Commission History & Scope
Standardization of training for state justice officers began in the early 1970s in response to a growing concern for increased accountability and credibility. Two advisory councils laid the groundwork throughout the 1970s by adopting minimum employment and basic training standards. At this time, all criminal justice officers in the state were included under the councils’ regulatory authority.
Under Chapter 17C of the General Statutes, the two councils were dissolved to create the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission on Jan. 1, 1980. Sheriffs and their deputies continued under the jurisdiction of this Commission until September 1983, when the General Assembly established a separate Sheriffs’ Commission with the passage of Chapter 17E. North Carolina is the only one of 50 states that has a separate regulatory body – governed only by Sheriffs – responsible for the employment, training and certification of Sheriffs’ personnel.
Minimum employment, training and retention standards for law enforcement and criminal justice officers in North Carolina are divided between the NC Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission and the NC Sheriffs’ Education and Training Standards Commission. The Sheriffs’ Commission covers Justice Officers (deputies, detention officers, telecommunicators) while the Criminal Justice Commission covers other law enforcement, corrections, youth services, local confinement and radar operators. Company Police are commissioned by the Attorney General who adapts the Criminal Justice Commission minimum standards by reference. Mandated training curricula for the Commission are prepared, updated and distributed by the NC Justice Academy and delivered locally by the Department of Community College institutions or larger law enforcements agencies.
The responsibilities of the Sheriffs’ Commission include, but are not limited to, the certification of all deputy sheriffs, detention officers and telecommunicators employed in the 100 Sheriffs’ Offices in this state, as well as the establishment, maintenance and upgrading of acceptable training courses. Guidelines for these responsibilities are set forth in the Commission’s Administrative Code, Title 12 NCAC, Chapter 10B. While the telecommunicator certification is mandatory for those under the direct control and supervision of the Sheriffs, the Commission has also agreed to certify telecommunicators who are employed by municipal agencies, city/county communication centers, state law enforcement agencies, etc.
Resulting from the creation of the Commission, the Sheriffs’ Standards Division, part of the Department of Justice, was also established. The primary objective of this Division is to act as staff to the Commission in carrying out the aforementioned responsibilities as well as other directives of the Commission.