Newsom Appoints Fresno County deputy to state law enforcement commission

The appointment gives the Central Valley a seat at the table for reviewing the state’s law enforcement standards.

A Fresno County sheriff deputy will have his say in the state’s standards for peace officers. 

California Gov. Gavin Newsom appointed deputy Eric Schmidt to the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) this week. 

The backstory: Schmidt has served as a deputy with the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office since 1997. 

  • Since 2022 Schmidt has also taught as an adjunct professor at Fresno City College for the police academy. 
  • He is also the president of the Fresno Deputy Sheriff’s Association. 
  • Schmidt interviewed with Newsom’s appointment panel in late January for about a half an hour and competed with around 30 other people. 

State of play: Schmidt’s appointment is the first time in 15 years that a local law enforcement officer has been appointed to the POST Commission. 

  • Along with Schmidt, Newsom appointed four other people to the 15-person commission. 
  • The position requires confirmation from the State Senate, and Schmidt will not receive any compensation. He registered without a party preference. 

What we’re watching: A major topic of the POST Commission last year centered around Senate Bill 2, which was signed into law in 2021 and requires all law enforcement officers in the state to be licensed, similar to how nurses are licensed in California. 

  • SB 2 took effect at the start of the year, and Schmidt expects it to remain a major focus of the commission in his first year on the job. 
  • Schmidt’s first meeting on the POST Commission is scheduled for March 22. 

What they’re saying: “It’s an honor, and I think it’s going to be a great opportunity to represent Central Valley law enforcement specifically sitting as a commissioner on that POST Commission,” Schmidt said. 

  • Schmidt pointed to his experience teaching at the police academy and running the Fresno Deputy Sheriff’s Association as reasons why he believes he earned Newsom’s confidence for the appointment.
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