As of June 2011, there were 74,934 peace officers appointed in Texas, according to the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education (TCLEOSE). TCLEOSE provides the certification, licensing, training and program development for peace officers throughout the state. Master peace officer is the highest level that a Texas peace officer can currently achieve, according to Basic Peace Officer Training Supervisor Romeo Gomez.
According to TCLEOSE commission rules § 221.1 and 221.3, which went into effect on Jan. 5, 2011, once an active licensed or appointed peace officer has met all the requirements for master peace officer, a proficiency certificate will automatically be generated and mailed to the appointing agency. Documentation of completion must be present in the individual's Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Data Distribution System (TCLEDDS) record for certification to proceed. Master certification means that the officer has met all the requirements for basic, intermediate and advanced peace officer certification.
Education Hours and Service Years
In the process of completing the lower certifications, master peace officers will have completed a requisite number of training hours and years of service. To be master certified, officers may have completed 1,200 training hours and 20 years of service, 2,400 training hours and 15 years of service, 3,300 training hours and 12 years of service, or 4,000 training hours and 10 years of service.
Alternately, the peace officer may have an associate's degree and 12 years of experience, a bachelor’s degree and nine years of experience, a master’s degree and seven years of experience, or a doctorate or JD and five years of experience.
Advancement to Intermediate
To advance through the levels of certification, a master peace officer will have taken either "Personnel Orientation by Department" or "Peace Officer Field Training" as part of basic certification. To complete intermediate certification, she will have completed coursework in child abuse prevention and investigation; crime scene investigation; use of force; arrest, search and seizure or Spanish for law enforcement or identity crimes or a chief's course; asset forfeiture; racial profiling or a combination of the two of the chief's course. Additionally, one course must be completed in train-the-trainer, crisis intervention, basic peace officer instructor training, CIT update, mental health, continuing or new chief's course, or continuing education for constables. After September 2009, additional course requirements were added in special investigative topics and cultural diversity.
To complete the step before master certification, an active duty licensed or appointed peace officer must complete either the certified instructor's train-the-trainer course, crisis intervention training, mental health peace officer training or, as of September 2005, the basic peace officer CIT component. If intermediate certification was issued before Sept. 1, 2005, crisis intervention training must be completed. To achieve advanced certification, a peace officer must have completed as little as 800 hours of training and 12 years of service, up to 2,400 hours of training, an associate's degree and six years of service, or a bachelor's degree or higher with five years of service.
- Romeo Gomez; Training Supervisor, Alamo Area Regional Law Enforcement Academy; San Antonio
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