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Campus Security Officers

The 2004 General Assembly, through House Joint Resolution (HJR122), requested the Virginia State Crime Commission to study safety at Virginia's institutions of higher education. As a result, DCJS created the Office of Campus Policing and Security (OCPS) to address the law requiring minimum training and employment standards for campus security officers. Through Legislative Code § 9.1-102 (Powers and duties of the Board and the Department), DCJS was required to establish minimum standards for employment, job-entry and in-service training curricula, and certification requirements for campus security officers.

CSO Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) | CSO Database Forms | Training, Events, and Resources | Contact Information

 Campus Security Officer (CSO) FAQs

A CSO may submit an Educational Requirement Waiver Application to forgo compulsory minimum training if the candidate has a minimum of 5 years experience as a CSO, and can pass each module exam with at least a 70%.

If for some reason, training cannot be met in the provided 180 days, a Certification Program - Permission for Extension request may be submitted to DCJS. The CSO point of contact must sign off on the form and indicate the reason for the extension request. Extensions may be granted in the instance of illness, military service, etc.

To become a CSO instructor, the applicant must submit an Instructor Application to DCJS and meet the following criteria:

  • possess a high-school diploma, GED, or equivalent,
  • possess 2 years management or supervisory experience as a CSO or LEO or 3 years general experience as a CSO or LEO 
  • possess 1 year of experience as an instructor in an accredited institution.
A CSO instructor applicant may submit a Request for Waiver of Instructor Approval Qualifications with supporting documentation, if they do not meet 1 or more of the requirements above.
Certified CSO instructors may hold compulsory training classes by submitting a Training Class Request within 30 days of the class and must notify DCJS of any changes to the training. The instructor must test each student on each module and return the tests and rosters within 5 days to DCJS for processing. CSO instructors may also hold recertification classes and may submit a Partial In-Service Credit (PIC) Course Approval Form DCJS for approval.

CSO certification is valid for 2 years. Within those 2 years, CSOs are required to receive 16 hours of campus security related training and have their point of contact submit an Application for Re-Certification and accompanying documentation to DCJS. Extensions may be granted for certain circumstances (see above). As a CSO, you will only be certified if you are employed by an institution. If you are not employed, you will be labeled as "suspended" until you are employed by another institution. CSOs can also be "decertified" by DCJS after receiving notification from the employing institution of the CSOs:

  • conviction, guilty plea, or no contest to a felony, or
  • failure to comply with training or recertification standards, or
  • refusal or failure of a drug test, or
  • failure to tell the truth, or
  • termination for cause.

A decertified CSO may appeal to DCJS, if written notice is received by the Director of DCJS within 30 days of decertification.

Once hired, based on the requirements above, a CSO applicant must complete the following within 180 days:

  • first aid training, as determined by the employing institution,
  • Introduction to the Incident Command System (IS-100.C) by FEMA, and
  • compulsory minimum entry-level training (Curriculum below) and pass all portions with a 70% or higher.
After all requirements are met, the CSO's point of contact must submit a signed CSO application form to DCJS for review and certification. Certification is valid for 2 years.

To become a CSO, you must be hired by a campus or university and meet these requirements: (or hold a private security specialist certification or work part-time under 120 hrs annually)

  • be a US citizen or legal resident,
  • undergo a background check,
  • possess a high-school diploma, GED, or equivalent, and
  • be at least 18 years of age.

 Campus Security Officer Database

The CSO database is online and ready for use. All CSO Points of Contact are required to enter their new employees into the database upon hiring, and maintain their records via this site. If you need login information for the database, please email Marc Dawkins.


Completed forms may be sent to by email -, by fax - 804-225-3853, or by mail - 1100 Bank St., Richmond, VA 23219. Proper documentation should be submitted with the form when applicable.

 Training, Events, and Resources

  Campus Security Officer Contact

Marc Dawkins
Email Marc