The process of training is a continual activity because of requirements set forth by the State of California. Officers are required to meet recognized standards in the numerous areas of knowledge that comprise modern police work. There are legal updates, mandated refresher courses in fields that involve perishable skills, as well as hand-on physical skill training, to mention only a few. Perishable skills are those skills that are crucially important and may not be performed on the job often, but must be performed flawlessly when required. Examples of perishable skill include pursuit driving, weaponless defense, and firearms training.
The Novato Police Department’s Personnel & Training Bureau is responsible for the scheduling of mandatory training and continued education as required by POST (Police Officer Standards and Training). The State of California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training has been involved in continuing education for over 27 years. The Commission sets standards for this training and provides various levels of reimbursement to agencies whose employees attend POST approved classes. Some of the POST classes Departmental members attended were: Drug Recognition, Interview and Interrogation, Identity Theft investigations, Digital Crime Investigations, Crisis Intervention Team Training, Basic Peer Support and Racial Profiling to name a few. From time to time department personnel attend additional training and seminars that are outside the scope or mandate by POST. These include, but are not limited to, the California Annual Chief’s Conference, the International Association of Chief’s of Police Annual Conference, continuing education and training for administrative staff, information technology courses, FBI National Academy, Supervisor Leadership Institute, West Point Leadership Program and Department in-house training. A total of 11,170.5 training hours were achieved in 2006.
Personnel & Training schedules the monthly platoon training and coordinates the publishing of the monthly training bulletin, which is distributed to all police employees as an added bonus to the ongoing training in the Department. It is his responsibility to maintain up to date training records on all personnel.
Personnel & Training is also responsible for recruitment of new officers, processing background investigations on potential new hires, sworn and civilian. Coordinating and Proctoring oral boards for new hires and promotional exams within the Department.