Frequently Asked Questions
Following is a list of questions frequently asked by applicants to the Criminal Justice Institute Police Academy. If you have a question that is not addressed, please contact us.
Can anyone join the CJI Police Academy and become a peace officer?
No, you must meet certain eligibility requirements set by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officers Standards and Education and CJI.
What are the prerequisites for attending the CJI Police Academy?
- You must be a United States citizen or Naturalized Citizen.
- You must have a valid Texas driver's license.
- You must be 21 years of age.
(Note: Exceptions can be made for an individual younger than 21 but at least 18 years of age if you hold an associate degree or have completed 60 hours of college credit.)
- You must hold either a high school diploma, a GED, or 24 months of military experience with honorable discharge.
- You must pass the TABE entrance exam.
(Note: An individual who does not pass the TABE must wait at least six months before being eligible to test again.)
- You must pass a physical examination. Form L2 should be completed by a Texas–certified physician assigned to applicant by CJI.
- You must pass a psychological examination. Form L3 should be completed by a Texas–certified psychologist or psychiatrist assigned to applicant by CJI.
- You must pass a local background check.
- You must pass a state and federal background check.
What items disqualify me from applying to the CJI Police Academy?
- Non-compliance with any item in the preceding list
- Having a criminal history that includes felonies and certain classes of misdemeanors
- A less-than-honorable discharge from the military
How do I apply to the CJI Police Academy after I’ve passed the TABE Exam?
- Report to the CJI office located at the ITEC Center.
- Submit copies of the following documents:
- Birth Certificate
- Texas Driver License
- High school diploma or GED, transcripts from an accredited college
- Complete the CJI application.
- Obtain an information packet containing the names of participating medical clinics and mental health professionals, along with documents requiring signatures from each.
What is the length of the CJI Police Academy training?
- The day CJI Police Academy operates for six months, Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
What is the cost of attending the CJI Police Academy?
Basic course fee is $2,500.00. Course fee covers use of academy training equipment and in–class instruction.
(note: Course fee must be paid in full three business days prior to the first day of class.)
Are there any additional costs?
Yes, there are additional costs, which are as follow:
- Gun, ammunition, and holster
(Note: These items can be deferred until needed.)
- Background checks
- Physical and psychological exams
All the foregoing expenses will be explained when you report to the CJI office.
Is there any physical training involved?
Yes, you are expected to successfully perform the following physical training tasks:
- Defensive tactics
- Take–down maneuvers
- Arresting procedures
How lenient is CJI on attendance if I have schedule conflicts?
Because police academies deliver training in a unique profession that carries a great deal of liability, attendance is mandatory. Lawsuits filed against law enforcement agencies and officers typically deal with training issues. For this reason, the academy requires, without exception, that you attend 95 percent of all classroom instruction and 100 percent of all tactical “hands-on” training. Failure to meet these attendance requirements can result in termination from the program.
Upon completion of the CJI Police Academy program, will I be certified by TCLEOSE as a Basic Peace Officer?
No, the 844-hour CJI academy prepares the student for the Texas Peace Officer Licensing Exam. Upon passing this state exam, each cadet is then certified as a Basic Peace Officer. If a cadet fails the exam, he or she has two more opportunities to pass it within six months. If the cadet fails to pass the examination on all three attempts, he or she must retake the academy curriculum in order to register for the state exam again.
After I am certified by TCLEOSE as a Basic Peace Officer, where can I apply for a job?
- You may apply to any law enforcement agency within the state of Texas.
- Depending on the rules and regulations of other states, a refresher course may be required for out-of-state employment.
- Some Texas or other agencies nationwide might require a person to go through their particular training academy; however, you will not be required to take the Texas exam again.