The state of North Carolina requires a minimum of 16 weeks of training for police officers, but the Durham Police Academy lasts 26 weeks and provides more comprehensive instruction. To be eligible for enrollment, applicants must possess a valid North Carolina or South Carolina driver's license, depending on their place of residence. Exceptions may be made for out-of-state candidates who have two years of full-time sworn law enforcement experience and have completed a core law enforcement training course accredited by the state from which they are transferring. The sponsoring agency does not provide any financial assistance and there is no guarantee of employment upon successful completion of the program.
However, the agency will waive tuition fees for the program through the North Carolina Community College System. The North Carolina Office of Training and Standards requires certain documents to be submitted for certification purposes. Acceptable agencies include North Carolina municipal, county, state, or federal law enforcement agencies. The North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission sets the topics and methods of instruction.
It is important to note that the North Carolina Division of Criminal Justice Education Standards and Training does not recognize online high school diplomas or correspondence courses. Individuals with criminal records may be admitted to the Basic Law Enforcement Training Course, but completion of the course does not guarantee certification as a law enforcement officer through the Department North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission. A felony conviction is an absolute disqualification from certification as a North Carolina police officer or enrollment in basic lifelong law enforcement training. To receive certification, students must complete 640 mandatory hours over 16 weeks and pass all units of study, the Physical Skills Test for Police Officers (POPAT) course, and the state certification exam required by the North Carolina Department of Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Committee.
The Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) curriculum is designed to prepare entry-level individuals with the cognitive and physical skills necessary to become certified law enforcement officers in North Carolina. Sponsorship simply means that a head of North Carolina municipal, county, state, or federal law enforcement agency or their designated representative has met with the applicant and is willing to sponsor them for basic law enforcement training.