Enrollment Qualifications and Requirements

Enrollment Qualifications and Requirements

Thank you for your interest in the Law Enforcement Academy; please read this information carefully to determine if you meet the qualifications and requirements to enter the academy.

Qualifications

The Texas Occupations Code sets the legal minimum qualifications for persons to be licensed as peace officers in the state of Texas.  The Texas Commission on Law Enforcement is the regulatory agency charged with maintaining and regulating the standards set in the Occupations Code.  Basically, the qualifications to be a peace officer in Texas are:

  • Must be a U.S. citizen.
  • Must be 21 years old (or 18 years old with 60 college hours).
  • Must be a high school graduate or have a GED.
  • Must pass a state criminal history and fingerprint check.
  • Must not be currently charged with a crime.
  • Veterans of U.S. military services must not have a dishonorable or bad conduct discharge.
  • Must not be restricted from owning or possessing a weapon or ammunition.
  • Must have a valid Texas driver's license (out-of-state applicants must comply with Texas law.)
  • Must clear a background investigation (review of personal history statement).
  • Must pass a fingerprint check.
  • Must pass a physical and drug screen examination.
  • Must pass a psychological examination (includes personal history statement).

Required Personal Documents

The Law Enforcement Academy will need the following documents. Be prepared; in some cases, the original or certified copy must be presented.

  • Birth certificate or naturalization certificate (For U.S. citizenship, an original or certified copy must be presented; a copy will be made by the academy staff.)
  • Valid Texas driver's license (Applicants with an out-of-state driver's license must be prepared to comply with Texas law regarding obtaining a valid Texas driver's license.)
  • Driver's History Statement (Applicants will follow directions given by the academy to obtain the correct form.)
  • High school diploma or GED (Academy staff will copy the original or certified copy.)
  • DD Form 214 (for military veterans only).
  • Personal History Statement (Forms will be provided when you schedule an appointment for your initial interview, as this statement must be completed and presented at your interview.)

Additional Cedar Valley Requirements

In addition to meeting the qualification standards established by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, every person applying to the Cedar Valley Law Enforcement Academy must comply with these additional requirements.

  1. Pass a TSI exam.
    • The TSI exam assesses reading comprehension, essay and sentence skills at the college freshman level. It is required because Law Enforcement Academy cadets must read Texas law and be able to fulfill the writing needs of crime and arrest reporting.
      • If you have already taken the exam or a comparable exam, you will not be required to retake it (academy staff will determine this with you in your initial interview.) Military veterans with two or more years of active duty experience are exempt from the TSI exam requirement. 
      • Applicants can obtain a waiver to take the first exam attempt for free. Second or third attempts are at the cost of the applicant. If you have not passed one or both portions of the exam by the third attempt, you will be required to take remedial courses prior to attending the academy.
  2. Have a bacterial meningitis vaccination. This requirement will be reviewed with you during the initial interview. Exceptions are only made if:
    • You have received the bacterial meningitis vaccination within the last five years.
    • You are 22 years old or older.