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is police academy actually easy? Or is it difficult?

I've interacted with a couple of police officers before and each one has told me that the academy is easy. But I don't know if they were being sarcastic or completely serious. #police-officer #law-enforcement #police

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Scott’s Answer

I have ten years of experience teaching on three different police academy staffs (Washington State Basic Law Enforcement Academy, Seattle Police Academy, Washington Police Corps). I estimate that I have taught over four thousand recruits. Your question is one that cannot be answered. The reason I say that is because if you asked the top 25% of the class they may say the academy was "easy". Ask those that washed out and they would say the academy was "hard". Each of academy I taught at had it's own personality. The same recruit may have done very well at one but not at another one.

I could give you an educated guess about how you'd do at the police academy but I'd have to know the answer to many questions such as:
- The reputation of the police academy (college atmosphere, para-military, high physical demands, high academic demands, or both)
- Your level of preparation
- Your ability to operate under stress
- Your ability to multitask
- Your physical fitness level
- Your ability to get along with others
- Your study habits/academic ability
- Number of outside distractions while attending the academy

There are some common themes for recruits that wash out of the academy:
- Do not operate well under stress
- Poor ability to multitask
- Weak academically/poor study habits
- Too much black and white thinking. Police work is rarely black and white. You must be flexible and be able to operate in the grey.
- Poor physical conditioning

You'll do just fine at the academy if you have the tools, ability, and desire. I will be retiring soon with thirty-eight years of service. It's a great career and I wish you the best.
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Scott’s Answer

Police academies vary from organization to organization. Some of the more investigative agencies focus on more class work and less physical work. Some of the more paramilitary and state police agencies have both very difficult school work coupled with physically demanding training like boxing, mma, running, pull-ups, push-ups, etc. The durations range from a dozen weeks or so at the easiest of academies to almost six months for my old agency. At the latter academies you should be prepared to run 5 or more miles at a minimum of an 8 minute/mile pace and be prepared for a black eye and some bruises at a minimum during the combat training. The best academies also focus heavily on firearms proficiency. No matter where you go, prepare to most likely be pepper sprayed, CN/CS gassed, and/or tazed in addition to the rest. Realize that you want to be prepared for adversity and the only way you can do that is to experience adversity in a relatively controlled environment. Hope that helps.
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James’s Answer

Easy or hard is based on a personal experience. As with any profession, if you apply yourself, the academy may be easier than if you didn't. It is the ground work for what you will learn in field training. See yourself as being successful with the goal of your loved one pinning on that new badge, that symbol of public trust.
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Harold’s Answer

The police academy can be difficult. I attended two academies in Connecticut. The municipal academy was two and one half months back in 1981. The Connecticut State police academy was six months long and was more like Marine Corps boot camp. The physical training can be difficult, if you are not prepared. The education can also be difficult, if you have not performed well in regular school.
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