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How To Prepare For Police Academy

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Police Academy Training Overview For Police Officer

HOW TO PREPARE FOR THE ACADEMY| Police Academy Survival Guide

You may be thinking, I want to become a police officer and go to the Law Enforcement Training Academy but how can I possibly prepare for for it before arriving?

Well here it is in a nutshell-you better prepare for the ride of your life.

The Police Department is a paramilitary organization and the training is such that you are required to be physically and mentally challenged.

Get A Law Enforcement Study Guide

The first thing you will want to do is get a good police academy review guide that will prepare you academically. You will then need to prepare yourself physically. You will want to be able to run 2.0 miles in less than 15 minutes and 30 seconds. This may sound easy, but trust me it is not as easy as you think if you do not prepare in advance.

Physical Fitness Test

You should be running at least three months before the academy begins. You should start with half a mile and work your way up to 2.5 miles. This way you are more than ready to do the 2.0 miles that is required by many academies.

You should be able to do 60+ sit ups in less than 2 minutes. You should be able to do 60+ pushups in the same amount of time. If you can get this down, you are in good shape.

Prepare Yourself Mentally and academically

The name of the game is stress. You will put under an inordinate amount of stress so your reactions can be evaulated. If you are able to cope with this stress then you will succeed much easier than a recruit who cannot.

Control Yourself

Visit The Shooting Range

Theres no need to enter the police academy as an expert sharpshooter, but shooting is a skill that will develop over time. Therefore, the more hours you can put in prior to the academy, the better youll fare.

Get comfortable with common firearms such as 12-gauge shotguns, 9mm handguns, and .40 cal handguns. In addition to spending time at the range, take a basic firearms safety course to familiarize yourself with disciplined firearms handling.

How To Prepare For The Police Academy In 2021

Let’s get this straight from the start. Every police academy is different. The standards one agency has may be completely different than the standards of another agency of an agency city or town.

The first step in preparing for the Academy is to reach out to the agency you are interested in joining and learning from them first hand what to expect.

Find an officer that is fresh out of the academy and ask them all the questions you have.

Common questions to ask include:

  • What is the typical day look like in the Academy? What about a week?
  • What does the PT look like?
  • How many days were you running?
  • Did you do any strength training?
  • Did you get any breaks throughout the day?
  • What does education look like?
  • How much time did you spend time outside the Academy preparing or studying?
  • Is there anything that you wish you knew before starting the Academy?
  • Is there any advice you can give me before I start?

It is best to do research about the requirements of the Academy well before the Academy starts.

We recommend starting your training for the Academy at least 12 weeks out.

The more information you know about the Academy, the better you will be able to structure your fitness training leading up to the start.

Almost all Academies will have a PT test standard. Many require the recruits to pass the PT test before the Academy starts, while some require the recruits must pass the test at the end of the Academy.

Again, research and ask the agency beforehand.

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Workouts To Prepare You For The Police Department Physical Ability Test

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Military Fitness, Law Enforcement and Firefighters

In my last article, I talked about what it will take for aspiring police officers to pass the Physical Qualification Test or the Physical Ability Test . You will train for the test once youve entered the academy, but if you want to have a leg up before you even arrive, you should spend some extra time preparing. In order to pass, youll need to train with a workout plan tailored to the demands of the test.

This workout plan is comprised of four sessions per week, and you should give yourself a minimum of six weeks training before test day. Then, rest for the four days preceding the exam to ensure your body is 100% ready to go. Additionally, these workouts mimic the movements you will be doing during the PQT or PAT so you can maximize your performance.

After warming up, perform the workout in numerical order. Perform any numbers you see paired up as a superset . Try to get all four workouts completed within a week and do not mix the sequence of workouts, do workouts one through four in order.

Workout 2

1.5-Mile Run – Time yourself. The maximum time you have to run this course on test day will be around fourteen minutes. Keep a steady pace throughout, and push yourself to pick up the pace for the final quarter mile. Try to work down to eleven minutes or lower, so that even if test day is an off day for you, youll still have an easy time passing.

Workout 4

Police Academy Standards And Requirements

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Since the federal government doesnt have set guidelines on how to operate a law enforcement academy, every state has their own requirements. difference in training can differ from age requirements, course load, and protocol for scoring the police academy test.

While the training and testing process may vary from state to state, this article will more or less, provide you with clear cut ways to get into shape for the police academy. As you will soon find out, surviving the police academy requires superb physical conditioning.

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Get Info From American Military University

As an example of what candidates can expect to face, I have used the requirements from the Houston Police Departments physical fitness test. Many departments use the same or similar requirements, but it is recommended you verify the fitness requirements as some agencies differentiate the test instruments as well as requirements for gender and age. Below are some tips to help aspiring officers not only pass the fitness test, but exceed expectations.

The First Week Of Every Month Each Candidate Advancement Program Location Conducts The Physical Fitness Qualifier The Pfq Consists Of Four Events:

1) Maximum sit-ups in one minute2) 300-meter sprint3) Maximum push-ups in one minute, and4) 1.5 mile-run. This is the same physical fitness test that academy recruits take the third day of the police academy.

This is the same physical fitness test that academy recruits take the third day of the Police Academy. You will receive your advisory score at the end of the PFQ. This helps track your progress and assess your physical fitness before entering the LAPD Academy.

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Find Your Career Path

Once you have completed all of the requirements to become a police officer, your experience as a uniformed officer can lead to even more diverse opportunities in the field. There are numerous opportunities within law enforcement for you to exhibit your skills and knowledge. Depending on your level of education and experience in the field, you may have opportunities open to you within specialized divisions of law enforcement, such as becoming a detective, working in specialized drug units, fish and game wardens, or even for SWAT teams. At higher levels, police officers may even be eligible to find careers in immigration, The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, or even the U.S. Secret Service.

Police Academy Fitness Test


Youve made the decision and went through the process to become a police officer. You have been selected and have been given a conditional offer of employment. In the offer you are required to pass the background investigation, pass a Physical Ability Test and finally complete a police academy. Here is an example of what to expect before the Police Academy Fitness Test.

You think to yourself, am I ready? Am I in great physical shape to pass the PAT and the police academy?

I have been a police officer for over 10 years, a detective, on a SWAT team and a Field Training Officer . I graduated the police academy in 2007 and it was physically demanding. It was a good thing I kept myself in peak physical condition because at the academy, they did not have time for those who werent in shape. One of the instructors yelled at us, YOU COME HERE IN SHAPE, WE DO NOT HOLD HANDS AND YOU WILL NOT PASS IF YOU DONT MAKE THE STANDARDS.

I am going to give you some pointers on how to prepare for the PAT and academy. Most physical fitness tests arent a secret. The standards are available online so it is up to you to prepare for them.

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What You Should Be Doing To Prepare

Before partaking in any physical activity its required that you visit your physical for a full medical examination and clearance. Physical examination clearance is also a requirement before getting acceptance into the academy. Here are your conditioning tips:

Warm-up or stretch: You need to warm-up before any exercises in order to stimulate your cardiovascular system and muscle groups to reduce your risk for injury and increase performance.

Run: The idea behind running is to increase your speed and endurance, so that you can meet the minimal standards for running at the police academy. Run on both flat and hilly courses for about 1.5 miles every day, while timing yourself, in order to get your time under 11-13 minutes or so.

Strength/calisthenics: You need to develop your ability to get-up and down, squat, lunge, twist, reach, push, jump, and land, which are the typical actions required of law enforcement officers during working hours. Calisthenics build your strength and enhance endurance without causing over-use injuries associated with repetitive motion.

Additionally, the exercises improve mobility by exercising limbs to through a complete, controlled range-of-motion. So, do as many push-ups, sit-ups and chin-ups as you can within a certain time frame, and try to improve gradually, while giving yourself adequate rest between each set of exercises.

Cool down: This is important after vigorous activity to avoid pooling of blood, and sluggish circulation.

Police Academy Training Schedule

When getting in shape for the police academy, it is important to have a plan. Reach out to your local police department to learn the specific events and minimum scores for the physical agility exam. It may be helpful to attempt the test ahead of time to evaluate your current fitness level and any weaknesses you may need to improve. Then develop a training plan to improve your strength, speed and endurance.

Your workout program should include both running for aerobic training and strength training in the form of calisthenics and weight lifting. While you can include, and benefit from, other forms of aerobic exercise like cycling and swimming, the physical agility tests include a distance run and a sprint, so it is important that your body is acclimated to this activity.

If you are not currently a runner, start by alternating walking and running. Slowly increase the amount of time you spend running, and decrease the time you walk, until you can complete 30-minutes of running. Then work on improving your speed until you can complete the runs in the required time. When you run, keep your body tall and your chest lifted, and remember to breathe.

Read more: The Best Running Workouts to Transform Your Training

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Whats Covered In Academy Training

Local agencies, such as the Commission on Peace Officers Standards and Training, dictate the level of training required to become a police officer in their region. Academy training includes a blend of classroom and practical training. Youll take classes in firearms, first aid, criminal law, emergency vehicle operations, defensive tactics, and investigations. At the same time, youll learn about department processes for procedures like arrests and reports.

Most programs will include specialized training, based on the location. For example, departments in large metro areas may train on counterterrorism, riot control, and bomb squad. In addition, other programs may focus on community policing, problem-solving, and patrolling.

Bonus: 5 Tips For Writing A Good Report On The Written Exam

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One of the important tasks on the police written exam is writing a police report. Any candidate who is unable to write a legible report has little or no chances of becoming a police officer. It is true that your report writing skills will improve over time during your time in the academy and while on the job. However, you need the basics in order to be accepted.

Below you will find 5 tips on how to approach this written task in order to produce a good report. Make sure to practice this part of the exam at home so that you are not stressed out at the actual test. This is what you need to do:

  • Read the provided information quickly but carefully you are given 20 minutes to accomplish this part of the test so you do not have much time to spend on reading and wondering what to do. Therefore, you need to devote 2-3 minutes on reading the information given while paying attention to the details.
  • while reading note down only the important facts. These will be your main findings that should be included in the report. Remember that there is a fair amount of irrelevant details provided too.
  • Formulate your recommendations and consecutive actions as a police officer you will have to be able to provide logical solutions to the given problems. Problem solving is one of the main competences associated with a law enforcement job.
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    The Function Of The Physical Education Unit

    The training sessions with the P.E. Unit are intense and physically demanding. All sessions are geared toward tactical police skills, including but not limited to handcuffing, prisoner control, self-defense, ground fighting, pain compliance tactics, vehicle removal, weapon disarming, and the use of less lethal weapons.

    It is the mission of the P.E. Unit that Cadets graduate and start their respective careers in elite physical condition and are equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to complete the tasks faced as a Trooper. Below are several components that prospective Cadets should acknowledge:

  • Training sessions require active involvement from Cadets.
  • Training sessions are intense and repetitive. We train at a higher level than what is required for entry level standards.
  • All instructional training sessions begin with a thorough callisthenic warm-up routine that includes repetitive sets of body weight exercises such as sit-ups, pull-ups, push-ups, medicine ball, and rope climbs.
  • It is imperative that Cadets arrive with a strong and functional fitness foundation.
  • Arriving prepared will enable the Cadet to actively participate in the training sessions.
  • Arriving with a strong fitness foundation can reduce the chance of injuries and premature physical breakdown.
  • Training sessions are conducted outside in all weather conditions and over rugged terrain.
  • Qualifications For Joining A Police Academy

    Individuals who join the police academy come under different circumstances. Some recruits attend the academy after being hired by a local PD, while others will put themselves through the academy. In the case where recruits arent sponsored by a local police department, they will be responsible for all accrued cost, and payments for training. For that reason, self sponsorship isnt all that popular in many states.

    For those who are hired by a local agency, and then sent to the academy, they will not incur any costs, plus they will receive a salary during training. However, the department may demand that you fulfill their police academy requirements before getting admission. Some of these requirements include:

    • Aged above 21 years
    • Clean background and character check
    • Have a high school diploma or GED equivalent
    • Have a valid drivers license

    While what I have indicated are the typical requirements for joining a police academy, it is important to note as I mentioned earlier that requirement vary from state to state. For instance, the police academy age requirements for the Rhode Island State Police and, the Detroit Police Department is 18 years.

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    Prepare For The Written Test

    Now that you are familiar with structure of the police written exam, you have to start preparing for it. As we have already mentioned, your first source of information should be the department you are applying with. They will provide you with the details as to what type of test they use many states use the National Police Officer Selection Test . Some police agencies will use tests developed by third-party companies or develop their own tests. This information is of paramount importance for your prep process.

    The next thing to do is to find relevant test prep books, guides and sites that can help you ace the exam. There are also plenty of free prep materials so make good use of them too.

    Running Segment Of The Police Academy Test

    How to prepare for the Police Academy! (Tips & What to expect)

    One of the most significant challenges during the physical fitness test is to successfully complete a timed 1.5 mile run in 15:54 minutes or less. For men finishing in 10:30 to 12 minutes, that score is about average. To excel in this element of the test, candidates should aim for a time of 9:44 or faster, in order to be placed among the top candidates.

    For women, an average to good time is around 13:30 to 16 minutes. A time under 12:30 minutes will typically put a candidate at the top of the class.

    The Houston Police Department has the same requirements for both men and women, but some departments do differentiate the scoring for tests based on gender. I recommend that you check out your prospective departments fit test requirements.

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