Criminal Investigation Certificate Program

The Criminal Investigation Certificate Program recognizes law enforcement personnel who have completed investigative training in order to better prepare themselves for the rigors and challenges of criminal investigations. The best practices in investigative techniques and the practical application of detectives constantly change due to technological advances and legal changes and challenges. An investigator must stay up to date and receive instruction from dedicated and professional instructors. Professional investigators who seek out the best training stand out from the rest, and the North Carolina Justice Academy recognizes their dedication to the Criminal Investigation Certificate Program.


  • Candidates must complete an application, which includes the approval of their immediate supervisor AND agency head in order to participate in the program.
  • Candidates must have at least 200 hours of credit in the required courses and topic areas through the NCJA to apply for the program.
  • Candidates must be a current member of a law enforcement agency (public or private) or a law enforcement support entity.
  • Completion of the program requires 400 credit hours with a focus on law enforcement criminal investigations and completion of the required courses and elective topics.

Required course:  Police Law Institute (PLI)                     Required Hours: 76 hours
Courses in four of the following areas:

Interviews and Interrogations 40 Hours
General Criminal or Death Investigations 40 Hours
Crime Scene Investigations or Forensic Analysis 40 Hours
Narcotics or Gang/Anti-Government Investigations 40 Hours
Domestic of Juvenile Investigations 40 Hours
Sexual Assault/Trafficking or Fraud-Related Investigations 40 Hours

The topic area courses must be taken through the NCJA.

  • Hours of credit will be given as listed on the course completion documentation. Final approval of course and credit hours is at the discretion of the program coordinator.
  • Conferences or symposiums will not count towards the completion of the topic areas;  however, the investigation-related conferences and symposiums will count towards the 400 total hours.
  • For completion of the Program, the candidate shall have at least two years of full-time criminal investigation experience.
  • Candidates will be responsible for maintaining the documentation of their own progress.
  • Candidates are encouraged to contact the program coordinator upon completion of 350 hours for verification of their progress.
  • The program will accept up to 120 hours of courses taken not instructed or sponsored by the NCJA. Accepted outside courses will be approved at the discretion of the program coordinator.
  • All courses must be taken within 10 years of completion of the program.
  • PLI is an NCJA-sponsored course and may be taken at any location.

Russell Strickland, the program coordinator, will be available for comments and questions. Contact at

Course List

Program Application

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  • Complete department mailing address with zip code.
  • Work Experience

  • Statement of Agreement

    My signature below signifies that I agree to comply with the terms and requirements of the Program.
  • Sponsor

    Department Training Director or Immediate Supervisor endorsing participation in the program.
  • Sponsor

    Agency Head or Designee endorsing participation in the program.
  • Applicant


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  • Please enter a number from 200 to 500.
    Note: You must have at least 200 hours to enroll.
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