Additional Resources

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Training Program Services Bureau
(916) 227-4885

Allen Benitez
(916) 227-4887

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Robert Presley Institute of Criminal Investigation

Contact the POST ICI Program Manager at (916) 227-4887, or any participating presenter for more information regarding the ICI program and available courses.

Certification Requirements

The ICI Program is presented in three phases and includes approximately 200 hours of training for certification in each specialty.  The phases include a Core Course, a Foundation Specialty Course, and three related Elective Courses (doc).  All courses must be taken within a seven-year period.  Students can certify in multiple specialties.

  • Core Course: Student must attend – no equivalent
  • Foundation Specialty Course: Student must attend one of the following ICI Courses – Arson/Explosives, Burglary, Child Abuse, Computer Crime, Domestic Violence, Environmental Crimes, Human Trafficking Investigation, Fraud/Forgery, Gangs, Homicide, ID Theft, Narcotics, Robbery, Sexual Assault, Vice, or Vehicle Theft – No equivalent
  • Elective Courses: Student must attend at least one elective course - electives (doc)– must be directly related to their foundation specialty
  • Universal Courses: Student must attend a total of three elective/universal courses, but may attend two from the universal category – must be investigative related

    Graduates receive a special POST Robert Presley Institute of Criminal Investigation certificate which designates their fields of study (foundation specialty).

    • Elective/Universal Courses must be at least 24 hours in length.  A total of three courses must be taken from this category.  Once a course has been applied toward a certificate, including the foundation specialty course, it is not reusable toward another certificate.

Instructions for Obtaining an ICI Certificate

  • Complete the ICI Certificate Application Form (doc) and upon completion, fax, mail, or email to:

    POST ICI Program Manager Allen Benitez
    860 Stillwater Road, Suite 100
    West Sacramento, CA 95605
    Desk: (916) 227-4887
    Fax: (916) 227-4011
    • To verify records and get details on courses attended please contact your agency training officer/manager who can verify this information from records using the Electronic Data Interchange system.
    • For each course please specify:
      • Course Title
      • Course Hours
      • Presenter (Agency Name)
      • 15-digit POST Course Control Number
      • Date course was completed

Core Course

The Robert Presley Institute of Criminal Investigation (ICI) Core Course is the prerequisite for all subsequent ICI Foundation Specialty Courses within this program.  The core course is designed to enhance the effectiveness of the individual criminal investigators skills in performing the multi-disciplined, multi-leveled tasks necessary to successfully conduct comprehensive criminal investigations.  Instruction in this course is provided through a coordinated, experience-based adult learning approach which addresses crime scene management, interviewing and interrogation skills, search and seizure issues, search warrant preparation, surveillance techniques, case reporting, informant management, media relations, case reporting and courtroom testimony.  Students will engage in practical application exercises throughout this course and be required to satisfactorily complete case work and a search warrant.

At the conclusion of the course, the student will be able to:

  • Manage and reconstruct a crime scene
  • Organize and employ the skills involved in case management
  • Demonstrate the ability to work with victims and witnesses through the effective application of interviewing and interrogation techniques
  • Identify and access useful sources of information
  • Validate their work through documentation and case presentation

Number of Hours: 80

ICI Core Course Presenters

Fresno City College Police Academy (FCCPA)

Gary Fief
Phone: (559) 442-8277

Rick Field​
Phone: (559) 442-8277

Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD)

Detective III Amira Smith
Phone: (323) 223-6959
Fax: (323) 223-6993

Detective II Sterling Fields
Phone: (323) 223-6959
Fax: (323) 223-6993

Northern California Regional Public Safety Training Authority (NCRPSTA)

David Kevin
Phone: (916) 834-1867
Fax: (916) 640-0018

Maril O'Shaughnessy


San Diego Regional Training Center (SDRTC)

Mike Gray
Phone: (858) 550-0040
Fax: (858) 550-0131
Register Online @ SDRTC

Phyl Peltier
Phone: (530) 521-8044


San Francisco Police Department  (SFPD)

Sergeant Liza Tiffe
Phone: (415) 401-4657
Fax: (415) 401-4747

Joseph Nannery​
Phone: (415) 254-0424

South Bay Regional Public Safety Training Consortium

Ernie Smedlund
Phone: (408) 270-6458

Gary Fief
Phone: (559) 250-9582


POST Plan IV (tuition free, travel/per diem reimbursement) is used for the Core Course and most foundation specialty courses to those agencies eligible for POST reimbursement.

Foundation Specialty Courses

A Foundation Specialty is an area of investigative specialization. There are 16 Foundation Specialty courses, and each student is required to complete at least one. Additionally, each student must complete at least one related specialty course, among a subset of designated courses within the specialty. For example, a student pursuing a Foundation Specialty in Homicide would need to take the Homicide Foundation Specialty course, plus one foundation specialty Electives listed under "Homicide," e.g., "Cold Case Investigation."

The Foundation Specialties and Electives provides a listing of all the approved courses. After satisfying the Foundation Specialty requirement and completing an additional two Universal or Elective courses (each at least 24 hours in length), then investigators may apply for ICI Certification.

The 16 Foundation Specialties are:

Arson and Explosives


Child Abuse

Computer Crime

Domestic Violence

Environmental Crimes

Financial Crimes (Fraud/Forgery)



Human Trafficking

Identity Theft



Sexual Assault

Vehicle Theft



During a budget briefing session in the mid-80s, State Senator Robert Presley commented that there seemed to be something missing in the POST training: a training program for criminal investigators.

Then POST Executive Director Norm Boehm directed a needs assessment to determine if such a program was necessary. The training needs assessment confirmed the need, and actions to design an investigative training program began.

There were several planning meetings in 1988, and the core course curriculum was created in 1989 and subsequently piloted. A key feature of the pilot presentations was the inclusion of fictitious criminal cases which students worked on throughout the course.

In addition to the core course, foundation specialty courses were developed. To receive an ICI Certificate, a student is required to complete the core course, one foundation specialty course, and three investigative elective courses relating to the specialty.

A decision was made in 1993 to train all of the instructional cadre and course administrators in experience-based learning in order to maximize skill development and retention. The facilitators for the ICI instructor training program are all POST master instructors.

In 1994, the Institute was formalized via P.C. 13519.9 which states "the Robert Presley Institute of Criminal Investigation will make available to criminal investigators of California's law enforcement agencies an advanced training program to meet the needs of working investigators."

Throughout the growth of ICI, there was no organized effort to revise the core course curriculum. Additionally, individual presenters implemented modifications that were based upon student evaluations and discussions with course instructors. The result of these changes was that the curriculum varied statewide. The effect of this variance was the possibility that officers from the same agency might get a different training experience by attending the core course in different locations. These concerns led to the decision to conduct a formal study examining the training needs of follow-up investigators.

In April 2002, the process of updating the core course curriculum began. In May, POST staff conducted a series of focus group meetings with follow-up investigators and investigative supervisors to determine current training needs. Ten focus group meetings were conducted involving a total of 104 individuals from 18 sheriff departments, 35 police departments and 4 other law enforcement agencies. The focus groups contributed valuable suggestions for updating the core course curriculum. The core course currently in place reflects these enhancements.

Since its inception, the motto of the ICI Program has been "Excellence in Instruction, Contemporary Curriculum." This operational philosophy is the driving force of the program because it focuses on providing an instructional cadre equipped with the knowledge, skills, and tools to deliver training using methods that maximize understanding and retention. These skills are coupled with cutting-edge courses and a developmental process that is necessary for keeping abreast of rapidly changing criminality. The end goal is a highly trained and competent investigator who is able to meet the investigative challenges of the new millennium.

Universal Electives

Universal Elective courses provide instruction that supports the Foundation Specialty areas. Two electives (from the pool of designated "Universal Courses"), beyond the Foundation Specialty Elective, must be taken to meet the requirements for an ICI Certificate. The electives should relate to the specialty chosen. All electives must be at least 24 hours in duration. Two courses of lesser length may be combined to constitute an elective, as long as their combined length is at least 24 hours. Electives (doc) provides a listing of the approved Universal Elective courses.

Who Should Apply?

ICI courses are open to all full-time follow-up investigators with approximately one-year experience conducting follow-up investigations. The ICI Program requires only a firm commitment from both students and their respective agencies that all courses will be completed.