Pat Thomas Law Enforcement Academy

Logo of the Pat Thomas Law Enforcement AcademyThe Pat Thomas Law Enforcement Academy (PTLEA) is housed within the Florida Public Safety Institute and offers training to become a certified law enforcement officer. This six-month program is comprised of 17 areas of instruction, which includes four (4) high liability areas (Defensive Tactics, Medical First Responder to Emergencies, Criminal Justice Weapons and Vehicle Operations). Each class also completes at least one community service project to help students understand how to serve as well as protect. 

Recruits must score at least an 80% on all written exams, as well as perform the required level of skills proficiency in the high liability areas. Statewide average on these exams is around 80%. PTLEA recruits consistently score 90% or higher. 

Our Academy graduates are heavily recruited by agencies from across Florida. We offer a seamless transition from job related training to career related education through the Tallassee Community College.

Steps to Apply

Complete the Steps to Apply to TCC, then complete and submit the FPSI application and include all the required documents. The FPSI application is attached to the course.

If you have taken classes at TCC, you will still need to apply for admission into any new program at TCC to make sure your information is up-to-date.

Florida Residency

Although it is not required that you ara a Florida resident to attend the academy, you must be a citizen of the United States. Recruits from other states will be subject to out-of-state fees that are about three times the rate for in-state tuition. Contact the coordinator listed on the course announcement for exact amounts

PTLEA FAQs

How often is the basic recruit academy offered?

Two full-time classes and one part-time class are offered each year.  Please consult our course listing for upcoming scheduled programs.

What are the hours for the evening (part-time) course?

The class meets Monday through Friday from 6 to 10 p.m.  You also will meet for 17 Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The class does not meet on holidays and is off during the TCC spring break.

Are scholarships available?

Yes, two scholarships are available for the basic law enforcement recruit class:

Dale Green/Committee of 99 Scholarship

The Dale Green/Committee of 99 Scholarship is to honor Sgt. Dale Green who was killed in the line of duty. 

Les Kennedy Scholarship  

The Les Kennedy Scholarship is in honor of Recruit Les Kennedy of Basic Recruit Class 487 and his name lives on in the form of a scholarship in his memory.

What are the minimum qualifications necessary to become an officer?

We recommend you visit the Florida Department of Law Enforcement web site for complete information.

Where can I stay if I need accommodations when I come to the Institute for training?

We offer on-site single occupancy housing for $26.00 per night.  All rooms have color TV, data port as well as wireless service, private restroom, refrigerator, and a lockable drawer for valuables.  Please bring a padlock to secure your valuables in the drawer.

How can I become a certified officer in Florida?

There are three basic steps to becoming a certified officer in Florida. First, complete the required training for the profession. Second, pass the State Officer Certification Exam (SOCE). Third, become employed as an officer.

I have a misdemeanor arrest involving perjury or false statements. Can I be certified as a law enforcement, correctional or correctional probation officer in the State of Florida?

Pursuant to 943.13(4) Florida Statutes, if a person pleads guilty, no contest, nolle contendere or is convicted of a misdemeanor involving perjury or false statement, that person is ineligible to be certified as an officer in the State of Florida.
 
If the misdemeanor perjury or false statement charges are dismissed or nolle prossed then issues regarding the person’s moral character are determined by the employing agency. The person is not barred by Statute from holding certification.

I have a prior felony arrest. Can I be certified as a law enforcement, correctional or correctional probation officer in the State of Florida?

Pursuant to 943.13(4) Florida Statutes, if a person pleads guilty, no contest, noble contender or is convicted of a felony, that person is ineligible to be certified as an officer in the State of Florida.

If the felony charges are dismissed or noble pressed then issues regarding the person’s moral character are determined by the employing agency. The person is not barred by Statute from holding certification.

Does the academy have a job placement service?

No. However, the academy routinely invites representatives from agencies statewide to recruit from each class. 

Do I need a college education to become a law enforcement officer, corrections officer or a correctional probation officer?

Although some agencies may require a college degree there are a greater number that only require a high school diploma or GED. A bachelor's degree is required for correctional probation officers.