What is POST?
June, 2023, marks the 48th 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 47 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.
“Peace Officer” means any full-time, reserve, or part 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, military police officers within the La. Military Department, and 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.
All 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 within one year of employment as a peace officer. Part-time/reserve peace officers hired prior to January 1, 2022 can be “grandfathered” and exempt from the requirement of this section, by written request of the agency head. All part-time/reserve peace officers hired on or after January 1, 2022, must be certified. Military police officers stationed in Louisiana are eligible for certification if they successfully complete a basic training course prescribed for 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 peace officer will complete a training course with a minimum of 496 hours required for certification. Level 1 certification requires that the peace officer meet the POST requirements for firearms qualification.
- Level 2 – Certification for Basic Correctional Peace Officer
The peace officer will complete a training course with a minimum of 249 hours required for certification. Level 2 certification is limited to those peace officers whose duties include the care, custody, and control of inmates. Level 2 certification requires that the peace officer meet the POST requirements for firearms qualification.
- Level 3 – Certification for Correctional Officers
The peace officer will complete a training course with a minimum of 92 hours required for certification. Level 3 certification is limited to those peace officers whose duties include the care, custody, and control of inmates. Level 3 certification does not require the peace officer meet the POST requirements for firearms qualification.
Peace officers must adhere to all standards, rules and regulations established by the POST Academy attended. It should be further noted that POST certification will 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). A peace officer may not be POST certified if:
- The peace officer’s absences (excused or unexcused) exceed 10% of the total hours of instruction, or 10% of the hours required in each block of instruction; or
- The peace officer fails to achieve a passing grade of 70% or higher on each block of instruction; or
- The peace officer fails to achieve a passing score of 80% or higher on the requirements for firearms qualification; or
- The peace officer fails to achieve a passing grade of 70% or higher on the POST certification exam required for the respective level of certification.
Registration of Officers:
Full-time peace officers who were employed prior to January 1, 1986, and Part-time/Reserve peace officers who were employed prior to January 1, 2022 are exempt from POST certification requirements. Those peace 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 peace officer is “grandfathered in” under the POST Law. These peace officers may be registered as grandfathered peace officers by completing the following requirements:
- A letter from the agency head shall be submitted to the POST Council indicating a desire to have the peace officer registered with the State; and
- Documentation shall accompany the letter regarding the peace officer’s initial employment date and continuous law enforcement service.
Out-of-state transfers may be eligible for certification by meeting the following requirements at POST academy:
- Present a currently valid out-of-state POST certificate of training; and
- Successfully complete the “Legal Aspects” and “Firearms” blocks of instruction as part of a POST Basic Peace Officer training at a POST Academy; and
- Successfully complete an academy firearms qualification; and
- Pass the statewide POST certification exam with a minimum score of 70% or better.
Interruption of Service:
Any grandfathered peace officer who interrupts their full-time continuous law enforcement employment for a period in excess of five years, and has more than five years of law enforcement experience can reinstate their grandfathership by successfully completing the following:
- The “Legal Aspects” and “Firearms” block of instruction as part of a POST Basic Peace Officer training at a POST Academy; and
- An academy firearms qualification; and
- The necessary requirements for POST registration.
Any grandfathered peace officer who interrupts their full-time law enforcement service for a period in excess of five years and has less than five years of law enforcement experience, shall be required to complete a POST Basic Peace Officer certification training at a POST Academy.
Any certified (Level 1 or Level 2) peace officer who interrupts their law enforcement service for a period in excess of five years shall be required to complete the following:
- The “Legal Aspects” and “Firearms” blocks of instruction as part of a POST Basic Peace Officer or POST Basic Correctional Peace Officer training at a POST Academy; and
- An academy firearms qualification; and
- Pass the statewide POST certification exam with a minimum score of 70% or better.
If the peace officer fails the POST certification exam, the peace officer will be required to complete a full POST Basic Peace Officer or POST Basic Correctional Peace Officer certification course at a POST academy.
Extended medical leave or administrative leave does not constitute an interruption of service (“break in service”).
POST Academy Instructor Qualifications:
Instructors assigned to a POST academy must meet the following qualifications:
- Shall possess two years college and/or full-time practical experience in law enforcement (for basic training) or corrections experience (for basic corrections or jailer training).
- Each two years of experience may be substituted for each 30 semester hours of college. Any combination of above will be acceptable.
- Shall have completed the applicable POST Instructor certification, as per POST Council policy.
Pre-Academy Firearms Training: Any person employed and commissioned as a 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 POST academy.
Annual Firearms Qualifications: Peace Officers shall qualify with an agency issued/approved handgun annually on the POST Firearms Qualification Course. Scoring will be computed, recorded, and reported to POST by a POST certified firearms instructor.
Revocation of Certification:
All law enforcement agencies within the state of Louisiana shall immediately report the conviction of any POST certified/grandfathered full-time, part-time, or reserve peace officer to the Council.
The POST certification of any peace officer, whether employed full-time, part-time, or reserve, shall be revoked upon the occurrence of any of the following conditions:
- A conviction of malfeasance in office; or
- A conviction of an offense which results in the individual peace officer’s restriction of their constitutional right to bear arms.
The POST council may conduct a revocation hearing to determine whether the certification of any peace officer, whether employed full-time, part-time, or reserve, shall be revoked if the peace officer:
- Was involuntarily terminated by their employing law enforcement agency for disciplinary reasons involving civil rights violations and the peace officer had exhausted all administrative remedies; or
- Was convicted of a misdemeanor involving domestic abuse battery as (LA R.S. 14:35.3) or a felony in any court; or
- Failed to complete additional training as required/prescribed by the council; or
- Voluntarily surrenders their certification; or
- Has a judicial disposition in a criminal case that results in revocation.
Any peace officer whose certification has been revoked may file an appeal to the decision under the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act under R.S. 49:964.
Suspension of Certification:
The POST Council may consider the suspension of a peace officer’s certification when an incident involving the peace officer has been referred to it for review. A referred incident is an incident:
- Which has been investigated; and
- Where the investigation has resulted in evidence of misconduct or violation of law; and
- Where either:
- The law enforcement agency head has referred the incident to the POST Council for review; or
- A district attorney, or the attorney general has referred the incident to the POST Council for review; or
- An official acting in their elected/appointed capacity, such as a judge or mayor, has referred the incident to the POST Council for review.
The POST Council may conduct a suspension hearing to review referred incidents involving misconduct, as found by a court or law enforcement agency, which includes:
- Violation of any statute or ordinance; or
- Use of excessive force; or
- Dishonesty or deception in violation of statute, ordinance, or policy of the employing law enforcement agency; or
- Biased or prejudicial misconduct against one or more individuals based on the individual’s race, color, sex, pregnancy, age, religion, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity; or
- Failure to perform duties and/or willful neglect of duties; or
- Misuse of authority.
The POST Council shall conduct a suspension hearing to review referred incidents involving misconduct, as found by a court or law enforcement agency, which includes:
- Conviction of violation of any statute or ordinance; or
- Resignation from an employing agency in lieu of termination or while under investigation; or
- Involuntarily terminated from an employing agency for cause; or d. failure to meet annual POST in-service training requirements.
The POST Council may not suspend or revoke the certification of a peace officer for a violation of statute or ordinance, or a violation of the employing law enforcement agency’s policies, that does not include misconduct listed in above. Due process requirements by law shall be afforded to the peace officer whose misconduct is under review.
Q. What is the difference between “certified” and “grandfathered”?
A. A peace officer is “certified” once they have completed POST certification training, at a POST Academy (Level 1 and Level 2) or at an agency (Level 3). A “grandfathered” officer is a peace officer that was hired prior to the date applicable to their employment status (01/01/1986 for full-time, 01/01/2022 for part-time/reserve), has been “registered” with POST, and has never experienced a five-year break in law enforcement service. Once a peace officer successfully completes a POST certification course, they are no longer eligible for “grandfathership”, regardless of hire date and/or employment status.
Q. What training is required of a peace officer that has experienced a break in law enforcement service in excess of 5 years?
A. Any certified (Level 1 or Level 2) peace officer who interrupts their law enforcement service for a period in excess of five years shall be required to complete the POST Refresher course. This course consists of the “Legal Aspects” and “Firearms” blocks of instruction as part of a POST Basic Peace Officer or POST Basic Correctional Peace Officer training at a POST Academy. The peace officer shall also successfully complete an academy firearms qualification, and pass the statewide POST certification exam with a minimum score of 70% or better. If the peace officer fails the POST certification exam, the peace officer will be required to complete a full POST Basic Peace Officer or POST Basic Correctional Peace Officer certification course at a POST academy.
Any POST Correctional Officer (Level 3) peace officer who interrupts their law enforcement service for a period in excess of five years shall be required to successfully complete the entire POST Correctional Officer certification course.
Q. Is it possible to “challenge” the Louisiana POST certification exam?
A. No. The Louisiana POST certification exam is only available after successful completion of the respective POST certification training course.
Q. Are part-time/reserve peace officers required to be POST certified?
A. Yes. Any part-time/reserve peace officer (hired on or after 01/01/2022) is required to be POST certified.
Q. Does POST reimburse law enforcement agencies for expenses incurred during POST certification training courses?
A. Yes. POST reimburses eligible agencies for some of the costs incurred during POST certification training courses. Please contact your local law enforcement planning council for applicable reimbursement policies and procedures.
Q. Is it possible for a peace officer to obtain certification if they have failed any portion of a POST certification course?
A. No. In order to be certified, a peace officer must pass every required block of instruction with a 70% or better.
Q. If a peace officer fails only one or two portions of a POST certification course, is it possible for them to attend a future session of a POST certification course and take only the portions they failed?
A. No. The peace officer would be required to repeat the entire POST certification course.
Q. If a peace officer is forced to drop out of an academy because of a training-related injury, is it possible for them to attend a future academy session (after being cleared by a physician), and begin at the point when the injury occurred in the previous academy session?
A. Yes. Once released back to “full duty” by a physician, the peace officer can return to the academy and pick up where they left off at the time of the injury.
Q. Is Supplemental Pay administered by POST?
A. No. POST does not administer supplemental pay. Municipal Supplemental Pay is administered by the Dept. of Public Safety’s Office of Management and Finance (225-925-6347). The Deputy Sheriff’s Supplemental Pay Program is administered by the LA State Treasurer’s Office (225-342-0698). Please contact the applicable office for questions concerning supplemental pay.
Q. What training(s), other than POST certification, are required for peace officers?
A. The following are mandatory trainings for all peace officers:
1. Annual In-Service Training – R.S. 40:2404.2A
2. LA Code of Ethics Training – R.S. 42:1170 – Required of ALL public employees, regardless of employment status
3. Preventing Sexual Harassment – R.S. 42:343 – Required of ALL public employees, regardless of employment status
4. Sexual Assault Training – R.S. 40:2405.8C(3)
5. Homicide Investigator Training – R.S. 40:2405.8B – On or after 01/01/2017, MUST be completed to be assigned as
a LEAD Homicide Investigator
6. Domestic Violence Training – R.S. 40:2405.8E(2)
7. Deaf & Hard of Hearing Training – R.S. 40:2405.8F(2)
8. Human Trafficking Training – R.S. 40:2405.7D(1)
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: