Law Enforcement Application Steps

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Admission into the Law Enforcement program at College of Western Idaho (CWI) is competitive and requires certain qualifications and a supplemental application process as outlined below.

Program Application Deadline

Fall 2024

  • Monday, July 15
  • 1. Review Qualifications & Cost


    Along with completing the steps below, applicants of the Law Enforcement program must: 

    • be 18 years of age
    • a U.S. citizen
    • hold a valid Idaho driver's license
    • be a high school graduate or GED completer


    In addition to the cost of tuition, the following additional costs may apply and are subject to change without notice: 

    • $1,570 of special course fees to cover costs associated with uniforms, testing, supplies, training, etc.
    • cost of medical, hearing, and eye examinations required for entry

    Cost & Aid

    Additional Considerations

    • Students in this program have found it difficult to hold a full-time job (32 – 40 hours/week) due to scheduling conflicts and coursework. 
    • Previous associate or bachelor's degrees will not give you preference in the competitive entry process. 
    • A dismissal from military service or a bad conduct, dishonorable, or administrative discharge, other than honorable from military service, will disqualify an applicant. The administrative discharge of “general under honorable conditions” may additionally be grounds for rejection.
    • For continued progression in the program, a minimum of 75% or above is required in each theory course and a pass in each lab and/or practicum course. Students without passing grades may not move on to the next semester of the program. 
  • 2. Express Interest

    Request more information to be contacted by Law Enforcement staff to discuss: 

    • qualifications
    • pathways
    • steps to apply

    Additionally, applicants will be given a pre-application packet to complete. Upon submission of the pre-application packet, the applicant will be contacted for an in-person interview. 

  • 3. Apply to CWI

    Connect with Admissions

  • 4. Attend an Interview

    During your in-person interview with Law Enforcement program staff, you will have the opportunity to discuss: 

    • your career goals
    • the application process
    • program requirements

    Following the interview, qualified candidates will move forward with the application process. 

  • 5. Take the Entrance Exam

    Applicants who successfully complete the interview will be asked to take the National Police Officer Selection Test. This entry-level skills test will verify the candidate's basic cognitive skills necessary for training and a career in law enforcement including: 

    • arithmetic
    • reading comprehension
    • grammar
    • writing

    The test is taken in-person at the Canyon County Center and will take approximately 1 1/2 hours to complete. Applicants must score a 70% or higher on the test to move on to the next step.

  • 6. Complete Application Packet & Background Check

    Applicants who successfully pass the entrance exam will be given an application packet. 

    Upon submission of the application packet, applicants will undergo an extensive, in-depth background check to review their:

    • criminal history
    • driving record
    • credit history
    • social media
    • ... and more
  • 7. Take a Polygraph Exam

    Applicants who pass the background check will then take a polygraph exam. 

    • Polygraph exams are administered in Boise and take 1 – 3 hours. 
    • A personal history packet will be emailed to each applicant which must be completed and taken to the appointment.
  • 8. Apply to POST & Begin Training

    Applicants who successfully complete Steps 2 – 7 are then ready to complete the Idaho POST application online and begin the Law Enforcement program. 

    The majority of training is completed at the College's Canyon County Center, with occasional off-site training at various community locations. Students should plan to be available:

    • Monday – Thursday from 0715 to 1630
    • occasional Fridays and weekends

    Students will engage in civil service projects throughout the program including Shop With a Cop, highway clean up, community service, and benefit events. 

  • 9. Prepare for Certification & Employment

    Upon completion of the Law Enforcement program, students will complete a physical abilities test and challenge exams.

    Physical Abilities Test

    All students must complete a physical abilities test and will have several opportunities during the end of their second semester to test.

    • A copy of physical ability requirements is provided in the application packet. 
    • The physical abilities test must be completed prior to completing the challenge exams.

    Challenge Exams

    Upon completion of the program, students will be prepared to take the Idaho Peace Officers Standards Training (POST) Challenge Exams. Exams are administered by a POST facilitator at the CWI campus near completion of the program.

    • Patrol: 200 questions comprising of two, 2-hour sections
    • Detention: 100 questions comprising of one, 2-hour section


    Upon successful completion of the Challenge Exams, students will be eligible for POST certification in Idaho for detention and patrol for up to three (3) years.

    To become POST certified, students must be hired by an agency and complete field training and a probationary period with the agency. This process takes approximately one (1) year. 

    • Whether or not you are required to attend an additional POST academy for employment is up to each individual agency's discretion.
    • States who recognize Idaho POST certification may require applicants to attend the portion of their state academy dealing with law prior to employment. 


Photo of LeRoy Forsman
Director, Law Enforcement Program/Instructor
  • Law Enforcement Program Director
Room: CYNC 120A
Photo of Stacy Mowry
Instructor, Law Enforcement Academy
Room: CYNC 120A
Photo of Carlie Reynolds
Administrative Assistant II, Public Safety
Room: CYNC 120