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How do I Choose the Best Police Academy?

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  • Written By: Ken Black
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 25 October 2016
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Typically, the recommended way to choose the best police academy is to look at factors such as location and jurisdiction, which may severely limit the number of choices available. The most important thing is to choose a jurisdiction in which you want to work and find out what the requirements are for law enforcement work there. In most cases, people who want to work in a specific region will need to choose an academy within that region.

In order to choose the best police academy, it is necessary to make sure you can be accepted into the program. Often, police academies are not run by open enrollment. The only way to get in, in some cases, is to be sponsored by a police department willing to hire you. Thus, many aspiring law enforcement officers actually look to get hired before ever even attending a police academy. As an added benefit, this also usually means the police department will pay the costs of the academy.

If an academy has an open enrollment program, you are more at liberty to choose the best academy based on a number of personal preference factors. This will still involve studying the different academies in the region in which you wish to work. Options that may be available to you include availability of classes, the location within the region, and the cost of the program.

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When classes are offered is one element to consider in order to choose the best police academy. If your schedule is not flexible, then it may be best to look for an academy which offers non-traditional hours. It may be impossible to find an academy that offers training entirely on weekends or evenings, but at least a portion of the training may be offered then. Some may also offer an accelerated schedule, provided you meet all the physical requirements in a timely manner.

When looking at costs, remember that there may be ways to fund a police academy training other than paying for it personally. If you are already hired by a law enforcement department, the department will often pay for the school. If you are planning to personally pay for the academy, it is important to consider how much the entire course will cost and what payment options are available. Payment options and costs will likely be part of what you consider when it comes time to choose the best police academy for you.

While it may be possible to choose from many academies within your region of choice, sometimes the location can make a big difference. Some individuals, when trying to choose the best police academy, will look to see if the academy is close to their present location. Other applicants may be interested in working in a different location, whether for the location itself or the contacts that may be made along the way. This is a choice based on your own personal preferences.

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baileybear
Post 3

@abiane - I was in the military and went into the LAPD academy with my GI Bill. I think a lot of us ex-military end up in law enforcement. Honestly, using my GI Bill would have been the same as having the City of Los Angeles pay for my training, so there's no real difference on that side of the fence. Now, if I weren't a veteran then I probably would have looked for a place that could put me through at no cost to me or just gone through a Criminal Justice academy.

abiane
Post 2

@WalrusTusk - I read on another article's comments that even though some law enforcement training academies will put you through at no cost to you, it might be better to invest in it yourself. Compared to other degrees, Police Academy is relatively inexpensive and lasts a short period of time. I think the Police Departments like to see the initiative... so I can definitely understand that reasoning. That, and they don't have to pay out of their funding or pockets for a new Rookie if you know what I mean.

WalrusTusk
Post 1

Many larger Police Departments will volunteer to put you through their local academy if you pass the required tests. Any law enforcement academy is going to truly challenge you, however, and you should expect to be in a high stress environment from the get go.

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