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  • Surviving Academy!

    Hey everyone!

    I just started police academy a month ago and I'm looking for some tips for myself and my class mates.

    Personally, I need some tips on adjusting to the "paramilitary" atmosphere of academy, so please share if you have any. Just to give you an idea, I have no previous law enforcement or military experience. I'm pretty much used to being a leader, and I'm learning the hard way that this will not fly here

    On the other had, our class is having a pretty tough time...we had our first PT recently and over half the class failed...the instructors said that this is the worst class they have ever had. Also, we've lost 5 people already due to academics...I dont want to be remembered as the most sorry class to ever squeak through the academy!!! Does anyone have any suggestions on how we can turn this around?

    Also, any other good tips you can give about being successful in academy will help (things you wish were taught, insight to practical application of skills learned, which classes you feel are most important).

    Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    They are telling you all you are the worst class ever, so you all will motivate yourselves to become the best class ever.

    Push yourself and act as a team. You will be fine.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Hbgallie View Post
      Hey everyone!

      I just started police academy a month ago and I'm looking for some tips for myself and my class mates.

      Personally, I need some tips on adjusting to the "paramilitary" atmosphere of academy, so please share if you have any. Just to give you an idea, I have no previous law enforcement or military experience. I'm pretty much used to being a leader, and I'm learning the hard way that this will not fly here

      On the other had, our class is having a pretty tough time...we had our first PT recently and over half the class failed...the instructors said that this is the worst class they have ever had. Also, we've lost 5 people already due to academics...I dont want to be remembered as the most sorry class to ever squeak through the academy!!! Does anyone have any suggestions on how we can turn this around?

      Also, any other good tips you can give about being successful in academy will help (things you wish were taught, insight to practical application of skills learned, which classes you feel are most important).

      Thanks in advance!
      As was already stated, you could have had everyone pass the PT test and they would have still told you that you were the worst class ever.

      Our first PT test, I was one of four that passed. 40+ others failed and had to go into remedial. You know what, we ended up being one of the best classes ever. Told to us by other classes that were there with us, by our instructors at the end, by all of the other instructors/advisors throughout, and Officers outside of the academy because word got around about us.

      You are only 1 month in, still very early. You have plenty of time and your class will only learn and get better. The earlier your class learns to work as a team the earlier and faster things will get better for you all. Just remember, it is only a short amount of time in your entire career. You WILL look back on all of this after you graduate and get a good laugh of all the crazy stuff that went down. Leave the academy stuff during work hours and outside enjoy yourself and relax as much as possible.

      I also did not have any prior military experience when I got on just over two years ago and it was a culture shock. But, as all Police do, you will adapt to the situation and it will be routine in no time. Just keep going and remember what is at the end of the tunnel and you will be fine!

      As far as academics, START study groups. When you learn to work as a team it will all get better. Some people are great at PT, some are great at academics, some are great at leadership, etc. The people that are strong in one category needs to help the ones that are weaker. If you are a leader, help LEAD your class and get them to come together. Get the person who is acing these tests to help those that are struggling. Those that are fit for PT, get them to hang in the back and push and motivate those that are struggling.

      Hopefully if you get that done, your academics, PT, etc. will start to come easier to everyone and NO ONE else should fail out.
      Last edited by MiGuy; 02-10-2010, 01:22 PM. Reason: Added info

      Comment


      • #4
        Great advice

        The academy for me won't start for a few weeks and already I'm in culture shock,first PT was today and I'm sore as all get out.This is a great thread and if anyone else has any tips they are greatly appreciated.Also, btw I have had -0- military or law experience so this is def a new for me,good luck everyone in the academy and keep others updated!!!
        Pain is temporary, success lasts forever..

        Comment


        • #5
          I agree. If you want to improve in PT, start an intense workout routine during your free time. Doing this in addition to academy PT will improve your fitness faster. Regarding academics, study groups work but study hard yourself also. Don't just take the test to pass. Master the concepts academically and practically.

          Comment


          • #6
            I will be starting academy in May. Can anyone give a little insight of what the PT consists of? I am working out now, but just want to make sure I am physically fit.

            Thanks!

            Comment


            • #7
              long distance running, calisthenics (pushups, situps, mountain climbers, flutter kicks, etc), and interval training. You'll be doing confidence courses too, sometimes after a long run. Be ready.

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks!

                Originally posted by MiGuy View Post
                As was already stated, you could have had everyone pass the PT test and they would have still told you that you were the worst class ever.

                Our first PT test, I was one of four that passed. 40+ others failed and had to go into remedial. You know what, we ended up being one of the best classes ever. Told to us by other classes that were there with us, by our instructors at the end, by all of the other instructors/advisors throughout, and Officers outside of the academy because word got around about us.

                You are only 1 month in, still very early. You have plenty of time and your class will only learn and get better. The earlier your class learns to work as a team the earlier and faster things will get better for you all. Just remember, it is only a short amount of time in your entire career. You WILL look back on all of this after you graduate and get a good laugh of all the crazy stuff that went down. Leave the academy stuff during work hours and outside enjoy yourself and relax as much as possible.

                I also did not have any prior military experience when I got on just over two years ago and it was a culture shock. But, as all Police do, you will adapt to the situation and it will be routine in no time. Just keep going and remember what is at the end of the tunnel and you will be fine!

                As far as academics, START study groups. When you learn to work as a team it will all get better. Some people are great at PT, some are great at academics, some are great at leadership, etc. The people that are strong in one category needs to help the ones that are weaker. If you are a leader, help LEAD your class and get them to come together. Get the person who is acing these tests to help those that are struggling. Those that are fit for PT, get them to hang in the back and push and motivate those that are struggling.

                Hopefully if you get that done, your academics, PT, etc. will start to come easier to everyone and NO ONE else should fail out.
                Thank you for all of the tips! I'm not in any type of leadership role within the class, but I will be sure to pass this info along! I agree completely with working to be a team, and I think our class needs to have that discussion FAST!

                I think we all get the point that some are better than others in different areas but we havent quite banded together in order to help those that are struggling. We have the study groups started and hopefully since we just had PT the stronger ppl will be able to identify and get everyone else that needs help into the loop.

                Another problem I think we might have is people just not taking the work seriously (ie, relating it to what we are going to actually be doing)...and if they are taking seriously, they just may not be showing it. Either way, it REALLY ****es off instructors, thats for sure! Maybe just a change of attitude will help with that.

                Once again, thank you all so much! If you have any other good tips, keep them coming! I will talk to our class president and him know about this to see if we can't get the discussion started.

                Comment


                • #9
                  The biggest tip I can give you is just to listen to your instructors. In the middle of the yelling, screaming, cursing, they're telling you exactly what you need to do to succeed in the Academy. Listen to what they say, make sure your uniforms are perfect even when you know you'll get yelled at anyway and study, study, study. If you accept early that you won't have a social life for 6+ months then you'll be much better off.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    One of our instructors today made a comment that I just LOVED....people kept asking things like, "Are we going to be tested on this?" and he finally just broke it down and said, "Look....we are teaching you this stuff because it is what you are going to be doing! You need to take everything we teach you here and practice, practice, practice. You need to imagine what type of circumstances you can get into and PLAN for those. We are giving you those tools now to put in your toolbox...but you are never going to learn them if you dont practice, practice, practice and plan, plan, plan."
                    I love that an instructor finally got blunt and just said that because he is right-a lot of people were just taking what they learned, studying it for the test, and then forgetting about it. I know that I want to have a half of a clue of what do to and how to present myself and how to communicate...maybe everyone else will see that now too and we wont have so many problems in our class.
                    So, in short, I gues my point is that this isnt just school-its job orientation. You aren't just learning it for a test, you are learning it because your career depends on it. SO ACT LIKE YOU KNOW!!!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Keep your nose clean. There are so many stories through our walls of recruits getting terminated because they did some jacked up cococnut stuff over the weekend. While your in the academy, you need to think of yourself as the police - just don't act like one!

                      Be conscience of friends and snakes and watch the women that you mess around with too. If you're going out to party, don't drink if you don't have a designated driver. Don't get into any domestics, bar fights and do the speed limit even if there aren't any officers around. These are the things that can get you fired or in serious trouble. I mentioned women because allz it takes is one of them to report that you even took up a threatening posture and you could probably be out of job and/or wind up catching a fine. You need to really watch yourself because people are watching you.

                      Try to read something from your books at least everyday, if you don't, at least reminisce about something you learned from class. Try not to have too much vegetation time. It'll help you once you get to FTO.

                      Last but not least, the less distractions you have going in and throughout the academy the better off you will be. You will feel like at times it's never going to end, you will it hate somedays and others you won't think it's so bad. There is a method to everything they do and as you go along you will learn why they did what they did to you guys.

                      Good luck.
                      <--- "The man"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Whatever you do don't distance yourself from your non LEO friends even while in the academy. People will tell you be prepared to have no social life but that just isn't possible. It's a balancing act between classes, studying and socializing. It is important to take your mind of it at times and get together with your friends (responsibly) for a beer or dinner or whatever. You don't want to "have no social life for the next 6 months" as that will make you go nuts and your performance in the academy will suffer. I had pleanty of fun on the weekends and after some days of classes and I did just fine so did everyone else in my class. Its all about balancing things....

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Keep your non cop friends unless you already had cop friends. Work out more after academy time. Go running and do pushups/situps at home. And study you behind off. I suggest flash cards and rote memorization. Its a good technique to learn the nuts and bolts penal law stuff and easy to do ina study group environment which the academy provides a lot of opportunity for. Don't mess around on breaks. Review flash cards from previous lessons. You would be amazed how many people I graduated with had flash cards in class every day.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            1. Listen to what your instructors say, I mean LISTEN. The fastest way to get into trouble is to make them have to repeat something. I know this seems like a no-brainer, but you will find that most of the people that run into trouble do so because they have not payed attention.

                            2. Assume that you are under surveillance at all times, because you never know when someone is around the corner, or within earshot... this includes breaks, lunch, the range, and so on. Don't get caught acting the fool or saying something that you would not say in front of the Academy Director.

                            3. Hydrate. You'll think better in class, be able to run better in PT, and just feel better overall.

                            4. Take the time to get ready BEFORE you go to bed. Lay everything out, make sure everything is shined + pressed + ready to go before you go to sleep. Trust me on this one.

                            5. Try to pack a few extra items "just in case". You might not forget your hat, but one of your fellow cadets might. Your extra hat on his head might save your entire class from being punished. I carried a few extra items in my trunk, along with some extra cleaning/polishing stuff, and it came in handy

                            6. Remember that you are not done, until you graduate. Don't slack off after completing firearms, or EVOC, or any of the other evolutions. We lost our Class President for a simple rules infraction because he had allowed himself to become complacent with the Academy rules after passing EVOC. Did they make an example of him...? Sure. Feel free to learn from his mistake.

                            7. Don't F around in Defensive Training. Practice what you are supposed to, and be real careful not to injure/get injured. You will be tempted to start F-ing around, resist that temptation. Trust me, if someone gets hurt because people were playing [email protected], your entire class will suffer.

                            8. "Cooperate = Graduate". If you find yourself doing something that seems stupid, a waste of time, or really boring... Just repeat that mantra to yourself. Do what you are told to do, when you are told to do it, and do it with enthusiasm. Treat each subject the same, even if it is not as "exciting" as some of the others.

                            9. Remember the Academy is a distance race, not a sprint. Pace yourself, and try not to get burned out halfway through. Before you know it you will be getting dressed in your Class A for the graduation ceremony. But to reach that point you need to persevere.

                            Good luck, and enjoy yourself.
                            -"If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my children will have peace." - Thomas Paine

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              And just think you don't have to worry about being shot at or worse while being there. The academy is the easy part, the next years or your life will be the tough part.

                              Kansas
                              I trust my life with J. M. Browning's design, the 1911.

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