Law Enforcement Certification: Applicants
Information for Applicants
This information is provided for individuals who are interested in a career in law enforcement, officers interested in a lateral transfer to another agency, and out-of-state officers who want to pursue employment in North Carolina. For more information on law enforcement recruitment, please see the Criminal Justice Job Bank, maintained by the NC Justice Academy.
Minimum Standards for Certification
Please note that the standards listed below are the Commission mandated minimum requirements for employment as a law enforcement officer. Individual agencies may require higher standards.
Every law enforcement officer employed by an agency in North Carolina shall:
- Be a citizen of the United States
- Be at least 20 years of age
- Be a high school graduate or have passed the General Educational Development Test indicating high school equivalency
- Be of good moral character
- Have successfully completed Basic Law Enforcement Training and passed the BLET state exam.
- Satisfactorily complete the employing agency’s in-service firearms training program
- Not have committed or been convicted of:
- A felony; or
- A crime for which the punishment could have been imprisonment for more than two years; or
- A crime or unlawful act defined as a “Class B misdemeanor” within the five-year period prior to the date of application for employment; or
- Four or more crimes or unlawful acts defined as “Class B misdemeanors” regardless of the date of conviction; or
- Four or more crimes or unlawful acts defined as “Class A misdemeanors” except the applicant may be employed if the last conviction occurred more than two years prior to the date of application for employment.
- Have been fingerprinted and a search made of local, state, and national files to disclose any criminal record.
- Have been examined and certified by a licensed physician or surgeon to meet the physical requirements necessary to properly fulfill the officer’s particular responsibilities and shall have produced a negative result on a drug screen.
- Have been administered a psychological screening examination by a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist licensed to practice in North Carolina or by a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist authorized to practice in accordance with the rules and regulations of the United States Armed Forces within one year prior to employment by the employing agency to determine the officer’s mental and emotional suitability to properly fulfill the responsibilities of the position.
- Have been interviewed personally by the Department head or a representative to determine such things as the applicant’s appearance, demeanor, attitude, and ability to communicate.
- Notify the Standards Division of all criminal offenses which the officer is arrested for or charged with, pleads no contest to, pleads guilty to or is found guilty of. This shall include all criminal offenses except minor traffic offenses and shall specifically include any offense of Driving Under The Influence (DUI) or Driving While Impaired (DWI). A minor traffic offense is defined as an offense where the maximum punishment allowable by law is 60 days or less.
Documentation of Criminal Charges
When an applicant has a criminal record, he/she must list ALL charges, regardless of the disposition or the date of the charge, on the Personal History Statement and the Report of Appointment/Application for Certification. Even if a charge was dismissed by the court or the district attorney, it still must be listed under the Criminal Offense Record section of these forms.
Every charge listed must be accompanied by true/certified copies of the warrant for arrest, citation/magistrate’s order, etc. and the court disposition/judgment. This documentation may be obtained from the Clerk of Court’s Office in the county in which the applicant was criminally charged.
Failure to list ALL charges may result in denial of certification or suspension/revocation of an existing certification.
A law enforcement officer with general certification may transfer from one law enforcement agency in North Carolina to another law enforcement agency in the state, provided he or she has less than a 12-month break in service.
An officer holding probationary certification may not laterally transfer from one law enforcement agency to another. The probationary period must be completed in its entirety at the same agency. If an officer terminates employment with one agency before his or her year is up, then he or she must start a new probationary period at the new agency.
Out-of-state transferees will be evaluated to determine the amount and quality of their training and experience. At a minimum, out-of-state candidates must have two years of full-time, sworn law enforcement experience and have successfully completed a basic 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. Out-of-state transferees cannot have a break in service exceeding three years.
Prior to employment as a certified law enforcement officer in North Carolina, out-of-state transferees must successfully complete the employing agency’s in-service firearms training and qualification program. At a minimum, they must also complete the Legal Unit and any other identified training of the Commission-certified Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) Course and successfully pass the BLET state examination within their 12-month probationary period.
All out-of-state transfers are considered Probationary Appointees who must meet the requirements stated above prior to being issued Probationary Certification as a law enforcement officer. After receiving the appropriate documentation, our staff will review your credentials to determine what additional training will be required during your probationary year. In addition to the above-stated requirements, you must submit the following documentation:
- A letter from your previous law enforcement agency detailing your dates of FULL-TIME, sworn service; and you are in good standing;
- A copy of your Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) course certificate of successful completion;
- A topical breakdown/syllabus of the courses that you completed in BLET.
When an employing agency documents that an applicant has successfully completed a Commission-certified Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) course and meets the minimum employment standards, the Criminal Justice Standards Division issues Probationary Certification which is valid for one year.
The new officer must satisfactorily complete a probationary period of not less than 12 months. Once the probationary period is completed, the officer is issued a General Certification. Take a moment to review and complete North Carolina’s BLET comparison to gain a better understanding of the topical areas that are reviewed by the Criminal Justice Standards Division.