Criminal Justice at Cedar Valley

​The Criminal Justice program at Cedar Valley will prepare you for a wide range of career opportunities. Our faculty draw on their knowledge and experience to ensure student success.

Basic Peace Officer Training

Cedar Valley’s Law Enforcement Academy is licensed by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) to provide the Texas Basic Peace Officer’s Course #1000.  We prepare individuals for law enforcement careers by preparing them to take the Texas Peace Officer Certification Examination upon successful completion of the course of study. Our Law Enforcement Academy requires 774 hours.

All course material is in accordance with the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE). TCOLE requires 696 hours of basic peace officer instruction on specified topics.​

Our academy is extremely discipline-oriented, stressing not only the academic knowledge required to pass the TCOLE licensing exam, but also the attitudes, demeanor, ethics and values required to excel as a professional peace officer. The physical training part of the curriculum is designed to help you pass area departments' physical requirements, as well as prepare you for the tactical environment that you will face on the job.

Course Structure and Length

Our state-licensed academy offers both full-time and part-time Basic Peace Officer courses. Times may fluctuate slightly depending on variables such as weather and holiday schedules.

  • The full-time academy is a six month course. Contact the academy office for more information.
  • The two part-time, evening academies begin in September and March. Contact the academy office for specifics.
  • Ours is an open-enrollment academy — one of only a few in the North Texas area. Cadets who meet both state and college requirements may be accepted to the academy without agency endorsement.

Costs and Materials

The cost of the course is $1,800, with an additional cost of $600$800 for associated fees. A list will be provided. The cost of the course can be paid out in installments, and financial aid and veterans' assistance are available. There are additional costs for uniforms, books and ammunition, totaling $600$800. The academy provides weapons. The total cost to complete the Basic Peace Officer licensing course is approximately $2,400–$2,600.

TCOLE Peace Officer Licensing Examination

Upon completion of the academy, cadets will be presented with a certificate of eligibility to take the TCOLE Peace Officer Licensing Examination. The examination will be given at Cedar Valley and is part of the fee that you pay for the academy.

Once cadets have passed the TCOLE exam, they will be able to apply to any law enforcement agency for which they meet the standards. All agencies set their own standards, including age, education and physical fitness.

Earning College Credit

Students who want to use the Basic Police Academy as a transition bridge to the Associate of Applied Science Degree in Criminal Justice and Public Safety must complete the following:​

  • Complete the Basic Police Academy at either Cedar Valley or Eastfield.
  • Pass the Texas Basic Peace Officer Licensing Examination through the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE).
  • Meet all registration requirements set forth by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
  • Meet all registration requirements set forth by the campuses of Dallas College.
  • Complete Introduction to Criminal Justice and Court Systems and Practices.
For the most up-to-date information, contact SaRita Stew​art at the Criminal Justice department.

In-Service Training and Continuing Education Units

We occasionally offer in-service classes for continuing education. Please check with the academy office to see what classes are offered during a particular semester, or visit the academy's Facebook page.

Career Opportunities

Our Career Services office offers two law enforcement job fairs each year to help introduce you to potential employers.

Depending on the levels of education and experience you achieve throughout your career, possible career paths include:

  • Police officer
  • Probation officer
  • Border patrol and police
  • Compliance officer
  • Corrections officer​
  • Sheriff or deputy sheriff
  • State police officer, trooper or highway patrol officer