Frequently Asked Questions
These “ FAQ ’s” are meant to be informative and not worded to be interpreted legally. The law and regulations control where technical interpretation is required.
Q. Who is subject to the standards of the Police Officer Standards and Training Council?
A. Any person who has authority to enforce the General Statutes of this State and is a member of a law enforcement unit and is not specifically exempted from compliance with the Council’s training statute.
Q. What is certification?
A. Certification is the formal acknowledgement that a police officer has met, the minimum, entry level requirements and basic training requirements of the Council and is thus authorized to exercise the authority of a police officer. Certification is awarded after the minimum entry level requirements have been met and basic training requirements have been completed, and is valid for a period not to exceed 3 years.
Q. What are the entry level requirements?
A. To qualify for a police officer certification in Connecticut, an applicant must meet all relevant entry level requirements, some of which are that the candidate: be a citizen of the United States; be at least 21 years of age; be a high school graduate or have passed the General Educational Development Test; possess a valid motor vehicle operator’s license; have passed a validated written entry test; have been tested by an oral interview panel with at least one CT POST Council certified police officer on the panel; have been fingerprinted and a search made of fingerprint files for any record; not have been convicted by a court of any felony, any class A or class B misdemeanor or have committed any act which would constitute perjury or false statement; have been the subject of a background investigation; have been the subject of a polygraph examination (by POST Council approved polygraph examiners only); have been subject of a psychological examination; have not tested positive on a controlled drug screen; have been examined and certified by a Council accepted method as fit to perform the duties of a probationary candidate police officer (or a lateral transfer of a certified officer); have met all physical fitness requirements; have personally certified knowledge that any falsification of any statement in the application process constitutes grounds for termination.
Q. What are Basic Training Requirements?
A. Once a person meets the entry level requirements and is appointed, they must successfully complete the curriculum approved by the POST Council along with an appropriate field training requirement.
Q. When do I have to meet the entry level Requirements?
A. These requirements must be met prior to being appointed and sworn in for “Probationary Candidate, lateral transfers or Comparative Certification.
Q. If I have received “Basic Training in another state or while employed as a police officer, do I have to be trained again?
A. Not necessarily. You may be eligible for a status of Comparative Compliance if; the employing law enforcement unit recommends the Council consider an alternative route or waiver to satisfy the basic training requirements; you have completed at least two years of full time employment with a law enforcement unit: have not had more than three years separation from a law enforcement unit.
In determining whether to waive all or a portion of the required police basic training program, the Police Officer Standards and Training Council shall evaluate in comparison to current requirements the quality and extent of the candidate’s (1) previous basic training and certification as a police officer; (2) formal, professional and in-service training and education in law enforcement or criminal justice, and (3) length of service and field experience as a police officer. The council may waiver those portions of the police basic training program for which a candidate demonstrates (a) the satisfactory completion of a substantial equivalent training or educational program in another state of jurisdiction, or (b) a length of service with field experience sufficient to establish a practical mastery of the required skills, or a satisfactory combination of both.
Q. What are the physical standards for Entry Level (recruit), Lateral Certification (within the state) and Comparative Compliance certification (outside state to instate)?
A. PLEASE REFER TO THE FOLLOWING:
Comparative Certification (officers from outside Connecticut): Original testing must be at least 40% of Cooper Standards. Information regarding Cooper standards is found at: www.cooperinstitute.org/education/law_enforcement/index.cfm
Probationary Candidate Appointment
Q. What is a Probationary Candidate?
A. A police officer who, having satisfied pre-employment requirements, has commenced employment with a law enforcement unit, but has not SATISFACTORILY COMPLETED the training requirements provided for in section 7-294d of the general statutes.
Q. When does a Probationary Appointment apply?
A. When a person has met all of the entry level requirements, but has not completed the “Basic Training” Program, and has been appointed to a police officer position, as a “probationary candidate”. When your law enforcement unit submits a completed Notice of Appointment form which includes information that all of the entry level requirements have been met and is signed by your unit’s appointing authority a probationary candidate certificate is issued. It is only good for one year from date of appointment as a police officer in the State of Connecticut. It allows you the opportunity to complete the basic training requirements and Field Training Program (FTO) required to receive full certification. Each law enforcement unit may establish its own probationary period to evaluate job performance and it should not be confused with the Council’s probationary appointment period.
Q. What happens when the probationary period expires and basic training requirements have not been met?
A. The probationary period ends and the individual may not serve as a police officer. By order of the Connecticut State Statute, the individual must lose his appointment and position.
Q. Is part-time certification any different then full time?
A. No. In Connecticut there is no distinction between full-time and part-time officers with regard to their certification.
Q. As a probationary candidate, are there any restrictions on my activities and duties?
A. Yes. Probationary Candidate, while undergoing the basic training program to include the Field Training required, may not have official police contact with citizens unless such probationary candidates are accompanied by, and working with a currently certified police officer. (Must be with a certified FTO during field training or the training does not count toward certification.)
Q. What is required for renewal of certification?
A. Certification is predicated on continuous employment as a police officer. Certification cannot be renewed by any person after leaving police employment. Employed officers renew their certification by completing certified Review Training every 3 years. The subject matter of many of the hours of training is specified and the remainder is elective in content. A minimum of 3 hours of firearms training each year is highly recommended by the Council.
Q. If I am part-time, do I get more time?
A. No. The Council does not distinguish between full and part-time officers. Part-time officers are obligated to renew their certification every three years by completing certified Review Training. A minimum of 3 hours of firearms training is highly recommended by the Council each year.
Q. What if I do not pass my in-service program or firearms qualification?
A. You may be retested or retrained in order to complete the training successfully. If this is not done, your certification will lapse and it may be revoked. Your law enforcement unit also has the option or removing your authority to act as a police officer, though you may continue to be employed in non-police activities (non-officer status). That would be a local decision. However, before certification can be renewed and the officer’s police authority can be restored, the appropriate Review Training and firearms qualification requirements must be met. If this does not occur until after the expiration date, only the POST Council can re-certify the officer.
Q. How can I prove certification?
A. Either a probationary candidate or regular certification card will be issued to eligible officers, as appropriate. The card will serve as a primary means of indicating your certification status.
Q. What if I leave my law enforcement unit or become disabled?
A. The certificate is issued to you by the Council through your chief law enforcement officer. When you no longer function as a police officer for that unit, the card MUST be returned to the Council through your law enforcement unit. At that point you are no longer considered a certified police officer until such time you are reemployed by the same or another law enforcement unit. Certification of a police officer is contingent upon active employment in a law enforcement unit. In the event you become disabled for a substantial and uninterrupted period of time, your certification may be interrupted and continued when you return to police service. (After four (4) years you must repeat the academy for recertification.)
Q. What if the card is lost or stolen?
A. Report this immediately to your supervisor. A police report shall be given in the jurisdiction lost/stolen and a copy submitted to POST Council Certification Division prior to a new card being reissued.
Q. Is my certification public record?
A. Yes. Anyone may request information regarding your certification and training record.
Q. What is a recertification?
A. Recertification is required when an officer who was formerly employed by one law enforcement unit again resumes employment with the same or another law enforcement unit and meets all of the applicable standards of the Council.
Q. What standards apply to a recertification?
A. If you have been previously certified and are subsequently hired (after meeting all entry level requirements) by a law enforcement unit within three years of your termination from the previous law enforcement unit, and you previously served at least two years as a certified law enforcement officer in Connecticut, you are eligible to be recertified without again completing the “Basic Training” program. However, if you have not met all of the applicable review training and firearms qualifications requirements in the previous period of certification, you must complete the training requirements. No certificate will be issued until these requirements are met.
Q. What if I am out of law enforcement for over three years?
A. The Council requires anyone out of law enforcement over three years to meet all entry level requirements and complete the full basic training program. The Council in unusual cases may consider a waiver of some portion of the mandatory training.
Loss of Certification
Q. When does certification lapse?
A. Certification can lapse when you are scheduled for certification renewal and the appropriate Review Training has not been received within the required three year period.
Q. Can my certification be suspended or revoked for reasons other than training?
A. Yes. Your certification can be cancelled or revoked by the Council for any of the grounds specified in Sec. 7-294d (c)(2) (PA 05-200) of the General Statutes.
Q. What if my law enforcement unit failed to provide or allow attendance at the required training?
A. If you believe that you were either not provided an opportunity for training or were involuntarily assigned to an activity that prevented you from receiving your training, and therefore you did not have the training required by law, though no fault of your own, you may request a hearing by the Council. The council may stay the lapse of certification so you may receive the necessary training.
Q. Who is responsible for getting my Review Training?
A. State statute places this responsibility on each police officer.
CarrieJo McGuffey, Certification Officer