Sheriff and Police Departments

Panhandle Regional Law Enforcement Academy

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Panhandle Regional Law Enforcement Academy


The Panhandle Regional Law Enforcement Academy at Amarillo College has been training people for careers in law enforcement since the early 1970s. Amarillo College offers the Basic Peace Officer Academy as an academic program consisting of 26 semester credit hours. The student may choose to apply those hours toward an Associate in Applied Science in Criminal Justice Law Enforcement or use the 26 hours to receive a completion certificate in Criminal Justice Law Enforcement.

The Basic Peace Officer Academy is operated under the mandates of the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer's Standards and Education (TCLEOSE) and upon completion students are eligible to sit for the state Basic Peace Officer exam. Students who receive a passing score on the exam are eligible for employment as a peace officer in city and county agencies in the state of Texas. Two academies are conducted each year; one beginning in October and another beginning in January.

The October Academy is a daytime academy that is held Monday – Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The January Academy is an evening academy that is held Monday – Friday from 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 8:00 am to 5:00 p.m. The classes are held on the West Campus of Amarillo College in Building C. Persons interested in attending the Panhandle Regional Law Enforcement Academy are required to take the THEA test or one of the THEA equivalents. Anyone having questions regarding the entrance exam to the Basic Academy can contact the Amarillo College Testing Center at (806) 371-5445. If pre-test scores are adequate, the applicant will then be required to obtain a Criminal History check and have a personal interview with the Coordinator of the Program. If you have questions or would like more information regarding the Panhandle Regional Law Enforcement Academy, please contact the Criminal Justice Programs Office at (806) 354-6081.

In addition to the pre-testing requirements stated above, a student attending the Panhandle Regional Law Enforcement Academy must also meet the following state requirements:

  • Meet one of the following minimum education requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate; or
    • Must possess a high school equivalency certificate (GED).
  • Be 21 years of age, or 18 years of age if the applicant has received an associate’s degree or 60 semester hours of credit from an accredited college or university or has received an honorable discharge from the armed forces of the United States after at least two years of active service.
  • Be fingerprinted and be subjected to a search of local, state and national records and fingerprint files to disclose any criminal record.
  • Not ever have been or currently on court-ordered community supervision or probation for any criminal offense above the grade of Class B misdemeanor or a Class B misdemeanor within the last ten years.
  • Not currently under indictment for any criminal offense.
  • Not ever have been convicted of an offense above the grade of a Class B misdemeanor or a Class B misdemeanor within the last ten years.
  • Never have been convicted of any family violence offense.
  • Is not prohibited by state or federal law from operating a motor vehicle.
  • Is not prohibited by state or federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition.
  • Be subjected to a background investigation and be interviewed prior to appointment by representatives of the appointing authority.
  • Not have been discharged from any military service under less than Honorable conditions including specifically:
    • Under other than honorable conditions.
    • Bad conduct.
    • Dishonorable.
    • Any other characterization of service indicating bad character.
  • Be a U.S. citizen

In addition to the above requirements for entrance into an academy, TCLEOSE minimum requirements (TCLEOSE Rules §217.1. Minimum Standards for Initial Licensure) to be licensed as a Texas Peace Officer include the following:

  • Be examined by a licensed physician and be declared, in writing, within the past 180 days, to be
    (a) physically sound and free from any defects which may adversely affect performance of duty appropriate to the license sought, and
    (b) to show no trace of drug dependency or illegal drug use after physical examination, blood test or other medical test.
  • Be examined by a licensed psychologist, psychiatrist, and be declared in writing, within the past 180 days, by that professional, to be in satisfactory psychological and emotional health appropriate to the license sought Individual hiring agencies may have additional requirements.
  • Meet the minimum training standards and pass the commission licensing examination for Basic Peace Officer.
  • Not have had any commission license denied by final order or revoked or have voluntarily surrendered a license currently in effect.





Individual hiring agencies may have additional requirements.



Tuition and fees

Associate in Applied Science - Criminal Justice Law Enforcement

Certificate of Completion - Criminal Justice Law Enforcement



Created By Connie DeJesus -- Jun/20/05
Last updated by r0117656 -- Apr/22/13

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