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Homeland Security Information Center

Following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, POST staff conducted a training needs assessment to determine how the Commission could best serve California law enforcement agencies. In addition to surveying existing training courses, contacts were made with Federal, State, and local experts to identify the systems, techniques, and practices, which were necessary to effectively respond to potential terrorist incidents.

Based on the training needs assessment POST developed a plan that clearly outlined the type of training, status of current training, the intended audience, delivery strategies, and the anticipated number of persons who receive the training. A training matrix was developed to identify specific training needs in three categories: pre-incident, incident response, and consequence management (post-response). The matrix also identified training needs for specific law enforcement personnel groups including first responders, tactical response units, investigative and support personnel, supervisors, managers, and executives.

SB 1350 (McPherson) was signed into law in 2002. The bill established the Responders Emergency Act to Combat Terrorism (REACT). The bill established the Emergency Response Training Advisory Committee (ERTAC), which would recommend the criteria for terrorism awareness curriculum content to meet the needs of state and local response personnel and volunteers.

The bill also enacted Penal Code 13519.12, which directed POST to establish training standards and develop a course of instruction that would include content recommended by the ERTAC. The course of instruction was to address the training needs of peace officers at a managerial or supervisory level and below who are assigned to field duties.

The Governor's Office of Homeland Security (OHS) designated the California Military Department (CMD) as their executive agent for the management of all training and exercise simulations in California. In March 2004, the CMD formed a training partnership consortium that includes POST, the State Fire Marshal's Office (SFM), the Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA), and the California Specialized Training Institute (CSTI) to work closely in the coordination of all first responder training and statewide exercises. The training partnership members, CMD program managers, and staff from both OHS and the federal Office for Domestic Preparedness (ODP) meet regularly to work on training issues and needs for the various first responder disciplines statewide.

POST has received ODP conditional approval for 43 courses. In addition, POST has agreed to certify all of the ODP courses that have been presented in California, and those out-of-state presentations attended by California law enforcement personnel for continuing professional training (CPT) credit. ODP certification of the courses allows agencies to use federal grant funds to pay for travel, per diem, and in some cases, backfill.

To date, POST has expended more than $3 million to develop and present anti-terrorism training statewide. Approximately 14,100 trainees have completed various training courses since 2001.

In fiscal years 2004/05 and 2005/06, additional training courses will be developed and added to the 43 courses that are currently available. Staff will conduct a new training needs assessment in 2005. Staff is aware of “gaps” in training needs and the new needs assessment will focus our future developmental work. Additional emphasis is planned for intelligence collection and analysis, protection of food and agricultural products, and deterrence and prevention of terrorist acts. Courses will also be developed to address public safety dispatcher awareness and the use of the National Incident Management System (NIMS).

Once the 2005 training needs assessment is completed staff will begin to locate and/or develop the training that is not readily available and that has been identified as a statewide training need. POST training strategy for homeland security however, while continuing with the development and certification of most response efforts begun in 2001, will concentrate efforts towards the development of more “anti-terrorism” programs designed to prevent terrorism and terrorist activity.

For further information your may also view the POST Homeland Security NIMS Five Year Plan created on February 25, 2008.