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Lateral Recruits

Law Officers Coming to Virginia
Considering a Career Move?Consider a Move to Virginia.

The Commonwealth of Virginia has statewide opportunities in Law Enforcement for officers coming from other states.

Training Requirements for Incoming Officers

When coming from outside of Virginia, law enforcement officers must meet the minimum training standards as outlined in the Compulsory Minimum Training Standards and Performance Outcomes. Training exemptions are reviewed and determined on a case-by case basis.

If you believe you qualify for a partial training waiver, your agency must submit a Form W-2 and notarized a release of information and employment/training history to DCJS Field Services.

Application for Exemption from Virginia Compulsory
Minimum Training Standards (Form W-2)

Option 5 Out-of-State Lateral Program

Understanding the wealth of experience in law enforcement outside our state, agencies across Virginia are welcoming transferring officers to their forces.

To help facilitate those transfers, Fairfax County Criminal Justice Training Academy, Virginia Beach Police Department Law Enforcement Training Academy and Crater Criminal Justice Training Academy have agreed to partner with DCJS in hosting an Option 5 Out-of-State Lateral Program.

This program will be for former out-of-state, federal, and military law enforcement officers who meet eligibility requirements and have been approved for a partial training waiver.

The Virginia Beach program graduated on May 17, 2023. No future class has been scheduled at this time.

The Fairfax program has graduated two Option 5 programs and has a third program scheduled for August 14 – September 22, 2023.

As we determine the requests for the training in different regions of the state, DCJS plans to expand this program regionally.


Eligibility Requirements
  • Must have at least 3 years/36 months continuous law enforcement experience commensurate with those of a Virginia law enforcement officer (i.e. respond to calls for service, take reports of crime, conduct traffic stops, issue summons, make arrests).
  • Be out of law enforcement employment for less than 24 months.
  • Must be in good standing with former employers.
  • Must meet all requirements of 15.2-1705 Code of Virginia.
Process for Approval
  1. If your agency has a candidate of interest from out-of-state, contact your field representative to inquire about eligibility status.
  2. Upon hire, your agency must submit a Form W-2 and notarized a release of information and employment/training history of the officer to your DCJS Field Representative.
  3. DCJS will verify the applicants employment and training history and upon determination the eligibility requirements above are all verified;
  4. The Option 5 waiver will be granted.
  5. Upon receiving the Option 5 approval, the officer applicant may be placed into the Option 5 Out-of-State Lateral Program in TRACER under the Fairfax County Criminal Justice Training Academy.

Continue Your Career in Law Enforcement in Virginia
Quality of Life

Virginia has the seventh-best quality of life in the U.S. Virginia’s economy is one of the top in the nation, with CNBC ranking Virginia third in the best states for business in 2022. The state also has an unemployment rate below the national average and low levels of poverty and food insecurity.

Great Schools

Virginia has the fourth-best public schools overall in the United States, ranking fourth for quality and third for safety. Virginia schools also have the fourth-lowest bullying incidence rate when assessed for safety from violence, bullying, harassment, and substance use.

Live Near What You Love

Whether you choose to live and work in our mountain communities and cities, gravitate toward the beach, or locate somewhere in between, Virginia offers a unique lifestyle for everyone.

Help Keep Our State One of the Safest

In 2022, Virginia's violent crime rate was rated nearly half that of national levels and its property crime rate 26% lower. Across all 50 states, the Commonwealth has the sixth-lowest violent crime rate and the tenth-lowest property crime rate.