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  • Looking back at your academy

    I'm starting the academy here in less then a month. it'll be agency sponsored with 9 weeks being in-house trooper training and 12 weeks with the states CJA but i'm hoping to hear more about your experience.

    Looking back on your academy experience, what is something you wish you would have known, brought with you, or prepared for more then you did? In general what is the best tip you would give a trainee preparing?

    I'm aware that it'll be physically demanding.

  • #2
    Take it seriously. Keep your ears open and your mouth shut. Don't be 'that guy'. Buy some colored index tabs for your books for easy reference. Do everything they ask and show good moral values. If you are going through a paramilitary style training boot camp, know this, they are tearing you down to build you back up. Oh yeah, learn the difference between then and than.
    Pete Malloy, "The only thing black and white about this job is the car."

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    • #3
      It is paramilitary style, so thanks for those tips. Those are the type i'm looking for.
      Last edited by smb1; 06-18-2017, 08:44 AM.

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      • #4
        I went in 1988 and found it pretty easy. I was in great shape going in, had good study habits and have always picked things up quickly. I didn't have much of a social life outside the academy and spent my weekends studying. I was in the last group that my agency provided housing for (we were at an academy an adjacent county). We studied every evening, but drank every evening as well. Every Thursday, a bunch of recruits went out to a bar or two.

        i think the partying was a good thing. It got me out more in the real world, was great for team building and got our minds off training for a few hours.

        With all that, I was consistently in the top three academically and first or second in shooting and did great at PT, which was 80% running.

        I doubt that would fly today. Everyone's a lot more uptight, plus recruits today have a lot more to learn than we did.
        Last edited by ateamer; 06-17-2017, 11:29 PM.
        Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. - Ronald Reagan

        I don't think It'll happen in the US because we don't trust our government. We are a country of skeptics, raised by skeptics, founded by skeptics. - Amaroq

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        • #5
          Talk about a question that opens Pandora’s Box.

          My first academy was in 1970. Back then, POST had just been created and departments throughout the state were scrambling to become POST certified.

          Mine was the first POST Academy run by my state agency. We couldn’t strip enough officers out of the field to fill an entire academy class as doing so would have crippled our operation, but we had to have enough people to justify the operational cost of renting academy space, so we accepted officers from numerous other state agencies who also wanted to become POST certified.

          The first amusing issue was the age of our “Cadets.” Most had been on the job for 20 years or more and were not exactly in “Academy Shape,” so calisthenics consisted of some mild exercises and later we went around the track twice, any way we felt like it (run, jog, or a casual stroll). Fitness for life was not en vogue back then.

          Again, most of the “Cadets” had already been on the job for 20 years or more, so the sense of class discipline and order one would normally anticipate did not exist. This greatly upset the class proctor who found his efforts to act like a DI generally ignored.

          Back then the labor laws were a little different. One did not have to pay overtime to police personnel who were in training. The basic POST Academy only required 244 hours, so they worked us from 6 AM to 8 PM, six days a week for four weeks. We got one hour off for breakfast, one hour off for lunch, and one hour off for dinner. In total, they squeezed 264 hours out of us in four weeks with no overtime paid.

          Food was another story. The cooks and kitchen staff at the academy were all parolees. We were strongly warned that if there was a problem with the food, to take it up with the academy staff and not the kitchen staff. Apparently a cadet from a previous academy took an issue with food quality directly to one of the parolee chefs, who grabbed a butcher knife and chased the cadet around the mess hall.

          There was a bar everyone drank at called the Crow’s Nest. Everyone had a good time and tremendously camaraderie was developed. But the following morning, the resulting hangovers made everyone wish they had joined AA years ago.

          OK, now that I’ve gotten that out of my system……

          As the others have said, sit back, keep your eyes and ears open and your mouth shut. Don’t try to show everyone else that you’re smarter, or wittier, or more knowledgeable than the rest. Don’t jockey for position among the group. If you want to impress the academy staff, study like crazy and score high on everything. It’s the smart guys who know to keep their mouths shut and egos in check that stand out to those who count.


          Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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          • #6
            Take a mini ironing board and steam iron. You'll be very popular. Think like a team player and be prepared to help out your classmates by having extra pens and equipment for "that guy" that loses his. There will be someone there that doesn't know how to make a bed or shine their shoes, mentor them. Speaking of shoe shining, buy a second pair of boots. You'll understand why.

            Above all, keep your mouth closed and eyes open. Physically, train to be not meeting but crushing the minimums. Think of the academy as one long job interview to keep your job because that is what it is. Last thing...do not be afraid to make mistakes. Go ahead and screw up, then own it and make sure you get the correction you need. Then don't make the same mistake.

            EDIT: Paramount to everything else...be honest. I've seen guys lose their jobs for the dumbest stuff in the academy, like lying about whether they had a clean undershirt on. This goes for your entire career.
            Last edited by DepTroop; 06-18-2017, 05:04 AM.

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            • #7
              Anything I could tell you about my LE academy in 1979 is so woefully out of date that it would be worthless.

              I am still in contact with 3 of my classmates
              Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

              My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

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              • #8
                Enjoy it! You won't believe me while it is going on, but you will miss it afterwards.

                Also keep in mind, no matter how squared away your class is, the drills will find issues. Do not fall into the game of blaming other recruits. It is your job to bring them up to your level and working together
                NYPD Exam 2302 (July, 2011) - 9x.xxx
                List number (December, 2011) - 2xx
                APD -???

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by smb1 View Post
                  I'm starting the academy here in less then a month. it'll be agency sponsored with 9 weeks being in-house trooper training and 12 weeks with the states CJA but i'm hoping to hear more about your experience.

                  Looking back on your academy experience, what is something you wish you would have known, brought with you, or prepared for more then you did? In general what is the best tip you would give a trainee preparing?

                  I'm aware that it'll be physically demanding.
                  Two sets of boots, if you can afford it.

                  Comment

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