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how long is the training for a police officer?

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Jyoti’s Answer

Hi Naileah, recruitment practices for police officers/law enforcement officers vary by city and state. In my experience from the State of Illinois, one must achieve a Bachelor’s Degree (Criminology or related) and complete academy training to meet highly desired qualifications. Other departments do accept Associate Degree graduates as well, it really depends on the city you’re seeking future employment. Just like other careers, gaining early work experience can be an asset to one’s employability. A career in private security could be a good start in early related employment. A career training in the United States military is also highly valued for future law enforcement careers as well. Military service duty ranges. Here are a few suggestions. Best wishes in your career goals!

Jyoti recommends the following next steps:

Contact law enforcement agencies in cities you hope to work, ask about their recruitment criteria including education requirements, police academy length, and typical experiences held by new hires.
Contact military recruitment agencies to inquire about training and duty/service length requirements, and roles available related to skills needed for high-performing law enforcement officers.
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Kevin’s Answer

There are two basic stages for training when you are talking about training length. Those time lengths depend on a state or the agency's policy.

The police academy: This can range from 4-16 weeks. Occasionally departments will also have an advanced academy.

Field Training and Evaluation: On the job training. This can be an additional 4-16 weeks long.

Additionally, you will have a probationary time period that can be up to 2 years or longer.

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Cale’s Answer

Initially, police officers (municipal versus county or state have different specifics) with zero experience attend an "Academy" where they learn the local laws, techniques, driving, shooting, medical care, etc... This academy varies in length (mine was 6 months long). Academies usually follow an 8-hour class day, 4 to 5 days a week with weekends off. After several tests for proficiency and knowledge, you graduate from the academy and apply for law enforcement jobs that are available (note: many cadets already have been hired by agencies and have jobs waiting for them but some start the job-seeking process while in the academy and some start after graduation). Once you are employed, you begin your "on the job" training where you partner up with a training officer. This process lasts approx 4 months and during this time you are exposed to as many training opportunities as possible. Trainees are expected to handle as many calls as possible, write as many reports, and make as many arrests as they can to deepen their experience before being released to police on their own. On the trainee passes the training phase, they are fully released to make the city, county, or state safer. It's a wonderful experience.
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