Police officers must go through extensive training before they’re fit for duty. While some choose to earn bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice, a college education is not required to entire the force. Instead, aspiring policemen and women must earn high school diplomas, possibly complete some college-level coursework and complete their training at the police academy.
Police academy training programs learn everything from state laws to federal regulations and police conduct. A variety of policing strategies are also taught, including self-defense, firearms training, defensive driving, and first aid.
General Education Requirements
All police officers must have a high school diploma or GED. Some departments require some college experience as well, be it a certification program or associate’s level degree. While in high school, students can begin to prepare themselves for the police force by taking electives or college courses in subjects such as psychology, criminology, and legal studies.
Being in good physical shape is also important, so any prospective officers should learn about health and nutrition and establish a workout routine. In addition to physical strength, endurance is important as officers need to be able to respond quickly and possibly chase down suspects.
Police Training Programs
Once a person has been accepted to the police academy, they will undergo both classroom instruction and hands-on training. Recruits need to learn patrol procedures and traffic control as well as be physically trained in hand-to-hand combat and firearms.
Fieldwork is also an extensive part of police training. During field exercises, police academy recruits gain first-hand experience through real and simulated experiences such as mock crime scene investigations and directing traffic. Most police academy programs last roughly five to six months.
Within half a year of starting their education, recruits will be able to take the exams and, if they pass, become eligible for a job.
Is College Required To Become A Police Officer?
Although it is not legally required, some police academies and state departments require their officers to have a college education. Many aspiring officers wish to broaden their own knowledge and commit to an associate’s or bachelor’s degree program in law enforcement, criminal justice or psychology.
Investigating local police academy admission requirements will provide hopeful recruits with all the information they need to begin their preparations.