North Carolina has about 20,000 actively-employed police officers and the state accepts new recruits into police academy training each year. There are several different academies that accept new recruits. The most popular of these is the North Carolina Justice Academy, which trains 9,000 officers a year on their main campus. Even though the pool of cadets is large, it is a select group of individuals that have been thoroughly screened. To become a police officer, you must meet some very specific qualifications and have some important characteristics. As public servants, police officers must be able to put the well-being of the community before their own, which takes courage, determination and compassion. Only the most dedicated cadets can make it through law enforcement training and the job of a police officer is one of the toughest.
Police Training Qualifications
The important prerequisites for police academy training are that each cadet must be at least 20 years old, hold a high school diploma or GED, and pass several different background checks. Before any applicant is accepted into basic training, they must complete a physical check-up and be confirmed healthy. The academy will conduct a background check that determines whether the applicant has been convicted of any crimes or violations. Felonies and violent misdemeanors will disqualify an applicant. All cadets must also pass a drug test and be free of any violations related to drug-abuse, including DUIs. Financial records are also investigated for signs of insolvency and irresponsible spending habits. A bad credit score or outstanding debts may be grounds for rejection because officers must not be tempted to abuse their power for personal gain. Basic training can be completed in three ways: at a police academy with endorsement from a hiring agency, independently at a community college, or at a community college with sponsorship from a hiring agency. After a Commission-accredited basic training course has been completed, cadets must schedule an interview with a department head in order to receive an offer of employment and complete their certification as a police officer in North Carolina.
Popular Police Academies
There are many places that basic training can be completed, but the most popular police academies are sponsored by the varying police departments across North Carolina. These state police academies include the North Carolina Justice Academy in Salemburg, the North Carolina Justice Training Commission in Raleigh, and the North Carolina Highway Patrol Academy in Raleigh. Besides these programs, there are community colleges that offer basic training to students that are able to pay for tuition. In most cases, the basic training programs and law enforcement training programs at community colleges require that applicants obtain sponsorship from a police department before admitting them into training. But there are some colleges that will take any qualified applicants. One of the most popular programs for basic training is based at Pitt Community College in Greenville.