Officer Requirements

 
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

 


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

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.

Upon passage of the BAT, you must be fingerprinted for purposes of a criminal history background check.
Once accepted, the next step is to complete the Basic Recruit Training Program at one of the CJSTC-certified training schools.

The candidate then must apply for and pass the State Officer Certification Exam for the discipline.

Finally, you must gain employment and comply with the requirements of Chapter 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.  FDLE Staff 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.
Based on need, agencies have the authority 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 candidate. 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 Chapter 943.16, F.S. 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.  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 would have to repeat the basic recruit training.
 
Question:  If I am certified in another state, can I transfer my certification to Florida?

Answer:  Y
es, 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.

Once the selection center or agency determines your eligibility, you will be issued an approved 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 up to two weeks) and pass the State Officer Certification Exam.

If you do not complete the process within one year from receiving the approved Application for Equivalency, you may apply for another exemption from training pursuant to Chapter 943.131(2), F.S.  You must be eligible at the time you apply for each exemption from training

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 Chapter 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 Registration for Employment, Affidavit of Compliance, CJSTC Form 60, Affidavit of Applicant, CJSTC Form 68 (this form will be signed by you), and Employment Background Investigation Report, CJSTC Form 77.  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 or local training school, an must be  approved by the agency administrator.  It must be updated by the employing agency no later than June 30th, starting four years after the certification was granted.  Mandatory retraining can only be updated when an officer is employed in a sworn position and is updated by the employing agency, FDLE does not update the mandatory retraining..

Law Enforcement Officers

1. Professional Traffic Stops and Discriminatory Profiling (no minimum hour requirement)

2. Domestic Violence (no minimum hour requirement)

3. Juvenile Sex Offender Investigation (no minimum hour requirement)

4. Human Diversity training (no minimum hour requirement and Professional Traffic Stops may be credited for Human Diversity Training)

5. Additional training the agency administrator approves for a total of 40 hours.

6. For mandatory retraining cycle starting on or after July 1, 2005, Use-of Force Scenario Based training is required.  There are no hour requirements, but the training must include scenario-based firearms training, physiological response dynamics training, the Use-of-Force matrix and less lethal force options available within the agency, agency policies on Use-of–Force training and the legal aspects regarding Use-of-Force.

7. All certified law enforcement officers are required qualify once every two years with a firearm.  This 40 round qualification course must be conducted by a Commission-certified firearms instructor.  All certified law enforcement officers must qualify by June 30, 2008 and then by June 30th every two years thereafter.

8. Law enforcement officers who are authorized to carry a dart-firing stun gun must have a minimum of 1 hour of annual training on the use of dart-firing stun guns.

Correctional and Correctional Probation Officers
 
1. Human Diversity training (no hour requirement)

2. Additional training the agency administrator approves for a total of 40 hours.

3. For mandatory retraining cycle starting on or after July 1, 2005, Use-of-Force Scenario Based training is required.  There are no hour requirements, but the training must include scenario-based firearms training (correctional officers only), physiological response dynamics training, the Use-of-Force matrix and less lethal force options available within the agency, agency policies on Use-of–Force training and the legal aspects regarding Use-of-Force.

4. Correctional and correctional probation officers who are authorized to carry a dart-firing stun gun must have a minimum of 1 hour of annual training on the use of dart-firing stun guns.
 

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 4-year but less than 8-year break in service, he/she must contact one of the approved selection centers or an employing agency in order to verify previous Florida certification.

Once the selection center or agency verifies your eligibility, you will be issued an approved 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. Attendance in an advanced course must be approved by the agency administrator.

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 a link to the list of Selection Centers and Training Schools