Appointments and Promotions

CDCR lieutenant first to attend command college

Man in tie standing in front of a projection screen
Lt. Lucas Abarca

By Steve Stone, Office of Peace Officer Selection; Photo by Sergeant Michael Pike

Lieutenant Lucas Abarca of the Office of Peace Officer Selection was recently was the first to attend the California Peace Officer Standards and Training Command College.

The college is a 14-month Master’s-level program designed to prepare law enforcement leaders of today for the challenges of the future.

The college focuses on:  leadership principals for influencing organizational direction; identifying emerging issues and providing proactive responses; skills and knowledge to anticipate and prepare for the future; and, using stakeholders in problem solving. 

Abarca is a March 2008 graduate of the Basic Correctional Officer Academy and promoted to lieutenant in the Office of Peace Officer Selection in May 2017.

“When I researched the program, I was impressed with the subject of futures planning,” Abarca said. “I read articles published by Command College alumni and felt the course would be a good challenge and the exposure of working with leaders from other law enforcement agencies was too much of an opportunity to pass up.”

Abarca’s capstone project will focus on the impact cognitive computing systems will have on recruitment and retention of peace officers by 2027.  Cognitive computing systems synthesize data from various artificial intelligence (also known as AI) technologies (machine learning, facial recognition, language processing, etc.) to mimic the way the human brain works.

In OPOS, AI technologies including machine learning and robotic process automation are being incorporated in the Correctional Applicant Processing System (also known as CAPS).

Abarca said: “My capstone research is already being applied to current OPOS processes.  We are looking at areas to gather the data needed to provide better candidate evaluations with a focus on learning what makes a good candidate and a good employee. 

“The CAPS project will automate background investigation functions and we are ensuring it will support cognitive computing systems when available.  I am hopeful the research will help provide a roadmap of sorts to ensure OPOS is the gold standard for large law enforcement agency peace officer selection.”