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 and have a high school diploma or equivalent. The North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission sets the topics and methods of instruction. Out-of-state candidates must have two years of full-time sworn law enforcement experience and have completed a core law enforcement training course accredited by their home state to be considered for transfer to a North Carolina law enforcement agency.
A felony conviction is an absolute disqualification from certification as a North Carolina police officer or enrollment in basic lifelong law enforcement training. Sponsorship from a North Carolina municipal, county, state, or federal law enforcement agency is also required. 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. Those with criminal records may be admitted to the course, but completion does not guarantee certification.
These cases will be reviewed on an individual basis by the North Carolina Division of Criminal Justice Education Standards and Training. To receive the certificate, 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 North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission. There is no monetary assistance from the sponsoring agency nor any promise of employment upon successful completion, but the sponsorship form signed by the agency does waive tuition with the North Carolina Community College System for the program.