Ohio law requires successful completion of the OPOTA before any functions of a law enforcement officer can be legally completed. Academy students concentrate on developing or improving skills in firearms, legal administration, human relations, traffic, patrol, first aid, driving, subject control, physical conditioning, investigations, and civil disorder aspects of law enforcement. Upon satisfactory completion of the Academy, these skills enable students to advance their law enforcement careers.
Many students are commissioned by local law enforcement agencies; however, students without a commission may enroll in the Academy as an open-enrollment student.
How do I become a Peace Officer?
To become a peace officer in Ohio, one must complete a Peace Officer Basic Training Academy (OPOTA) that is approved by the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission (OPOTC). The Zane State Peace Officer Training Academy is an approximate 740-hour training course, which introduces you to the study of criminal justice, and provides participants with basics in firearms, defensive tactics, defensive driving, investigative methods, the fundamentals of Ohio law, constitutional law, homeland security, and other practical skills.
What are the differences between the Criminal Justice academic program and the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy (OPOTA)?
The Criminal Justice academic program emphasizes the study of the criminal justice system to prepare students for a career in the law enforcement profession, which includes local, state, and federal law enforcement, court bailiffs, criminal investigations, and criminology. Some of the career paths include but are not limited to, municipal police, sheriff’s deputy, court bailiff, security officers, and positions in the Department of Natural Resources and Homeland Security. Successful completion of this academic program leads to an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Criminal Justice.
The Peace Officer Academy (OPOTA) is a state certification and is required training for anyone wishing to be a peace officer/law enforcement officer in the state of Ohio.