History of the Justice Academy

The North Carolina Justice Academy is a division of the North Carolina Department of Justice. Created in 1973, the Academy’s enabling legislation established its duties as:

  • providing training programs for criminal justice personnel
  • providing technical assistance upon request to criminal justice agencies
  • developing, publishing and distributing educational and training materials


Training Division

The five centers of the Training Division are:

  • Legal
  • Law Enforcement Leadership
  • Commission/In-service
  • Tactical/Traffic
  • Investigations

Support Division

The Support Division:

  • Operates the Learning Resource Center
  • Conducts research
  • Produces video and other graphic and printing services
  • Coordinates institutional development
  • Supports the campuses as a training environment for Academy courses and those of other state and local agencies



The Academy’s eastern campus site in Salemburg has a long educational history. Established in 1875 as Salem Academy, this campus evolved from Pineland School for Girls, to Pineland Junior College, to Edwards Military Institute, then to Southwood College. The Salemburg campus uses the Blanchard Learning Resource Center, the Royal Classroom Building, the Jones Auditorium, a cafeteria, and an office building from the Southwood campus.

Over the years, Salemburg has added a new classroom building and learning resource center, dormitories, an administration building, a support services building, a maintenance building, a new state-of-the art gymnasium, classroom additions, firearms ranges, a driving track, and other practical exercise areas.


In September 1998, the Academy’s western campus opened in Edneyville. In 2004 it was named the Larry T. Justus Western Justice Academy, in honor of Representative Larry T. Justus. The western campus in Edneyville is located on the former site of the Edneyville High School complex. Renovations have resulted in modern classrooms, office space, a gymnasium, dormitory, and cafeteria. A state-of-the-art indoor firearms range opened on campus in 2011. Both campuses have wireless Internet access and onsite computers for student use.

In 2017, the Western Regional Crime Laboratory in Asheville moved into a new $15 million facility at the Edneyville campus. The crime lab performs blood-alcohol and toxicology tests, firearm analysis, DNA tests, and other services for western North Carolina law enforcement agencies.

Newsletter Signup
close slider