Required for certain occupations, the new certification courses are filling up fast after more than two years without a local option for San Diego employers.
SAN MARCOS — A new course offered by the Public Safety Training Center at Palomar College in San Marcos has met with high demand from trainees who need a professional certification known as PC 832 to carry out limited Peace Officer powers.
Juliette Barnes, the Palomar College Police Academy Coordinator, explained that PC 832 is a standardized California training providing minimum certification for anyone who works in an occupation with powers of arrest.
“Our partners in the region expressed a need, and we took the opportunity to develop the course, get it certified, and offer it as a training opportunity for everyone in our region,” said Barnes.
The course includes 40 hours of training mandated by the CA Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST). In some cases, the course is paired with 24 class hours of firearms training, but Palomar’s course is focused on the 40-hour arrest portion.
Upcoming Courses in 2022:
- May 2–6
- May 23–27
- June 13–17
- July 11–15
- August 15–19
“Different types of occupations require this certification, including park rangers, code enforcement officers, parking enforcement, lifeguards—those who have powers to write a citation, for example, as part of their duties,” Barnes said. “Anybody can take the course, but it’s specifically required for certain positions.”
The first class, offered in March, was almost full, and on a recent Thursday afternoon dozens of students were drilling—or practicing their search techniques—inside a large room at the Public Safety Training Center in San Marcos.
“We’re going to present the course every month through October, including twice in May. The courses are already filling up,” said Barnes. “Agencies are enrolling their employees, and we have individuals who go on the POST website and find our course.”
The intense demand has been driven by the widespread suspension of face-to-face training during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“PC 832 training is offered throughout the state, but it has not been offered in San Diego County since the pandemic,” Barnes explained. “So it’s been more than two years since it’s been available, which means that employers were having to send people out of the county, having to pay for travel expenses, per diem, room and board.”
Barnes said students are learning thirteen different legal topics in the POST curriculum, including search and seizure, criminal law, use of force, and community policing. The arrest and control portion of the course includes the principles of officer safety in contacting individuals, proper search techniques, and handcuffing.
“Those are all things that could be a part of using these arrest powers—it can entail physical contact, it might entail handcuffing,” she said. “So this is required by the state to demonstrate proficiency in those techniques.”
Students must pass skills proficiency tests and a written exam to earn their certification, which includes registration in the state’s training database.
For more information about Palomar’s PC 832 Arrest course, including online registration, please visit https://www.palomar.edu/policeacademy/pc-832-courses/