What is Peace Officer Training?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 30 November 2019
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Peace officer training is preparation for a person who wants to become a police office or similar type of law enforcement official. The types of training a person may receive for a career in law enforcement may vary, depending on the jurisdiction. In most places, however, peace officer training includes a classroom learning component as well as training in physical fitness. Usually this type of program also includes firearms training and instruction in using defensive maneuvers.

Each jurisdiction may have unique requirements for those interested in peace officer training. Many jurisdictions set a minimum age for eligibility, such as 19 or 20, but a jurisdiction may set just about any requirement. Many jurisdictions also require applicants to earn high school or general educational development (GED) diplomas. If an individual has taken college courses, some jurisdictions may set grade point average requirements as well. Additionally, a person interested in becoming a peace officer may have to submit to drug testing, criminal record checks, and driving record checks.


Typically, a person who undergoes peace officer training spends some time in the classroom learning about local laws and practices for collecting evidence and searching and seizing property. He also learns about the use of radar and emergency vehicles. Often, a person in this type of training program also learns first aid and receives instruction in fingerprinting. Accident investigation is often included in this type of training program as well. An individual pursuing a career in this field may also receive training in conflict resolution and effective methods of communication.

Physical training is often a big part of peace officer training. Those pursuing this field may engage in weight resistance training and learn self-defense techniques. They may also undergo training exercises that build stamina, such as long-distance running. Often, individuals interested in becoming peace officers also participate in training exercises that require them to run or drive through obstacle courses. In some cases, training may also include exercises designed to prepare trainees to rescue people from water.

Those undergoing peace officer training typically receive instruction and get hands-on practice in the operation of firearms and vehicles used in the field. A person in such a training program can usually expect to be trained in firing guns, firearm safety, and dealing with situations in which he may have to draw his gun. He may also receive instruction and practice in defensive driving and dealing with hazardous driving conditions.


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