• From ALADS News Desk
  • Posted 12/05/16

Make Up to 2.5% More A Year: Get Your Advanced POST Certificate

How to Maximize Your Benefits

You became a deputy sheriff because you want to give back to the community.  You want to do good work and help people who otherwise would be injured or killed.  You want to make sure your children and your grandchildren have the same opportunities you have had, and you want the less fortunate to have an opportunity to be safe and do better.

However, don’t forget to take care of yourself and your family by taking advantage of the POST certificate process. 

Just as you keep an eye on your retirement, your personal investments and your checking and credit card accounts, you should be monitoring your advancement towards your Intermediate and Advanced POST Certificates.

Upon qualifying for your Intermediate POST Certificate you will receive a 2.5% increase in pay. Upon qualifying for your Advanced POST Certificate you will receive a second 2.5% increase in pay. That means that some of you may currently be eligible for a 5% increase in pay.

If you have not begun to do so, start working towards receiving your Intermediate or Advanced POST Certificate. POST Certificates are awarded to deputy sheriffs who achieve increasingly higher levels of education, training and experience.

As you can see in the charts below, if you have a B.A. or B.S. you only need have to have two years of experience to receive an Intermediate POST Certificate.  You can also see that the more years you work as a deputy sheriff, the less education or training points you need to qualify for the certificate. For example, if you have eight or more years on the department, you only need 15 education and 15 training points.  Be smart, don't wait years to maximize your pay, start working immediately on obtaining your Intermediate and Advanced POST Certificates.

When planning how to accumulate POST credits, you should first contact the training staff at your station/unit. They should have access to the department’s Training Record System (TRS) and be able to provide you with a copy of your training record. Your training record will consist of three sections TRS, WQS, and CTS. Total the number of hours, of two hours or more, in the sections, and then divide by 20 to determine your “training points.”

After you have done this, it would be a good idea to call the POST Certificate Coordinator Karla De La Torre (562) 347-1222 to check your math, send you the necessary paperwork and help you plan the best way to accumulate more points as quickly as possible.  

Taking advantage of this program:  

Accumulating points is easy. To accumulate education points towards a POST Certificate you can begin taking classes at any accredited college and may include those units obtained through college-affiliated training or in-service training. 

To accumulate training points, you can include hours in Basic Academy courses, in-service training, and may include outside training. College-affiliated training can be counted as education OR training points, BUT NOT BOTH. 20 hours of training = 1 training point and you CANNOT substitute training points for college units.

Basically, you need to accumulate both Education Points and Training points to receive your certificate.  For example, for six to seven years of service on the department you need to have 30 education points and 30 training points to receive your Intermediate POST Certificate. If you are not planning to take advantage of the POST Certificate Program, you should consider that the opportunity cost of whatever it is that you are    doing instead is 2.5% or 5% of your salary year after year. It better be worth it.

Two frequently asked questions that the POST Coordinator receives are: If you have more than 12 years of experience, do you still need any education points or training points? The answer is that both Intermediate and Advanced POST Certificates have minimum requirements regardless of how many years of experience you have (see the charts). The second question is: Do you have to submit sealed official transcripts? The answer to this question is no.  You can submit copies of official transcripts or your degree if you have been awarded one. However, they do not accept “unofficial transcripts.” For example, you could not submit transcripts that say “unofficial” on them.

If you are a veteran on the department and have not taken advantage of this program, know that your pay is not retroactive to the time you first had enough points to be eligible for a POST Certificate. Assuming all eligibility requirements are met, retroactive pay is authorized from the date the POST Coordinator receives the applicant’s completed POST application, including all supporting documentation. Don’t be one of the people that walk in there to find out you could have received a 5% pay increase ten years ago.

We would like to once again recognize POST Certificate Coordinator Karla De La Torre for going the extra mile in helping our members obtain their POST Certificates and their help in putting together this article which contains some of the information you will receive upon requesting your POST packet.

Do yourself, and your family a favor. Invest in yourself and get your POST Certificates ASAP.