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Joe Gutierrez
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Command College Program

The Law Enforcement Command College is an 18-month program designed to prepare law enforcement leaders of today for the challenges of the future. The program focuses on:

  • Leadership principles needed to influence the future direction of the organization
  • Strategies to identify emerging issues and provide a proactive response
  • Skills and knowledge necessary to anticipate and prepare for the future
  • Methods and benefits of sharing information
  • Use of stakeholders in problem solving

The primary goal of the Command College is to provide an enhanced leadership course with a futures perspective to prepare the law enforcement leaders of today to lead into the future. The program has an emphasis on adult learning theories, placing accountability and responsibility on the student.

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-served basis as established by the date the application is received by POST.

  • Additional information is available in the Command College brochure (pdf).
     

Requirements

Applicants must meet minimum experience requirements at the time the application is submitted.

All Applicants

  • 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
Sworn Peace Officers
  • Be eligible for a POST Management Certificate
Professional Staff and Correctional Staff
  • 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

Application Process

The Application deadline for Class 62 has passed.  We are currently accepting applications for Class 63, view schedule (pdf), beginning in May 2017. Applications are received on a first-come first-served basis.

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.

To apply for Command College: Complete your preliminary application to verify requirements are met.

Once submitted, POST will review each to check if prequalification’s to attend Command College are met. If an applicant meets the requirements a POST representative will email a packet of additional documents required to complete the application. The additional documents include:

  • Signed Commitment Statement
  • Experience
  • Education
  • Training
  • Community Activities
  • Professional Activities
  • Leadership Accomplishments
  • Writing Ability
  • Leadership Ability as Viewed by Others
  • Executive Statement of Nomination
  • Executive Statement of Commitment

The applicant will complete each of the sections and upload it to the POST Website. The applicant will be given upload instructions with their approval to apply.

Applications are accepted on a continuous basis. Upon receipt of the application, applicants will be sent a letter confirming that their package was received.

Futures Portfolio Guidelines

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 3 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:

  1. The completion of an environmental scanning assignment and related forecasts in each of the five STEEP categories in the student’s professional transactional environment
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. The completion of significant data collection and reporting on that data, including the use of nominal group panels, interviews, survey instruments and similar means
  5. 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
  6. The completion of a strategic plan grounded in the issues identified in the four scenarios created previously
  7. The completion of a change management plan
  8. 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
  9. 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.

Article Objectives

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

CC Network

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:

  • Use the ‘sign in’ button in the upper right hand corner.
  • Create a New POST PASS account if you do not have one already. If you have a PASS account, or after you create your new one, sign into the Website via POST PASS (user name is your email address). Make sure to link your POST ID to your PASS account.
  • After completing the sign in process please email WebRequest@post.ca.gov.
    • In the body of the email please indicate your POST ID, what email address you used in your PASS account and which Command College class number you are currently enrolled in.
    • 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.
    • Once the access is granted you can login to the CC Network by using the same login instructions above.
    • With this access to the Network you can now log in and hover over the 'Training Tab' and click on the CC Network in the drop down menu.

Academic Credit Toward Masters Degree

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.

Recent Alumni

Class 59 Graduation

Commencement ceremonies were held on September 14, 2016 for Command College Class 59. Congratulations to the graduating students, their families, and their agencies!
  • Lieutenant, Frederick H. Bobbitt Jr., Fremont Police Department
  • Captain John A. Burks, Brea Police Department
  • Lieutenant Christian N. Eichenlaub, Manhattan Beach Police Department
  • Lieutenant John C. Geissberger, Albany Police Department
  • Lieutenant Frank S. Hale, Anaheim Police Department
  • Lieutenant David Hartman, Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff
  • Captain Michael R. Hartmann, Ventura County Sheriff's Office
  • Lieutenant Kelly S. Jung, Anaheim Police Department
  • Captain Edward Lardner, Lompoc Police Department
  • Lieutenant Jeffrey W. Leyman, El Segundo Police Department
  • Lieutenant Gregory Mar, San Francisco Police Department
  • Lieutenant Rainer J. Navarro, Santa Rosa Police Department
  • Commander Kathleen A. Nicholls, Department of Consumer Affairs, Div of Invst.
  • Lieutenant Ton Q. Phan, Davis Police Department
  • Lieutenant William Reber, Chula Vista Police Department
  • Captain Ian M. Schmutzler, Vacaville Police Department
  • Lieutenant Daniel Seaman, California Highway Patrol
  • Captain Steven P. Simpkins, Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff
  • Lieutenant Eric E. Smith, Department of State Hospitals, Atascadero PD
  • Lieutenant Robert J. Sweaza, Fountain Valley Police Department
  • Lieutenant G. John Tyler III, California Highway Patrol

Awards

Class Speaker: Captain Steven Simpkins
Outstanding Faculty Award: Iris Firstenberg
Dorothy Harris Award: Lieutenant Eric Smith
Hank Koehn Award: Lieutenant Frederick Bobbitt Jr.
Futures Portfolio Presentation: Captain Ian Schmutzler

Class 60 Graduation Schedule

Commencement ceremonies are scheduled for Command College Class 60 at 9:00 a.m. on April 12, 2017 at the Hilton Del Mar Hotel in Del Mar.

Testimonials

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
Commissioner
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.”

Gina Haynes
Lieutenant
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.”

Donald Pedersen
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.”

Michael Ridgway
Captain
Marin County Sheriff’s Department


Recently Published CC Articles

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 online catalog.

Lieutenant Michael Boehrer (Class 57) San Ramon Police Department
Individual Contracts Won't Substitute for Leadership
The Journal of California Law Enforcement, Volume 49, No. 3, 2015
 
Lieutenant Tim Murphy (Class 57) Paso Robles Police Department
Incapacitating Agents: A Safer Approach for Hostage Recovery Operations
The Tactical Edge, Spring 2016
 
Chief Eric R. Nunez (Class 57) La Palma Police Department
Recruiting for Emotional-Social Intelligence (ESI): Enhancing Leadership, Performance, Community Trust, and Saving Lives
The Journal of California Law Enforcement, Volume 49, No. 3, 2015
 
Captain David Povero (Class 57) Covina Police Department
Municipal Police Agencies Dial 911 When it Comes to Investigating Cyber-Related Crimes in the Future?
The Journal of California Law Enforcement, Volume 49, No. 3, 2015
 
Lieutenant Lola Abrahamian (Class 56) Glendale Police Department
The Future of Policing the Mentally Ill: Will New Legislation Be the Catalyst and the Solution?
The Journal of California Law Enforcement, Volume 49, No. 2, 2015
 
Jail Manager Jennifer Estrada (Class 56) Santa Monica Police Department
Digital Currency: The Good, the Bad, and the Unknown
The Police Chief, Volume LXXXII, No. 11, November 2015
 
Lieutenant Steve Gorski (Class 56) Walnut Creek Police Department
Keep Your Agency Healthy and Whole: Plan and Prepare a Strategic Focus for Future Economic Crisis
The Journal of California Law Enforcement, Volume 49, No. 1, March 24, 2015
 
Acting Captain Tim Hageman (Class 56) Manhattan Beach Police Department
You Can Run, but You Can't Hide
The Journal of California Law Enforcement, Volume 49, No. 1, March 24, 2015
 
Captain Jeff Rose (Class 55) San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department
The Future of Corrections: How can Mobile Biometric Technology Revolutionize the Arrent and Booking Process?
The Police Chief, Volume LXXXI, no. 12, December 2014
 
Commander Dan Schoonmaker (Class 55) Westminster Police Department
Self-Driving in Patrol Operations: Making Patrol Officers More Effective
The Journal of California Law Enforcement, Volume 48, No. 3
 
Captain Craig Schwartz (Class 55) Santa Rosa Police Department
3-D Printing: The Potential Implications and Challenges for Law Enforcement 
The Police Chief 82, March 2015
 
Lieutenant Jaime Bermudez (Class 54) El Segundo Police Department
Using Moral Enhancement Technology to Treat Violent Criminals
Journal of California Law Enforcement, Volume 49, No. 1, 2015
 
Captain Gregory Davis (Class 54) Los Angeles County Office of the District Attorney
Law Enforcement’s Invisible Assassin: Using Virtual Reality Therapy to Combat the Silent Threat of Psychological Devastation: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
The Journal of California Law Enforcement, Volume 48,  No. 2, 2014