Don’t be fooled or beguiled into accepting anyone’s interpretation of how to prepare for a police academy. The information posted at effective.fitness warns that each academy has different standards, so ultimately, you should research the academy to which you plan to apply. With that caveat in mind, the following general tips make sense.
1. Start Your Training Early
Getting into healthy shape makes sense no matter which academy you choose. Most academies have PT standards, and a healthy training program will help you get into better physical shape. Begin your program with calisthenics, core work, and increasing your endurance through running. Gradually incorporate strength training into the mix.
2. Study for the Post Exam
Applicants to a police academy in any state except Hawaii must pass the Police Officer Standards and Training or Peace Officer Standards exam. Known as the POST exam, each state exam differs, so you need to research your state’s testing procedure. Remember that researching the facts ranks as an important police officer skill, and you should apply your investigative skills to researching the test’s requirements.
3. Consider Earning an Associate’s Degree
According to a post published at learn.org, earning an associate’s degree in law enforcement or applied science can better prepare you for any state’s POST exam. The program takes two years to earn 60 credits, and the courses will prepare you with a good grounding in criminal procedures, ethics, maintaining evidence properly, investigative techniques, and victimology. Some schools actually provide an opportunity to attend a police academy as part of your curriculum for earning a degree.
4. Investigate Alternative Training
Those who definitely plan to make law enforcement a career can get early training in high school or skills-oriented programs that include vocational and trade schools, which often provide police-academy-type training. School training might include ROTC, which prepares cadets for self-discipline, physical conditioning, and respecting the chain of command, essential law enforcement characteristics. Many youthful aspirants choose military service in lieu of a degree or training program, which provides financial incentives while training and completing a stint in military service.
5. Learn to Make Essential Attitude Adjustments
Your mindset basically controls every aspect of qualifying and training for the police academy. Learn about the gear you will use by studying police officer suppliers. Learn to be a reliable team player and to relinquish control when necessary. Learning how to adapt to your environment provides benefits that go beyond preparing for the police academy, which stands you in good stead during your law enforcement career.
Preparing for a career in law enforcement might seem stessful, but thankfully, it’s not as overwhelming as it seems. By taking a few proactive steps, you will be able to ease your worries at about a career in law enforcement and be ready to excel as you have already sharpened the skills you will need in a career serving your community. Working in law enforcement has its unique challenges, responsibilities, and benefits so it’s important to prepare yourself so you can have the best career possible.