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Criminal Justice - Law Enforcement Academy

Program Requirements: 

Gain the police training and education needed to become a police officer from the highly regarded Gateway Technical College Law Enforcement Academy. The police academy includes training in unified tactics, firearms, emergency vehicle operations, defensive and arrest tactics, tactical field exercises and professional communications. Students will take additional courses including first aid/CPR, standard field sobriety, word testing, criminal law, traffic law, community policing and criminal investigations. The 520-hour basic training course meets the requirements set by the State of Wisconsin Law Enforcement Standards Board. Employed candidates will become certified police officers upon successful completion of the academy and upon Standards Board approval. Those who have not found employment at the time of police academy completion have three years to secure a law enforcement position in order to become certified.

Gainful Employment Information

What does a police officer do?

Law enforcement professionals can find careers as police officers, probation officers, customs officers and security professionals. Police officers investigate any suspicious activity they notice and then pursue and arrest those who are found breaking the law. They also respond to service calls, issue traffic tickets and warnings, investigate local issues including domestic disputes, and give first aid to those involved in an accident.

Learning by doing

The Law Enforcement Academy uses a Sim City training area for students. Inside the city is a mock tavern, apartment and a changeable training area that helps students gain real-world experience in scenarios that they will deal with as police officers. The facility also has a larger training space for students where they can learn how to handle motor vehicle incidents and crowd control in an on-the-street setting. The facility also houses a defense and arrest tactics training area as well as a firing range for both pistol and shotgun training. Students will undergo emergency vehicle training in which they will use actual squad cars during mock emergencies to gain the knowledge and experience needed on the job as a police officer. Towards the end of the training program, students participate in scenario-based training and testing. Student’s performance is tested when dealing with stressful and investigative situations. Scenarios include high risk vehicle contacts, intervention options, “shoot or don’t shoot” simulations and various crisis conditions that mimic real life situations.

Job and salary outlook

Employment of police officers and detectives is expected to grow by seven percent through 2020. A growing demand for public safety will increase the employment of law enforcement professionals. The median annual salary of police and detectives was $56,980 in 2014.

Certification and Licensing

All states require at least 60 college credits to apply for a position as a police officer, corrections officer and deputy sheriff. Employed graduates will become certified police officers upon successful completion of the academy and upon Standards Board approval. Those who have not found employment at the time of graduation have three years to secure a law enforcement position in order to become certified.


Additional Requirements

LEA is a two-part application process

Step I - Submit the following:

  • WTCS Application for Admission
  • $30 Application Fee
  • DJLE-327 Application for Enrollment
  • Copy of valid driver’s license
  • Official HS/GED/HSED transcripts verifying completion
  • Official college transcript verifying an Associates Degree or higher in Criminal Justice or at least 60 post-secondary credits earned.
  • Students earning credits at Gateway Technical College do not need a Gateway transcript but should note the completion of credits on their applications.
  • Order Background Check ONLY (CBC).  Upon completing  your order, the BID will be listed on your To-Do List.  Download, print, and then upload the completed BID to your CertifiedProfile.
  • Request a CERTIFIED copy of your driving record from your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles and have it sent to: Gateway Technical College, ATTN: Admissions Office, 400 County Road H, Elkhorn WI  53121.
  • Functional Ability Acknowledgement Form (after reading the functional requirements for the program)
  • In order to be admitted to the academy candidates must pass a Physical Readiness Test administered by academy staff. This test must be competed before an interview can be scheduled.
  • Annotation of Birth Facts form
    (This form must be filled out by the Law Enforcement Academy Office)
  • Step I application files must be completed by June 15th for Fall term starts and November 1st for Spring term starts. Applicants with completed Step I files by these dates will move to Step II (interview) of the application process.

Step II- Interview:

  • Interviews will be scheduled with the LEA office. Participants will be selected for the Academy based on their interview. Selected candidates will also need to turn in a DJ-LE-332 Medical Assessment form before the first day of class.
  • This process is for those not sponsored by a police department. Sponsored individuals should apply through their department.

Required equipment and attire

Background and Health Information requirement questions?
Please contact the Admissions Office at



Joseph Whiten

Program Administration

Terry Simmons, Dean