17C-10.1. Certification of military service members and veterans with law enforcement training and experience.

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Commission shall waive an applicant's completion of the Commission-accredited training course and issue probationary certification to a current or honorably discharged former military police officer provided the Commission, upon evaluating the individual applicant's combined training and experience pursuant to G.S. 93B-15.1(a), determines that the applicant's combined training and experience is substantially equivalent to or exceeds the minimum expectations for employment as a law enforcement officer and the applicant satisfies all of the following conditions:

(1) Successfully completed a military police training program and been awarded a military police occupational specialty rating.

(2) Performed military police officer duties in any of the branches of military service, active or reserve, or the National Guard for not less than two of the five years preceding the date of the application for certification as a law enforcement officer.

(3) Meets the minimum standards for law enforcement officers as set out in 12 NCAC 9B.0101 and 12 NCAC 9B.0111.

(b) An applicant certified pursuant to subsection (a) of this section must successfully complete the employing agency's in-service firearms training and qualification program prior to employment and shall serve a one-year period of probation. During the one-year period of probation, the applicant must successfully complete the Legal Unit and 24 hours of training in the service of civil process in a Commission-accredited Basic Law Enforcement Training Course and successfully pass the State Comprehensive Examination in its entirety.

(c) The Commission shall issue certification to a current or honorably discharged former military police officer whose combined training and experience is not substantially equivalent to or does not exceed the minimum expectations for employment as a law enforcement officer if the applicant meets all of the following requirements:

(1) Successfully completed a formal military basic training program and been awarded a military police occupational specialty rating.

(2) Engaged in the active practice of military police officer duties in any of the branches of military service, active or reserve, or the National Guard for not less than two of the five years preceding the date of the application for certification as a law enforcement officer.

(3) Meets the minimum standards for law enforcement officers as set out in 12 NCAC 9B.0101 and 12 NCAC 9B.0111.

(4) Successfully completes the Legal Unit and 24 hours of training in the service of civil process in a Commission-accredited Basic Law Enforcement Training Course.

(5) Successfully completes any supplementary high-liability training as deemed necessary by the Commission, not to exceed an additional 180 hours.

(6) Obtains a passing grade on the State Comprehensive Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) Exam.

(d) Members of the Air/Army National Guard and Military Reserve Components who have performed as a military police officer for not less than 1,040 hours during the five years preceding the date of application shall be deemed to satisfy the requirements of subdivision (2) of subsection (a) and subdivision (2) of subsection (c) of this section.

(e) An applicant who, after completing the required training in subsection (a) or (c) of this section, fails to obtain a passing score on not more than two of the units of the comprehensive exam may be retested in the units the applicant failed. An applicant who fails three or more of the units must enroll in and successfully complete a subsequent offering of the Basic Law Enforcement Training Course in its entirety in order to be eligible to be certified.

(f) An active duty military police officer who obtains certification under this section may retain the certification for the duration of active duty provided the officer continues to serve in a military police capacity and complies with any in-service training requirements as may be required by the Commission. An active duty member who is unable to complete annual in-service requirements due to deployment or overseas assignment shall have 12 months from the time the officer returns to the United States in which to complete any required in-service training. The officer shall retain the certification for a period of one year following separation from active duty.

(g) As used in this section, the following terms mean:

(1) Branches of military service. - The United States Armed Forces: Air Force; Army; Marine; Navy; active, reserve, Air/Army National Guard components; and the Coast Guard.

(2) Combined training. - Basic military training, basic military police training, in-service or advanced military police training and, any other military training courses that may be applicable to the performance of law enforcement duties.

(3) Military police. - All law enforcement occupational classifications in the various branches of the Armed Forces, including Military Police Officer, Security Forces Specialist, Master-at-Arms, Maritime Enforcement Specialist, Boarding Officer, and Security forces.

(h) The Commission shall adopt rules to implement the provisions of this section. (2015-49, s. 1; 2015-264, s. 37(a); 2018-5, s. 17.1(a).)