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.
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.
The Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) Curriculum is designed to prepare entry-level individuals with the cognitive and physical skills needed to become certified law enforcement officers in North Carolina. Job Functions for Inexperienced Law Enforcement Officers The course is comprised of 36 separate blocks of instruction to include topics such as Firearms, Driver Training, Motor Vehicle Law, and Arrest, Search and Seizure. The BLET course is filled with practical exercises and an extensive ethics section that is woven throughout the training experience.
The BLET course has been thoroughly researched, legally reviewed and contains the most current law enforcement information available. The Commission mandated 640-hour course takes approximately 16 weeks to complete and concludes with a comprehensive written exam and skills testing. Upon successful completion of the BLET State Comprehensive Written Examination, the BLET trainee has one year from the date of the State Comprehensive Examination to be duly appointed and sworn as a law enforcement officer in North Carolina. However, most agencies include an additional period of field training.
The North Carolina Justice Academy develops and maintains the BLET curriculum.
NOTE: If you are currently certified as a law enforcement officer in another state, please see the information about Out-of-State Transfers.
The requirements for admission into a BLET course are:
Must be a citizen of the United States.
Must be 20 years of age.
Priority admission is given to individuals holding full‑time employment with criminal justice agencies.
Must provide to the School Director a medical examination report, properly completed by a physician licensed to practice medicine in North Carolina, a physician’s assistant, or a nurse practitioner, to determine the individual’s fitness to perform the essential job functions of a criminal justice officer.
Must have a high school diploma or GED. High school diplomas earned through correspondence enrollment are not recognized toward the educational requirements.
Must take a standardized reading comprehension test and score at the tenth-grade level or higher within one year prior to entrance into Basic Law Enforcement Training.
Must provide to the School Director a certified criminal record check for local and state records for the time period since the trainee has become an adult and from all locations where the trainee has resided since becoming an adult. An Administrative Office of the Courts criminal record check or a comparable out-of-state criminal record check will satisfy this requirement.
Must have not been convicted of any 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 unless the individual intends to seek certification through the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Education and Training Standards Commission; 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 trainee may be enrolled if the last conviction occurred more than two years prior to the date of enrollment; or
a combination of four or more “Class A Misdemeanors” or “Class B Misdemeanors” regardless of the date of conviction unless the individual intends to seek certification through the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission.
Every individual who is admitted as a trainee in a presentation of the Basic Law Enforcement Training Course shall notify the School Director of all criminal offenses which the trainee is arrested for or charged with, pleads no contest to, pleads guilty to or is found guilty of, and notify the School Director of all Domestic Violence Orders (G.S. 50B) which are issued by a judicial official and which provide an opportunity for both parties to be present. The notifications must be received by the School Director within 30 days of the date the case was disposed of in court.