Innovation – these constructs underpin the way organizations interact and react to their environment, and also provide a framework to think beyond current norms to develop creative solutions and innovative approaches to chronic problems
     

The Futures Portfolio’s elements are:

  1. The completion of an environmental scanning assignment and related forecasts in each of the five STEEP categories in the student’s professional transactional environment
  2. The completion of a critical thinking assignment consisting of evaluating published work and discerning appropriate responses and counter-claims to the thesis of the work
  3. The completion of an emerging issues paper that requires the student to use STEEP data to identify and research an merging issue of relevance to law enforcement in the next 10-15 years
  4. The completion of significant data collection and reporting on that data, including the use of nominal group panels, interviews, survey instruments and similar means
  5. The completion of a scenario paper using data collected, which will result in a baseline forecast for the emerging issue, a baseline scenario, and at least three alternate scenarios
  6. The completion of a strategic plan grounded in the issues identified in the four scenarios created previously
  7. The completion of a change management plan
  8. The creation of a capstone report and executive summary, noting the elements of the Futures Portfolio, their relevance to law enforcement, areas of future study and implications for the future
  9. Authoring a journal article suitable for publication in a professional publication in general circulation

The Futures Portfolio will be constructed in a sequence, following instruction in each element. It will be managed and directed by a member of faculty, and each element will have a structured format to help the student focus on creativity and outcomes instead of process and the length of any report.

Article Objectives

After the completion of the Futures Portfolio, Students are required to produce a written body of work on an emerging issue studied by each student during the development of their Futures Portfolio. This work is in the form of a professional article, and must be completed and approved by POST before students will be given credit for course completion. Completed articles will be submitted to a magazine or periodical in general circulation by the student as a requirement of completing the program.

The guidebook, "Writing Your Command College Article" (pdf) created by the Course Manager (who is also a Command College graduate) to help students through the writing process. The guidebook is written to logically present the skills in a sequence that will help students work from one step to another with a minimum of redundant work, and in a fashion that allows the student to construct the components of their article, then link them together to form the finished work.

The purpose of the Article is to provide an opportunity to share the work and knowledge of Command College students with others. It provides a means by which members of the student’s agency can be informed of, and subsequently prepare for, alternative futures. The issues selected and forecasted by the students are also of interest to law enforcement professionals and futurists throughout the United States and other countries. Providing information in an informative and readable document is of value for strategic planning, policy development, and other purposes.

The objectives of the article work are to demonstrate the ability to:

  • Create and complete a journal article of 2,000 words suitable for publication in a periodical in general circulation
  • Conduct original research, and then using that research as a foundation for the article
  • Consolidate trends, data, and related information and evaluate their significance to assess the possible future states of an issue of relevance to the policing profession
  • Forecast possible trends to create baseline and alternate scenarios from which to plan an agency’s actions, and then relate these options to readers as a part of their journal article
  • Synthesize the various sources researched into a logical flow and framework to add the student’s research to the professional dialog of law enforcement command and management

CC Network

The CC Network is a Course Management System created specifically for the Command College program. The resources are available to current Command College students and graduates who are registered subscribers.

For current classes it will be the way to stay abreast of current and upcoming sessions, submit work and retrieve instructor documents.

Command College graduates may use this resource to stay in contact with other alumni and keep abreast of the program and its work.

To become a registered subscriber of this network you must:

From our POST home page:

  • Use the ‘sign in’ button in the upper right hand corner.
  • Fill in your POST ID, last 4 of your social, last name and birth year.
    • Once you login you should see in the upper right-hand corner "signed in as: your name".
  • After completing the sign in process please email WebRequest@post.ca.gov.
    • In the body of the email please indicate your POST ID and which Command College class number you are currently enrolled in.
    • You will not receive an email confirmation when you have been added to the Command College Network. You will be granted access within 48 business hours.
    • Once the access is granted you can login to the CC Network by using the same login instructions above.
    • With this access to the Network you can now log in and hover over the 'Training Tab' and click on the CC Network in the drop down menu.

Academic Credit Towards Masters Degree

The POST staff continues to collaborate with institutions of higher learning to enable our graduates to apply their Command College experience toward a master’s degree. The information is provided here for the convenience of our students and graduates. It is the student’s responsibility to obtain additional information about the universities, their accreditation, applicable programs, and financial requirements prior to enrolling.

Recent Alumni

Class 54 Graduation

Commencement ceremonies were held on May 2, 2014 for Command College Class 54. Congratulations to the graduating students, their families, and their agencies!
 
  • Assistant Chief T. Brock Avery, Ventura Police Department
  • Lieutenant Jaime Bermudez, El Segundo Police Department
  • Deputy Chief Ken Bernard, Sacramento Police Department
  • Lieutenant Michael E. Ciszek, Claremont Police Department
  • Captain Mark D. D'Arelli, California Highway Patrol
  • Captain Gregory J. Davis, Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office
  • Lieutenant Bernie Escalante, Santa Cruz Police Department
  • Lieutenant William B. Griffin, San Francisco Police Department
  • Chief Gregory Herrington, McFarland Police Department
  • Records Administrator Agnes Livingston, Fremont Police Department
  • Lieutenant Mark Manley, Costa Mesa Police Department
  • Captain Scott McDonald, Bakersfield Police Department
  • Debbie Richeson, San Diego State University Police Department
  • Lieutenant David W. Risley, Sacramento Police Department
  • Lieutenant David J. Santos, San Jose Police Department
  • Assistant Sheriff Matthew Schuler, Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office
  • Captain Kenneth G. Semko, Santa Monica Police Department
  • Lieutenant Monica Serros, San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office
  • Lieutenant Scott A. Sheppeard, Imperial County Sheriff's Office
  • Captain Chris Simmons, Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office
  • Lieutenant Jeffrey K. Taylor, Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety
  • Lieutenant Ivan Y. Tien, California Highway Patrol
  • Assistant Sheriff Mark Williams, Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff
  • Lieutenant Anthony Yoakum, Upland Police Department


Awards

Class Speaker: Lieutenant Mark Manley
Outstanding Faculty Award: Andy Hines
Dorothy Harris Award: Captain Chris Simmons
Hank Koehn Award: Captain Scott McDonald
Futures Portfolio Presentation: Lieutenant Jaime Bermudez

Class 55 Graduation Schedule

Commencement ceremonies are scheduled for Command College Class 55 at 9:00 a.m. on September 19, 2014 at the Double Tree in San Diego- Mission Valley.

Testimonials

Graduates of Command College consistently provide highly positive feedback of their experience and recommend the program to other law enforcement executives. Here are comments from a few of our graduates.

“I strongly endorse the POST Command College experience for current and future law enforcement leaders. The unique and insightful perspectives of the presenters and fellow students challenged me to think about and consider emerging issues which can have an impact on how law enforcement professionals deliver services and accomplish their mission in spite of a multitude of challenges. Meeting and collaborating with other law enforcement leaders during the course was invaluable and has carried on long after graduation. I will continue to send future CHP leaders to this course and I enthusiastically recommend this challenging and thought provoking program for all law enforcement personnel in leadership positions.”
 

Joseph A. Farrow
Commissioner
California Highway Patrol


“Law enforcement executives have busy lives and are constantly reacting to one problem or another. We become experts in problem solving, but we also get tunnel vision and rarely see beyond our own city. There is a big world out there made much smaller today by the technology and communication available, but how many of us spend the time researching and looking ahead to see how technology, computer viruses, various diseases, immigration, the economy, and other issues will affect law enforcement? Leadership courses commonly ask us to look five years ahead and make goals, but what about looking ten, fifteen, even twenty years down the road and doing a little pre-planning for our successors? After attending Command College and investing 18 months in, at times, challenging course work, I now look ahead and much further afield than Northern California. For years I had talked myself out of attending Command College and justified my decision with numerous excuses. It would have been simple to have continued to do that, but I made a ‘command’ decision and survived to tell the tale. Eighteen months of hard work has left me wiser, better informed, with many more contacts and some life long friends. In addition, I take pride in knowing I have achieved something that benefits both me and the profession.”

Gina Haynes
Lieutenant
Sacramento Police Department


“The Command College experience has been extremely beneficial to me during my time as a Law Enforcement Executive. It has provided me with insight into a number of different issues. Perhaps the most important aspects of the program include strategic thinking and relationship issues. The networking opportunities throughout Command College are extraordinary. The Command College changes the way one thinks. Although no one can predict the future, it is very helpful to identify trends and events that allow us to help ‘shape the future’ of our profession. The instructors in the program are high quality and promote very critical thinking. I would recommend Command College to any Law Enforcement Executive who is interested in developing their skills and networking with other Law Enforcement leaders throughout the State. There is no doubt in my mind that this is one of the most beneficial training experiences available today.”

Donald Pedersen
Chief of Police
Culver City Police Department


“Attending the Command College has had a profound effect on my career and the way I view the world around me, both personally and professionally. Command College’s emphasis on futures study and the management of organizational change has made me much better able to both accurately anticipate and direct the changes demanded of the law enforcement profession by today’s evolving society. The Command College faculty is among the best and the brightest in their fields, representing organizations as diverse as the International Futurists Society and the United States Naval Postgraduate School. Tools used and study conducted in furtherance of my chosen research project have already resulted in enhanced service delivery to our allied law enforcement agencies and to the citizens of Marin County.

Command College is an intense 18 month graduate level program that challenges you academically and professionally, but be assured, the people you will meet and the skills you develop will carry with you for the rest of your law enforcement career.”

Michael Ridgway
Captain
Marin County Sheriff’s Department


Recently Published CC Articles

One of the capstone experiences in the Command College is authoring a professional journal article to capture the outcomes of the students’ research project.  The purpose of the journal article is to explore an important topic that will affect the future of law enforcement operations or service.  Some of the recently published articles are listed below. You may also search all Command College Articles in the Library On-Line Catalog.

 

Captain Chris Simmons (Class 54) Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff
Does College Matter?  The Future of Educated Officers
The Journal of California Law Enforcement, Volume 48 No. 1, 2014
 
Lieutenant Bryan Glass (Class 53) Costa Mesa Police Department
Civilianizing Command Staff Positions in Policing: A Roadmap for Change
Journal of California Law Enforcement, Vol. 47, No. 3
 
Lieutenant Travis Martinez (Class 53) Redlands Police Department
Caught in the Act! How One Police Agency is Apprehending the Hard-to-Catch Property Thief with Electronic Stakeouts
The Police Chief, January 2014
 
Administration Services Manager Nancy Dawn (Class 51) Los Gatos/Monte Sereno Police Department
What Can Law Enforcement Learn from Federal Express
Journal of California Law Enforcement, Volume 47, No. 1
 
Lieutenant Timothy Henton (Class 51) El Cajon Police Department
Interactive Social Media: The Value for Law Enforcement
FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, September 2013
 
Chief Kevin Burke (Class 50) Healdsburg Police Department
Solutions to the Stress of Technology: The Outcomes of Technostress Could Lead to Significant Officer Dysfunction
Law and Order Magazine, June 2013
 
Captain Mark Shaw (Class 50) California Highway Patrol
Dispatchers In the Clouds: Cloud Computing and the Modern PSAP
9-1-1 Magazine, March 19, 2013
 
Lieutenant Douglas A. Pittman (Class 50) Marin County Sheriffs Office
Virtual Command Systems; The Future of Emergency Operating Centers
PoliceOne Magazine, March 19, 2012 and
California Public Information Officer's Association (CAPIO), May 2012
 
Captain Joe Bianco (Class 50) Bakersfield Police Department
An Elite Hybrid Crime Fighting Force for California Neighborhoods
World Future Review, Volume 5 No. 1 March 2013
 
Captain Brian Addington (Class 49) Pittsburg PD
Law Enforcement Needs Another Stephanie Kwolek
The Chief of Police, Fall 2011 Vol. XXV
 
Commander James Schnabl (Class 49) Santa Ana Police Department
Reinventing the Police Report for the 21st Century, Are Video Police Reports the Answer?
Police Chief, September 2012