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  • Putting Self Through Police Academy?

    Can you put yourself through the Police Academy in Illinois? If so where do they offer it at?

  • #2
    I looked into this for a long time, there a few things you should know first. All the police academies used to have this program, all but one dropped them. Once you get certified you still have to go through the normal testing process with a department and while they can pull your name first before any non-certified applicant, there are no guarantees. A recently retired chief told me that he would rather have a new guy then someone who has already been a police officer, so make sure you make it known that you only have the certification and sell yourself to the department as saving them money. Anyway all that said here is the link:

    http://www.southwesternpoliceacademy.com/Intern.htm

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    • #3
      I don't know how it works in Ill. but in NY we have certain academies that you can put yourself through. You pay to go through the academy, the one that I am going through (1 month left) you pay to go through it and it is part time so 3 days a week. Tues and Thurs- 5-10pm and Sat. 7am-5pm. You are a civ. when you are in it and you start applying places when your in the academy obv. taking as many tests as you can. I was lucky enough to get picked up and I am hired and sworn in. I am the only on in my class to be sworn in and working (part-time) but still in the academy. 3 other guys in my class have promises to get hired but none are sworn in yet. With the economy and budgets the way they are most departments are not hiring like they used to so having put yourself through an academy can give you a big advantage over the rest. You have 2 years to get hired otherwise your certificate is worthless so stay persistent. Best of luck.

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      • #4
        Thank you! Edittor you can delete this thread.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by jm23 View Post
          I looked into this for a long time, there a few things you should know first. All the police academies used to have this program, all but one dropped them. Once you get certified you still have to go through the normal testing process with a department and while they can pull your name first before any non-certified applicant, there are no guarantees. A recently retired chief told me that he would rather have a new guy then someone who has already been a police officer, so make sure you make it known that you only have the certification and sell yourself to the department as saving them money. Anyway all that said here is the link:

          http://www.southwesternpoliceacademy.com/Intern.htm
          I am sure the retired police chief was joking with you, cause that makes no sense!

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          • #6
            If that retired chief retired from a department that wasn't struggling financially, or at a time when his department wasn't struggling financially, it makes perfect sense. Why hire someone who is already trained to do things one way, when you have the resources to hire someone fresh and mold them you fit your department. Seems like it makes sense to me.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by ModerateLiberal View Post
              If that retired chief retired from a department that wasn't struggling financially, or at a time when his department wasn't struggling financially, it makes perfect sense. Why hire someone who is already trained to do things one way, when you have the resources to hire someone fresh and mold them you fit your department. Seems like it makes sense to me.
              Well there are many reasons and although you can argue points from the other side one reason being you know that a lateral/certified guy can do the job. Obviously percentages vary but there are many who dont make FTO or probation. This job is not meant for everyone. Ill tell you or Whitesox10 can tell you we both worked with a guy who left for another dept and said if he wasnt already a cop he would have failed their FTO because it was that hard. When you take a certified guy for the most part the only two things he/she needs to learn is the geography of the new town and the new depts paperwork/policies. Id say generally you know what your getting with a certified guy vs a new guy who may or may not last. Obviously we all got our start some place so thankfully places do hire new people but in my opinion taking a certified guy with no issues in his previous dept makes more sense than to take a brand new guy who might not be there in 6 months.

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              • #8
                Remember that each chief has their own experiences, so for him personally, he found it easier to work with someone fresh out of the academy. If you read my original post carefully you will see that I said everything you all said about benefits to the department for taking a certified. There is no problem of taking a certified who has a good history and is HUMBLE enough to learn the way the new department wants things run, in fact I could only imagine it would be far more advantageous to the department. Anyway thanks for giving me something to chat about as I wait to get hired myself...almost there...yet still so far. Best of luck.

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                • #9
                  Just like Cowboys07 said. If I was a Chief, I'm spending (depending on pay) anywhere from $24K to $30K for a new recruit before I can ever put him on the street. And that's assuming that recruit makes it through these phases, or it's all over again spending money on a new one.That's the price of a new squad car. Doing this job has the same dynamics whether you're in a ghetto Chicago District or a rural town of 1000 people. Traffic stops, street stops, accident reports, etc are pretty much the same no matter where you're, the frequency of them is different. The cost of the academy is reimbursed to a PD from the state, but the pay you are paying the recruit is not. In this climate, if your town is financially struggling (find one that says they are flush or in the black), it makes sense to take a certified guy over another one. If I was a Mayor of a town and my Police Chief refused to look at certified guys, I'd want to know why he's unnecessarily spending money like that. I'm sure the citizens would want to know why. Self sponsoring is not good also because, even though that person pays to put himself through an academy, and it does save a PD some money, I still would have to think twice about hiring him, because they have absolutely no experience, which a certified guy brings to the table. All a certified guy has to learn is , like Cowboys said, is the geography, paper work, and policies of the town. Maybe a 2-3 week FTO max. Just like the Hoffman Estates guys being laid off and being picked up by Schaumburg, or the Broadview guys laid off being hired by Berwyn. Tell me why I , as a Chief, WOULDN'T hire them over non-trained,non experienced guys.

                  The economy will straighten out in time and there won't be so many experienced, certified guys out there. Hiring will go back to taking uncertified guys for hire. If I was a Chief, and the economic times were as they were a few years ago, I would take a mix of hires. Now, if I needed someone, I'd go with a certified, experienced hire.

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                  • #10
                    With Southwestern Illinois Police Academy you just don't walk into the front door and sign up for classes. They treat this just like they’re hiring you for a job as a police officer; you’ll be tested just like you’re tested for most LEO jobs. You’ll have to pass the P.O.W.E.R. test, Cognitive, Psychological Evaluation the oral interview, and then you’ll be finger printed and Drug tested. You’ll spend $450 just for the privilege of being tested! If you are chosen (not likely) and you don’t live in the Belleville Illinois area you’ll be put up in a one room motel with a potential roommate. You’ll spend $1,550 for that lovely motel (has a pool!) and another $2463 for the schooling that comes to only $4,013. That’s not counting any extras that you may or will need.
                    One positive aspect is even if you shouldn’t make it in the first time around they’ll let you try over and over and over again just as long as you keep paying the $450!

                    I forgot you’ll also need a doctors ok (physical) so that is even more of your money spent, $150-$300?
                    Last edited by Ted1958; 04-22-2011, 03:16 PM.

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                    • #11
                      I graduated from Southwestern Illinois Police Academy as an Intern (self funded) and had no problems my first try. My opinion is if you dont make it in the Academy hiring process you wouldnt make it in an actual department hiring. Just my 2 cents

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by sooncop View Post
                        I graduated from Southwestern Illinois Police Academy as an Intern (self funded) and had no problems my first try. My opinion is if you dont make it in the Academy hiring process you wouldnt make it in an actual department hiring. Just my 2 cents
                        How many tried out for the class and how many made it into the class? From what I've heard they only take 1 or 2 at a time that are self funded, the class’s averages 10 to 14 but they can handle 24 to 30 students at a time. That does puzzles me as to why so few? lol What class were you in?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Ted1958 View Post
                          How many tried out for the class and how many made it into the class? From what I've heard they only take 1 or 2 at a time that are self funded, the class’s averages 10 to 14 but they can handle 24 to 30 students at a time. That does puzzles me as to why so few? lol What class were you in?
                          I was in Session 113. There were like 6 or 7 that tried to get self funded. 1 failed the physical and after the written, psychological, and drug test there were only 3 that were interviewed. All 3 that got interviewed were offered spots in the academy but only 2 accepted. The 3rd person got hired with another department before the academy began and he went to another academy.
                          They use a written test that MANY departments use and use the same testing service to conduct the psychological. A friend of mine was in the session before me and his session had like 10 interns in it. The reason the sessions are so few is due to departments not hiring. They make $$ on cadets and I couldnt see them ever turning away a person who passes all phases of the testing.

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