POST Excellence in Training Award

About the Award

The POST Excellence in Training Award annually recognizes truly outstanding law enforcement trainers.  Previously known as the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Peace Officer Training, the awards for training excellence began in 1994.

The POST Excellence in Training Award recognizes individuals and organizations for outstanding achievements and contributions to law enforcement training.  The award encourages and fosters innovation, quality, and effectiveness. The award is given in three categories: Individual Achievement, Organizational Achievement, and Lifetime Achievement.  The awards are presented by the Commission at a special ceremony in June.  Runners-up receive honorary certificates of recognition.

Review Process

The nominations for the three categories of the award are reviewed each year by the POST Advisory Committee.  The Advisory Committee includes representatives with broad-based interests in the law enforcement profession.  The nominations are evaluated using specific criteria for the three awards. The Committee deliberates and makes its recommendations to the Commission. The Commission makes the final award selections.


This page describes the evaluation criteria used by the panel to select each winner in the three award categories.

Individual Achievement

The award for Individual Achievement is given for remarkable effort or accomplishment resulting in a singularly significant or extraordinary contribution to public law enforcement training.

The individual's contribution must involve innovation, a demonstrably effective project, task, or assignment that has significantly impacted or benefited law enforcement training at the organizational, local or state level. Outstanding contributions may include, but are not limited to, innovative approaches in the preparation, presentation, application, implementation, evaluation, planning and/or management of law enforcement training programs.

Organizational Achievement

This award category recognizes the achievements and contributions made by an organization dedicated to law enforcement training. The award is one wherein training responsibilities and initiatives must have resulted in substantial contributions to public law enforcement and reflect a high degree of training effectiveness and service. The contribution must be documented and describe one or more projects or programs that are primarily training in nature rather than an operational activity.

Outstanding contributions may include, but are not limited to, innovative approaches in the analysis, design, development, implementation, evaluation, or delivery of law enforcement training programs. The criteria may include both quantum and long-term improvements or successes.

Lifetime Achievement

The Lifetime Achievement is presented to individuals who have contributed to public law enforcement training over a substantial period of the individual's career. During this time, individuals must have achieved a remarkable record of demonstrable results, including quality, substance, and innovative impact. He or she must have consistently maintained highly creative and effective effort, displayed exemplary service, and exhibited strong leadership skills. The individual must also enjoy a reputation as an innovator and leader among peers and within the local, state, and regional levels.


This section lists the qualifications and supporting documents required for the award nominations.


To be eligible for an award, individuals or organizations must have shown demonstrated skills, innovative approaches, commitment, energy and intelligence devoted to law enforcement training based on the criteria for each award category. The nominee's contribution will have shown a clear impact on the advancement of California law enforcement training at an extraordinary level.

Nominated individuals may include, but are not limited to, those who are currently or have been law enforcement trainers, law enforcement personnel, private trainers, or educators. Nominees for Lifetime Achievement must have been active in law enforcement training for a minimum of 15 years.

Nominated organizations may include law enforcement agencies, colleges or universities, private presenters or developers, or non-profit foundations engaged in the training of peace officers.

Supporting Documents

The noted accomplishments must be documented and include information about financial, operational, and/or related benefits realized by California law enforcement as a direct result of the nominee's contribution or service. The achievement(s) must have occurred in any year(s) prior to the award year for which the individual or organization is being nominated.

Nomination Application Process

The nomination period for the 2017 POST Excellence in Training Awards is now opened (see below instructions for making a nomination).  All nominations must be postmarked by December 1, 2017.  POST will return nominations postmarked after this date to the nominator.

The 2017 award recipients will be announced at the February 2018 POST Commission Meeting.  The winners will be honored at a special ceremony at the POST Commission Meeting on June 21, 2018 at 9:30 a.m.

Questions about the POST Excellence in Training Award may be directed to Assistant Executive Director Scott Loggins.

Instructions for Making a Nomination

Below are instructions for submitting a nominee(s) for the POST Excellence in Training Award:

  1. Review the "Categories", "Eligibility", and "Award Criteria" tabs to ensure that your nominee meets all qualifications and requirements.  All nominations will be reviewed by the Awards Panel.
  2. All nominations must be submitted on the Nomination for POST Excellence in Training Award Form (doc).
  3. After completing the form, a printed copy must be signed by the department head/CEO or designee of the nominating organization and then mailed to POST.  (Nominations submitted in any other format will be returned without consideration.)
  4. The narrative justification of 1,000 words or less (excluding supporting documentation) in Section 3 must be completed to be considered for an award.
  5. Supporting documents must be listed in Section 4 with a brief description and be included with the application. (Supporting documents will not be returned.)
  6. Applications submitted without the narrative, supporting documents, or appropriate signature will be returned without consideration.
  7. Use the Checklist as a guide to ensure a complete application has been submitted.
  8. Applications must be postmarked no later than December 1, 2017.  Any application postmarked after this date will not be considered.
  9. Applications submitted in previous years must be properly resubmitted to be eligible for the current year's award.
  10. Note:  Any returned applications may be resubmitted with appropriate corrections prior to the deadline.
  11. Please do not submit applications in a bound format.
  12. Send completed applications to:

Excellence in Training Screening Committee
c/o California POST
860 Stillwater Road, Suite 100
West Sacramento, CA  95605-1630

Nomination Checklist

Based on the nomination category, use this checklist to make sure that you have properly completed the application form and addressed the specific factors required for award consideration. Refer to Eligibility and Award Categories for complete qualification details.

Once the final candidates have been selected, the POST Advisory Committee will make award recommendations to the POST Commission. The Commission will make the final award decisions.

The specific checklist for each category is listed below:

  • Individual Achievement:
    • Identify specific accomplishment(s) representing significant or extraordinary contribution(s) to law enforcement training.
    • Identify specific innovation(s) in training methods, programs, approaches, technology, etc.
    • Describe the impact the achievement(s) have had on law enforcement training.
  • Organizational Achievement:
    • Identify the specific training project or program for which the organization is being nominated.
    • Demonstrate that the project or program primarily addresses training rather than operations, and show a substantial contribution to law enforcement training.
  • Lifetime Achievement:
    • Include the number of years the nominee has contributed to law enforcement training (minimum 15 years with supporting documents).
    • Describe the nominee's reputation, including aspects as an innovator and leader at the local, regional, and/or state levels.
    • Identify specific accomplishment(s) representing significant or extraordinary contribution(s) to law enforcement training.

Final Check For All Categories

The nomination identifies specifics about the achievement(s), contribution(s), and impact(s) rather than generalities.

The narrative justification clearly addresses factors of innovation, impact, and reputation/recognition, and is less than 1,000 words.

The Individual and Lifetime Achievement applications are not for oneself.

The application form (doc) is appropriately signed and all supporting documents are included before submitting to POST.

Award Criteria

Nominees are evaluated based on this specific criteria by the panel to select each winner.


Nominees will be evaluated on the use of unique and innovative approaches in the design, development, implementation, and presentation of training programs, leading to improved quality or delivery of law enforcement practices. Innovation also includes new or creative approaches to program delivery, or the introduction of new technology or creative uses for existing technology that lead to improved quality or delivery of law enforcement training.


The nomination should fully describe the effectiveness of the achievement(s) on law enforcement training. Are improvement(s) resulting from the accomplishment(s) limited to the immediate organization, or do they impact or have the potential to impact other law enforcement organizations at the local, regional, or state levels? The nomination should include any quality, cost effectiveness, operational, or other related improvement(s) derived or projected as the result of the nominee's accomplishment(s).

The nomination for Lifetime Achievement should focus on the same points but should be discussed in terms of accomplishments throughout the nominee's career in law enforcement training. The number of years (minimum 15) that the nominee has been in law enforcement training must be documented.

Reputation / Recognition

Nominations will be evaluated based on the reputation and recognition of the nominated individual or organization. The nomination should emphasize how "sought out for advice" the nominee is by his or her peers. It should also identify the nominee's reputation as a leader and innovator within law enforcement training and any official recognition made by the individual's organization or peers.


2016 Award Winners

2016 Individual AchievementIndividual Achievement

Winner:  Sergeant Casey Bokavich, Redding Police Department

Sergeant Casey Bokavich is a 27-year veteran law enforcement officer, is the department training manager and supervisor of the force options team, and supervisor of the defensive tactics program at the Butte College Police Academy. Sergeant Bokavich was nominated for his work delivering Force Options training to the local community.

As a result of his effort, the Redding Police Department has been able to facilitate ongoing dialogue between the community and law enforcement with respect to Use-of-Force and decision-making, which is a tremendously critical challenge, as well as an opportunity for law enforcement. 

Sergeant Bokavich’s work and leadership has fostered a climate of collaboration between law enforcement and the public.  Many members of his community have a newfound respect and understanding for the law enforcement profession, as well as an appreciation for the challenges peace officers face on a day-to-day basis. 

This outreach by Sergeant Bokavich has been instrumental in increasing the positive level of collaboration and dialogue between law-enforcement and community leaders. His impact on community relations and law enforcement has been recognized by agencies, not only in the region and California, but throughout the United States.

Sergeant Bokavich was presented this prestigious award in a ceremony at POST headquarters on June 26, 2017.


2016 Organizational AchievementOrganizational Achievement

Winner:  California Highway Patrol

Recognizing the critical investment in basic training that is the foundation of every law enforcement agency, the California Highway Patrol took the initiative to incorporate a new and creative process at its academy. This new process not only emphasizes the importance of public service, but also reinforces the importance of lifelong wellness as a component of service delivery to the community those officers will eventually serve.

The CHP refers to this endeavor has Stress Resiliency, and has incorporated it into the academy to better prepare its cadets for the challenges they will face, not only in the Basic Academy, but throughout the field training program and the remainder of their careers. At the heart of this process is the commitment of the organization and academy staff to emphasize the Nobility of Policing.

The CHP Academy has found this to be a very critical crossroad in the career of the students.  It has reduced the failure rate of cadets, and it has helped create an emotional connection between the students, Academy staff and their future profession, as well as the teamwork construct that is so critical to law enforcement operations.

The CHP was presented this prestigious award in a ceremony at POST headquarters on June 26, 2017. Representing the CHP, and accepting this award on behalf of the organization was Commissioner Joe Farrow.


2016 Lifetime AchievementLifetime Achievement

Winner:  Gordon Sievert​, Retired

Gordon Sievert is a 37-year law enforcement veteran from the San Mateo Police Department, who has dedicated himself to service to others as they enter one of society’s most challenging and dangerous professions.

Gordon became involved in training law enforcement officers early in his career and has taught a vast array of topics from report writing, to firearms and defensive tactics, to racial profiling, and many other disciplines in-between.

He also serves as a Subject Matter Expert for POST, helping to research emerging training needs and develop contemporary law enforcement training curriculum.

His most remarkable contribution is his service to the next generation of law enforcement officers, who have inherited the mantle of public safety for all of us.  Conservatively, it is estimated he has trained over 600 new law enforcement officers, as a longtime training coordinator for the South Bay Regional Public Safety Training Consortium. On any given day Gordon's protégé's are likely protecting the streets of our communities...a very remarkable accomplishment and legacy to honor.

Gordon Sievert was presented this prestigious award in a ceremony at POST headquarters on June 26, 2017.

Past Award Recipients


2015 Individual AchievementIndividual Achievement

Winner:  Deputy Anthony A. Moore, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

Deputy Anthony Moore is an 18 year veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.  He’s served in several assignments including the Information Bureau and currently in the Criminal Intelligence Bureau.  Deputy Moore is a recognized expert on social media investigations, crypto-currency, and emerging internet trends.  With this knowledge he has shown members of law enforcement a better way to conduct investigations on cyber and social media related crimes.

Deputy Moore’s training allowed the Sheriff’s Department to develop a social media monitoring program which was an important part of the department’s strategy during protests related to Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Los Angeles, and he received the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Exemplary Service award for this endeavor.  

Deputy Moore conducts extensive training and has lectured and been on panels at numerous conferences.  His training has been directly related to an increase in the rate of successful prosecutions of social media and cyber related crime.

Runner-up: Sergeant Theresa Dawson, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department


2015 Organizational AchievementOrganizational Achievement

Winner:  Orange Police Department, Mental Health Program

In 2008 in an effort to find a better way to serve persons with mental illness, members the Orange Police Department staff joined the Board of Directors of the Mental Health Association of Orange County.  By 2009 the Orange Police Department began to co-host the annual “Meeting of the Minds” Conference that brings medical and mental health professionals together with community groups and law enforcement to participate in dynamic training.  Their efforts led to the development of a video training suite that enhance officers’ skills in responding to and de-escalating these contacts. 

In June 2013 the Orange Police Department formed the Homeless, Engagement, Assistance and Resource Team (HEART) to serve the City of Orange.  HEART was developed and implemented to provide long-term, innovative strategies for responding to transient related calls.  Utilizing HEART officers on calls involving the homeless population and individuals with mental illness, has eased the demand on patrol resources.  The partnership with Mental Health Association of Orange County has resulted in the assignment of licensed clinicians to ride along with HEART officers on patrol.

Partnering with St. Joseph Hospital Board Certified Psychiatric Mental Health medical staff, the Orange Police Department developed lesson plans for a 24-hour training series for all Orange police officers.

The Orange Police Department has received widespread recognition for their mental health training videos, and continues to receive requests for their videos and mental health curriculum.  HEART has been widely recognized as a successful model that has directly lead to more compassionate and comprehensive assistance to this special population.

Representing and accepting the award for the Orange Police Department was Retired Chief Robert Gustafson and Chief Tom Kisela.

Runner-up: Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Training Bureau/Video Production Unit, Surviving an Active Shooter.


2015 Lifetime AchievementLifetime Achievement

Winner:  Mildred K. O‘Linn, Partner, Manning & Kass, Ellrod, Ramirez, Trester, LLP

Ms. O’Linn has an unparalleled background as an attorney and technical expert in law enforcement civil liability, and peace officer training and tactics.  For eight years she was a peace officer at Kent State University Police Department, and became a trainer for basic and in-service officers in self-defense, PR-24 and baton, TASER, physical fitness and use of force. 

As a recognized expert in the use of force, Ms. O’Linn has been an expert witness in civil litigation and has been called upon by numerous agencies across the country to serve as a consultant on police training issues, procedure and policy formulation, and to review high profile incidents. 

Ms. O’Linn has received numerous awards and recognition and has dedicated a lifetime promoting the professionalism of law enforcement is an understatement.  Her work over the past several years has directly improved the safety of peace officers in California and nationally, and has been the catalyst of improving the relationships between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve.

Runner-up:  William W. Bedsworth, Associate Justice, California courts, 4th District Court of Appeal


2014 Award Winners

2014 Individual AchievementIndividual Achievement Award Winner

Winner:  Training Officer Wynn Mooney, Fresno Police Department is the winner of the 2014 POST Excellence in Training Award for Individual Achievement.

Training Officer Wynn Mooney is an Emergency Vehicle Operations Course (EVOC) instructor and trainer for the Fresno Police Department’s Regional Training Center.  Officer Mooney is also an instructor for the Fresno City College Regional Training Center Police Academy and the College of the Sequoias Police Academy.  He is responsible for course instruction in all learning domains and practical exercises related to driver training.  He helped with the design and the development of the current driving course for both academies which uses the Fresno Police Department Regional Training Center’s track and driver awareness area.  Officer Mooney has been training officers for over 20 years and is a well respected and knowledgeable instructor for the Fresno Police Department.  He provides training for over 85 agencies, yearly.  As a result of Officer Mooney’s innovative training, agencies that have been trained by Officer Mooney have experienced reduced injuries and liability costs related to traffic collisions.

Runner-up:  Sergeant Don Hudalla, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is the runner-up for the 2014 POST Excellence in Training Award for Individual Achievement.

2014 Organizational AchievementOrganizational Achievement Award Winner

Winner:  Museum of Tolerance, Tool for Tolerance® for Law Enforcement Program is the winner of the 2014 POST Excellence in Training Award for Organizational Achievement.

The Tool for Tolerance® for Law Enforcement (TFTLE) Program is designed to equip law enforcement professionals with tools to deliver an effective level of service to their communities.TFTLE developed a unique emotive and cognitive approach by using cutting-edge technologies to augment traditional teaching methods.The state-of-the-art exhibitory nature of the Museum of Tolerance (MOT) engages participants in an in-depth exploration of the process of dehumanization during the Holocaust and other genocides, and an examination of historical and contemporary examples of intolerance, including hate vs. free speech, Civil Rights Movement, exploitation of women and children, and the plight of refugees.An anonymous voting mechanism allows participants to register honest opinions as a springboard for probing discussion. By utilizing a variety of learning methods including interactive technology, personal testimonies, and group discussion, TFTLE provides an educational experience that engages students on many levels.The program is inclusive and is geared toward uniformed and civilian personnel at every level (e.g., from recruits to Chief).Participants examine the process of building trust and respect and enhance their critical thinking skills in the areas of diversity, ethics, and values.

Representing and accepting the award for the Museum of Tolerance, Tool for Tolerance® for Law Enforcement Program was Director Mark Katrikh.

Runner-up:  San Diego Police Department, Wellness Unit is the runner-up for the 2014 POST Excellence in Training Award for Organizational Achievement.

2014 Lifetime AchievementLifetime Achievement Aware

Winner: Retired Director Gregory T. Dossey, Allan Hancock Police Academy and Retired Sergeant, Los Angeles Police Department is the winner of the 2014 POST Excellence in Training Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Gregory T. Dossey is recognized around the world for his development of the Los Angeles Police Department Arrest and Control Course.  As an arrest and control expert, Mr. Dossey used his education in the field of physiology and developed a program that is innovative and unique.  The program has impacted law enforcement officers and set standards for all officers hired and trained at LAPD.  His work with POST, as a subject matter expert, has had a significant impact in physical fitness and arrest and control training.  His training programs have also increased the level of professionalism and reduced injuries.  Mr. Dossey is a past president of the California Academy Directors Association and was a long serving member of POST’s Instructor Standards Advisory Council.  He has had a major impact on self defense training for law enforcement officers on local, state, and worldwide levels.  Mr. Dossey focused on physical fitness training as “lifetime fitness” and “walked the talk” as an example to the many recruits he has trained, throughout his career.

Runner-up:  Assistant Chief Sandy Jo MacArthur, Los Angeles Police Department is the runner-up for the 2014 POST Excellence in Training Award for Lifetime Achievement.


2013 Award Winners

2013 Individual Achievement2013 Individual Achievement Award Winner

Detective Edward M. Nordskog has been assigned to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Arson/Explosives details for the past 16 years.  Detective Nordskog is an expert on serial arson investigation and has lectured to law enforcement agencies throughout California.  He has developed an outstanding reputation and is sought out by countries worldwide to lecture on serial arson and fire investigations.  He is a course developer and instructor for the Arson and Explosive Investigation Course.  Detective Nordskog has won numerous awards, including the “Excellence in Instruction” award given by the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training, Institute of Criminal Investigation (ICI) program.  He has brought about a paradigm shift to the field of serial arson investigations.  Detective Nordskog has developed curriculum that provides a list of solutions and strategies for fire investigators to enhance their knowledge and skill sets, resulting in a higher success rate in prosecuting serial arsonists.  He has conducted over 1,700 fire investigations.  Detective Nordskog has a Master’s Degree in Emergency Services Management from California State University, Long Beach, and is recognized as a Certified Fire Investigator by the California State Fire Marshal.

Runner-up:  None.

2013 Organizational Achievement2013 Organizational Achievement Award Winner

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) adopted the mission of the “Below 100” national campaign utilizing its five tenets and began its campaign in 2013 to: 1) recognize the benefits of wearing a seatbelt while on duty, 2) recognize the benefits of wearing a ballistic vest and a reflective vest, 3) recognize the dangers of speed and distracted driving, 4) understand and apply the “What is Import Now” (WIN) mindset, and 5) recognize and avoid the dangers of complacency. CHP enhanced this training by incorporating powerful videos and presentations to elicit an emotional connection.They designed a “train-the-trainer” program by including significant enhancement to include newly developed videos and additional patrol footage shot and edited by the CHP video unit.Their approach and delivery has caused law enforcement throughout the state to recognize the need for improved safety procedures.In the short time CHP has been providing the training, there have been over 5,000 CHP officers and 500 allied agency officers trained throughout the state.The CHP’s Below 100 training has had a substantial influence on CHP officers in the way they perceive safety as they conduct their day-to-day operations.It has reduced liability and increased accountability for law enforcement as a whole throughout the state of California. This award was accepted on behalf of the CHP by Chief Scott Howland, Information Management Division.

Runner-up:  Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department/Park Bureau, Mounted Enforcement Detail is the runner-up for the 2013 POST Excellence in Training Award for Organizational Achievement.


2012 Award Winners

2012 Individual AchievementIndividual Achievement Award

Officer Todd Maxson has 12 years of service with the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and is assigned as an instructor to the Advanced Officer Safety Training (AOST) program.  Officer Maxson is recognized for innovation of authoring, acquiring, and managing a Homeland Security Grant for the Law Enforcement Active Shooter Emergency Response (LASER) course. Officer Maxson is also recognized for his instructional and administrative skills of developing realistic training scenarios by reviewing actual events across the country and incorporating them into scenarios. He attends all of the train-the-trainer courses and requires more stringent safety protocols than are required in the LASER scenarios. He provides instructors additional training materials to ensure this statewide training course is successful and runs smoothly.  As of November 2012, approximately 2,000 personnel have been trained. Officer Maxson holds several certifications such as POST recognized instructor, Weapons Range Officer, Master Taser Instructor, Active Shooter Instructor through National Training Concepts, and LASER Course Instructor through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Runner-up: Michael P. Rodriguez, Sergeant, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is the runner-up for the 2012 POST Excellence in Training Award for Individual Achievement

2012 Organizational AchievementOrganizational Achievement Award

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department – Parks Bureau assumed responsibility for providing patrol services to 177 County Parks throughout Los Angeles County. This newly created Parks Bureau became the catalyst for building valuable community partnerships to improve services and safety for park patrons. Data collected by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children statistics reflects 25 percent of all stranger abductions occur in a park or wooded area. Based on these statistics, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department developed a training program called radKIDS (Resist Aggression Defensively). The radKIDS program was implemented on May 1, 2012, and is the first of its kind within the Los Angeles County area. The training provides hands-on, activity-based, physical skills training to sheriff’s sworn personnel, park bureau personnel, parks and recreation staff, and to the general public, specifically to parents and their children. The radKIDS program helps empowers children to recognize instinctual options to avoid, and if necessary, response to potential danger. This 10-hour family centered safety education program emphasizes to kids essential decision-making skills as well as physical resistance options to escape violence. This program is taught at the Los Angeles County Parks by members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Representing and accepting the award for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Parks Bureau was Captain Stephen Smith.

Runner-up: California Highway Patrol Advanced Officer Safety Training Program is the runner-up for the 2012 POST Excellence in Training Award for Organizational Achievement

2012 Lifetime AchievementLifetime Achievement Award

Retired Sergeant John Pokorny (JP) is a 30-year veteran as the Training Officer and Coordinator at the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. He was a Chief Chemical Agent Instructor and Chief Less Lethal Instructor. He served as a regional firearms instructor and as a primary tactical instructor at the Sheriff’s SWAT Academy which was attended by over 750 students from local, state, and federal agencies, along with member of the U.S. armed forces. He also served on the POST Firearms and the POST Chemical Agents committees. JP’s 20 years on the Sheriff’s SWAT Team led him to emphasize effective tactics that work in real critical events. He trained over 2,000 law enforcement personnel in the use of chemical agents and in the use of less lethal weapons such as the “Pepper Ball,” the “Bean Bag,” and the “TASER.”. The tactics developed and taught by Sergeant JP are utilized by law enforcement officers and tactical teams throughout California. Sergeant JP has served on the Board of Directors for California Association of Tactical Officers (CATO). He received the Lifetime Achievement award from CATO for his service and dedication to CATO and the Tactical Community for the past 30 years. JP’s contribution to tactical training has had significant impact on the Sheriff’s Department. JP is described by his peers and colleagues as “having contributed more than any other deputy in the history of the department.” Sergeant JP’s lifetime work has made law enforcement safer.

Sadly, Retired Sergeant John Pokorny passed away quietly at his home on June 7, 2013. Accepting the nomination on behalf of JP and his family was Undersheriff Ed Prendergast and Retired Sergeant Craig Berry.

Runner-up:  John Sanford, Deputy, Recruit Training Officer, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is the runner-up for the 2012 POST Excellence in Training Award for Lifetime Achievement.


2011 Award Winners

2011 Individual AchievementChris Perez

Lieutenant Chris J. Perez, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LACSD), was assigned as a Sergeant to the Pitchess Detention Center Range from July 2009 to March 2011 when he was promoted to Lieutenant. While there, he became the catalyst for changing the manner in which firearms training is taught and learned by law enforcement students. From his analysis of officer-involved shootings, he identified the essential skill sets needed to be successful in deadly encounters and then put in place the training that would effectively teach those skills. Lieutenant Perez developed an instructor guide and standardized drills that still stressed accuracy, but emphasized response under combat situations. While in this assignment, Lieutenant Perez developed the three-phase plan that: 1) Implemented a mandated instructor update training and competency program, 2) changed all firearms courses to closely enact the actual skills and mind-set to prepare for combat situations, and 3) redesigned obsolete ranges to facilitate the new training paradigm.

Runner-up: Debbie Eglin, Corporal, San Diego Miramar College, School of Public Safety is the runner-up for the 2011 POST Excellence in Training Award for Individual Achievement. 

2011 Organizational AchievementDonald Buchanan

The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office has been in the forefront of training excellence for several years. An example of this valuable and effective training is “Urban Shield” created in 2006. “Urban Shield” is a 48-hour continuous exercise that is highly interactive, challenging and task driven. It provides first responders from all disciplines, public and private, to train together in a real-life setting to obtain the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to the perform key tasks required in large-scale disasters. It is designed to identify and stretch regional resources to their limits, while expanding regional collaboration and building positive relationships. Urban Shield challenges the skills, knowledge, and abilities of all who participate, and has received national and international recognition. This award was accepted on behalf of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office by Commander Donald M. Buchanan.

Runner-up: Criminal Justice Institute (CJI) is the runner-up for the 2011 POST Excellence in Training Award for Organizational Achievement. 

Honorable Mention: Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Muslim Community Affairs Unit – Sergeant Mike Abdeen and Deputy Sherif Morsi received Honorable Mention for the 2011 POST Excellence in Training Award for Organizational Achievement.

2011 Lifetime AchievementMichael Gray

Executive Director Michael Gray of the San Diego Regional Training Center is responsible for managing a number of POST legacy training programs such as the Instructor Development Institute (IDI) and the Robert Presley Institute of Criminal Investigation’s (ICI). Mr. Gray began his law enforcement career in 1984 with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. He began his training career as a department Field Training Officer in 1989. In 1993, while working LASD’s Auto Theft Taskforce, he became the administrator and instructor for the ICI Vehicle Theft Investigations Course, training more than 300 investigators during this assignment. After retiring from the Sheriff’s Department, he continued to pursue his passion of training law enforcement personnel. In 1997, Mr. Gray graduated from Class 6 of the POST Master Instructor Development Program and was later selected to be a co-facilitator in this program from 2007-2011. One of Mr. Gray’s most significant accomplishments was overseeing the initial design and development of the annual POST Instructor Symposium which has received outstanding acclaim. In recognition for his contributions, he was awarded the ICI Excellence in Instruction Award in 2006 and the Robert Presley ICI Founder’s Award in 2009.

Runner-up:  Robert Schirn, Head Deputy District Attorney (Retired), Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office is the runner-up for the 2011 POST Excellence in Training Award for Lifetime Achievement.


2010 Award Winners

2010 Individual AchievementTeresa Irvin

Detective Teresa L. Irvin, Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), Detective Support and Vice Division, is recognized for her extensive research into critical incidents involving barricaded suspects, hostage standoffs, and attempted suicides. Detective Irvin identified an increase in critical incidents involving returning veterans who had experienced combat during deployment. She learned about ways that responding officers could better handle critical incidents involving veterans with minimal risk to the individuals and the first responders. She incorporated the information she gained from her research into the LAPD’s Crisis Communications Course and provided training regarding Post Traumatic Stress Disorder to countless first responders and crisis negotiators to help them to effectively de-escalate a crisis. Because of the studies she has completed, regarding critical incidents, the LAPD Mental Evaluation Training Unit has been selected as a Specialized Response Law Enforcement/Mental Health Learning Site by the Council of State Governments Justice Center and the Bureau of Justice Assistance.

Runner-up: Dawewon Kim, Acting Supervising Investigator, and Britton Schaefer, Senior Investigator, Los Angeles County District Attorney, Bureau of Investigation are the runners-ups for the 2010 POST Excellence in Training Award for Individual Achievement.


2010 Organizational AchievementJim Aumond

The California Narcotic Officers’ Association (CNOA) is recognized for the development and presentation of innovative training that has been recognized within and outside of California. The CNOA has had a statewide and national impact through its offerings of unique, specialized law enforcement training. The CNOA has presented over 1,400 classes to over 110,000 officers, and offers 43 POST-certified courses. The CNOA is a not-for-profit professional training organization that conducts “training needs assessments” for law enforcement agencies throughout the state. The CNOA manages the Narcotic Educational Foundation of America, a non-profit outreach program that provides no-cost training materials and instructors to community groups, schools, and partners in anti-drug organizations. In 1994, CNOA created the Survivors Memorial Fund that provides immediate cash assistance to families of California peace officers killed in the line of duty. This award was accepted on behalf of the California Narcotic Officers’ Association by Director of Training Jim Aumond.

Runner-up: The Los Angeles Police Department for development of the Multiple Assault Counter-Terrorism Action Capabilities (MACTAC) is the runner-up for the 2010 POST Excellence in Training Award for Organizational Achievement.


2010 Lifetime Achievement

Captain Richard WemmerRichard Wemmer retired from the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), has over 38 years of law enforcement teaching experience and has been an instructor at Golden West College, Regional Criminal Justice Training Center for 32 years. He has frequently been recognized for his work in officer safety and tactics training. He has authored several articles related to the killing of peace officers and has received commendations throughout the United States for his training in preventing peace officer deaths and injuries. Presently, Captain Wemmer is the Coordinator of the Officer Safety Tactics (OST) program at Golden West College, Criminal Justice Training Center. He has tailored the OST program to minimize downtime and maximize the training experience for the students. He has played a vital role in the development of officer survival skills training and offered it to hundreds of basic academy recruits and in-service officers.

Runner-up: Jody Buna, Senior Law Enforcement Consultant (Retired), Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) and Lieutenant (Retired), Oakland Police Department is the runner-up for the 2010 POST Excellence in Training Award for Lifetime Achievement.


2009 Award Winners

Tony Farrar

2009 Individual Achievement

Captain Tony Farrar, Rialto Police Department, is recognized for his 27 years of continuously seeking ways of improving the working environment within his department, regionally and nationally. Tony has consistently developed and implemented training in several critical areas of law enforcement. He developed a comprehensive supervisory leadership development program that incorporated a “360-degree” evaluation system. He has had numerous articles published in several major law enforcement journals. He has developed several tactical courses, including an Advanced SWAT Commanders Course. He has also provided training on many subjects throughout California and nationally, including Citizen Emergency Response Team (CERT) Courses. Tony has taught for the National Tactical Officers Association, the California Association of Tactical Officers, the California Tactical Dispatchers Association, and the California Narcotics Officers Association and holds membership in such organizations.


Runner-up: Officer Sandra Terhune-Bickler, Ph.D., Santa Monica Police Department


John Migaiolo

2009 Organizational Achievement

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, Emergency Vehicle Operations Center (EVOC) is recognized for consistently providing exceptional driver training for 13 law enforcement basic academies and for providing highly sought in-service driver training for law enforcement, fire, ambulance, public utilities, federal and state agencies, and private citizen groups. The facility sits on 80 acres of land that is dedicated to a full array of driving experiences. Additionally, the facility provides Driver Awareness Instructor and Driver Training Instructor training and in-service instruction to law enforcement personnel from not only California, but nationally and internationally. The emphasis of defensive driving by staff of the EVOC, not only in the Basic Academy but also in perishable skills training, has resulted in a reduction in officer/deputy involved collisions, deaths and injuries, and has reduced liability. Accepting the award on behalf of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department was the EVOC Facility Manager John Migaiolo.


Runner-up: N/A


Devallis Rutledge

2009 Lifetime Achievement

Devallis Rutledge, Special Counsel to the Los Angeles County District Attorney, is recognized for being consistently on the leading-edge of using technologies to deliver training. From 1979 to the present, Devallis has written 12 law enforcement text books, published 182 articles, presented 1,182 roll call video training sessions and written 1,040 training bulletins. He is highly regarded by law enforcement officers and prosecutors for his training on such subjects as interview and interrogation and search and seizure. He was instrumental in the effort to convert California police reports to the first-person, active voice and composed the standardized DUI arrest report form used by most law enforcement agencies. He has been recognized and received many awards for his contributions to law enforcement training from the California District Attorneys Association, National College of District Attorneys, Orange County District Attorney’s Office, and the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.


Runner-up: Rosanna McKinney, Dispatch Training Coordinator/POST Master Instructor, State Center Regional Training Facility, Fresno


2008 Award Winners

Gail Jones

2008 Individual Achievement

Gail Jones, Senior Community Services Liaison for College Hospital, was recognized for the innovation she continues to show in developing and delivering issue-oriented training about mental illness and suicide by cop. Her work has focused on the need for better training of first responders in identifying and safely addressing the immediate needs of persons with mental illness. Since 1997, Ms. Jones has coordinated conferences, held seminars, and developed partnerships to serve the needs of first responders and mental health professionals throughout Los Angeles and Orange Counties.


Runner-up: Tony Farrar, Captain (Rialto Police Department)


2008 Organizational Achievement

The Rio Hondo College Regional Law Enforcement Training Center was recognized for continually offering up-to-date, contemporary training through continuous collaboration with regional users of the Center. The Center provides basic and advanced courses to a variety of law enforcement officers from numerous counties. It has an excellent reputation and history of providing effective training programs. The Center continually strives to remain state-of-the-art in meeting the needs of its stakeholders. Accepting the award on behalf of the Rio Hondo College Regional Law Enforcement Training Center was Dean of Public Safety Joseph Santoro.


Runner-up: Fairfield Police Department


Gordon Graham

2008 Lifetime Achievement

Captain Gordon Graham, California Highway Patrol (Retired), was recognized for providing solid, realistic, ongoing and verifiable training to thousands of law enforcement officers. He was also recognized for creating and maintaining a website to provide law enforcement training. In retirement, he has affiliated with Cavenaugh and Associates in order to provide standardized training nationwide. He is nationally and internationally acknowledged as one of the top trainers and contributors to law enforcement.


Runner-up: Sergeant Alan Green (Los Angeles Police Department)


2007 Individual Achievement

Commission Chairman Ron Lowenberg, POST Executive Director Paul Cappitelli, Captain David C. Bertini, Advisory Committee Chairman Mario Casas

Left to right: Commission Chairman Ron Lowenberg, POST Executive Director Paul Cappitelli, Captain David C. Bertini, Advisory Committee Chairman Mario Casas.

Captain David C. Bertini from the Pacifica Police Department was recognized for his ongoing work as an innovative and creative instructor, a subject matter expert in several areas of law enforcement training and for his work in developing and delivering high-quality training courses in several areas (e.g., laws of arrest, search and seizure, psychological challenges faced by law enforcement officers, and ethics in law enforcement).

Runner-up:Jim Gordon (Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department)

2007 Lifetime Achievement

Commission Chairman Ron Lowenberg, POST Executive Director Paul Cappitelli, Criminal Investigator Betsy Lee Mazzuola, Advisory Committee Chairman Mario Casas

Left to right: Commission Chairman Ron Lowenberg, POST Executive Director Paul Cappitelli, Criminal Investigator Betsy Lee Mazzuola, Advisory Committee Chairman Mario Casas.

Criminal Investigator Betsy Lee Mazzuola from the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office was recognized for her subject matter expertise and as a trainer on investigations and prosecutions of stalking and domestic violence crimes. Her work and the training she has provided have dramatically increased the successful investigations and prosecutions of stalking offenses within San Joaquin County.

Runner-up:Michael A. Rubacha (Los Angeles County Police/Office of Public Safety)

2007 Organizational Achievement

Commission Chairman Ron Lowenberg, POST Executive Director Paul Cappitelli, CHP Commissioner Joseph Farrow, Advisory Committee Chairman Mario Casas

Left to right: Commission Chairman Ron Lowenberg, POST Executive Director Paul Cappitelli, CHP Commissioner Joseph Farrow, Advisory Committee Chairman Mario Casas.

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) was recognized for its work as a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Law Enforcement Safe Stops Subcommittee (LESSS) for developing videos to enhance officer safety. The purpose of the LESSS is to internationally improve the safety of the operating environments of uniformed law enforcement officers. Through the combined efforts and leadership of the CHP and LESSS members, two roll-call training DVDs were developed. Continuing work is being done to quantify the impact these videos may have in reducing deaths and serious injuries.

Runner-up: Rio Hondo College’s Regional Law Enforcement Training Center


2006 Individual Achievement

Sergeant Raymond Backman (left) from the Oakland Police Department accepts his award from Deputy Director Lindsay E. Barsamian-Kelsch, Office of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Fresno Field Office

Sergeant Raymond Backman (left) from the Oakland Police Department accepts his award from Deputy Director Lindsay E. Barsamian-Kelsch, Office of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Fresno Field Office.

Sergeant Backman has had a tremendous impact on all law enforcement academy directors, coordinators, and trainers. Sergeant Backman participated on the Pre-Academy Fitness Committee, the Academy Recruit Training Officer Re-Write Committee, and the Learning Domain 32 Workbook Committee.

His crowning achievement was accomplished on the Scenario Re-Write Committee creating new and innovative methods for evaluating police officer trainees that test their abilities and measure the core competencies that are necessary for a successful career in law enforcement.

Runner-up:Criminal Investigator Betsy Lee Mazzuola (San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office)

2006 Lifetime Achievement

Retired Sergeant Kenneth Whitley (left) of the Garden Grove Police Department accepts his award from Deputy Director Lindsay E. Barsamian-Kelsch, Office of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Fresno Field Office

Retired Sergeant Kenneth Whitley (left) of the Garden Grove Police Department accepts his award from Deputy Director Lindsay E. Barsamian-Kelsch, Office of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Fresno Field Office.

Sergeant Whitley is a court-recognized expert on drugs/narcotics, prison gangs, prison tattoos, and parolee contacts. He has instructed over 13,000 California law enforcement personnel since 1979. Sergeant Whitley developed a “Drug Influence Pocket Chart” with signs, symptoms, and booking sections, and a CD-ROM with prison gang tattoo pictures and definitions. He is the author of several books and articles on drug identification and aspects of prison gangs.

Runner-up: Captain Daniel Martini (Orange County Sheriff’s Department)

2006 Organizational Achievement

Nick Flint, Director of the Behavior Analysis Training Institute (BATI), (left), accepts the award on behalf of the BATI from Deputy Director Lindsay E. Barsamian-Kelsch, Office of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Fresno Field Office.

Nick Flint, Director of the Behavior Analysis Training Institute (BATI), (left), accepts the award on behalf of the BATI from Deputy Director Lindsay E. Barsamian-Kelsch, Office of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Fresno Field Office.

The BATI was the first POST-certified course dedicated solely to interview and interrogation techniques in California. BATI’s goal is to make officers more effective investigators when gathering information from human sources. BATI instruction plays a direct role in hundreds of interview and interrogations that take place everyday, both inside and outside California. BATI is a far-reaching program that has trained thousands of investigators at the local, state, and federal level.

Runner-up: Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, Regional Training Center


2005 Individual Achievement

George L. Shake (left) from the Los Angeles Police Department accepts his award from POST Commission Chair Collene Campbell

George L. Shake (left) from the Los Angeles Police Department accepts his award from POST Commission Chair Collene Campbell for his training in narcotic enforcement and investigation, drug recognition, weapons, and crises negotiations.

Detective Shake has trained thousands of police officers over his 25 plus years, using innovative techniques of teaching. His instruction is very well received by trainees as someone who can "walk the walk and talk the talk."

Runner-up:Officer Jack Schonely (Los Angeles Police Department)


2005 Lifetime Achievement

Attorney at Law Martin (Marty) J. Mayer (right) accepts his award from POST Commission Chair Collene Campbell

Attorney at Law Martin (Marty) J. Mayer (right) accepts his award from POST Commission Chair Collene Campbell, in recognition for his 26+ years of dedicated service to California law enforcement as legal trainer and advisor to major statewide law enforcement associations.

Nominated by the California Police Chiefs’ Association, Mr. Mayer was recognized for his training of all ranks of peace officers, quality of instruction, knowledge of the law, impeccable moral character, and sense of humor. Mr. Mayer has also authored many articles for professional law enforcement journals. And finally, Mr. Mayer has served POST as a subject matter expert on the law and related issues.

Runner-up:Retired Sergeant Kenneth Whitley (Garden Grove Police Department)

2005 Organizational Achievement

Dean Gialamas, Director of the Forensic Science Services Division (left), accepts the award for the Orange County Sheriff's Department's PEBT Program from POST Commission Chair Collene Campbell

Dean Gialamas, Director of the Forensic Science Services Division (left), accepts the award for the Orange County Sheriff's Department's PEBT Program from POST Commission Chair Collene Campbell.

The PEBT program is being recognized for its excellent training and certification of peace officers using DUI breath test equipment. This training has resulted in a 37% increase in breath testing in Orange County, saving personnel time and costs, and most significantly, saving the lives of many citizens who would otherwise be involved in preventable traffic accidents.

Runner-up: California Highway Patrol Academy


2004 Individual Achievement

Coordinator Debora McGlynn (left) accepts her award from POST Commission Chairman Jim Fox

Coordinator Debora McGlynn (left) accepts her award from POST Commission Chairman Jim Fox, in recognition for her development and instruction on Weapons of Mass Destruction and Terrorism for public safety dispatchers which is POST-certified.

Runner-up:Sergeant James Bolwerk (Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department)

2004 Lifetime Achievement

Detective Sergeant Jack Giroud (left) accepts his award from POST Commission Chairman Jim Fox

Detective Sergeant Jack Giroud (left) accepts his award from POST Commission Chairman Jim Fox, in recognition for his developing and conducting instruction on Robbery and Homicide Investigation.

Runner-up:No selection made

2004 Organizational Achievement

2004 Organizational Achievement

President Diane Webb (left) accepting the award for the California Sexual Assault Investigators Association.

The Association was recognized for its training on sexual assault prevention, detection, investigation, evidence collection and analysis, and prosecution and offender monitoring. Besides training on the basics of sexual assault investigation, CSAIA pioneers in presenting contemporary training topics like sex offender registration, Megan's Law, drug-facilitated sexual assault investigation, child abuse injuries and detection, internet crime/child pornography, and others.

Runner-up: Los Angeles County Sheriff's University Program


2003 Individual Achievement

2003 Individual Achievement

Sergeant Wayne Windman (right) accepts his award from POST Commission Chairman Jim Fox, in recognition for leadership in developing, and making available, instruction in terrorism and weapons of mass destruction.

Runner-up:Lieutenant Robert Olmsted (Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department)

2003 Lifetime Achievement

2003 Lifetime Achievement

Retired Police Captain William Cavenaugh (right) accepts his award from POST Commission Chairman Jim Fox, in recognition for 18 years of instruction in the investigation of Driving Under the Influence (DUI). His instruction has resulted in giving officers the necessary tools to effectively and proficiently detect, arrest, and convict DUI offenders.

Runner-up:Retired Police Captain Stephen J. Scarano (Oceanside Police Department)

2003 Organizational Achievement

2003 Organizational Achievement

Coordinator Todd Dischinger (left) and Director Greg Miraglia accepting the award for the Napa Valley Criminal Justice Training Center. The Center was recognized for its innovation in basic and advanced law enforcement training, specifically for the creative use of technology including CD-ROM with web-based interface. This organization has been influential in the development of ethics training and testing for basic academy students and instructors.

Runner-up: Contra Costa County Police Chiefs' Association


2002 Award Winners

  • Individual Achievement: Robert DiMiceli (California Highway Patrol)

    Officer Robert DiMiceli was honored as a drug recognition expert and instructor at the CHP academy. He also serves as a full-time patrol officer.
  • Lifetime Achievement: Joel Carey (California Attorney General's Office)

    Deputy Attorney General Joel Carey (retired) was honored as the originator and coordinator of the Attorney General's Legal Sourcebook which is invaluable in training and as a law enforcement reference.
  • Organizational Achievement: California Department of Justice Advanced Training Center

    The Advanced Training Center was honored for its specialized investigative courses, including anti-terrorism and computer training.


2001 Award Winners

  • Individual Achievement: John E. Kane, Jr. (Sacramento Police Department)

    Lieutenant John Kane was honored for developing innovative curriculum and training methods for teaching police response to critical incidents and disaster events.
  • Lifetime Achievement: Ronald E. Lowenberg (Huntington Beach Police Department)

    Police Chief Ronald Lowenberg was honored for his years of service in law enforcement training, especially in the areas of leadership, management, and mentoring of police chiefs, and for his ability to obtain the enthusiastic involvement of his students.
  • Organizational Achievement: San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department - Use of Force Trimester Training Program

    Developed in 1992, the Use of Force program was honored for its contemporary training in reinforcing critical or perishable skills, which diminish without periodic refreshing. The eight-hour session is presented three times a year.


2000 Award Winners

  • Individual Achievement: James Filley
  • Lifetime Achievement: Robert Koga (Retired)
  • Organizational Achievement: Orange County Sheriff's Department


1999 Award Winners

  • Individual Achievement: Angela Witt
  • Lifetime Achievement: Susan Oliviera, Ph.D.
  • Organizational Achievement: Delinquency Control Unit


1998 Award Winners

  • Individual Achievement: Duane Frederickson
  • Lifetime Achievement: No selection made
  • Organizational Achievement: San Bernardino Police Department


1997 Award Winners

  • Individual Achievement: Richard "Toby" Tyler
  • Lifetime Achievement: Joseph E. David
  • Organizational Achievement: San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department – Public Safety Internship Academy


1996 Award Winners

  • Individual Achievement: Leland "Terry" Cunningham
  • Lifetime Achievement: Sherman Block
  • Organizational Achievement: John F. Kennedy Police Academy Magnet School


1995 Award Winners

  • Individual Achievement: Karel Swanson
  • Lifetime Achievement: Tom Anderson
  • Organizational Achievement: San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department – Frank Bland Training Center


1994 Award Winners

  • Individual Achievement: Gordon Graham
  • Lifetime Achievement: Derald Hunt
  • Organizational Achievement: Rialto Police Department