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Legal Requirements

Utah Code Ann. § 53-6-203 outlines the requirements for admission to basic law enforcement training programs.

(1) Before being accepted for admission to the training programs conducted by a certified academy, and before being allowed to take a certification examination, each applicant for admission or certification examination shall meet the following requirements:

(a) be a United States citizen; or, for at least five (5) years continuous, be a legal permanent resident (LPR)

(b) be at least
(i) 19 years old at the time of certification as a special function officer or correctional officer; or
(ii) 21 years old at the time of certification as a law enforcement officer;

(c) be a high school graduate or furnish evidence of successful completion of an examination indicating an equivalent achievement;

(d) have not been convicted of a crime for which the applicant could have been punished by imprisonment in a federal penitentiary or by imprisonment in the penitentiary of this or another state;

(e) have demonstrated good moral character, as determined by a background investigation; and

(f) be free of any physical, emotional, or mental condition that might adversely affect the performance of the applicant’s duties as a peace officer.

(2) (a) An application for admission to a training program shall be accompanied by a criminal history background check of local, state, and national criminal history files and a background investigation.

(b) The costs of the background check and investigation shall be borne by the applicant or the applicant’s employing agency.

(3) (a) Notwithstanding any expungement statute or rule of any other jurisdiction, any conviction obtained in this state or other jurisdiction, including a conviction that has been expunged, dismissed, or treated in a similar manner to either of these procedures, may be considered for purposes of this section.

(b) This provision applies to convictions entered both before and after the effective date of this section.

(4) Any background check or background investigation performed pursuant to the requirements of this section shall be to determine eligibility for admission to training programs or qualification for certification examinations and may not be used as a replacement for any background investigations that may be required of an employing agency.

(5) An applicant shall be considered to be of good moral character under Subsection (1)(e) if the applicant has not engaged in conduct that would be a violation of Subsection 53-6-211(1).

(6) An applicant seeking certification as a law enforcement officer, as defined in Section 53-13-103, shall be qualified to possess a firearm under state and federal law.


POST’s Policy and Procedures addresses convictions or involvement in criminal offenses.
l. If the applicant has been convicted of a felony, they will not be accepted into law enforcement training.
2. If applicant’s conviction or involvement is for a misdemeanor, they may not be accepted. However, POST will examine individual records once the applicant furnishes all documentation including police reports, court dockets and a detailed written letter of explanation from the applicant on the circumstances of the arrest.
3. This documentation will only be considered after the appropriate waiting period as outlined on the previous page.
4. If after reviewing Utah Code Ann. § 53-6-203 you find you do not meet one or more of the requirements, do not proceed with the application. Applicants with questions as to whether or not they meet the POST requirements should contact the Bureau Chief over Investigations before proceeding.