Where Do Police Officers Train?

In the United States, there are different types of law enforcement agencies, each of which have different training requirements. There are federal, state, city and county police forces, and within the federal law enforcement agencies there are different divisions. Therefore, there is no single training academy for cops in the United States. Police academies exist in almost every state and each state has an agency that certifies police training academies and their programs. There is a minimum physical and academic requirement in most states which aspiring cops have to meet before they are allowed to be admitted in the police training academies. Some states allow open enrollment in training academies while others require candidates to be hired by a law enforcement agency before they are sent for training. Some states and departments require candidates to pass background checks, psychological evaluation, polygraph tests, drug screening, and demonstrate driving skills.

People who enroll in the basic cops training are selected to become patrol officers as well. Police training academies in the US offer more or less some basic training, and those who are able to clear the training are given badges and side arms to indicate their expert skills. Police training involves physical as well as educational training. Candidates are taught how to protect themselves and the people in their vicinity along with overpowering and arresting criminals. They are also taught traffic and criminal law, safety techniques, defensive tactics, report writing, emergency vehicle operation, first responder training and weapon, and firearms usage training. The general duration of police training varies from thirteen to fifteen weeks.

There is a police training officer program that is funded by the department of justice and recruits in the US where cops are sent for training after having completed their basic training. This is an educational based training, and is a 16-week training program. It is designed to replace the field officer program. The training is broken into four phases and the duration of each phase is four weeks. The trainings imparted to recruits are: non-emergency, emergency, patrol and criminal investigation. Each phase of the process is accompanied by hands on training exercises. It also teaches recruits how to interact with community residents to deal with crime and neighborhood problems effectively.

This new system of cop training was rolled out and tested in 2000 and has been adapted by police training academies across the United States. The program has been reviewed and revised since its launch. This training’s approach is a problem solving approach and has been adapted by several states.