The Arizona Law Enforcement Officer Advisory Council (the predecessor of the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board) was initially established in 1968. Current statutory authority is found at A.R.S. §§41-1821 through 41-1828.01.
The Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board (AzPOST) establishes minimum qualifications for certification to serve as a law enforcement officer in the state. Qualifications require U.S. citizenship; physical, mental and moral fitness; and govern recruitment, appointment and retention of all agents, peace officers and police officers of every political subdivision of the state. Except for limited exemptions, no person may exercise the authority or perform the duties of a peace officer unless certified by the Board.
AzPOST prescribes minimum courses of training and standards for training facilities; recommends curricula for advanced courses and seminars in law enforcement and intelligence training for universities and colleges; establishes uniform standards for background investigations of applicants; and establishes continuing training requirements and curricula.
In addition, AzPOST is authorized to conduct investigations of peace officer misconduct; may deny, suspend, revoke or cancel the certification of an officer who is not in compliance with established qualifications; may provide training and related services to assist state, tribal and local law enforcement agencies; and make recommendations to the Governor and Legislature on matters relating to law enforcement and public safety.
The Peace Officers’ Training Fund, administered by the executive director, provides monies for the cost of training peace officers, including tribal police officers and full authority peace officers appointed by the Directors of the state Department of Corrections and the Department of Juvenile Corrections. Fund monies may not be spent to train correctional officers of the Department of Corrections.
The Board consists of 13 members, appointed by the Governor to terms of three years. Members include representatives of law enforcement, state agencies and the public.
Laws 1968, Chapter 209 created the Department of Public Safety to create and coordinate services for local law enforcement agencies. The measure outlined the organization of the Department and established the Arizona Law Enforcement Officer Advisory Council, which was the predecessor of AzPOST. The Council was required to prescribe reasonable minimum qualifications for state and local law enforcement officers; prescribe minimum courses of training and standards for training facilities; recommend curricula for advanced courses and seminars in law enforcement training in colleges and universities; and determine whether political subdivisions are meeting standards regarding recruitment and training. The measure also established the Peace Officers’ Training Fund and outlined its uses.
Laws 1981, Chapter 179 added U.S. citizenship as a requirement to serve as a peace officer in the state.
Laws 1984, Chapter 385 expanded the duties of the Council to include approving a training program for state correctional officers, issuing a certificate of completion, and establishing uniform minimum standards for state correctional officers, including background investigations. The Department of Corrections was required to reimburse the Peace Officer Training Fund for all costs associated with correctional officer training. The measure included an appropriation of $1.9 million in fiscal year 1984-1985 to construct and expand the Arizona Law Enforcement Training Academy in Tucson for correctional officer training.
Laws 1988, Chapter 333 expanded the uses of the Peace Officers’ Training Fund to include training for tribal police officers affiliated with the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs or an Indian tribe.
Laws 1990, Chapter 270 authorized the Council to deny, suspend, revoke or cancel a certificate for noncompliance with the minimum qualifications required to obtain a certificate and specified that no person may serve as a peace officer unless certified. The measure also established law enforcement agency reporting requirements with regard to peace officer misconduct, termination, resignation or separation from the agency; and established a requirement for law enforcement agencies to share information on known misconduct of an applicant. Law enforcement agencies were exempted from civil liability for providing information to the Council or another law enforcement agency in good faith.
Laws 1991, Chapter 93 expanded the Council from nine members to eleven members.
A second measure enacted in 1991 required the Council to include training for responding to, and reporting of, all criminal offenses motivated by race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender or disability. See Laws 1991, Chapter 322.
Laws 1992, Chapter 105 expanded the subjects required to be addressed in minimum courses of training to include instruction on the nature of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and how to handle cases involving the sudden and unexplained death of an infant. The measure also established the Sudden Infant Death Advisory Council, consisting of ten members appointed by the Director of the Arizona Department of Health Services. An initial report providing recommendations on protocols was due no later than March 31, 1993.
Note: Laws 2001, Chapter 256, expanded training requirements related to SIDS. Subsequent amendments related to unexplained infant death were made by Laws 2012, Chapter 187.
Laws 1994, Chapter 324 renamed the Arizona Law Enforcement Advisory Council as the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board and made conforming changes throughout relevant statutory provisions.
Laws 1997, Chapter 133 expanded the membership of the AzPOST Board from eleven members to thirteen members. The measure also required AzPOST to establish uniform minimum standards and training curriculum for Department of Corrections correctional officers, including background investigations and extended screenings to ensure an applicant is suitable for a career as a correctional officer. The measure required AzPOST to issue certificates of completion and develop continuing training requirements. Use of the Peace Officers’ Training Fund monies for training correctional officers or any peace officers of the state Department of Corrections was prohibited.
Laws 2002, Chapter 126 transferred title to the property formerly known as the Arizona Law Enforcement Training Academy from the Department of Public Safety to the Department of Corrections. The property is operated as the Correctional Officer Training Academy in Tucson.
Laws 2011, Chapter 303 authorized AzPOST to respond to complaints of peace officer misconduct from any person and request an investigation by a law enforcement agency or conduct an independent investigation.
Laws 2019, Chapter 43 modified the membership of the AzPOST Board to provide that the two members who are chiefs of police can represent either a city or a federally recognized Native American tribe.
- Arizona Revised Statutes §§41-1821 through 41-1828.01
- Arizona Administrative Code §§R13-4-101 through R13-4-208
- Session Laws
- Laws 1968, Chapter 209
- Laws 1981, Chapter 179
- Laws 1984, Chapter 385
- Laws 1988, Chapter 333
- Laws 1990, Chapter 270
- Laws 1991, Chapter 93 and Chapter 322
- Laws 1992, Chapter 105
- Laws 1994, Chapter 324
- Laws 1997, Chapter 133
- Laws 2001, Chapter 256
- Laws 2002, Chapter 126
- Laws 2011, Chapter 303
- Laws 2012, Chapter 187
- Laws 2019, Chapter 43
Related Collections at Arizona State Archives
- Record Group 031 – Department of Corrections, 1875-2008
- Record Group 152 – Department of Public Safety