Involvement in community and professional activities, an understanding of the dynamics of leadership, an understanding of issues and concerns facing the future of California law enforcement, letters of reference attesting to the applicant's leadership abilities, and knowledge of computers at the word processing level are minimum requirements for participation in the Command College.
Participants in the program must be nominated by their agency chief executive and will be selected by an interview 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-serve basis as established by the date the application is received by POST.
Applicants must meet minimum experience requirements at the time the application is submitted.
Sworn Peace Officers
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
Be involved in community and professional activities
Possess basic word processing skills and the ability to conduct research on the Internet
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 three years after completion of the Command College program
Professional Staff and Correctional Staff
Be eligible for a POST Management Certificate
Have completed the POST Management Course, OR
Have completed the POST Civilian Management Course and the POST Advanced Civilian Management Course, or equivalent as determined by POST
Class 56 is scheduled to begin in December 2013. The Application deadline for Class 56 is August 2, 2013. Applications are accepted on a continuous first-come, first-served basis. View Class 56 Schedule (pdf).
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 an 18-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.
The Command College Application Package consists of:
California law enforcement professionals wishing to apply to the program must send a completed Command College Package to the Commission on POST, 1601 Alhambra Blvd., Sacramento, CA 95816-7083, Attention: Center for Leadership Development. Applications are accepted on a continuous basis.
Upon receipt of the application, applicants will be sent a letter confirming that their package was received.
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 three 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:
The completion of an environmental scanning assignment and related forecasts in each of the five STEEP categories in the student’s professional transactional environment
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
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
The completion of significant data collection and reporting on that data, including the use of nominal group panels, interviews, survey instruments and similar means
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
The completion of a strategic plan grounded in the issues identified in the four scenarios created previously
The completion of a change management plan
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
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.
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
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:
In the upper right hand corner click the ‘sign in’ button
Enter your POST ID, last name, last 4 of your social, & birth year
Then click ‘sign in’
Once you go through the sign in process you must also contact Melanie Dunn at (916) 227-3908 to be placed within the proper course management group.
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.
When you have been added into the Command College Network you will have to sign in again to view
Once signed in, hover over the Training Tab in the menu and click on first item in the drop down menu, Command College Network
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.
Class 52 Graduation
Commencement ceremonies were held on April 26, 2013, for Command College Class 52. Congratulations to the graduating students, their families, and their agencies!
Captain Darren Arakawa, South Gate Police Department
Captain Matthew Basgall, Clovis Police Department
Captain Nils Bentsen, San Bernardino County Sheriffs Dept
Lieutenant Richard L. Boswell, San Bernardino County Sheriffs Dept
Captain Donald Deming, Lompoc Police Department
Lieutenant Armen Dermenjian, Burbank Police Department
Captain Michael Dust, California Highway Patrol
Lieutenant Dan Fink, San Rafael Police Department
Lieutenant Jennifer Gonzales, Chico Police Department
Captain Andrew R. Greenwood, Berkeley Police Department
Deputy Chief Mike Hamel, Irvine Police Department
Lieutenant Jason Kravetz, Laguna Beach Police Department
Assistant Chief Ruben Leal, California Highway Patrol
Lieutenant Anthony T. Martinez, Fresno Police Department
Captain Stefan T. Moore, Roseville Police Department
Captain Mitchell Mueller, California Highway Patrol
Lieutenant Debbie Peecook, Napa Police Department
Captain Russell Dean Reinhart, Huntington Beach Police Department
Lieutenant Valencia I. Saadat, Oceanside Police Department
Lieutenant Matt Sarsfield, Livermore Police Department
Lieutenant Tom Sigley, Tulare County Sheriffs Office
Lieutenant Brent Smith, Ceres Police Department
Lieutenant Jaeson D. White, California Highway Patrol
Class 53 Graduation Schedule
Class Speaker: Captain Mitch Mueller
Outstanding Faculty Award: Chris Driesbach
Dorothy Harris Award: Deputy Chief Michael Hamel
Hank Koehn Award: Deputy Chief Michael Hamel
Futures Portfolio Presentation: Captain Donald Deming
Commencement ceremonies are scheduled for Command College Class 53 at 9:00 a.m. on September 13, 2013, at the Double Tree in San Diego, Mission Valley.
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.
“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
California Highway Patrol
“Law enforcement executives have busy lives and are constantly reacting to one problem or another. We become experts in problem solving, but we also get tunnel vision and rarely see beyond our own city. There is a big world out there made much smaller today by the technology and communication available, but how many of us spend the time researching and looking ahead to see how technology, computer viruses, various diseases, immigration, the economy, and other issues will affect law enforcement? Leadership courses commonly ask us to look five years ahead and make goals, but what about looking ten, fifteen, even twenty years down the road and doing a little pre-planning for our successors? After attending Command College and investing 18 months in, at times, challenging course work, I now look ahead and much further afield than Northern California. For years I had talked myself out of attending Command College and justified my decision with numerous excuses. It would have been simple to have continued to do that, but I made a ‘command’ decision and survived to tell the tale. Eighteen months of hard work has left me wiser, better informed, with many more contacts and some life long friends. In addition, I take pride in knowing I have achieved something that benefits both me and the profession.”
Sacramento Police Department
“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.”
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.”
Marin County Sheriff’s Department
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. You may also search all Command College Articles in the Library On-Line Catalog.
Administration Services Manager Nancy Dawn (Class 51) Los Gatos/Monte Sereno Police Department
What Can Law Enforcement Learn from Federal Express
Journal of California Law Enforcement, Volume 47, No. 1
Captain Mark Shaw (Class 50) California Highway Patrol
Dispatchers In the Clouds: Cloud Computing and the Modern PSAP
9-1-1 Magazine, March 19, 2013
Lieutenant Douglas A. Pittman (Class 50) Marin County Sheriffs Office
Virtual Command Systems; The Future of Emergency Operating Centers
PoliceOne Magazine, March 19, 2012 and
California Public Information Officer's Association (CAPIO), May 2012
Captain Joe Bianco (Class 50) Bakersfield Police Department
An Elite Hybrid Crime Fighting Force for California Neighborhoods
World Future Review, Volume 5 No. 1 March 2013
Captain Brian Addington (Class 49) Pittsburg PD
Law Enforcement Needs Another Stephanie Kwolek
The Chief of Police, Fall 2011 Vol. XXV
Commander James Schnabl (Class 49) Santa Ana Police Department
Reinventing the Police Report for the 21st Century, Are Video Police Reports the Answer?
Police Chief, September 2012
Lieutenant Michael Morris (Class 49) CSU, Channel Islands Police Department
Mining Student Data Could Save Lives
The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 2011
Lieutenant Michael Stark (Class 48) Fontana Police Department
Law Enforcement Technology Video Surveillance
Law and Order, September 2011
Lieutenant Randy De Anda (Class 48) Rialto Police Department
California’s Legalization of Marijuana “A Mixed Bag”
California Narcotic Officer Magazine, Volume 27, No.2
Lieutenant Daniel Adams (Class 49) Albany Police Department
Running the Gauntlet: Pocket Video Recorders in Modern Policing
CPOA – The Journal of California Law Enforcement, Volume 45
Lieutenant Carl E. Nielsen (Class 48),Turlock Police Department
Dispatching in Slippers: The Future of Public Safety Communication Centers?
9-1-1 Magazine.com, Feature Content - April 2011
Captain Don Hutchinson (Class 48), Placer County Sheriff’s Department
The Trouble with Translation
Law Enforcement Magazine.com, Feature Content – April 2011
Commander Kevin Hart (Class 47), Alameda County Sheriff’s Office
First Responders – Time to give up your DNA
California State Sheriff’s Association Magazine, March 2011
Lieutenant Mark Fields (Class 46), California Highway Patrol
Who’s In Your Wallet?
CPOA Journal of CA Law Enforcement, June 2011
Lieutenant Patrick Nelson (Class 47), Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
Forensic Science: A Crisis of Confidence
CPOA’s Journal of CA Law Enforcement, January 2011