North Carolina Justice Academy

3971 Chimney Rock Road , Edneyville, NC 28727

The Justice Academy, a training institution and a division of the NC Department of Justice, is charged with the task of improving the professionalism and effectiveness of criminal justice personnel…


Phone: 910-525-4151 / 828-685-3600

So you live in North Caroling or you are thinking about relocating there, and if you do you are thinking about working as a police officer there. Why is North Carolina a good place to start out as a police officer.

Well first and foremost North Carolina has one of the lower cost of living rates in the United States which is a good reason all by itself. However what most people do not realize is that North Carolina ranks in the top ten of the states with the biggest population. If they are in the top ten in population, that means more people means more problems, and more officers needed.

Compensation and growth

Now one thing that is also good about becoming a police officer in the state of North Carolina is that growth is projected to still continue to be good and pay is projected to be good.

Growth for police officers in the state of North Carolina is expected to be at 6% and average salaries are expected to be around $41,000. So overall as one can see, now is a great time to become a police officer in the State of North Carolina. Now of courser as we can tell, a job like this is not to be taken lightly, so getting a job like this will require some things to be in order, and next we are going to talk about minimum qualifications and testing.

Minimum requirements and testing

Now North Carolina has some of the more required items to be a police officer then other departments, and maybe that is a good thing. First and foremost you must be at least 20 years old. To go along with being 20 years old, you also need to be a United States citizen, and have a high school diploma. Now one of the other requirements I have not seen from other departments, but you must be of good moral standing. Now if you meet those requirements you also have to pass the departments firearms testing as well.

Now of course you can not have committed any felonies at all, and you will have to have a medical examination. All departments through the United States do physical fitness testing as well, and you will have to have a psychological screening to make sure that you will not put the department in any kind of liability, by not being mentally able to handle the job. You will also have had to complete the Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) and passed the BLET exam which is something no other department had as a qualification, meaning you will have had to attend an academy before applying. You will also need to be fingerprinted and you will have to submit to a drug screening. Then if you complete all of that, then you will meet with the person doing the hiring for an interview. So North Carolina requires a lot more then other states.


Now part of what will happen is that all police departments will do what is called a background investigation, to make sure the person they are hiring is contempt to do the job. They will talk to everyone from friends and neighbors, to past employers and family members and they will make sure there is nothing that you did not disclose that could get them jammed up. Police departments always have to make sure the person they are hiring is not going to damage the integrity of the department and their legacy in the community.

How long is the academy and how much does it cost

The normal police academy is North Carolina is at Johnson Community College and runs for 17 weeks Monday thru Friday from 7am to 5pm with extended hours for nighttime firearms training and also nighttime patrol techniques and driving. The cost if a potential recruit gets a sponsorship letter from a police department is $975 dollars. That is not bad so a recruit will want to try to get a sponsorship letter.

What To Expect In The Academy

As a recruit enters into the academy, there are certain things they can look forward to. For starters a recruit needs to understand that the instructors are there for one purpose only, to take raw unproven recruits and turn them into police officers. Some of the recruits will make it, and some will not, but that is to be expected. There is a whole lot of things they will work with you on, and we will highlight some of the major ones.

Self defense and gun retention is important, because not everyone is not going to do what you say as an officer, there will be same that fight you, and some that will try to take your gun. They will also teach you the proper way to frisk someone so you don’t miss a weapon or drugs, and along with that they will teach you how to properly handcuff someone.

The instructors will also teach the recruits their criminal code, and traffic code, so the recruit will know what to charge people when they break the law. Other important things that instructors will work on is report writing, radio protocol, and learning the code for radio transmission, and proper ways to testify in court. All of these courses of instruction may seem boring, but they are important to every police officer.

Now all the recruits will be trained on firearms training. Now as most people know, firearms are important for the safety of the officer. However with that weapon comes huge responsibility, and for some people this may be the first time they have held a firearm. Firearm safety will be talked about, how to break your gun down so you can clean it, when to shoot, and when not to shoot. Another part of the training is marksmanship, and getting used to your gun. They will teach you how to shoot in combat situations, and in most cases go over a drill of what to do if your gun jams, or you get shot in you shooting arm.

Now another huge area of training is defensive driving. At some point and time, most officers will be involved in a hgh speed pursuit, or a high tense situation where the officer has to drive at a fast speed. The instructors will teach recruits how to drive in high tense situations, and even how to use your vehicle as a shield.

All of this training is important and you will be quizzed and tested on everything you learn, and if you pass and get awarded the certificate showing you have met the training, then it is out of the academy and on the street.

After graduation

So some officers will tell you the real instruction comes from working the street, and the truth is working the street will make you or break you. You will go through Field Training and then after you meet the requirements there, then you are turned loose. As you prove yourself there will be more and more opportunities for a police officer to move up, earn rank and work specialized units. If you want to be a police officer, now is the time to make it happen.

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