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WHAT IS POST?
June, 2016, marked the 41st anniversary of the Louisiana Peace Officer Standards and Training Council (POST). POST was established by Act 397 of 1976, as amended, to develop training standards for peace officers in the State of Louisiana. The past 41 years have been eventful and rewarding for those involved in carrying out the Council's goal of ensuring that the citizens of Louisiana are provided with police services of the highest quality.
The POST Council is composed of a twelve-member body which includes three chiefs of police, three sheriffs, two district attorneys, the Superintendent of State Police, the Attorney General, the Executive Director of the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Criminal Justice, and the President of the LA Chapter of the National Constables' Association. The collective knowledge and wisdom of these members ensures the decisions made by the Council are well considered and in the best interests of law enforcement in general.
The Council is responsible for developing and evaluating the curriculum of mandatory basic training courses for municipal officers, deputy sheriffs, state police, wildlife agents and all other persons commissioned as peace officers, defined by state law. Additionally, POST prescribes firearms training standards for individuals who hold law enforcement positions at the state, parish and municipal levels of government. Further, the Council establishes minimum requirements for instructors, certifies trainees who successfully complete a basic course of instruction, accredits peace training facilities, approves in-service, specialized and advanced training courses, and encourages the educational advancement of police personnel. Staff functions of the Council are carried out by the Commission on Law Enforcement (LCLE) personnel assigned to the POST Program.
"Peace Officer" means any full-time employee of the State, a municipality, a sheriff or other public agency, whose permanent duties actually include the making of arrests, the performing of searches and seizures or the execution of criminal warrants, and is responsible for the prevention or detection of crime or for the enforcement of the penal, traffic or highway laws of this State, but not including any elected or appointed head of a law enforcement department. "Peace Officer" also includes those sheriff deputies whose duties include the care, custody and control of inmates, full time military police officers within the La. Military Department, and full time security personnel employed by the Supreme Court of Louisiana.
"Law Enforcement Training Course" means a basic or advanced course of study certified by the Council for the purpose of educating and training persons in the skills and techniques required of a peace officer in the discharge of his duties.
"Training Center" means any POST accredited school, academy, institute, or any place of learning whatsoever, which offers or conducts a law enforcement or corrections training course.
"Government entity" means any board, authority, commission, department, office, division, or agency of the state or any of its local political subdivisions.
Powers of the Council
Under State Law, the Council has been delegated the following powers:
- To develop minimum curriculum requirements for the training of peace officers.
- To accredit law enforcement training centers.
- To establish minimum law enforcement instructor qualifications and certify individuals to act as law enforcement instructors.
- To inspect and evaluate all law enforcement training centers, programs and courses to insure compliance with the state's law enforcement training standards.
- To provide a consulting service for law enforcement education and training centers.
- To adopt, amend or repeal rules and regulations to interpret and implement the provisions of the Act, including, not exclusively, the powers herein enumerated.
- To withhold or withdraw accreditation from law enforcement training centers and instructors upon a finding that the center, institution or instructors thereby have failed or are failing to maintain minimum standards set forth in the Law or promulgated by rules or regulations of the Council.
- To establish and implement curricula for such advanced, in-service and specialized training courses as the Council shall deem advisable and to
recognize the completion of such courses by the issuance of certificates.
Minimum Training Requirements
All full-time peace officers, as defined in R.S.40:2402, shall complete a basic training course as prescribed and certified by the Council on Peace Officers Standards. Reserve or part-time officers or military police officers stationed in Louisiana may be eligible for certification if they successfully complete a basic training course prescribed for full-time peace officers and pass the POST statewide examination. There are three levels of POST Certification:
Level 1 - Certification for Basic Law Enforcement Peace Officers
The student will complete a training course with a minimum of 360 hours for full certification. Level 1 certification requires that the student meet the POSTrequirements for firearm certification.
Level 2 - Certification for Basic Correctional Peace Officer
The student will complete a training course with a minimum of 249 hours and is limited to those peace officers whose duties are the care, custody, and control of inmates. The training course consists of the core curriculum plus a sufficient number of hours to obtain POST certification. POST Firearm certification for Level 2 students is required. (eff in 2001)
Level 3 - Certification for Jailer Training Officers
The student will complete a training course with a minimum of 92 hours and is limited to those correctional officers whose duties are the care, custody, andcontrol of inmates. This course consists of the core correctional officer curriculum. POST Firearm certification for Level 3 students is not required.
Students must adhere to all standards, rules and regulations established by the accredited training center. Certification is not awarded to students who are physically unable to complete every aspect of the basic training course. A student may not be certified for successful completion if:
- His excused absences exceed 10% of the total hours of instruction.
- He fails to achieve a passing grade of 70% or higher on each block of instruction (as presented in the Basic Training Manual).
- He fails to achieve a grade of 80% or higher on the requirements for firearms certification.
- He fails to achieve a grade of 70% or higher on the POST Comprehensive Exam for Peace Officers.
Students must adhere to all standards, rules and regulations formally established by the academy attended. It should be further noted that credit for basic training (certification) is not be awarded to individuals who are physically unable to complete every aspect of the training program (i.e., physical training, firearms or defensive tactics).
It shall be left to the discretion of the academy director whether a person who fails to qualify on the POST Qualification Course of Fire will be given another chance. However, if a second chance is afforded, scores must be averaged in accordance with established POST standards for the basic firearms course. The averaged score must be equal to or greater than the minimum passing score.
Retests: In the event a student fails the examination, one retest may be administered, if the agency head so desires. If said student fails the retest, the student shall be required to complete another academy and satisfy all POST requirements to obtain certification and continue employment as a peace officer. R.S. 40:2405 gives the POST Council the authority to seek an injunction prohibiting such an individual from exercising the authority of a peace officer if all POST requirements are not met.
Maintaining POST Certification/Grandfathership: To maintain certification, officers are required to requalify yearly on the POST firearms qualification course, demonstrating at least 80% proficiency. Scoring must be computed and verified by a firearms instructor certified by the POST Council. If the period between qualifying exceeds 13 months for any reason, the officer is required to complete a 8 hour pre academy firearms course conducted by a POST certified Firearms Instructor.
Registration of Officers: As mentioned in the POST Law, those officers who were employed prior to January 1, 1986 are exempt from POST training requirements. Those officers who fall into this category and have not attended certified training may be granted a "registration" certificate in lieu of certification. The certificate is evidence of the fact that the officers are "grandfathered in" under the POST Law. These officers may be POST registered by completing the following requirements:
- A letter from the agency head shall be submitted to the POST Council indicating a desire to have the officer registered with the State.
- Documentation shall accompany the letter regarding the officer's initial employment date and continuous law enforcement service.
- POST registration shall not apply to reserve/auxiliary officers, as they do not fall under the grandfather clause.
Out-of-State Transfers: Out-of-state transfers may be eligible for certification by meeting the following requirements at an accredited academy:
- Present a valid out-of-state POST certificate of training.
- Successfully complete the Louisiana Law Enforcement Basic Training Manual, "Legal Aspects" Section, and Firearms section, and qualify on the POST firearms qualification course.
- Qualify on the POST firearms qualification course, as attested to by a certified firearms instructor.
- Pass the statewide examination for peace officers with a minimum score of 70%.
If there has been an interruption of service in excess of five years, the officer is required to attend the full basic academy.
Interruption of Service:
- Any peace officer hired prior to January 1, 1986, who interrupts his law enforcement service for a period in excess of five (5) years and had at least five years full time experience, can reinstate their grandfathership by successfully completing the "legal aspects" and "firearms" sections of the Louisiana Law Enforcement Basic Training Manual, and completing the necessary requirements for POST registration.
- Any peace officer hired prior to January 1, 1986, who interrupts his full-time law enforcement service for a period in excess of five years and had less than five years full time experience, shall be required to complete a full basic training course at an accredited academy.
- Any peace officer that has obtained POST Basic (or Basic Corrections) Certification, who interrupts his law enforcement service for a period in excess of five years shall be required to complete the "Legal Aspects" and "firearms" portions of the basic training course, qualify on the POST Firearms Qualification Course, and pass the POST Exam, at an accredited academy. If the student fails the POST Exam, the student must complete a full POST Basic (or Basic Corrections) Certification Course.
- Any officer hired that has obtained POST Basic (or Basic Corrections) Certification, who interrupts his full-time law enforcement service for a period of less than five years, shall be required to attend the Pre-Academy Firearms Training Course and successfully qualify with their firearm.
Full-time Academy Instructors: Instructors assigned full-time to a certified academy must meet the following qualifications:
- Shall possess two years college and/or full-time practical experience in law enforcement or corrections.
- Each two years experience may be substituted for one year of college. Any combination of above will be acceptable.
- Shall have completed the Adult Learning Course/transition instructor course conducted by POST.
- Shall have completed two years of practical experience in law enforcement or corrections field.
Specialized Instructors: Specialized instructors for defensive tactics, firearms, and corrections shall meet the following qualifications:
- Shall be a full-time employee of a public criminal justice agency with at least two years full-time continuous practical law enforcement experience, and meet POST requirements pertaining to firearms, defensive tactics, and corrections instructors.
- Shall have recommendation of an academy director or agency head.
- Shall successfully complete all aspects of specialized instructor school as presented by POST and the FBI (except for defensive tactics instructors).
- Shall attend POST-sponsored instructor retrainers as required by POST.
Pre-Academy Firearms Training: Any person employed or commissioned as a peace officer, or reserve or part-time peace officer must successfully complete a pre-academy firearms training program as prescribed by the council within 30 days from the date of employment if that person will be performing the duties of a peace officer before attending a basic or refresher law enforcement training course.
Pre-Academy and Basic Firearms Qualification: Students shall qualify with an approved service weapon on the POST-approved Firearms Qualification Course and all scoring will be computed and recorded by a firearms instructor certified by the POST Council.
During a pre-academy training program, a student who fails may be given retests. Any person who fails shall be prohibited from exercising the authority of a peace officer until they have successfully completed the course. However, such persons shall not be prohibited from performing administrative duties.
During a basic law enforcement training course, it shall be left to the discretion of the training center director whether a student who fails to qualify on the POST Qualification Course will be given retests. However, if retests are given, the scores will be averaged in accordance with POST rules and must be completed before the academy class graduates.
Basic Firearms Qualification:
- On a 25-yard range, equipped with POST approved P-1 targets, the student, given a pistol or revolver, holster and 240 rounds of ammunition, will fire the POST firearms qualification course at least four times. Scores must be averaged and the student must:
- Fire all courses in the required stage time;
- Use the correct body position for each course of fire;
- Fire the entire course using double action only, except in case of single action only semi-automatic pistols;
- Fire no more than the specified number of rounds per stage;
- Fire each course at a distance not appreciably lesser nor greater than that specified;
- Achieve an average score of not less than 96 out of a possible 120, which is 80% or above;
- Have all targets graded and final score computed by a POST-certified firearms instructor.
Annual Re-qualification: The requirements for annual requalification are the same as for basic qualification, with one exception. If the qualification course must be fired more than once, the scores shall be averaged as designated in basic firearms qualification. There is no need to fire additional courses if the officer qualifies the first time.
Revocation of Certification: All law enforcement agencies and correctional agencies and institutions within the State of Louisiana shall immediately report the conviction of any POST certified full-time, reserve, or part-time peace officer to the council.
Any offense which results in the individual peace officer’s restriction of his/her constitutional right to bear arms shall be grounds of immediate revocation. The revocation of any certification is effective immediately when the council receives a certified copy of a court’s judgment and issues notice to the peace officer. Notice of the revocation shall be sent via certified US mail to the peace officer and the officer’s employing agency.
All criminal convictions involving a peace officer shall be directed to the council’s attention for potential revocation hearings. The council shall review each criminal conviction and conduct hearings on each reported conviction.
Any hearings conducted by the council or the revocation committee shall be conducted according to guidelines established by the council.
Any peace officer whose certification has been revoked by the Council may file an appeal under the provisions of the Administrative Procedures Act under R.S. 49:964.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q What is the difference between "certified" and "grandfathered"?
A An officer is "certified" once he has completed POST Basic Training (at an accredited academy) and has passed the POST Statewide Exam for Peace Officers. A "grandfathered" officer was hired prior to January 1, 1986, is still employed, and has never experienced a five-year break in service. Grandfathered officers are exempt from the basic training requirement, but must meet all other POST requirements to maintain grandfathership. It should be noted that there is no grandfathership of reserve and/or part-time personnel, as State Law does not mandate their training.
When does my certification or grandfathership cease?
Certification and grandfathership remain valid until an officer experiences a five-year break in service.
Q I was certified through LSU Academy in June of 1986. I left law enforcement in 1988 and worked in private industry for the past six years. I’ve now decided to re-enter the law enforcement sector. What will I have to do to reactivate my "certification"?
A Once hired by an agency, you will be required to attend supplemental training, which we at POST call a "refresher course". The course includes the Legal Aspects Section and firearms section of basic, qualification on the POST Firearms Course (four times and average), and the POST Statewide Exam for Peace Officers. The course is provided by all accredited academies, but varies in length. A copy of your POST Basic Certificate is required for verification purposes. As with new hires, re-hires also have one year to complete the necessary training. Contact your local and/or regional academy for more information.
Q I retired from the Louisiana State Police in June of 1990, with twenty years of service. I have applied for a full-time position with a sheriff’s office and would like to know if my State Police training in 1970 will suffice.
A Because you were hired and trained in 1970, you were considered a grandfathered officer. Since you retired in 1990, you had until June of 1995 to re-enter the law enforcement field as a grandfathered peace officer. Since your grandfathership has now expired, you may reactivate your grandfathership if you successfully complete legal aspects and firearms portions of a current basic training class. You may then be "registered" as peace officer with POST at the request of the agency head.
Q Is it possible for a "grandfathered officer" to obtain POST certification by attending the refresher course and challenging the state exam?
A No. The refresher course is applicable to officers whose certification has lapsed. No one is permitted to "challenge" the state exam, without having attended the prescribed training.
Q Are Reserve/Part-time Officers required to attend certified basic training?
A No. The POST Law addresses full-time peace officers; however, reserve/part-time officers may obtain certification, if their agencies so desire. Also, Reserve/Part-time officers must successfully complete a pre-academy firearms training within 30 days of their initial hire (required by Act 108 of 1998).
Q I am a Reserve Officer who was certified by POST in January of 1989. How long does my certification remain valid?
A Your certification will remain valid as long as your reserve commission remains active.
Q Does POST reimburse agencies for expenses incurred during basic training?
A The POST Council, through Act 440 of 2009, reimburses local criminal justice agencies for most expenses incurred during certified basic training for full-time officers only. Tuition costs (and training expenses) for reserve officer training are borne by the sponsoring agency. Please contact your local law enforcement planning council for its reimbursement policy and procedure. .
Q Our agency has considered hiring an officer form the State of Texas. Would this Texas officer be required to attend certified basic here in Louisiana, even though he possesses a valid license/certificate from the State of Texas?
A Yes, but only the Refresher Course. An Out-of-State Transfer must present a valid/current certificate from his home state, and must provide documentation that he was, in fact, working in that state as a full-time peace officer (with no break in service). Once certification has been verified, the officer would be required to attend a "refresher" and pass the written POST Exam.
Q Is it possible for an officer to obtain certification if he has failed one portion of the basic training course?
A No. Before an officer is allowed to take the POST Exam, the academy director must attest to the fact that the individual has passed every aspect of the academy.
Q If an officer fails only one or two portions of basic, is it possible for him to attend a future session of basic and take only those classes that he failed?
A No. This is not possible. The officer would be required to repeat the entire basic course.
Q If an officer is forced to drop out of an academy because of a training-related injury, is it possible for him to attend a future basic (as soon as the injury has healed), beginning where he left off in the previous academy?
Q Are certificates available for "grandfathered" officers?
A Yes. Grandfathered officers may receive a "Registration " Certificate, if an agency head so desires. The following documentation (in the form of a letter) is required for registration of grandfathered officers: 1) full name; 2) Social Security Number; 3) date of birth; 4) all employment dates (from the very beginning to present); and signature of agency head making the request.
Q Is it possible to receive State Supplemental Pay if I am not certified or grandfathered in under the Law?
A No. All peace officers must comply with POST training requirements within the first year of employment. If an officer does not attend the prescribed training within his first year, he will not receive supplemental pay until he obtains POST certification.
Q The grandfather clause in the POST statutes is January 1, 1986, while the grandfather clause for supplemental pay is March 31, 1986. If my employment date falls between January 1 and March 31, must I comply with the training requirements in order to receive supplemental pay?
A Depending on which supplemental pay board you fall under, you may receive your supplemental pay without certified training. However, you must still attend the prescribed training to comply with state law (POST). The POST Law states that...failure to comply...will be grounds fro the Council to seek an injunction prohibiting such individual form exercising authority of a peace officer.
For More Information:
Peace Officers Standards and Training Council
Or Write to:
Peace Officers Standards and Training Council
Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement
Baton Rouge, LA 70821-3133
Or Email to:
PLEASE NOTE LCLE ADDRESS CHANGE--See home page to LCLE for new phone nos.
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