General Questions

How Do I Become a Peace Officer?

The following questions and answers pertain specifically to becoming a California peace officer.

1. What should be considered in my decision to apply for a California peace officer position?

2. The department's job flyer has higher and/or additional selection requirements over those stated above. Why aren't they the same?

3. Is the Regular Basic Course the minimum training requirement for all peace officers employed by agencies in the POST program?

4. Which basic academy does POST recommend?

5. Is an individual required to complete a Basic Academy prior to applying for a peace officer position?

6. I have completed a basic course in another state, can I transfer my training to California?

7. Can anyone enroll in a POST-certified Basic Academy?

8. How do I enroll for Basic training?

9. Where can I find out about job opportunities?

10. Some job flyers state that a basic certificate is required. What does this mean?

11. How long must I serve on probation once I am employed?

12. How do I obtain a POST Basic Certificate?

13. I completed my Basic Course more than 3 years ago and have not obtained peace officer employment, is my training expired?

14. I have additional questions, does POST have an email address?

How Do I Become a Dispatcher?

The following questions and answers pertain specifically to becoming a California Public Safety Dispatcher.

1. What should be considered in my decision to apply for a California Public Safety Dispatcher position?

2. The department's job flyer has higher and/or additional selection requirements over those stated above. Why aren't they the same?

3. Is the Public Safety Dispatchers’ Basic Course the minimum training requirement for all public safety dispatchers employed by agencies in the POST program?

4. Is an individual required to complete a Public Safety Dispatchers' Basic Course prior to applying for a public safety dispatcher position?

5. I have been a dispatcher in another state; can I transfer my experience to California?

6. Can anyone enroll in a POST-certified Public Safety Dispatchers' Basic Course?

7. How do I enroll in a POST-certified Public Safety Dispatchers' Basic Course?

8. Where can I find out about job opportunities?

9. Some job flyers state that a POST Public Safety Dispatcher certificate is required. What does this mean?

10. How long must I serve on probation once I am employed?

11. How do I obtain a POST Public Safety Dispatcher Certificate?

12. I have additional questions; does POST have an email address?

How Does My Military Experience Help?

1. Are resources available while I am serving abroad to help me prepare for the academy and a career in law enforcement.

2. How will the G.I. Bill or other military benefits help with my training costs?

3. Does my military training and experience allow me to be hired directly from the military?

4. Does my specialized training in the military allow me to be an instructor once I am hired?

5. What happens if I am deployed or activated and must temporarily leave my basic training?

6. How do I become a California peace officer?

7. Where is academy training offered?

8. Is academy training accessible to me outside of CA or on-line?

9. Are courses required before I enter an academy?

10. How do I contact an academy?

11. How do I find agencies that are hiring?

How Do I Obtain a Course Control Number?

All course control numbers are made up of 14 numerical digits. The first four digits identify the course presenter. The second five digits identify the individual course number (i.e. “Traffic Collision Investigation” course number is “33590”). These two elements are referred to as the Course Certification Number. The last five digits are the fiscal year (two digits) followed by the presentation number (three digits). The entire 14-digit number is referred to as the Course Control Number. The Course Certification Number is given to a presenter when the course is certified, and the Course Control Number is assigned when a Course Announcement and Hourly Distribution are received.

To obtain a Course Control number, an agency or presenter can:

  1. Look up the course on the Catalog of Certified Courses.
  2. Check the Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) system.
  3. Refer to the original Course Certification Letter for the Course Certification Number, and contact the POST Course Control Unit for the complete Course Control Number.


For courses not listed in the Course Catalog or other Course-related questions, please contact the Course Control Unit directly at (916) 227-4860 or (916) 227-4866, or the Training Delivery and Compliance Bureau at (916) 227-4863.

 

How Do I Obtain a POST Profile?

The following information provides answers to the most frequently asked questions related to POST profiles:

1. What is a POST Profile?

2. How do I request a POST Profile?

3. Is there a fee for requesting a POST Profile?

4. Is there a fee for notary services?

5. What is the mailing address?

6. What is the processing time?

7. Can I FAX or email the request?

8. Can a POST-participating agency request profiles for the entire agency?

Additional Questions?

Which POST-Certified Training Courses Qualify for Backfill?

POST defines "backfill reimbursement" as the reimbursable allowance for an agency’s expense of paying salary at the overtime rate to a peace officer employee who replaces another peace officer employee for his/her attendance of selected POST-certified training.

Which POST-certified training courses qualify for backfill?

Courses that qualify for backfill

What are the Citizenship Requirements for Peace Officers?

Do I have to be a United States citizen to be a California law enforcement officer, or can I be a legal resident alien and still apply for a peace officer position in California?

In accordance with Government Code Section 1031 and 1031.5, to be appointed as a peace officer in California, you must be a citizen of the United States or a permanent resident alien who is eligible for and has applied for citizenship. Citizenship status must be conferred within three years of applying for citizenship. Additional citizenship requirements are stipulated for California Highway patrol officers, who must be U.S. citizens at the time of appointment (per Vehicle Code Section 2267).

California Citizenship Requirements

California Government Code Section 1031 and 1031.5 states that a peace officer shall be a citizen of the United States or a permanent resident alien who is eligible for and has applied for citizenship.
 
  • Any permanent resident alien who is employed as a peace officer shall diligently cooperate with the Immigration and Naturalization Service in the processing of his or her application for citizenship and shall be disqualified from holding that position if, three years after the filing of an application for employment, the person has not obtained citizenship due to failure to cooperate in the process of the application for citizenship.
  • Any permanent resident alien who is employed as a peace officer shall be disqualified from holding that position if his or her application for citizenship is denied.

Information on obtaining citizenship can be found on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website.

Additional Requirements: A peace officer with the California Highway Patrol, per Vehicle Code 2267, must be a U.S. citizen at the time of appointment.

Questions about peace officer citizenship requirements may be directed to your regional consultant.

Physical Ability Testing Information

Does POST require a physical ability test?

No, POST does not require agencies or academies to administer any physical ability test prior to hire. However, many agencies and academies administer their own physical ability test during the selection process. POST requires a physical ability test before academy graduation.

How can I get information on physical ability tests that agencies or academies may require?

You can contact law enforcement agencies for information on their specific physical performance requirements.

What are the academy physical conditioning requirements?

Students must complete a 36-session physical conditioning program. The conditioning program consists of aerobic, strength, muscular endurance, and flexibility conditioning. Usually, jogging is the mode of aerobic conditioning. Calisthenics circuit training or weight circuit training is most commonly used for strength and muscular endurance conditioning. Static stretching is the usual mode of flexibility conditioning.

How should I prepare myself for the academy physical conditioning program?

Students who are engaged in a vigorous lifetime fitness program generally do not have any problems with the POST-required academy physical conditioning program and Work Sample Test Battery Test. It is almost impossible, though, for sedentary individuals to complete the program without problems. For best results, your exercise program should already match the descriptions below.

  • Aerobic conditioning, 3-5 days per week, 20-60 minutes each day, continuous jogging on most days each week
  • Muscular strength/endurance, 2-3 days per week, one set of 8-10 exercises including upper body, core, and legs, 8-20 repetitions per set
  • Flexibility, static stretching, at least 2-3 days per week, preferably 5-7 days, 8-12 stretches each day, hold each stretch for 15-30 seconds and repeat each 2-4 times
  • Continuous participation at the above-described levels for the last six months without injury

If your exercise program does not meet these specifications, then you should consider taking a body conditioning, weight training, or jogging class as needed.

What is the physical ability test required for academy graduation?

Students must take and pass the POST Work Sample Test Battery after completing the physical conditioning program, but before academy graduation. Academies may have a substitute test, or they may have additional tests that students must pass before graduation. The Work Sample Test Battery includes these five events:

  • OBSTACLE COURSE Run a 99-yard obstacle course consisting of several sharp turns, a number of curb-height obstacles, and a 34-inch high obstacle that must be vaulted
  • BODY DRAG Lift and drag a 165-pound lifelike dummy 32-feet
  • CHAIN LINK FENCE Run 5 yards to a 6-foot chain link fence, climb over fence, continue running another 25 yards
  • SOLID FENCE CLIMB Run 5 yards to a 6 foot solid fence, climb over fence, continue running another 25 yards
  • 500-YARD RUN Run 500 yards


Each of the five events is timed. Student performance times are converted to points and summed. Students must accumulate a total score of 384 points to pass.

Law Enforcement Officers Flying Armed


The Office of Law Enforcement/Federal Air Marshal Service maintains oversight of the Law Enforcement Officers flying armed program under Title 49 Code of Federal Regulation (CFR) § 1544.219 Carriage of Accessible Weapons.  The following information is intended to assist law enforcement agencies and officers to comply with Federal Regulation.

1. What are the requirements for a state or local Law Enforcement Officer to fly armed?

2. What are the procedures for a state or local Law Enforcement Officer (LEO) to fly armed?

3. When should the NLETS message regarding armed LEO travel be submitted?

4. What if a LEO has not submitted an NLETS message but does have the Original Letter of Authority from his Chief or Agency Head?

5. What happens if a LEO advises that his/her employing agency sent an NLETS message but does not know the Unique Identifier?

6. What is the three letter airport code that is required in the NLETS message and where can I find these codes?

7. What if a LEO experiences an unexpected itinerary change (weather, delays, re-routing)?

8. Do these procedures have to be followed for each departure and returning flight or will one authorization number cover both departure and return?

9. Are there additional procedures for international travel required to conduct official law enforcement business?

10. Please define “required training.” Is there any waiver procedure for officers who have not completed training but may be required to travel immediately?

11. HR 218 allows retired officers to carry a firearm. What procedures are in place for retired personnel who are legally authorized to carry a firearm to fly armed?

12. Does the NLETS message replace the requirement to notify the airline of the Law Enforcement Officer’s (LEO) intent to fly armed or complete the required paperwork?

Who to Contact

Obtaining your POST ID

POST ID: (Alpha## - Alpha##)

The purpose of the POST ID is to provide a unique identifier for law enforcement personnel so that a SSN is no longer needed. The POST ID is created when a person is first appointed to a POST agency or takes a POST certified course.

Obtain A POST ID:

To obtain your POST ID please contact your agency's Training Manager or you may use our POST ID lookup. If you are unable to do so you may contact Maria Goshop at POST at (916) 227-4858.

Vehicle Pursuit Guidelines

  • Does this training requirement apply to all ranks (Chiefs, Sheriffs, captains, etc.) and all types (reserves, detectives, DA investigators, etc.) of peace officers?
    Yes, the law, Penal Code (PC) §13519.8 and Vehicle Code (VC) §17004.7, requires all peace officers to receive the training annually in order to qualify for immunity.
  • Does the training have to be POST-certified?
    No, you do not have to certify your pursuit policy training through POST to comply with the SB 719 legislative mandate.
  • Does my trainer/facilitator have to be a POST-Certified Instructor?
    No, you may use any trainer/facilitator.
  • By what date does the Pursuit Policy training need to be completed?
    Training needs to be completed by July 1, 2007, and annually thereafter.
  • What are the minimum hours for this training?
    POST Regulation 1081(a) states that the training has to be at least one (1) hour in duration.
  • What content will be addressed in the training?
    Per POST Regulation 1081(a):
    • Vehicle safety, operation, and tactics
    • Agency vehicle pursuit policy
    • Assessing risk, dangers, and conditions
      • Public safety
      • Officer safety
      • Importance of balancing the known offense and need for apprehension against the risks to officers and the public
    • Consideration of law enforcement vehicle pursuit issues
      • When to initiate a pursuit
      • The number of involved law enforcement units permitted
      • Responsibilities of primary and secondary law enforcement
      • Driving tactics
      • Helicopter assistance
      • Communications
      • Capture of suspects
      • Termination of a pursuit
      • Supervisory responsibilities
      • Blocking, ramming, boxing, and roadblock procedures
      • Speed limits
      • Inter-jurisdictional considerations
      • Conditions of the vehicle, driver, roadway, weather, and traffic
      • Hazards to uninvolved bystanders or motorists
      • Reporting and post pursuit analysis
  • Does an agency need to do anything besides provide the training?
    Yes, agencies must provide all peace officers with a copy of the agency pursuit policy. Peace officers must also sign an attestation form (doc) that states they have “received, read, and understand” the agency pursuit policy. The agency must retain this form. Please DO NOT send attestation forms to POST.
  • How is the training delivered and who may deliver the training?

    There are at least four ways to deliver your Pursuit Policy training. Some have instructor requirements.

    Here is a summary of options/requirements to fulfill the SB 719 mandated training:
    • In-house, non-certified training (no instructor restrictions), content restrictions as described in question #6.
    • In-house, POST-certified training, to receive CPT credit for a course you develop, you must go through the Course Certification Process (doc) in conjunction with your Regional Training Consultant.
  • Where can I get the POST Law Enforcement Vehicle Pursuit Guidelines?
    The POST Law Enforcement Vehicle Pursuit Guidelines (pdf) are on our website.
  • Will POST review my agency’s pursuit policy?
    No, POST recommends that your agency retain competent legal counsel.

  • Who should my agency contact if we still have questions?
    Training managers or agency executives may contact:
    Training Program Services Bureau at (916) 227-4885 or their Regional Training Consultant for more information.

Additional Outside Resources

Baton Certificates (Security Guards)
Dept of Consumer Affairs Bureau of Investigations
(916) 322-4000
Corrections Training
Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation
Office of Training & Professional Development
(916) 323-7800
Criminal History Clearance, Requests
Department of Justice
(916) 227-0897
Criminal History Database
Department of Justice
(916) 227-0897
District Attorney’s Association:
California District Attorneys Association
(916) 443-2017
EMSA Certificate (First Aid / CPR)
Emergency Medical Services Authority
(916) 322-4336
Fingerprinting (Law Enforcement)
CA Dept of Justice
(916) 227-3849
Guard Cards, Private Security Officer Training
Dept of Consumer Affairs Bureau of Investigations
(916) 322-4000
Indian Reservations – Public Law 280 Valna Wilson
(916) 227-4872
Legal Sourcebook, CA Peace Officers (CPOLS) Doris Calandra
(916) 324-5250
Legislative Advocate Alexis Blaylock
(916) 227- 2085
Public Hearing Inquiries Connie Paoli
(916) 227-2803
Strategic Plan Alan Deal
(916) 227-2807
Tribal Law Enforcement Alan Deal
(916) 227-2807
Valna Wilson
(916) 227-4872
West Point Leadership Program
Los Angeles Police Department
(213) 485-3154
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