The process, which can take anywhere from one to one-and-a-half years to complete, challenges participants to prove they have expert knowledge and execution of applied duties in specific areas.
After successful completion of all requirements, members are accepted to serve on the SME Committee for AZ POST, which establishes rules and regulations governing the conduct of all business coming before the board. It prescribes minimum qualifications for officers appointed to enforce the laws of the state and recommends curricula for advanced courses and seminars for law enforcement training in universities, colleges and junior colleges in conjunction with the governing body of the educational institutions.
AZ POST also determines whether political state subdivisions are adhering to the standards for recruitment and training of law enforcement personnel. It approves a state correctional officer training curriculum and establishes minimum standards for correctional officers.
Prior to coming to PCSO, Sgt Lapre was an officer with the Department of Public Safety for one-and-a-half-years, and a police officer with the Casa Grande Police Department for three-and-a-half-years. He has been a certified firearms instructor for 11 years.
PCSO currently has one member on the SME Committee; Ralp Martinez is SME certified in the area of Defensive Tactics, but will be retiring this year.
“I’m humbled to have been selected to begin this process,” Lapre said, “SME certification allows individual members to advocate on behalf of their respected agencies. I plan to use my thirteen plus years of law enforcement experience to meet and successfully exceed challenges required by AZ POST to become a SME Committee member.”
“We’re thrilled to have Sgt. Lapre accepted into the SME program,” Sheriff Paul Babeu stated, “This will be a very involved process, but I have no doubt he’ll meet each challenge with the same professionalism and dedication he demonstrates each day.”