Find schools that offer these popular programs
There are many schools in Florida that offer approved certification programs that can lead to careers in law enforcement. Students can enroll in police officer basic recruit training programs. For individuals who've already been trained in corrections and probation, crossover programs are also available to help these professionals transition into becoming law enforcement officers. In addition, basic training programs may be offered in corrections, probation and auxiliary law enforcement, as well as for individuals who wish to become police service aides.
Eastern Florida State College
Eastern Florida State College is based in Cocoa, which is the oldest of the school's four campuses. Among the many degrees and certificates awarded by the college, students looking for training in certain career fields can earn a Postsecondary Adult Vocational Certificate. These include law enforcement, where students can gain training as police officers. Both basic and crossover training is available.
Students in the 27-credit-hour Florida CMS Law Enforcement Officer program receive instruction in how to handle traffic stops, including potential DUI (driving under the influence) situations. They also gain training in firearms, defensive tactics, crime scene investigation and other course topics. Crossover training for probation and correctional officers includes much of the same instruction in 18- and 21-credit-hour programs respectively.
At Fort Lauderdale's Broward College, students can explore multiple options through two associate programs and five certificate academies offered at the college's Institute of Public Safety. These include a basic recruit and two crossover training programs for aspiring police officers. Students in all three programs receive training in traffic stops, DUI traffic stops, defensive tactics, first aid and other course topics.
Daytona State College
Daytona State College in Daytona Beach offers police officer training through the college's Law Enforcement Academy. The full-time program requires taking classes Monday through Friday for six months with some evening participation. A part-time option consists of one class that takes nine months to complete. Classes are limited to 25 students.
Hillsborough Community College
Tampa's Hillsborough Community College offers a law enforcement training program for aspiring police officers than can be taken full-time or part-time. Students gain instruction in topics such as communications, crime scene investigations, patrol and using a stun gun. Students also take a physical fitness course. Financial aid and scholarships are available for those who qualify. Credits earned in this program can be applied to an associate's degree program in criminal justice technology at another institution.
Indian River State College
Through the Treasure Coast Public Safety Complex located in Fort Pierce, Indian River State College offers an associate's degree program in criminal justice technology that includes an academy track, allowing students to receive police officer basic recruit training in the final (fifth) semester, which leads to taking the certification exam. Coursework in the first four semesters includes criminal law, criminal procedure, deviant behavior and constitutional law, as well as a criminal justice internship. In the academy track semester, students study law enforcement, law basics, police procedures and criminal investigation. Students will have the opportunity to use their learned skills in real-life exercises at the public safety complex.
Miami Dade College
Located in Miami, this college offers law enforcement training for those new to the field and certified corrections officers who wish to become law enforcement officers. To qualify for either of these programs, one must pass a background check and attend an orientation session. Interested applicants must also have a driver's license, submit to a lie detector test and submit a credit history that includes a score for the previous six months. Students can complete these programs in six months of full-time study or nine months of part-time study.
Palm Beach State College
Palm Beach State College in Lake Worth offers a basic recruit training program in law enforcement and crossover programs for correctional and correctional probation officers. Trainees in the basic recruit program complete 822 hours of study in topics such as communications, human issues, patrol, vehicle operations and crash investigations. Classroom work is supplemented by participation in police work simulations. The crossover programs require 489 hours.
Santa Fe College
The basic recruit training program at Santa Fe College's Gainesville campus divides its curriculum into 15 chapters. Students gain the instruction required by Florida law to become law enforcement officers, including training in firearms, diversity and the law. Information learned from this program can be found in the state certification exam, which students take upon graduation.
Seminole State College of Florida
Seminole State College of Florida, based in Sanford, offers a basic recruit law enforcement program at the college's four campuses, including Altamonte Springs, Heathrow and Oviedo. The college gives priority to previous law enforcement and military experience, education level and driving history when considering applicants, as well as possible histories of criminal activity and drug use. The 770-hour program includes instruction in vehicle operations, first aid, traffic stops, defensive tactics and other topics.
St. Petersburg College
Through the Law Enforcement Academy at this college's Allstate Center in St. Petersburg, students can enroll in the 22-week training program in law enforcement. Requirements for admission into this program include the completion of 30 college credits in any coursework; applicants who have completed a full tour of duty in the military do not need to meet the college credit requirement. Completing a background check is also required. Applicants must have lived in Florida for at least a year to qualify for in-state tuition.
In Florida, law enforcement officers must be 19 years of age with at least a high school diploma or GED. They must also be certified by the state. To become certified in Florida, an individual must first take the Criminal Justice Basic Abilities Test and undergo a criminal background check before completing basic recruit academy training at a training center approved by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. After graduation, applicants must complete the State Officer Certification Exam. Earning a degree or certificate in criminal justice is not required to become an officer, nor does earning such a degree qualify one for the position. Read on to learn about the basic recruit training programs offered for aspiring law enforcement officers at the ten largest schools in Florida.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Law Enforcement Programs Offered||2015-16 Annual Costs|
|Eastern Florida State College||2-year, public; large suburb|| Law Enforcement Program
Crossover Programs for Corrections/Correctional Probation Officers Program
|$2,496 in-state, $9,739 out-of-state*|
|Broward College||4-year, public; large suburb|| Basic Recruit Certificate,
Law Enforcement Crossover from Corrections/Correctional Probation Officer Certificates
|$2,753 in-state; $8,875 out-of-state*|
|Daytona State College||4-year, public; small city||Basic Law Enforcement Training Program||$3,282 in-state; $12,352 out-of-state*|
|Hillsborough Community College||2-year, public; large city||Law Enforcement Basic Recruit Training Program||$2,506 in-state, $9,111 out-of-state*|
|Indian River State College||4-year, public; large suburb||Associate in Science in Criminal Justice Technology with a Law Enforcement Basic Recruit Academy Track||$2,764 in-state, $10,201 out-of-state*|
|Miami Dade College||4-year, public; large city|| Basic Law Enforcement Academy Program,
Cross-over Academy Program
|$2,834 in-state, $9,661 out-of-state*|
|Palm Beach State College||4-year, public; large suburb|| Law Enforcement Officer Program,
Crossover From Traditional Correctional/Correctional Probation to Law Enforcement Program
|$2,444 in-state, $8,732 out-of-state*|
|Santa Fe College||4-year, public; midsize suburb||Law Enforcement Certification Academy Program||$2,541 in-state, $9,189 out-of-state*|
|Seminole State College of Florida||4-year, public; large city|| Basic Police Standards Certificate,
Crossover Corrections to Law Enforcement Certificate
|$3,131 in-state, $11,456 out-of-state*|
|St. Petersburg College||4-year, public; small city||Law Enforcement Academy Program||$3,352 in-state; $11,607 out-of-state*|
*Source: *NCES College Navigator