Tennessee Police Training

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    Full-Time Police Officer

    • Tennessee POST defines a police officer as a person who has been lawfully selected to uphold the laws of the state and/or a political division such as a city. The person must be employed by a political division to prevent and detect crime. The job includes specifically assigned tasks as well as apprehending offenders.

    Other Police Officers

    • A person may be employed in the state of Tennessee as part-time, temporary, reserve or auxiliary police officer. The definition of the job is the same as full-time police officer. However, the person shall not work more than 20 hours per week or 100 hours per month in one agency or a combination of agencies. A person exceeding these hours will be classified as a full-time police officer.

    Minimum Requirements

    • The applicant must be 18 years of age and a citizen of the United States. Additionally, the applicant must meet the requirements for employment and pass entrance requirements for the POST-approved law enforcement training facility.

    Basic Law Enforcement Course

    • The course, facility and instructors have to be approved by the POST commission. The course shall a minimum of 400 hours of study and instruction. The course includes training in first-aid, firearms, patrol procedures, interpersonal communications, conduct, physical defense and law. Additionally, instruction will include written communication, human relations, the criminal justice system, stress, administration, emergency vehicle operation and defensive driving.

    General Police Instructor Requirements

    • In order to become a general police instructor, the person must have four years of full-time sworn law enforcement experience. One year of college with a major in criminal justice may be substituted for a year of experience, for up to two years. The general instructor must meet competency requirements as specified by the academy director. Additionally, the instructor must complete a 40-hour instructor's development course approved by the commission.

    Specialized Police Instructor Requirements

    • The specialized instructor must have a minimum of five years experience as a full-time sworn officer or equivalent education/experience as to be determined by the appointing agency. The instructor must complete the 40-hour instructor development program or have the equivalent experience/training combination as determined by the appointing agency and approved by POST. The instructor must complete 40 hours of specialized training as approved by POST.

    In-Service Training

    • Forty hours of training per year are required of all full-time commissioned, certified police officers that have not attended the basic course within one calendar year. Those officers who are required to attend and who have completed the basic course are eligible for supplemental pay.


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