Police Officer Preparation & Law Enforcement Resource - Archive

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02-22-08, 04:40 PM
I've been doing a lot of reading recently, and I've seen many people say they are going to put themselves through the academy, in hopes of finding a job. I thought that if you take the tests for a certain PD, and pass the test and go to teh academy, you have a job when you graduate. Or is this something that differs from state-to-state, or dept.-to-dept? I have a few friends that are in the academy with the NYPD, and SCPD, and they took the test, and got into the academy, and will have jobs with those agencies upon graduation.


02-22-08, 05:43 PM
I believe the academy you are talking about is almost like a "trade school" you pay to attend it.

Then when you apply you can put on the application that you went through an academy, for a better chance to get hired.

It's not an "academy" per se, more like a "school/class".

02-22-08, 05:52 PM
I know that in New Hampshire there is only one academy for all officers in the state, and you cannot attend it unless a department or state or county agency has hired you and sends you there.

02-22-08, 07:53 PM
In my general experience, it all depends on where you live. Here in Illinois and Indiana, you have to be hired by a police department first, who will then pay to send you to the academy. But across the river in St. Louis, you have to go to the academy first, get certified, and then you can apply to different departments. Like I said, it just depends on where you happen to live.

02-22-08, 08:03 PM
Here in wisconsin, different departments have different ways of doing it. Some departments (Madison, Milwaukee, and State Police....etc) have their own academy that they put you through once you get hired. Other departments (most small towns) you must be "certifiable" to become a police officer. There are some small towns that will send you to a academy that hosts multiple departments. It depends on the department in wisconsin.

02-22-08, 09:33 PM
In PA , if there are openings and you qualify , and you have the 3 grand for the class, and you maintain your own health insurance , and you buy your own uniforms , have a place to live and can eat...

You can put yourself through and get certified. There is no guarantee of a job but unless you have a bad background, there is a HIGH probability that you will get a job here.

02-22-08, 09:34 PM
My state, GA; is one of those where you could do either. Get hired first or go to the academy first. It also does the 'certifiable' thing to. Even getting hired first and going second, you aren't 'certified' (have arrest powers) until the department that hires you sends in paperwork after academy completion.

02-23-08, 08:16 AM
In Florida you can pay to go to the academy. Most places near where I lived required you to go and be certified before they would even talk to you. A very small number of agencies would sponsor you, and there were morale and personnel reasons they sponsored people.

02-24-08, 11:44 AM
In Maine they have some open spots where you can pay to attend the academy. If you do you are almost guaranteed to get hired somewhere since you are already academy trained.

02-24-08, 12:05 PM
In New Jersey there is something called "Alternate Route" where you pay your own way through the academy and are not sponsored by a department. Once you pass the academy you have 3 years to get hired by a department or you lose your certification and have to do it all over again.

Roger Dat
02-24-08, 05:45 PM
In New York you can get into an academy without a job however as I have come to understand it you cannot completet it until hired. They will not let you complete firearms for EVOC without a department. Basically aafter you complete phase 1 you go try and get hired. Once a department hires you they only lose you to training for about 2 weeks while completing the academy. Makes you more of a desireable candidate.

02-24-08, 06:24 PM
I am not sure if they can still do this in Arizona (AZ peeps jump in if you know) but you used to be able to pay to go through an academy (community college) as a "self sponsor" long as you passed a background investigation done by a legitimate police entity.

Once you successfully completed the academy, there were lot of smaller agencies hiring them like crazy because they did not have to pay for the academy and could put you right on the streets. None of the major police departments in Arizona accepted this, though, and you still had to complete their specific academies.

If I am not mistaken, the certification after a self-sponsor was only good for three years.

It is my impression that this practice was stopped and you now have to be sponsored by a department.

02-24-08, 06:51 PM
In Texas there are generally three ways to attend an academy:

1. Apply and get hired by a large municipality (and possibly the larger SO's) such as Dallas, Fort Worth, etc. Those pd's have their own academies that all hires have to go through.

2. Get hired by a medium size municipality that sends it's new officers (along with several other area cities) to a regional police academy. This is what I did.

3. Apply at one of the various accredited community or state colleges and enter their criminal justice program with a police officer concentration. Many of them have day and night academies after which you take the TCLEOSE exam. Many of the smaller municipalities and SO's hire from these recruits because they do not have to pay for the academy.

The first two routes are great because you are paid while attending the academy. I could not afford to work and put myself through a college academy. The down side for some people is that those PD's usually require a higher level of education to even be considered for employment.

P.S. There are also several trade schools (just watch the local TV channels) that offer criminal justice training and "certification". In my experience these "colleges" are not viewed with the same reputation level of any of the above routes.

Hope that helps.

02-27-08, 09:33 AM
For NC, you basically have one of three options (similiar to Belvetron's post):

1. Get hired by a department before you are certified and then go to that departments Academy (Charlotte-Mecklenburg PD is a good example of that).

2. Get hired BEFORE you go to an Academy and get paid (and the Academy paid for by the department) as you go to a "Generic Academy," i.e. they are teaching BLET (Basic Law Enforcement Training) and after finishing you will go back to your department as a certified officer

3. Go to the same Academy as above but without having been hired (i.e. pay your own way) so that you can have a greater potential for being hired later.

The advantages to #1 and #2 are that you are already on with a department, you are getting paid, and you have a job when you graduate - the disadvantage is that you may have to wait through a long process to get hired and THEN have to go to the Academy after you get hired (i.e. more time between you and being on the street).

The advantage to #3 is that you can start at your "leisure" or discretion and will have more going for you when you do apply to those agencies. The disadvantages is obviously that (a) you are not getting paid to go (b) you are paying your own way and (c) you are not guaranteed a job when you get out of it.

All pretty much have one big thing in common - you are certified after you are finished.

On a personal note, I did option 3 for my Academy because I wanted to get through BLET and a class was starting before the next phase of hirings. I did pretty well and had an offer of employment from my agency right around the half-way point (I began the employment process before the Academy).

Hope this helps.


03-21-08, 07:08 AM
Like many have said it varies state to state, and each dept in that state will treat you different.
Alot of states I've researched will allow you to get your state certification on your own should you choose, however many larger departments may still make you go through their own academy. Self Sponser is helpful to getting install smaller or even part time depts.
Here in Illinois though, you can do no such thing. you must show proof and be sponsered by a dept before you can even apply to the academy or school. Thus making it even harder to gain employment in LE..

03-21-08, 07:17 AM
In Maine, most spots at the MCJA are reserved for agencies sponsoring their newly hired officers.

However, sometimes there are slots available for private persons who pay their own way through. It's generally only a few thousand dollars.

Thomas College in Waterville also sends it's 4-year criminal justice students to the Maine Criminal Justice Academy to get certified and become extremely marketable upon graduation.

03-23-08, 10:12 PM
In Ms, you can pay to put yourself through the Academy. It is the regular academy and you have the same cert that someone that is sponsored gets.