In 1972, thirty officers from Northern California law enforcement agencies met in Concord, California. During the meeting the advantages of sharing strategies and concepts within the crime prevention field were discussed. This initial meeting resulted in the creation of the Northern California Crime Prevention Officers Association. Also during 1972, the first national crime prevention institute was established at the University of Louisville.

Law enforcement agencies throughout the country were becoming deeply involved in crime prevention. California, however, was rapidly becoming a leader in the field. In 1974, a formal crime prevention training course was developed by the California Department of Justice Peace Officers Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.), and the California Crime Prevention Institute was established at California Polytechnic University in Pomona, California. Officers from the entire State of California attended the first class at the California Crime Prevention Institute. Through the exchange of information and ideas several officers from Southern California proceeded with the concept of establishing an association in the southern part of the state.

Later, in 1974, several agencies met and formulated plans and organizational structure for the Southern California Crime Prevention Officers Association. On October 5, 1975, a crime prevention training conference was held at the Queensway Hilton Hotel in Long Beach, California. Members of both the SCCPOA and the NCCPOA attended the conference during which the officers from both organizations met with the common goal of uniting both associations into the California Crime Prevention Officers Association. The merger was unanimously approved by each group’s membership, and comprehensive By-Laws were adopted establishing organizational structure for the association and its chapters. In 1982, articles of incorporation were filed with the Secretary of State allowing the CCPOA to function as a non-profit benefit organization effective January 1, 1983.

The dedicated individuals who founded the California Crime Prevention Officers Association had the goals of providing a platform for the cooperation and exchange of information throughout the state. Today the CCPOA maintains a strong membership of over 450 and provides a leadership role in the crime prevention field within the State of California. The California Crime Prevention Officers Association is under the leadership of a six-member State Board of Directors, elected by its membership. The state is organized into two chapters (North and South) and each of these chapters is divided into five regions. Regional Directors oversee the operations of the regions while the three Chapter Officers, who are elected for two-year terms, direct the chapter functions and also serve on the State Board of Directors.