Police Academy Requirements

Police Academy Requirements in the US

Serving in a local police force is certainly not for everybody. It takes intelligence, courage, and stamina to be a good and effective police officer. So it is not surprising for police training to be hard and the Police academy application requirements exacting. This allows police academies to get the right people into the service and then train them for skill and tactical knowledge.



Eagerness to serve complimented with the right physical and psychological attributes can go a long way for individuals who want to enforce law and order in their respective communities. This article will attempt to provide an accurate general overview of the application process and the Police academy requirements needed to get into the police academy.

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Preliminary Police Academy Requirements

First and foremost, a police academy applicant must be eligible for public service. Passing the civil service exam is a must. Problems with eligibility can prevent applicants from going further into police training. Civil service exams are often given by the City Administration Office. Only when candidates clear this Police academy requirement they are considered for the selection process.

  • The Applicant Processing Division is the first stop of aspiring police officers. It is here where thorough background check is done. Police academies process thousands of candidates every year but only those who are the most qualified are considered to go further into preliminary selection.
  • Medical exam and character screening – in this stage the overall physical health condition of the applicant is scrutinized. Those who are deemed unfit to go on are advised to discontinue their application. This is followed by the character pre-screening. Being a servant of the law demands good character and this is why failing in this part of the process can hint disqualification. Additional Police academy  requirements include submission of records of academic achievement. This can mean 60 credits in college or having at least 2 years of active service in the military.
  • Deeper investigation to an applicant’s character – Having the right character can make a lot of difference in the field. Having a strict code of conduct driven by innate moral principles is better than adhering to rules for mere compliance. Discrepancies in character can be a major blunder in one’s continuing pursuit to be a police officer.
  • Written psychological testing – applicants must pass a standardized psychological test. This allows police academies to decide if a person has the psychological fitness to go through the police training course. This also allows the academy to have a more definite psychological profile of the aspiring police officer. Working as a policeman can be very stressful. Psychological preparedness or unpreparedness can make or break officers in active duty.
  • Oral psychological testing – an oral interview must be passed by applicants which basically solicits psychological t endencies and inclinations. This can help the academy decide better to accept the aspiring police officer or not into its ranks as a cadet.


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Police Academy Requirements – The Job Standard Test

The job standard tests can vary in content and form from one police academy to the next. The focus of this test is to find out if the applicant has the physical stamina and perseverance to do the tasks that are designed to simulate real-life situations a police officer can experience in the field. This test is often timed and can include tasks such as climbing flights of stairs, going over barriers, running simulation pursuits on the streets, rescuing victims, restraint simulation, and using the gun. This test is a key assessment tool for police academies as it starts to narrow down the applicants and judge who can do more and be more after he or she finishes the whole police course.

Other Police Academy Requirements

When the applicant passes initial testing and is able to furnish the preliminary Police academy requirements, he or she is then required to produce a driver’s license valid in the state where the academy is located. This is in preparation for possible employment in the local police force. This is also necessary for training purposes as police training courses include driving a motor vehicle. Scholastic records must also be submitted which includes a high school diploma and college credits with a 2.0 GPA. All applicants in the police academy must be at least 17 ½ years old upon application. There is however an age limit (up to 35 years old) on the day of application. The completion of the police officer’s course in the academy has a minimum age requirement which is set at 21 years old. It is also important to mention that only United States citizens are eligible for appointment in any of the country’s police force.


Tips in Meeting Police Academy Requirements in the US

Being a career officer in one of the nation’s police forces is more than a job. For many it is a lifelong ambition to serve the public as a professional law enforcer. To better your odds of getting your police badge you need to consider these pointers:


  1. Get good grades – academic aptitude is a key factor in the selection process in police academies all over the country. The last thing you want to do is fail making it to police training because of mediocre scholastic performance.
  2. Get in shape – physical fitness is all part of the being a police officer. It is a physically demanding job. Develop love for sports, exercise in a daily basis, and eat a balanced diet. This can pay off when you start qualifying physical testing in the academy.
  3. Prepare for your dream to be a police officer – if you are inclined to the idea of keeping peace in your community as a police officer, get your choices in life all lined up towards that direction. You can serve in the military and get psychologically and emotionally prepared for high-tension work environments. You can also pursue related fields of study in college to better prepare for the police academy.
  4. Keep a clean record – Never take chances with the law. Do not do anything that is against the law no matter how “petty” the applicable infraction might be.


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