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Peace Officers Academy

The Western Colorado Peace Officers Academy (WCPOA) is a State of Colorado Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) certified academy. Our academy prepares the student to pass all the required state examinations to become a Certified Colorado Peace Officer. This certification allows the graduate to work for a law enforcement agency anywhere in the state of Colorado.

peace officers

Upon completion of this rigorous one semester program, the graduate is awarded 31 college credits. Students may combine those credits with other Colorado Mesa University curriculum to earn an Associates of Applied Science degree in Criminal Justice or a Bachelor of Applied Science Criminal Justice (POST Academy).

The WCPOA prepares individuals for careers as police officers, deputy sheriffs, parole officers, corrections officers, wildlife managers, probations officers, as well as careers in Federal and State of Colorado law enforcement agencies. One of Colorado's best academies, it was jointly founded by the Grand Junction Police Department, the Mesa County Sheriff's Office and the 21st Judicial District Attorney's Office. Each academy has up to 90 different instructors.

Program Strengths

  • Sixteen-week certificate program
  • Graduates are Certified Colorado Peace Officers eligible for hire anywhere in Colorado after passing POST exam
  • Academy graduates earn 31 college credits
  • This is the only academy in Colorado that articulates to AAS degree in Criminal Justice, Bachelor of Applied Science Criminal Justice (POST Academy), and Bachelor of Applied Science in Public Safety/Public Administration
  • Exceeds the requirements set by Colorado Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST)
  • Utilizes adult learning models emphasizing real-world policing scenarios

A Message from the Director

Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Approved


WCPOA Dates and Deadlines

WCPOA Application

Employment Opportunities

Fall 2017 Tuition and Fees

Contact Information

John Piatanesi, Academy Director

Please also see more information about our Public Safety Diving program.

Emphasis/Degree Options

Associate of Applied Science

Criminal Justice Program Sheet
(31 credit hours earned)


Peace Officer Standards and Training Program Sheet

Bachelor of Applied Science

Criminal Justice (POST Academy) Program Sheet


Laws Effecting Certification

Career Pathways

Career pathway programs prepare students for employment in industries while also providing a stepping stone to an associate degree, bachelor’s degree and beyond. Learn more about career pathways.

Career Pathways Certificate Length of Program
Police Officer Academy 1 semester (31 credits)

Gainful Employment

Criminal Justice (POST)- 43.0107

Career Options

Police and sheriff departments
State enforcement
Parole officer
Liquor enforcement
Wildlife enforcement