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  • Recruit

    I put the real question in bold in case you don't have time or don't want to read all of this.

    As I mentioned in my other thread, I'm a young man who had been interested in LE for a while when I was younger, got interested in photography, but now, because I have a job in park ranger/security for a very large place, I've become interested in law enforcement again and this time I'm not too young to be able to do anything about it.

    I don't know if you guys have this in your city but my city has a specific job called "Police Officer Recruit" where basically, you can learn everything about becoming an officer and actually work for the city (get paid) but you are NOT a sworn officer yet. If you do a good job with this, eventually you will be sworn in. In other words, this is your designation while in the academy.

    My question is, how long does the academy usually last? In other words, what would be the earliest age appropriate to start this training so that one is finished around age 21?

    It should be noted though that I'm not just some guy thinking "oh, I wanna be a cop when I'm 21", but they do say that generally the earlier you start with what you want to do, the better. They say to have a goal in mind.

    Having said this, my plan is to attend a community college and their Administration of Justice program (which is pretty thorough). Is there anything I could do in law enforcement while attending or before attending or should I just keep a regular job or two and pursue after college entirely? One of the things I believe is an option is working as a college campus police officer. But other than that, do you guys have any recommendation? Thanks!

  • #2
    There are a number of agencies that utilize a Police Cadet/recruit/intern program. Mostly, they are made up of college students who are aspiring to become police officers.

    Check with the agency you most desire to go with and find out what type of training program they utilize.

    Due to budget constraints and liabilities a lot of agencies do not participate in those activities.
    Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence!

    [George Washington (1732 - 1799)]


    • #3
      Generally, "Police Trainees" or "Recruits" are people who have been hired by departments in a civilian capacity or are undergoing training at an academy on their own (pre-service). The reasons for these positions are:

      1) If the "recruit" is injured during the training process, he/she will not receive special "Injured On Duty" (IOD) pay during the recovery process that is reserved for regularly employed, peace officers.

      2) If the "recruit" is so severely injured that he/she can't work as a peace officer at all, he/she will not be eligible for a "service" retirement. They were hired only as a trainee and are only eligible for workman's compensation.

      3) If the "recruit" successfully graduates the academy, his/her probationary status as a full time peace officer begins after being sworn in and the (usually) 12 month probationary period begins at that point.

      4) Many academies allow persons to attend as "pre-service" recruits, where they are not employed by any department and essentially put themselves through the training with the hope that they'll be hired upon successful completion.

      When I attended the academy in the 1970's, most trainees were full-time police officers (sworn personnel) in training. It wasn't unusual for some to be injured in the academy, retired out at 50% (tax free) IOD status and they'd have the title of being a "retired" peace officer without ever having seen service on the street.
      "I'm not fluent in the language of violence, but I know enough to get around in places where it's spoken."


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