Florida Law Enforcement Academy

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Program Content:

The SCJA at Suncoast offers the Basic Law Enforcement Officer Recruit Certification Program. Our program prepares students for employment as entry-level law enforcement officers and meets the requirements of the FL Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission (CJSTC). Students may be sponsored by an employing agency or apply for direct admission.

Program content includes codes of ethics; history and evolution of laws; introduction to the criminal justice system; statutory authority of the FDLE Criminal Justice Standards & Training Commission (CJSTC); basic law and legal procedures; law enforcement operations; investigation knowledge and skills; laws of arrest; search and seizure; knowledge of use of force; defensive tactics; physical fitness; controlling and restraining techniques; traffic control and direction; emergency preparedness techniques; communication skills; and human relations skills.

Practical skills and field exercises are an integral part and include courtroom demeanor and testifying; report writing; identification, collection, and preservation of evidence; interviewing and interrogation techniques; radio communications; patrol techniques; police vehicle operation; defensive tactics and arrest techniques; firearms training; chemical agent application fingerprinting; and sobriety testing.

Additionally, this program prepares students to provide initial care to sick or injured persons. A first responder is the first to arrive at the scene of an injury but does not have the primary responsibility for treating and transporting the injured person(s).

Instructional strategies require students to identify, organize, and use resources appropriately; work with each other cooperatively and productively; acquire and use information; understand social, organizational, and technological systems; and work with a variety of tools and equipment. This program is approved by the Department of Education (DOE) utilizing standards jointly developed by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and approved by CJSTC.

All instructors are certified by the FDLE CJSTC. Suncoast Technical College is a CJSTC certified training center.

Graduates are eligible to take the Law Enforcement State Certification Exam and earn credit hours toward an Associates Degree through local participating colleges in partnership with Suncoast Technical College.

Program Length:

This full time, basic recruit program is a 5 month (770 hour) course offered day time only.

Industry Certifications/State Credentials:

  • Preparation for the State Officers Certification Exam (SOCE)

Obtainment Time Frame: Within 4 years of start of training

Entrance/Exit Requirements:

Applicants Applicants must be 19 years old on the graduation date. Applicants must complete the application process consisting of:

  • SCJA Registration Card
  • Physical Abilities Test (PAT)
  • Sign up for CJBAT testing AFTER meeting with Student Services
    • Criminal Justice Basic Abilities Test (CJBAT-Law Enforcement)–Pass
  • Personal History Form completed & notarized
  • Two passport–type photos
  • SCJA Fingerprint Processing for background check
  • A three-year driving history
  • Polygraph examination
  • Tuberculosis (TB) test
  • Physician’s Clearance form for Physical Abilities Test (PAT)
  • Physical Fitness Assessment, CJSTC Form 75
  • Original Birth Certificate
  • Original High School Diploma
  • Military Discharge Form DD-214 (if applicable)
  • Applicant Release Form Notarized
  • Original Florida Driver License
  • Drug Use Guideline Acknowledgment

Self-sponsored applicants will be considered on scores on the following:

  • Oral Board

Agency sponsored students must pass the CJBAT-Law Enforcement & complete an agency background investigation.

Standard Occupations:

For specific occupation information, including wages, employment trends and more, visit the following links:

Police & Sheriff's Patrol Officers

For other O*Net Online information, please visit:

Course Campus Location(s):


Course Sequence:


Course #

Course Title




Intro to Law Enforcement

10 hrs



62 hrs


Interactions with a Diverse Community

40 hrs


Interviewing & Report Writing

56 hrs


Fundamentals of Patrol

35 hrs


Calls for Service

36 hrs


Criminal Investigations

50 hrs


Crime Scene to Courtroom

35 hrs


Critical Incidents

44 hrs


Traffic Stops

30 hrs


DUI Traffic Stops

24 hrs


Traffic Crash Investigations

32 hrs


CMS Law Enforcement Vehicle Operations

48 hrs


CMS First Aid for Criminal Justice Officers

40 hrs


CMS Criminal Justice Firearms

80 hrs


CMS Criminal Justice Defensive Tactics

80 hrs


Dart-Firing Stun Gun

8 hrs


Physical Fitness Training

60 hrs

*OCP-A is earned after completion of ALL FL Law Enforcement Academy courses.