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  • Help In AZ!

    How many times have you read this one? I am going to persue a LE career after 10 years in another industry. I'm not in great shape, but am working on it. I've been on a few ride alongs, have scraped the surface of what is involved with the job and know it is all I want to do. Also, I have LEO friends offering guidance. But I have uneasiness about the academy (ALEA) that I don't care to discuss with my buddies (references). I was never in the military, have never had a great physical fitness routine to this point and come from a business background. In seeking some internet intel on ALEA, I've come across terms like "dead cockroach," "leans," "4-minute drills," "flutter kicks," etc... Can anyone shed some light on these items, and offer any other preparation advice for ALEA? Not just phsyical, but mental preparation? I already know about the trail running, situps and pushups. Any advice is appreciated!

  • #2
    ALEA Wisdom

    I graduated from ALEA in the Summer 2002 (Class 366). I was thirty at the time and we determined that the average age of the class was around 28 yoa. The oldest guy in my class that graduated was 46. The oldest we started with was 52. (I don't think he quit due to physical fitness, he just didn't want to put up with the stress & challenge of ALEA.) I've been in the "front-leaning rest" during several stages of life thanks to the military, but I also saw several of my peers at ALEA with no military background do very well. Don't worry about the details of the physical fitness - e.g. which exercises they'll use, what "techniques" the staff employs to stress you, or even what the hardest part of the course is going to be. The bottom line is that ALEA is a PROCESS, not a PRODUCT. You go there to learn the basics and to earn the right to wear the badge and get to FTO - which is where you apply the basics & start learning the profession. If I could sum up my opinion for success at ALEA in a very simple recipe it is this: 1. Desire - You have to WANT to become a Police Officer; 2. Teamwork - Things will go much more smoothly for you & your class if you work together. You will bring certain strengths from your business background while others will have military experience while others are fresh out of college. The fancy word is synergy, but I call it teamwork. 3. Diligence - If you pay attention in class & listen to your RTOs you'll pick-up on what's important and where you should focus your energies. 4. Effort - It doesn't matter where you came from, it matters that you work hard at improving your weaknesses & polishing your strengths. This is a bit long-winded, but let me finish with encouraging you in your pursuit of becoming a cop. I genuinely look forward to going to work each day & I truly love being a Peace Officer in the State of Arizona. That doesn't mean every day is enjoyable or that there aren't headaches, but in the three years I've been doing it I have ZERO regrets. I recognize that I'm still fairly new compared to some of the guys/gals on this site so listen to what they have to say also and may God bless your pursuits. Semper Fidelis.
    "Freedom isn't purchased with gold, but with iron."

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    • #3
      That is one of the most articulate and informative posts I've seen on this site. Thank you for the great advice... I will take it. For what it is worth, I can tell you put some thought in your answer, and I appreciate it. I know why you love being an officer here, as I've seen it as an outsider looking in. It is really a great job. Again, thank you.

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      • #4
        JWC's post is fantastic and, better yet, accurate. I will offer the following: I was recently hired by Scottsdale PD and am just (today) completing my first week at the MCSO Academy. It is difficult, but easily doable if your mind is right.

        I'm 37 years old and coming to this career later in life. I do, however, have military experience (which is helpful) and am very physically fit.

        I can't stress enough to you how important it is to come to the Academy with at least a base level of fitness. They wash most people due to fitness or being mentally unprepared for the level of physical and mental stress. The fitter you can be before you get there, the easier your life will be.

        Good luck to you.
        d

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        • #5
          I loved jwc's reply.Thorough, accurate, and inspirational. Now to answer yor question from an old geezer's point of view--- have some basic physical conditioning under your belt, be able to run a mile or 2, do some sit-ups & push-ups. Be ready to get yelled at even though you'll probably be as old or older than your class sgt. Realize the Academy is a process & only a means to an end. The Academy is asking you to give 110% of yourself for 16-18 weeks--after that you can have a career that (in the big scheme of things) only a handful of people can qualify for. Enjoy the process. It'll be one of the most enjoyable times in your LE career

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          • #6
            Thanks for the support and advice everyone! All off your answers give me something to work with. I'm turning 35 this month, and I'm glad to see I'm still in the mix. Hemicop, I've been watching your posts, trying to learn whatever I can from your experiences. I rode with Phoenix PD in Maryvale a few years back. The ride was with a friend who used to work for me. That ride changed my life and I have been hooked ever since. I believe you must have some amazing stories considering what I saw in one shift. Thanks for the advice and encouragement.

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