I want to become a peace officer in the state of Texas – what must I do?
To be a peace officer you must successfully complete the Basic Peace
Officer Course, pass the TCOLE state exam, be hired by a law enforcement
agency and licensed by TCOLE.
What is TCOLE? TCOLE stands for Texas Commission on Law Enforcement.
TCOLE is the licensing agency for peace officers in the state of Texas.
All individuals desiring to be a peace officer in the state of Texas
must be certified through TCOLE and comply with TCOLE standards.
What must I do to be licensed?
You must successfully complete the Basic Peace Officer training course
established by TCOLE, pass the state certification and become a member
of a law enforcement agency.
How do I get the required training? The Basic Peace Officer training is available through the Eastfield College Criminal Justice Training Center (Police Academy).
How do I enroll?
The first step is to download an Eastfield College Academy Enrollment
packet. Once you have downloaded the packet, follow the instructions and
complete all other informational needs requested in the packet. Then
download and complete the Academy Enrollment Forms (Adobe Reader
Recommended). Please return the completed forms to the W building Room
Processing and completing all steps of the enrollment process
can take up to 6 weeks and must be completed prior to application
deadline and registration for the academy classes.
Does the Basic Peace Officer Training qualify for financial aid or veteran’s benefits? Yes, you should contact the Veterans Office at 972-860-8346 or Financial Aid at 972-860-8385.
I currently have a professional college degree. Do I have to take the Basic Peace Officer Course?
Yes, regardless of your educational background you are required to
successfully complete the Basic Peace Officer course and pass the TCOLE
certification examination. PhD’s, Md’s, Dentists, Engineers, and others
have completed the program.
What is the TCOLE state certification examination?
After finishing the Basic Peace Officer course, you are required to
take and pass the TCOLE certification examination with 70% on a 100
scale. You have three (3) chances to pass the examination. Should you
not pass in three (3) attempts, you must repeat the Basic Peace Officer
course to sit for the state examination.
What is the Exit Examination?
The exit examination is an exclusive Eastfield College process to
prepare you for the state certification examination. When all phases of
training have been completed, you will receive a review over the
material in the Basic Peace Officer course. You will be tested each day
over the previous day’s work. At the completion of the review, you will
take the 300 question exit examination. Under the Eastfield College
Criminal Justice rules, you must make 85% on a 100 scale to receive
eligibility to take the state exam.
What if I don’t pass the Exit Examination?
As in the state examination, you have 3 chances to take the exit
examination. If you should not pass on the third attempt, you will need
to repeat the course.
How old must I be to enroll? You must be 21 years of age to enroll.
Is there a maximum age?
No, however, you must take and pass a medical physical examination
(documented) related to the tasks that an officer would perform. Anyone
over 35 years of age is limited to departments that are not state civil
Do I have to be a high school graduate? TCOLE requires one of the following for enrollment.
All options must be documented.
Do I have to go through a criminal background check? Or is there a criminal background check?
Yes, TCOLE requires a criminal background check through the National
& Texas Crime Records Center. This criminal background check is
valid 90 days. This process is conducted through Eastfield, TCOLE and
the Department of Public Safety. Your fingerprints will be taken and
submitted electronically to DPS. This process can take anywhere from 10 –
14 working days for completion. TCOLE will notify us about your status.
We (EFCCJ) will contact you about your status. If you are disqualified,
you can contact the Department of Public Safety Records for further
What are the qualifications on criminal background? See the Enrollment Standards tab.
I have a Jailer, CHL, Private Security license; do I have to go through a background check?
Yes, all potential students must have a background check. It is a
mandatory requirement by TCOLE and all background checks are valid for
Do I have to be a U.S. citizen? Yes,
must be documented by birth certificate, U.S. Passport and
Naturalization Certificate. Other documents may be considered and
verified. (See Enrollment Standards)
Do I have to have a sponsor?
No you do not, provided you meet enrollment requirements. However,
there are sponsored students and it does help with the screening
Do I have to take a reading/writing pre-enrollment examination?
Yes, however, if you can document 3 college credit hours in Freshman
college English with a "C" or better, from a regionally accredited
college or university, you may be exempt from the examination. If not,
you must take the examination and you must score at a freshman college
level reading to be eligible to enroll. If you do not meet that
standard, it is recommended that you take remedial reading.
Are there costs associated with enrolling in the program?Yes.
The TSI will cost $10 for each section and for additional testing after
the first attempt. The fingerprinting costs are approximately $45.
The medical physical /drug screen will cost approximately $150 and the
physiological evaluation is approximately $150.
How much does the course cost?
The course consists of 5 payment installments. Refer to the current
schedule for amounts. Tuition for the first phase must be paid prior to
the course starting. Additional expenses for duty gear, books,
ammunition, supplies and uniforms can cost approximately $1000.
What are the times of the classes? Eastfield College Criminal Justice (LEA) Training Center offers 2 different paths or options for the training.
I am from out of state and was a licensed officer in that state. I want to become licensed in Texas. What should I do?
I have allowed my license to lapse, how do I get it reinstated? Call the TCOLE office in Austin 512-936-7700. They can advise you on what you will need to accomplish the reinstatement.
Will I get college credit for the course?
There are two (2) options to attain credit.
What should I buy before class?
Do not purchase anything. The first class day is orientation and you’ll
be told what you need and when you will need it. We hope this will help
you budget and will keep you from buying unnecessary items.
Will I be required to do Physical Training?
Yes. You will be given a pretest to determine your physical
capabilities. At the conclusion of the training you will be retested to
determine your progress.