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Police Academy Questions?

Is it true that you get tased and pepper sprayed in the police academy? What if you have no prior knowledge on how to use a firearm, will they teach you?

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Aisha’s Answer

Hello Grant,

To become a police officer, one crucial step is completing the police academy. This academy is a challenging blend of educational and physical training designed to equip aspiring officers with the skills to meet their job's demands. While there isn't a universal curriculum for police academies across the U.S., most programs share common elements.

Being tased is often part of the training but isn't universally mandatory. This varies from department to department. The purpose of this is to give officers firsthand knowledge of a taser's effects, which can be useful if they're ever accused of using excessive force. However, not all departments deem this necessary. Firearm training is also included in the curriculum.

Best regards.
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much, Aisha! Grant
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Walter’s Answer

Aloha Grant,

There are no absolutes, each department has their own requirements and remember not all departments utilize Tazers and/or pepper spray. When I started my career, neither were available. We had mace and yes we did get exposed to it as well as tear gas. Along the way pepper spray and Tazers did become part of our required equipment and we did get pepper sprayed and Tazered. By no means enjoyable, but the little discomfort was more than worth it to accomplish my goal of becoming a police officer and if you think about the reasoning it does make sense.
1 it provides you with a understanding of the capability and limitations of the tool.
2 You are able to feel from a receivers stand point the effects which may provide you with perspective on why you should not abuse these tools.
If the department that you are interested in requires it, don’t stress it. It’s not a significant enough issue to keep you from achieving your goals.

If you do have experience with firearms it doesn’t hurt as every department have basic minimum competencies that you need to pass when qualifying with your firearms. No department should ever graduate someone who can’t at least demonstrate the ability to shoot safely and skillfully and if you already do so, it’s just one less thing to worry about. The good news is that most recruits entering the academy do not have previous firearm experience so if you do not as well you will not be alone and the department will provide you with the proper training and range time.
Thank you comment icon Thank you, this is really helpful. Grant
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Andy’s Answer

Grant,

Yes you do have to get pepper sprayed and tased in order to carry either weapon. As for weapons training you spend about 3 weeks on the range starting with the basic fundamentals and working your way up to combat shooting.

Andy
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James’s Answer

Hello! It's important to know that nearly all departments will subject you to spray and taser exposure. Indeed, some might even expose you to CS gas and guide you on the correct way to don a gas mask. This part of the training can be intense and uncomfortable, but it's absolutely essential.

A large number of individuals who choose a career in law enforcement have no previous experience handling firearms. Rest assured, they will certainly provide you with comprehensive training. In fact, this could turn out to be an advantage for you. If you've never handled a gun before, you're more likely to fully absorb the training as you won't have any pre-existing habits or experiences to interfere with your learning.
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Jerry’s Answer

An interesting question.

I would assume at many police academies they would wish the cadets to experience such devices in order that they understand the type of weapon they are using and its effects on whomever they are using it on. If it's part of the educational process, I see no problem with it.

As to firearms. I would have a basic understanding of how to use a firearm prior to application to the academy. I would initially research what types of firearms the department uses. Both "as carry" in uniform and anything additional in emergencies. I fully agree with one of your commentators that you should become familiar with firearms. Both hand firearms and those of a rifle type. This is not that difficult to do. I know a young man who became interested in firearms and had no difficulty becoming involved in a local, very professional, training program. You may have to do a little research, but I'm sure, with a little effort, you can become acquainted with such weapons. It may be that you will encounter some expenses. But this is the way things work. If one wants something badly enough, one must be willing to monetarily sacrifice. In my opinion, do the firearm training before application to the police academy. Having done so may be a positive regarding your application.

I trust that the police department that sponsors the academy has a very good reputation as to how it conducts itself. A simple reading of the news tells me that there are many police departments about the country that have lost whatever good reputation they have had.

I wish you all the best. We need good police officers.
Thank you comment icon Thanks! Appreciated! Grant
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James Constantine’s Answer

Hello Grant!

This is Jim, checking in from Australia.

Indeed, police academy recruits often go through training that includes experiencing the effects of a Taser and pepper spray. These training techniques aim to equip recruits with the skills and confidence to handle real-life scenarios they might face while on duty.

Taser training, also referred to as Conducted Electrical Weapon (CEW) training, is meant to help recruits understand the impact of a Taser. Usually, recruits are tased themselves to fully comprehend the physical and mental effects. This first-hand experience underscores the importance of proper use and potential implications on individuals they may encounter during their service.

Pepper spray, or Oleoresin Capsicum (OC) spray, is another common tool used by law enforcement for self-defense and subduing suspects. Recruits might be exposed to pepper spray during training to understand its effects and learn its proper use. This training boosts their confidence in managing situations where pepper spray might be necessary.

It's crucial to mention that, while these training methods can be intense and uncomfortable, they are carried out in controlled settings by trained instructors who prioritize recruits' safety and well-being. The goal is not to cause harm, but to offer practical experience and ensure recruits are ready for the challenges they might face as police officers.

As for firearms training, police academies usually provide comprehensive instruction on firearm safety, handling, and marksmanship. Recruits with no prior experience or knowledge of firearms receive detailed training to ensure they can handle firearms safely and effectively. This training includes classroom instruction on firearm laws, regulations, and procedures, as well as practical exercises on shooting ranges where recruits learn proper shooting techniques, target acquisition, and situational awareness.

Firearms training in police academies follows strict safety protocols to reduce the risk of accidents or mishandling. Recruits are taught to prioritize safety at all times and to handle firearms responsibly. The training aims to instill discipline, accuracy, and confidence in recruits' ability to use firearms appropriately when necessary.

In summary, police academy recruits often undergo training that includes being tased and pepper sprayed to prepare them for real-life scenarios they might face while on duty. Additionally, recruits with no prior knowledge of using a firearm receive comprehensive training in firearm safety, handling, and marksmanship.

Top 3 Authoritative Reference Publications or Domain Names Used:

1. National Institute of Justice (NIJ) - www.nij.ojp.gov
2. PoliceOne - www.policeone.com
3. North Carolina Department of Justice - www.ncdoj.gov

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Is it true that you get tased and pepper sprayed in the police academy? ... What if you have no prior knowledge on how to use a firearm, will they ...

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I hope this information is helpful.
God Bless!
Thank you comment icon You rock! This advice is very helpful. Grant
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Kim’s Answer

Grant,
Unfortunately, many academies believe everyone needs to be tased and pepper-sprayed. This means either you go along with the program, or, try to find a department that does not do this. You can watch videos of tasing. It's very quick, and they have spotters to catch you and assist you as you fall to the ground. I recently witnessed a tasing demonstration, and it was quickly over. As to pepper-spray, it will irritate your mucous membranes - eyes, nose, and mouth. I've never participated in one, although I used pepper spray to try to stop my dogs from fighting. It did not work!

As to firearms, yes, they will teach you how to shoot. However, I highly recommend you find someone to take you shooting prior to the academy, or take a class at a range, or something. By the time you get to the academy, you want to be familiar with looking through the gun sights, as well as understand the mechanics of how the gun works. The academy will teach you how they want you gripping the gun, standing, reloading, etc. You will probably want to spend some time at the range while you are in the academy as well, on your own time. There is a lot to learn about guns, such as how to reload if one arm has been shot, etc. - there's a lot more to it than just being able to hit a target while standing still.

All that being said, what you do NOT want to do is develop a lot of bad habits in how you shoot or handle a firearm. That is why I recommend going to a reputable range, taking a concealed carry class, or something - and ALWAYS pay attention to the safety rules!

One final note: the academy is designed to be tough - to keep you alive when you get to the streets. Learn, be confident, work as a team. Believe in yourself! Kim
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! Very very helpful! Grant
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