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 become a certified police officer in North Carolina, you must be able to obtain either a North Carolina or South Carolina driver's license, depending on your place of residence. Additionally, you must have a sponsor from a North Carolina municipal, county, state, or federal law enforcement agency who has met with you and is willing to support your enrollment in the basic law enforcement training program. The program is designed to equip entry-level individuals with the cognitive and physical skills necessary to become certified police officers in North Carolina.
You 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. The North Carolina Division of Criminal Justice Education Standards and Training does not recognize online high school diplomas or correspondence courses. Out-of-state candidates must have two years of full-time sworn law enforcement experience and have successfully completed a core law enforcement training course accredited by the state from which they are transferring in order to be considered for transfer to a North Carolina law enforcement agency. These cases will be reviewed on an individual basis by the North Carolina Division of Criminal Justice Education Standards and Training.
A felony conviction is an absolute disqualification from certification as a North Carolina police officer or enrollment in basic lifelong law enforcement training. 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. The North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission orders the topics and methods of instruction. There is no monetary assistance from the sponsoring agency nor is there any promise to employ once successfully completed, but the sponsorship form signed by the agency does in fact waive your tuition with the North Carolina Community College System for the program.