Officer Requirements

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 

Question: How do I become a certified officer in Florida?

Answer: There are three certifications in Florida; Law Enforcement, Corrections and Correctional Probation.Answer: There are three certifications in Florida; Law Enforcement, Corrections and Correctional Probation.


First, you must take and pass a Basic Abilities Test (BAT) in the discipline for which you want to become certified.  The BAT is not required for correctional probation.

Upon passage of the BAT, you must be fingerprinted for purposes of a criminal history background check.

The next step is to complete the Basic Recruit Training Program at one of the CJSTC-certified 
training schools.

Following completion of the Basic Recruit Training Program, you must apply for and pass the State Officer Certification Exam.

Finally, you must gain employment and comply with the requirements of 
943.13, F.S. within four years of the date you started training. 

Once all statutory requirements are met, the employing agency will apply for your certification. A Field Specialist will review your officer file at the agency to ensure statutory compliance and approve your certification.

 

Question: Who pays for basic recruit training?  

Answer: The individual may receive the training at his/her own expense before applying with an agency to become an officer.Answer: The individual may receive the training at his/her own expense before applying with an agency to become an officer.

Based on need, agencies have the ability to hire a person on a Temporary Employment Authorization and sponsor the applicant through the academy.

In some cases the potential employing agency may pay the tuition and salary of the officer trainee. If this is done, the applicant may be required to sign an agreement to remain with that agency for a period of two years after completion of the training or they may be responsible to repay the agency for any expenses incurred during the training period.

You can refer to 
FS 943.16 for further information on possible pay back implications.

 

Question: How long is my basic training good for if I don’t find a criminal justice employment?

Answer: Your training is valid for four years from the date you started training.Answer: Your training is valid for four years from the date you started training.
 

If you have not passed the State Officer Certification Exam and gained employment in a sworn position within 4 years of starting the training, you will have to repeat the basic recruit training. 

 

Question: If I am certified in another state, can I transfer my certification to Florida? 

Answer: Yes, in most cases. You must contact one of the approved selection centers, Commission-approved training school, or an employing agency and provide them with documentation proving that you have worked at least one year as a full-time certified officer and have training that is comparable to Florida’s basic recruit training program.Answer: Yes, in most cases. You must contact one of the approved selection centers or an employing agency and provide them with documentation proving that you have worked at least one year as a full-time certified officer and have comparable training to Florida’s basic recruit training program.Application for Equivalency, CJSTC Form 76.

Upon receipt of this approval, you will have one year to demonstrate proficiency in the high liability areas (which may take one to two weeks) and pass the State Officer Certification Exam.

If you do not complete this process within one year from receiving the approved Application for Equivalency, you may be able to apply for another Equivalency of Training, however you must still be eligible pursuant to s. 943.131, F.S.  If you are no longer eligible, you will have to complete the Basic Recruit Training Program to be eligible for certification.


Once the selection center, training school, or agency determines you are eligibility for an Equivalency of Training, you will be issued an



Question: What information does an employing agency need to gather for my employment?

Answer: Regardless of whether you are moving from another criminal justice agency or this is your first sworn employment, the employing agency is required to conduct a thorough background investigation and have documentation of file to confirm compliance with 943.13, F.S. You will need to provide proof of age and citizenship in the form of a U.S. birth certificate, current U.S. passport, or naturalization certificate; proof of at least a high school diploma or equivalent; DD214 or other official military separation documentation; and proof of any name changes since birth.


You are required to have a physical examination with the doctor completing the Physician's Assessment, CJSTC Form 75 for the agency and have a drug screen done. The employing agency will direct you on when and where to have these done.

The employing agency is required to complete a number of forms during the employment process. These forms include the 

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Additionally, the employing agency is required to have the results of a fingerprint background check on file.

If this is your first sworn employment, the employing agency will be applying for your certification and will complete the Officer Certification Application, CJSTC Form 59. If you are employed on a Temporary Employment Authorization, the employing agency must complete the Temporary Employment Authorization Statement, CJSTC Form 65.

There may be a number of other forms and documents that the employing agency may require depending on your individual circumstances. The employing agency may also have other requirements beyond these minimum requirements. These requirement could include things such as taking a polygraph examination, taking a psychological examination, meeting higher education requirements, and completing physical abilities tests.


Question: What do I have to do to keep my certification?

Answer: All certified officers must complete 40 hours of training every four years to maintain their certification. This training can be taken at the employing agency, local training school, or any training approved by the agency administrator and must be updated by the employing agency no later than June 30th, starting four years after the certification was issued.

 

Law Enforcement Officers

  1. Professional Traffic Stops and Discriminatory Profiling (no minimum hour requirement).
 
  1. Domestic Violence (no minimum hour requirement).
 
  1. Juvenile Sex Offender Investigation (no minimum hour requirement).
 
  1. Human Diversity training (Professional Traffic Stops may be credited for Human Diversity Training).
 
  1. Any additional training the agency administrator approves of for a total of 40 hours.
 
  1. Use-of Force Scenario Based training is required. The training must include scenario-based firearms training, physiological response dynamics training, less-lethal force options available within the agency, agency policies on Use-of–Force training, and the legal aspects regarding Use-of-Force.

 
All certified law enforcement officers are required qualify once every two years with their firearm. This 40 round qualification course must be conducted by a Commission-certified firearms instructor. This qualification must be completed by June 30th of every even numbered year.


Correctional and Correctional Probation Officers 

  1. Human Diversity training (no hour requirement).
 
  1. Any additional training the agency administrator approves of for a total of 40 hours.

 
Use-of-Force Scenario Based training is required. The training must include scenario-based firearms training (correctional officers only), physiological response dynamics training, less-lethal force options available within the agency, agency policies on Use-of–Force training, and the legal aspects regarding Use-of-Force.

 

Question: How long is my certification valid?

Answer: Once certified, an officer’s certification is valid for 4-years following the date of certification. The officer must maintain active employment and meet the mandatory retraining requirements to keep the certification active.

If the officer separates from employment for any reason other than military duty, the officer has exactly four years from the date of separation before the certification expires.

During that time, the officer may need to take the 40-hour mandatory training to become re-employed. If the officer has a break in service from 4 years to 8 years, he or she must contact one of the approved selection centers, training schools, or an employing agency in order to apply for an Equivalency of Training.

Once the selection center, training school, or agency verifies your eligibility, you will be issued an
Application for Equivalency, CJSTC Form 76.

Upon receipt of this approval, you will have one year to demonstrate proficiency in the high liability areas (which may take one to two weeks) and pass the State Officer Certification Exam.

 

 

Question: Is there a way to supplement my salary? 

Answer: Yes. An officer can receive $30 monthly for an Associate degree and an additional $50 for a Bachelor degree or higher, providing the degree is from an accredited university recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

An officer can also receive $20 monthly for every 80 hours of advanced training taken from a Commission-certified training school.

The maximum salary incentive is $130 per month for training and education. Salary incentive money is not funded by the state and must be budgeted and approved by the employing agency. 


 

Question: Where can I get a list of the Selection Centers or Training Schools? 
 

Answer: Here is the link to the list of Selection Centers and Training Schools.