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Command College Program

The Law Enforcement Command College is a 14-month program designed to prepare law enforcement leaders of today for the challenges of the future. The program focuses on:

  • Development of strategic foresight needed to influence the future direction law enforcement organizations
  • Strategies to identify emerging issues and provide a proactive response
  • Trend Analysis via the STEEP model (sociological, technological, economic, environmental, political)
  • Methods and benefits of stakeholder engagement and information sharing to address pending community needs
  • Procedural Justice and the impact of social systems on a global society

The primary goal of the Command College is to provide sitting law enforcement leaders a course with a focus on futures forecasting and innovation. Students are exposed to leaders in the field of forecasting, innovation, economics, media relations, political science, and organizational leadership from across the nation. The program is presented at a master’s degree level, based on student- centered adult learning theories, placing accountability and responsibility for success on the student.

Program participants can anticipate learning the following:

  • How to identify and assess local and global trends to forecast plausible future scenarios
  • How to use trend analysis data to prepare L.E. agencies to address forecasted challenges
  • How to make a case for organizational change and create strategic plans to address the future in positive ways
  • The impact of social systems on various segments of the community and methods to engage in procedurally just policing
  • How to prepare a futures portfolio and how to write a publishable research article

Applicants to the program should be involved in community and professional activities. Applicants must also be nominated by their agency chief executive and submit a writing sample. Final selection requires completion of a formal interview by a 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.

TUITION: Command College is a Plan IV program covering travel, lodging and per diem. There is no tuition for POST reimbursable agencies. California State agencies and other non-POST reimbursable agencies are responsible for program tuition of $3,370.00 per student. Effective July 1, 2022 new tuition will be $9,400.00. Check with your Training Manager to see if your agency is a POST reimbursable agency.

Additional information is available in the Command College video and Command College brochure (pdf)

Apply for Command College


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, on or before the application deadline.
  • Be involved in community and professional activities
  • Possess a college degree or a minimum of 60 units of college credits and demonstrate the ability to research and write at a commensurate academic level.
  • 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 five years after completion of the Command College program
  • Attendance is required at all class sessions. No make-up of hours will be allowed, except under extenuating emergency situations. 

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
  • Have completed an equivalent Management Course program as determined by POST. 

Application Process

We are currently accepting applications for Class 73, beginning December 2023. Applications are received on a first-come first-served basis, with a deadline of September 11, 2023.

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 a 14-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. To apply for Command College: Complete your preliminary application to verify requirements are met. Once submitted, POST will review each to check if prequalification’s to attend Command College are met. If an applicant meets the requirements a POST representative will email a packet of additional documents required to complete the application. The additional documents include

  • Experience
  • Education
  • Training
  • Community Activities
  • Professional Activities
  • Leadership Accomplishments
  • Writing Ability
  • Leadership Ability as Viewed by Others (Recommendation Letter(s))
  • Executive Statement of Nomination (Chief Recommendation Letter)

The applicant will complete each of the sections and upload it to the POST Website. The applicant will be given upload instructions with their approval to apply. 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 3 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

Download examples of Completed Articles (zip) 

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.
  • Create a New POST PASS account if you do not have one already. If you have a PASS account, or after you create your new one, sign into the Website via POST PASS (user name is your email address). Make sure to link your POST ID to your PASS account.
  • After completing the sign in process please email
    • In the body of the email please indicate your POST ID, what email address you used in your PASS account 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 'Home Tab' in the menu and click on the CC Network in the drop down menu.

Academic Credit Toward 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.

American Military University

The American Military University (AMU) offers up to 9 graduate level credits to those who have completed the POST Command College. The 9 units may be applied toward one of three Master's degrees offered by AMU, including Master of Public Administration, Master of Arts in Criminal Justice, and Master of Arts in Security Management. The application process, submission of work to be evaluated, and costs are handled directly between the student and AMU.

University of San Diego

The University of San Diego (USD) offers a dual-track opportunity for those interested in academic credit, or entry into a graduate program to complete your Master of Science in Law Enforcement and Public Safety Leadership. Command College graduates, beginning with Class 45, can apply to USD for a 12-unit Law Enforcement Command Certificate in Public Safety Executive Leadership. The application, assessment of the student's Futures Portfolio work, and all costs are between the student and USD. USD also accepts Command College graduates into their Master of Science in Public Safety Leadership, and will apply the 12 units earned in the Law Enforcement Command Certificate toward the 31-unit MS program. See MS program specifics, call for general information at (619) 260-4580, or contact Program Director, Dr. Erik Fritzvold for more information.

Recent Alumni

Class 68 Graduation

Commencement ceremonies were held for Command College Class 68 at 9:00 a.m. on August 19, 2022 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel San Diego - Del Mar. Congratulations to the graduating students, their families, and their agencies!

Photos | Video


  • S.A.C Bradley Beach, Alcoholic Beverage Control
  • Captain Glen Brock, Hemet Police Department
  • Lieutenant Lance Bryant, El Dorado County Sheriff's Office
  • Lieutenant Michael Buckhannon, El Monte Police Department
  • Lieutenant Gilbert Campa, California Highway Patrol
  • Commander Phil Craft, Santa Ana Police Department
  • Lieutenant Brian Esteves, Madera Police Department
  • Captain Luma Fahoum, Visalia Police Department
  • Captain Scott Harrington, Marin County Sheriff's Office
  • Lieutenant Gustavo Jimenez, Monterey Park Police Department
  • Captain Eric Jones, California Highway Patrol
  • Captain Timothy Martin, Huntington Beach Police Department
  • Lieutenant Daniel Montgomery, Berkeley Police Department
  • Captain Gene Randall, Shasta County Sheriff's Office
  • Parole Administrator Karen Reed, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
  • Captain Sarah Richards, California Highway Patrol
  • Commander Rachel Tolber, Redlands Police Department
  • Captain David Wharry, California Highway Patrol


Class Speaker: Lieutenant Daniel Montgomery
Dorothy Harris Academic Achievement Award: Lieutenant Lance Bryant
Hank Koehn Award: Captain Sarah Richards
Futures Portfolio Presentation: S.A.C Bradley Beach


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.

“For some of who have yet to attend the POST Command College this course may be seen as simply an obligatory type of police management training for future promotions, but nothing could be further from the truth. I did not have the opportunity to attend Command College, until I had reached the rank of Chief and was asked what my motivations were to attend such an arduous program given my time limitations. My response was simple; if anyone needs to understand how to interpret trends, amplify weak signals and forecast emerging issues that will significantly impact our profession it is most definitely a sitting Police Chief or any other law enforcement executive.

The 16-month program’s workload is intense and the expectation that each student comes to class every day prepared and engaged is a requirement. Successful graduates of Command College experience a profound shift in their paradigm in the way they observe and interpret data from various inputs as well as how they think and reason in general. As an Executive Board Member of California Chiefs of Police Association and the Chair of the Emerging Issues Committee, I can honestly say that if there was one professional training course that prepared me most for these roles, hands down it would be Command College. It is truly the art and science of leading leaders. ”

Eric R. Nuñez
Chief of Police
Los Alamitos Police Department

“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
Chief of Police
University of California, Davis Police Department

Attending Command College gave me a unique set of skills to utilize innovation and creativity to anticipate future challenges and have active plans in place. It emphasized the need to be proactive and not reactive to problem solving and organizational management. It changes your way of thinking to move past the usual resources available and think of encompassing all possibilities therefore enabling us to adjust and adapt to the demands of an ever changing industry and environment. I especially appreciate how the Command College experience has linked me forever with my peers and provided such a valuable resource of diverse law enforcement background and experience. I strongly recommend this program and commend the staff for assembling such a diverse group of professional experts to provide the highest level of professional training available.

Kathleen A. Nicholls
Deputy Chief
Department of Consumer Affairs, Division of Investigation

“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
Retired 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
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. 



What law enforcement leaders can learn from corporate wellness programs, January 31, 2022

Lieutenant Gus Jimenez (Class 68)
Monterey Park Police Department


Smart City Technology and the Future of Policing, September 14, 2022

Captain Christie Calderwood (Class 67)
Carlsbad Police Department

Reducing Homelessness: Police Collaboration with Transitional Shelters May Be Key, September 23, 2021

Captain Mike Hale (Class 67)
Bakersfield Police Department

Could Wearable Devices Save Police Officers' Lives and Careers?, September 22, 2021

Captain Brian Bubar (Class 66)
San Pablo Police Department

Opinion: Should Officer Wellness Be a Condition of Employment?, September 20, 2021

Commander Michael Claborn (Class 67)
Santa Ana Police Department

The DNA of a Great Officer, September 1, 2021

Captain Eric Litchfield (Class 66)
Santa Rosa Police Department

With Decreased Resources, How Will the Police Continue to Provide Quality Services?, September 1, 2021

Captain Ken Plunkett (Class 67)
West Covina Police Department

Why Police Should Treat Gun Homicide Like Doctors Treat Bloodborne Pathogens, September 1, 2021

Captain Jason Potts (Class 67)
Vallejo Police Department

Could Workforce Sharing Help Solve the Police Recruitment Crisis?, August 18, 2021

Lieutenant Michael Gancasz (Class 67)
San Pablo Police Department

4 steps to Incorporate Jiu-Jitsu into Your Department’s Use of Force Training, August 6, 2021

Lieutenant Brian Browne (Class 67)
Anaheim Police Department

Could Digital Voice Assistants Benefit Law Enforcement?, January 19, 2021

Captain Michael McHenry (Class 66)
Orange County Sheriff's Department

Could 'Smart' Uniforms Reduce Police Use of Force?, November 7, 2020

Lieutenant Miriam Foxx (Class 65)
Chula Vista Police Department

The New Law Enforcement: Civilians and Technology | How Small Agencies Can Survive in a Changing World

Public Management Association for Human Resources (PMA-HR), August 2020

Captain Brian Leyn (Class 66)
Signal Hill Police Department

Embracing the Inevitable – Using Cognitive Computing to Recruit Police

InsideCDCR, June 2020

Special Agent Lucas Abarca (Class 66)
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

Trust Me, I'm a Millennial

Police Chief (IACP), April 2020

Police Administrative Services Manager Jocelyn Francis (Class 65)
Pacific Grove Police Department

Battling the loss of police in America: A cop’s desperate call for help

Law Enforcement Today, December 26, 2019

Lieutenant Lorenzo Glenn (Class 65)
Anaheim Police Department

California Prison Reform, Regressing Rehabilitation - Part 1 

Corrections.Com, December 02, 2019

Lieutenant Adam Affrunti (Class 65)
San Bernardino Police Department

Life-Saving Suits for Law Enforcement: Looking Ahead at Wearable Technology

Police Chief Online, June 27, 2018

Lieutenant Thomas Cashion (Class 63) 
Walnut Creek Police Department

Individual Contracts Won't Substitute for Leadership

The Journal of California Law  Enforcement, Volume 49, No. 3, 2015

Lieutenant Michael Boehrer (Class 57)
San Ramon Police Department

Incapacitating Agents: A Safer Approach for Hostage Recovery Operations

The Tactical Edge, Spring 2016

Lieutenant Tim Murphy (Class 57)
Paso Robles Police Department

Recruiting for Emotional-Social Intelligence (ESI): Enhancing Leadership, Performance, Community Trust, and Saving Lives

The Journal of California Law Enforcement, Volume 49,  No. 3, 2015

Chief Eric R. Nunez (Class 57)
La Palma Police Department


Municipal Police Agencies Dial 911 When it Comes to Investigating Cyber-Related Crimes in the Future?
The Journal of California Law Enforcement, Volume 49, No. 3, 2015

Captain David Povero (Class 57)
Covina Police Department


Digital Currency: The Good, the Bad, and the Unknown

The Police Chief, Volume  LXXXII,  No. 11, November 2015

Jail Manager Jennifer Estrada (Class 56)
Santa Monica Police Department


The Future of Corrections: How can Mobile Biometric Technology Revolutionize the Arrent and Booking Process?

The Police Chief, Volume  LXXXI, No. 12, December 2014

Captain Jeff Rose (Class 55)
San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department


3-D Printing: The Potential Implications and Challenges for Law Enforcement

The Journal of California Law Enforcement, Volume 48,  No. 3

The Police Chief 82, March 2015  

Captain Craig Schwartz (Class 55)
Santa Rosa Police Department


Law Enforcement’s Invisible Assassin: Using Virtual Reality Therapy to Combat the Silent Threat of  Psychological Devastation: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

The Journal of California Law Enforcement, Volume 48,  No. 2, 2014

Captain Gregory Davis (Class 54)
Los Angeles County Office of the District Attorney

California Command College Alumni Association

The California Command College Alumni Association’s mission is to build and strengthen the network of POST Command College graduates. This serves several purposes. One of the most significant is that the knowledge and experience gained by each student through the program is put to use. By engaging with the association, graduates are able to practically apply what was learned in the program both inside and outside their agencies, benefiting the law enforcement industry in a broader sense.

The Command College experience is grounded in futures-oriented thinking. A unique attribute of the program is that faculty are industry outsiders. This prompts attendees to approach issues through a lens that conveys new perspectives. Attendees of the program are already de-facto subject matter experts in a variety of law enforcement disciplines. The association harnesses that experience, and re-imagines it through the Command College lens. In short, the expertise of members has added value to the industry because of the Command College experience. The Alumni Association is organized to be an educational resource and think-tank to advance criminal justice efficacy in California.

Visit California Command College Alumni Association for more information.