Professional Standards and Training

The Department of Police Services is a professional, well-trained department. In 2015, members of the Department of Police Services participated in 9,884 hours of professional development and/or specialized skills training.

Training for Department personnel is determined based on the needs of the campus community, current law enforcement trends, recommendations from the Police Services’ training committee, standards set forth by the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and training (POST), and directives from the Chief of Police.

A notable training program is the annual critical incident multi-agency active shooter exercise with participation by the Los Angeles Police Department, California Highway Patrol, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, and the Los Angeles Unified School Police. This annual training strengthens the partnerships with our outside agencies, and produces a collaborative training efforts for today’s most critical emergencies.

The Department of Police Services continues to conduct an in-house firearms program involving marksmanship qualification, low-light shooting, and combat courses that incorporate movement, multiple targets, moving targets, and shoot/don’t shoot decision-making scenarios. In addition, briefing and in-service training occurs during each watch and is generally conducted by the shift supervisor or other qualified instructor. Recurring topics for in-service training include review of department policies, legal updates, informational bulletins, and the use of new equipment.

In 2012, University Counseling Services in collaboration with Kognito Interactive Online provided access to an online course for police officers and university staff on identifying students with mental health issues. The training provided the skills to identify students experiencing high levels of distress, how to approach a student and discuss the issue, and if necessary, how to make an effective referral to support services. University Counseling Services and Kognito Interactive Online also provided access to an online course designed to identify the unique challenges faced by many student veterans. This course provided useful tips on how best to interact with student veterans, and information on the various on and off campus resources available to student veterans.

Twenty-eight police officers and seven police services dispatchers typically complete over 1,000 hours of POST-certified training per year. Police officers and dispatchers completed POST telecourses on subjects including pursuit driving and legal update.

The Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) was established by the legislature in 1959 to set minimum selection and training standards for California law enforcement agencies. All sworn personnel and public safety dispatchers are required to complete pre-service and specialized skills training according to POST guidelines. Sworn personnel and public safety dispatchers must maintain compliance with the Continuing Professional Training (CPT) requirement of 24 hours of training every 24 months.

Peace officers must also complete the Perishable Skills Program (PSP) during each 24 month CPT period. The PSP requires peace officers of the rank of sergeant and below to complete 14 hours of psycho-motor based training courses every 24 months. The 14 hours may be counted towards satisfying the 24 hours needed under the CPT requirement. The four categories of PSP courses are: Tactical Firearms; Driver Awareness; Arrest and Control; and Tactical and Interpersonal Communications.

Successful completion of the basic police academy is a requirement under Penal Code 832.3 for all state university peace officers. This requirement must be completed prior to the exercise of police powers. Academies must adhere to a POST curriculum that consists of over 850 hours of training in topics such as arrest and firearms; child abuse; domestic violence; gang and drug enforcement; hate crimes; missing persons; racial and cultural diversity; and emergency vehicle and pursuit training.

After completion of the academy, new police officers complete a one-week orientation period. The orientation week allows the new officer to become familiar with department rules, regulations, and procedures. After the orientation week, the officer is assigned to a field training officer (FTO) and begins a twelve-week field training and evaluation program, with minimum content and curriculum specified by POST.