POST Publications and Guidelines

POST produces a wide variety of publications designed to enhance the professionalism of California law enforcement. All publications are researched and developed by work groups comprised of POST staff and subject matter resource staff.  They are sanctioned by the POST Commission prior to release.

This material is copyright protected. Individual copies of POST publications are for personal, non-commercial use only, and are not to be distributed.  Information regarding use of these publications or any material on the POST Website can be found on the Website Terms and Conditions page.

Questions regarding copyright and fair use may be directed to the Strategic Communications and Research Bureau at (916) 227-4832.

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Academy Instructor Certificate Program

Training Program Services (TPS)

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The Academy Instructor Certificate Program establishes instructor training and certification requirements for academies in the program.
05/01/2019
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Anti-Reproductive-Rights Crimes

Management Counseling & Projects (MCPB)

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The updated guidelines are presented as an overview to allow the reader to consider a systematic approach in either investigating anti-reproductive-rights crimes or in creating an agency specific plan for handling cases involving these crimes. Also included are procedures for the statistical reporting requirements to the Department of Justice.
02/01/2024
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Background Investigation Manual

Strategic Communications & Research (SCR)

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The pre-employment background investigation is among the most important in investigations that a law enforcement agency will ever conduct. The purpose of this manual is to assist investigators in conducting background investigations for both peace officer and public safety dispatcher candidates, assuring compliance with minimum standards of appointment, and screening out candidates who are found unsuitable for the positions in question.
08/01/2022
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Background Investigation Tabs, Dispatcher

Training Delivery & Compliance (TDC)

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Tabs may be downloaded and printed or agencies/organizations may order tabs in black and white at a discounted price and have them shipped directly from the FedEx Doc Store.
05/18/2018
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Background Investigation Tabs, Peace Officer

Training Delivery & Compliance (TDC)

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To assist agencies in ensuring they have obtained all required documentation. These Report Tabs are for organizing background investigation reports that POST compliance consultants review when they visit agencies. Tabs may be downloaded and printed or agencies/organizations may order tabs in black and white at a discounted price and have them shipped directly from the FedEx Doc Store.
03/01/2023
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Basic Course Management

Basic Training Bureau (BTB)

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The intent of this publication is two-fold: first, to provide managers and administrators with a document that provides guidelines for developing agency and college policies for managing a POST-certified basic academy, and second, to clearly define POST policies and requirements for training and testing.
09/01/2023
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Basic Course Student Workbooks

Basic Training Bureau (BTB)

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These Learning Domains are a part of the POST Basic Course Instructional System; they are supplements to classroom instruction.
01/01/2020
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Becoming an Exemplary Peace Officer: Ethical Decision Making

Basic Training Bureau (BTB)

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This publication is part of a suite of materials that integrate ethical considerations and effective decision-making strategies into Basic Academy training and field operations.
02/01/2009
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Building a Career Pipeline

Management Counseling & Projects (MCPB)

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This guide is a recruitment tool to assist law enforcement agencies in developing school-based programs for law enforcement recruiting in partnership with local school districts.
07/01/2012
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Child Abuse Investigation

Training Program Services (TPS)

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The Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) has prepared these guidelines to assist all those involved in the prevention, detection, and investigation of child abuse crimes, with an added dimension of a healing sensitivity for victims and others.
10/01/2021
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Child Safety when a Custodial Parent or Guardian is Arrested

Management Counseling & Projects (MCPB)

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These guidelines are the result of Assembly Bill 1942 (Nava) and are intended to improve child safety in the event that a parent or guardian is arrested.
04/01/2008
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Commission Policy Manual

POST Executive Office (EXO)

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The Manual is intended for use by the Commission and POST staff and provides a ready reference to current Commission policies. The policies reflected in this manual support the Resource Stewardship aspect of the POST mission statement. Listed below each policy are the applicable Commission meeting date and any other information relevant to the particular policy.
01/01/2022
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Communications Training Officer Program, Trainer's Manual

Strategic Communications & Research (SCR)

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This manual facilitates a baseline standard throughout California by outlining the key duties and training required for a public safety dispatcher. The forms provide important and detailed documentation of competency.
04/01/2012
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Communications Training Officer Program, Trainer's Manual, Verification Forms

Strategic Communications & Research (SCR)

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This volume of customizable forms is a companion to the CTO Program Guidelines. Use these forms to document dispatcher competencies.
04/01/2012
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Coroner Occupational Analysis

Strategic Communications & Research (SCR)

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The purpose of this occupational analysis was to define the tasks that new death investigators must perform safely and competently. This occupational analysis will serve as the basis for the development of statewide training for death investigators. Local agencies can also opt to use results to develop selection criteria for new death investigators in their jurisdiction.
08/01/2010
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Course Catalog

POST

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The POST Certified Course Catalog is now online only. It includes brief course descriptions, course titles, presenter names and contact information.
01/01/2020
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Crowd Management, Intervention, and Control

Management Counseling & Projects (MCPB)

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A fundamental role of law enforcement is the protection of the rights all people have to peacefully assemble, demonstrate, protest, or rally. In turn, law enforcement also has the responsibility to ensure public safety and to protect the lives and property of all people. These guidelines are designed to assist law enforcement leadership in addressing the many challenges and issues surrounding a response to incidents of crowd management.
02/01/2022
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De-escalation, in all its forms and definitions, is not a stand-alone remedy for conflict or force. Rather, de-escalation is an implicit commitment and explicit skill, one of many, that should be used whenever possible, but at the officer’s discretion and when feasible under the totality of the circumstances to minimize, divert, or eliminate conflict or force.
08/25/2020
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Distance Learning Handbook

Management Counseling & Projects (MCPB)

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This handbook provides guidance for presenters who wish to deliver POST courses in an online format, with direction on the certification process to migrate traditional learning courses to distance learning.
03/07/2022
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The original publication on this topic was produced and provided to law enforcement in1988. These updated guidelines reflect recent law changes and contemporary thinking concerning domestic violence. They are deliberately brief and are intended to be elaborated upon by law enforcement administrators and training presenters.
02/01/2023
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Driver Training Instructor Manual

Training Program Services (TPS)

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POST provides curriculum standards and performance objectives for meeting the minimum training standards established by the Commission. Curriculum standards and performance objectives for driver training in the Regular Basic Course are listed in Learning Domain #19.
08/01/2021
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Elder and Dependent Adult Abuse

Management Counseling & Projects (MCPB)

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POST’s Elder and Dependent Abuse Guidelines were created in compliance with Senate Bill 338 (Hueso). The bill requires any local law enforcement agency that adopts or revises a policy regarding elder or dependent adult abuse or senior and disability victimization on or after April 13, 2021, that the policy include specified provisions, including provisions related to enforcement and training. This a new guideline created in accordance with the Penal Code.
10/01/2021
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Emergency Vehicle Operations Course, Instructor Manual

Basic Training Bureau (BTB)

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The competence of a law enforcement EVOC training instructor is the focus of this manual.
01/01/1999
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Evidence and Property Function, Agency Self-Evaluation

Management Counseling & Projects (MCPB)

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This document coincides with the POST Evidence and Property Management Guide and gives agencies a tool through which to evaluate their evidence and property functions against national best practices.
02/01/2022
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Evidence and Property Management

Management Counseling & Projects (MCPB)

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This document, set in guideline format, is essential for an agency to ensure that national evidence and property storage and security best practices are met, reducing exposure to liability. This guide should be used in conjunction with the Evidence & Property Agency Self-Evaluation.
10/01/2022
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Field Training Program

Basic Training Bureau (BTB)

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The POST Field Training Program (FTP) model provides comprehensive guidelines and structured learning content to facilitate newly-assigned peace officers transitioning from an academic setting to field training where they gain hands-on experience forming the foundation of their career.
10/23/2014
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The POST Hate Crimes Model Policy has been updated to comply with state law (California Penal Code section 13519.6) that will become effective July 1, 2024. By July 1, 2024, all law enforcement agencies are required to adopt a hate crimes policy. The mandated policy must include the use of a Supplemental Hate Crimes Report (pdf) by law enforcement agencies. The Supplemental Hate Crimes Report will capture data that shall be posted on the reporting law enforcement agency’s website and be submitted to the California Department of Justice by a specified date.
03/19/2024
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These guidelines are presented in a format that will allow the reader to follow a systematic process when conducting human trafficking investigation.
11/01/2014
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Instructor's Guide to Learning Activities

Basic Training Bureau (BTB)

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These decision-making tools were developed to support the POST Strategic Plan objective to integrate leadership, ethics and community policing into California Law Enforcement training.
12/15/2005
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Interviewing Peace Officer Candidates

Strategic Communications & Research (SCR)

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This manual is intended to assist department heads and other oral interview panel members in all phases of the interview: question development, administration and candidate evaluation.
08/01/2009
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POST has refined K-9 guidelines which have been in use for more than a decade. Recognizing that agencies now use canines in specialized capacities, POST has determined that it would not attempt to standardize all functions. Instead, these guidelines recommend minimum training and evaluation benchmarks for K-9 Patrol and detection functions.
01/01/2014
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Marshal / Deputy Marshal (Entry-Level) Job Analysis

Strategic Communications & Research (SCR)

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This research project was designed to provide POST and the various Marshals' Offices with a comprehensive job analysis data base for the position of Marshal/Deputy Marshal.
04/01/1983
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The POST Medical Screening Manual is used widely in the evaluation of entry-level peace officer candidates. This current manual is a significant revision that includes changes resulting from California disability statutes.
06/01/2015
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The purpose of this Behavioral Health Guidebook is to enhance law enforcement’s understanding and awareness of mental health disorders, substance use disorders, physical disabilities, and intellectual/developmental disabilities while adhering to the four tenets of Procedural Justice: Voice, Neutrality, Respect, Trustworthiness
12/01/2023
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Missing Persons Investigations

Management Counseling & Projects (MCPB)

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The POST Missing Persons Guidelines were updated in December 2011, pursuant to Penal Code 13519.07. This manual includes the information and guidance that officers and field supervisors need to successfully investigate missing persons cases. It includes standardized curriculum to guide law enforcement agencies and POST-certified presenters in development of training for missing persons investigations.
05/01/2021
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Motor Officer Training and Operations Review for Safety (MOTORS)

Management Counseling & Projects (MCPB)

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The CA Commission on POST MOTORS Operational Guidelines and Standardized Training Recommendations can assist law enforcement agencies with the enhancement of motorcycle programs in the areas of selection, training, safety, and effectiveness. These Guidelines were developed by motorcycle operations and training subject matter experts to encourage the development of a safe riding culture in law enforcement agencies with motorcycle personnel.
07/01/2016
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Options to Maintain Training Reimbursement

POST Executive Office (EXO)

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In compliance with SB 852: Budget Act of 2014, POST has submitted a report to the Legislature that is intended to assist the members of the Legislature that consider the state budget with options to maintain training reimbursement for local law enforcement agencies that participate in the POST program.
02/01/2015
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Patrol Officer Physical Demands Study

Strategic Communications & Research (SCR)

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The purpose of the pre-academy fitness test is to provide reasonable assurance that persons entering a POST-certified Regular Basic Course will sustain significantly fewer injuries and will be unlikely to fail out of the course because of inadequate preparation to meet the physical demands of the program.
07/26/2019
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Peace Officer Job Analysis

Strategic Communications & Research (SCR)

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This report presents the update of the POST entry-level peace officer job analysis. This validation study identifies and defines the critical job activities performed by entry-level peace officers in the State of California. Survey data was collected over a 1-year period with 1,237 law enforcement officers representing 236 different agencies (39%) within 50 different counties (86%). This survey information was reviewed in a series of meetings with subject matter experts (SMEs). The report lists critical task statements, linkages between job tasks and job functions, and between job functions and job competencies.
08/01/2016
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Peace Officer Training Annual Report

POST Executive Office (EXO)

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This report is annual and will demonstrate the use of the funds until the funding is exhausted. The Legislature provided POST with a one-time $25 million General Fund budget augmentation to be allocated to the subject areas of De-escalation, Crisis Mental Health, and Innovative Grants. These funds are available for encumbrance or expenditure through June 30, 2021.
04/20/2020
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Physical Fitness Program (In-Service), Coordinator's Manual

Strategic Communications & Research (SCR)

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The program described in this manual is designed to promote officer fitness by recognizing officers who achieve and maintain exemplarv levels of physical fitness. In addition to meeting these standards, all program participants are required to develop and maintain a personal exercise program.
01/01/1993
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Physical Fitness Program (In-Service), Officer's Manual

Strategic Communications & Research (SCR)

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The program is designed to promote officer fitness by recognizing officers who achieve and maintain exemplary levels of physical fitness.
01/01/1993
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Police Training Program

Basic Training Bureau (BTB)

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The POST Police Training Program (PTP) model is a program that focuses on Problem-Based Learning (PBL) and provides comprehensive guidelines and structured learning content to facilitate newly-assigned peace officers transitioning from an academic setting to field training where they gain hands-on experience forming the foundation of their career.
09/22/2014
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POST Entry-Level Law Enforcement Test Battery User's Manual

Strategic Communications & Research (SCR)

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This manual provides information regarding a battery of cognitive ability tests developed by POST for use in selecting candidates for entry-level employment in the law enforcement occupation.
02/01/1996
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Pre-Offer Personality Testing of Peace Officers (Entry-Level)

Strategic Communications & Research (SCR)

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Unlike psychological examinations, personality tests can lawfully be administered early on in the hiring process, prior to the extension of a conditional offer of employment. This Resource Guide provides law enforcement agencies with the information necessary to weigh the costs and benefits of adding a personality test to the pre-offer phase of the peace officer hiring process.
04/01/2010
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Pre-Offer Personality Testing of Peace Officers (Entry-Level), Report

Strategic Communications & Research (SCR)

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This report summarizes the findings and recommendations of an 18-month project conducted pursuant to POST Commission Strategic Plan Objective A.1 to "Establish personality assessment for law enforcement selection."
04/01/2010
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Psychological Screening Manual, Peace Officer

Strategic Communications & Research (SCR)

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The POST Peace Officer Psychological Screening Manual provides guidance on all phases and aspects of the psychological evaluation process, from the selection and training of screening psychologists, to procedures for reaching a suitability determination and beyond.
08/01/2022
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Public Safety Dispatcher (Entry-Level), Examinee Guide

Strategic Communications & Research (SCR)

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This Test Battery was designed to measure the aptitude for performing public safety dispatcher work. The tests measure general abilities that are normally developed over an extended period of time. They are not designed to measure job-specific knowledge or skills that are taught in training.
02/01/1996
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Public Safety Dispatcher (Entry-Level), Selection Test Battery User's Manual

Strategic Communications & Research (SCR)

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This manual provides information regarding a battery of cognitive ability tests developed by POST for use in selecting candidates for entry-level employment in the public safety dispatcher occupation.
02/01/1996
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Public Safety Dispatcher Job Analysis Validation Report

Strategic Communications & Research (SCR)

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POST conducted a validation study to identify and define critical job activities performed by entry-level public safety dispatchers in the state of California. The purpose of this job analysis was to define the practice of dispatchers in terms of the actual job tasks that new entry-level dispatchers must be able to perform safely and competently. The results of this job analysis will be used to validate the content of the POST Entry-Level Dispatcher Selection Test Battery (PELDSTB), serve as the foundation for updating the Public Safety Dispatchers’ Basic Course, and aid in any future dispatcher research projects.
07/01/2022
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Public Safety Dispatcher, Becoming an Exemplary

Training Program Services (TPS)

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From an overview of the job, to looking beyond training, this publication is a tool that educates and equips applicants, academy students, and public safety dispatchers with skills to assist them in making insightful decisions that result in longer-term career success.
08/01/2015
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Public Safety Dispatchers' Basic Course, Training Specifications

Basic Training Bureau (BTB)

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This publication provides a standardized curriculum to guide law enforcement agencies, and POST-certified presenters, in the initial orientation and training of newly selected public safety dispatchers.
05/01/2002
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Reading and Writing Test, Validation

Strategic Communications & Research (SCR)

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Reading and writing abilities are important for the successful performance of patrol officer work. This report fully describes an empirical validation study of the POST Reading and Writing Tests, and summarizes several previous POST studies.
11/01/1994
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Reading and Writing Tests (Entry-Level), Report

Strategic Communications & Research (SCR)

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This report summarizes research, funded by a 1978 LEAA grant, in the development of reading and writing tests to be used for the entry level screening of law enforcement applicants.
04/01/1981
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Records Function, Agency Self-Evaluation

Management Counseling & Projects (MCPB)

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The failure to manage the records function can affect the successful prosecution of criminal violators, resulting in liability and loss of public confidence. This self-evaluation provides agencies with an effective tool to assist in meeting recommended records management guidelines.
06/01/2022
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This guide was developed as a best practices resource for law enforcement. It provides a framework to assist agencies in the development of written directives to document and standardize the processes related to the law enforcement records function.
06/01/2022
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Recruitment Strategic Planning

Management Counseling & Projects (MCPB)

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This document, coupled with the Recruitment and Retention Best Practices Update, provides a solid foundation for any law enforcement agency to develop a recruitment strategic plan.
11/01/2009
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Regulations, POST

POST

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The POST Program exists under the authority of, and in compliance, with California Penal Code Sections l3503, 13506, and l3510. The POST Program is voluntary. A jurisdiction or department that desires to participate in the POST Program may apply, and if accepted, must adhere to the regulations stated in this manual.
01/01/2000
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Respiratory Protection Program

Management Counseling & Projects (MCPB)

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The Model Respiratory Protection Program for Law Enforcement will assist law enforcement agencies in developing their own written agency program that satisfies Cal/OSHA requirements. The model program was originally developed by POST, in conjunction with Cal/OSHA, the California Police Chief’s Association, and the California State Sheriffs’ Association in 2004.
02/01/2018
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Sexual Assault Investigation

Management Counseling & Projects (MCPB)

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A comprehensive manual for sexual assault investigation; includes applicable state and federal regulations.
02/01/2021
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Student Safety in Certified Courses

Management Counseling & Projects (MCPB)

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These guidelines establish procedures to reduce and prevent injuries to students during reality-based training, while still providing a valid training experience.
04/03/2024
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Penal Code Section 13514.1 directs the Commission to develop and disseminate guidelines and standardized training recommendations for law enforcement officers, supervisors, and administrators, who are assigned to perform, supervise, or manage Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) operations. The guidelines and recommendations contained within this document represent the best thinking of contemporary law enforcement practitioners and serve as a resource for agencies and training presenters. They are intended to provide guidance in the formation, oversight, operation, and training of SWAT teams. While these guidelines encourage standardization, they are deliberately general in construct to accommodate individual agencies’ policies regarding the operational deployment of SWAT teams.
09/01/2019
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The primary goal of tactical medicine is to support and assist a tactical team in accomplishing its mission during a deployment or response to a critical incident. Significant progress, growth, and advancement in tactical medicine training and education have occurred over the last two decades, and this has resulted in the development of specific training programs for tactical medicine providers and operators. This publication addresses critical legal and practical issues of the tactical medicine component of SWAT operations identified in the POST SWAT Guidelines.
03/01/2010
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Uniformed Patrol Officer (Entry-Level) Job Analysis, Tasks

Strategic Communications & Research (SCR)

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The purpose of the study was to identify the important job duties that are performed by entry-level uniformed patrol officers statewide. The results provide a basis for subsequent analysis of entry-level patrol officer basic job requirements, that is, the knowledge and skills that are necessary for successful performance of entry-level uniformed patrol officer duties.
04/01/1999
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Use of Force Standards and Guidelines

Management Counseling & Projects (MCPB)

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This model policy framework articulates statewide standards and provides guidelines for law enforcement agencies to use as a resource in the creation of their use of force policy pursuant to Section 7286 of the Government Code.
11/12/2021
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These guidelines are designed to assist law enforcement executives in addressing the broad range of issues surrounding vehicle pursuits. Accordingly, the guidelines are intended to promote discussion, analysis, and review of the agency’s pursuit policy. It is recommended that these policies be developed in concert with agency legal counsel.
03/01/2022