What are law enforcement training academies?

Anyone considering beginning a career in police work needs to think about what goes on at law enforcement training academies. They’re set up to train recruits in the basics of police work.  There are a variety of institutions that to do this, based on the branch of law enforcement that recruits are training to enter. 

If you’re going to become a police officer with a local police force, you’ll train at one of their law enforcement training academies.  Generally, large metropolitan police departments have their own academy which trains all of their recruits.  In smaller cities and rural areas that don’t have the budget to run an academy, they generally share a training facility among several law enforcement agencies, both state and local. Cadets training with a state police force will enter one of their law enforcement training academies, or one shared with other local or interstate agencies. 

Everyone entering a career in police work undergoes instruction at law enforcement training academies. The program for most law enforcement careers at the state or local level requires that you undergo anywhere from 12 to 14 weeks of intensive training.  These programs are rigorous and are comparable to going through basic training for military service, so graduating from a police academy requires an intense level of commitment and dedication. 

Law enforcement training academies structure their programs to include classroom training and field training.  The classroom portion of the curriculum requires that you be able to read and comprehend written material covering law enforcement procedures and the laws that you’ll be tasked with enforcing. Some of the subjects studied are observation skills, arrest tactics, use of force, civil liability, hostage negotiations and ethics. It’s extremely important that when an officer begins working in the field, they’re well versed in the particulars of law enforcement. Classroom training is critical to an officer’s ability to do their job effectively.

The other portion of what goes on at law enforcement training academies is the physical part of the program.  This demanding part of training requires that recruits be in excellent shape.  They’re subjected to a rigorous physical conditioning program which develops muscle strength, endurance, coordination and agility.  It’s wise for recruits to be in the best possible physical shape prior to entering law enforcement training academies to ensure that they’re able to pass the physical requirements necessary to graduate from law enforcement training academies.

Driving and shooting skills are also a part of the curriculum at law enforcement training academies.  Officers must pass target shooting tests and be able to do specialized driving maneuvers in order to graduate.


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