South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy trainees must first be employed by state or local law enforcement agencies or detention facilities. Advanced training is available to those who would like to specialize in Gang culture, Criminal Domestic Violence, Traffic Safety and Enforcement, Forensics, Behavioral Science, and more.
When the South Carolina Police Academy was first created in 1968, training was a voluntary four week program that was devoid of monetary fees. It was not until 1988 that the Training Act enacted a mandatory continued training provision which stated that officers’ certification cards expire every three years and a specific number of in-service training hours are required during the three year cycle.
The first class graduated from the SC Police Academy in 1968. In 1972, classes began taking place at the Criminal Justice Academy’s current location. Since then, the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy has continued to grow and expand to support training needs. They added a 1.3 mile precision driving range, classroom buildings, office builds, a library, a teaching courtroom, a shotgun range, a rifle deck and more. In 1980, the SC Criminal Justice Academy opened the doors of the Hall of Fame which serves as a law enforcement museum. The Hall of Fame closed for renovation in 1999, and the refurbished museum opened in January 2001 with a new name: The Law Enforcement Officers’ Hall of Fame.
The SC Criminal Justice Academy is governed by the South Carolina State Council which consists of eleven members that meet at least four times per year. Hubert Harrell is the Director at the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy. He served in the United States Navy for 24 years and began his career in law enforcement as the Crime Prevention Specialist at the Goose Creek Police Department.
A Standards Unit was created to evaluate instructional content at all levels of training operations beginning with lesson plan approvals. The Academic Testing unit is responsible for developing and administering academic examinations. These units maintain the high standards set in place for law enforcement and criminal justice service. The Criminal Justice Academy continues to grow and expand as needed to ensure that trainees are receiving the best possible training available, so that they can serve and protect the State of South Carolina.
The SC Criminal Justice Academy has been a criminal justice training academy since 1968. It is the only authorized law enforcement training facility in the State of South Carolina, providing basic training for all law enforcement, detention, and telecommunications officers. The Criminal Justice Academy strives to provide the quality training, knowledge, skills, and abilities that are required to serve and protect South Carolina citizens.
We welcome all of the trainees who are visiting Columbia to attend classes at the Criminal Justice Academy. Please take advantage of special hotel discounts brought to you by our local hotel partners and browse through our site to find information on upcoming events, local attractions, and local restaurants so that you can enjoy your time spent here in Columbia.