David Bautista

David has over 29 years of law enforcement experience and is currently a Lieutenant with the San Diego Police Department. His previous assignments include years of experience in Patrol and the Department Training Division along with working specialized proactive patrol assignments. He also has over 13 years of SWAT experience as an operator, sniper, and team leader. After his promotion in 2017 David was assigned as the Watch Commander/Field Lieutenant where he is now responsible for managing critical incidents citywide while also managing staffing and resources.

David first found his passion for teaching when he assisted with the development and delivery of the first active shooter program for his Department after the Columbine High School incident. Over the past 20 years of providing instruction, David has built a reputation of being an engaging instructor who has a knack and a passion for sharing his experiences, knowledge, successes, and challenges to help others navigate our ever changing profession. His goal? Simple-ensure current and future law enforcement professionals have their best opportunity to have a safe and successful career through meaningful training and guidance they can use now.

“It is our responsibility to the profession we love and the professionals we have a commitment to develop. If we don’t do it, who will? It is my goal to help the future of law enforcement make sense of it all and be prepared to answer the tough questions and make the difficult decisions”.

David has expertise on a wide range of topics. He is a POST certified instructor in Firearms, Arrest and Control, Force Option Simulator/Use of Force, ICS, and Implicit Bias and Racial Profiling. He also teaches Crisis Incident Management in the POST Management Course. Because of his expertise, David has been called upon to provide analysis and feedback on proposed legislation that could affect the future of law enforcement.

David was a significant contributor to the California POST “De-Escalation and Crisis Management” course and de-escalation protocols adopted by agencies in the San Diego region. Since 2021, David has been a contributing writer for PORAC Magazine and American Police Beat Magazine providing his insight on the changing law enforcement environment and what we can do to keep pace.

David is an instructor for our Practical De-Escalation and Tactical Conduct© course.

Articles by David Bautista

De-Escalation: The Cornerstone of Law Enforcement
What Is a Radio Call?: Balancing Risk Versus Duty

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