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  • Napa Valley Police Academy

    I haven't found anything related to the Napa basic police academy in California yet so I wanted to make a thread for other people that are interested in joining it or have already graduated from it. I am interested in anyone's experience in that police academy because I am going to be attending it in January. Any reviews or input is greatly appreciated. Have a nice day

  • #2
    I recently attended an advanced officer school there. It seemed to me that it was a pretty squared away, no-nonsense academy. Cadets looked good, staff were knowledgeable. Area is fantastic!!
    Now go home and get your shine box!

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    • #3
      Thank you CCCSD! Im looking forward to it.

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      • #4
        I'm applying as we'll.. Have you applied to any jobs yet? I heard that quite a bit of departments go to recruit in Napa.. Best of luck Euyup

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        • #5
          I graduated from this academy. It's a more academic-minded academy. Expect to do research projects and presentations. As far as PT goes, the program focuses mostly on running, with a few ab days and little to no strength/circuit training (which is unfortunate). Napa is much cheaper (as in at least a thousand dollars cheaper) and much more relaxed than the two other academies in the area - Alameda and Contra Costa LETC. I can't comment on the Sacramento area academies because I don't know much about them. I spent ten weeks at the LETC, so I'm familiar with that academy as well. You will have drill instructors who will scream at you, which may catch you off guard if you've never been in a paramilitary environment before. However, you aren't going to get "smoked" on a daily basis like you would at the LETC.

          Napa is nice in that you get a decent amount of time to bond with your fellow cadets, and each cadet is given the opportunity to hold a leadership role. Later on, permanent squad sergeants and a class lieutenant are chosen by the class and staff collectively.

          As long as you can pass the LD tests, manipulation tests (i.e. shooting, EVOC, DETAC, etc.) and scenarios, you should be fine. The academy is stressful, without a doubt, but hard work, practice, and repetition will get you through.

          And yes, a lot of agencies do hire out of the Napa academy. We had several lunchtime presentations by different departments during my academy. I've noticed that more agencies east of the Bay tend to visit Napa(i.e. Solano County), whereas a lot of East Bay and general Bay Area agencies hire out of the Contra Costa LETC. Alameda's academy is one of the top ranked in the state as well.

          As an officer currently working in the East Bay, I will say that I came to work just as prepared as some of my colleagues who graduated from other academies. You will get out of the academy what you put into it. Just keep in mind that everything you learn at the academy has a purpose once you hit the streets and have no clue what you've gotten yourself into.

          Any other questions feel free to ask. - Mike

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          • #6
            Officer Mike, thanks for your input, the Academy is 2 months out for me @ Napa. I wanted to get a head start on the curriculum.. Is there anything that we can start to look at, maybe like get a head start on penal codes? Or even subjects that we will be required to do research on?

            Also, in a leadership position like the squad leader, are you responsible for the cadets in your squad to get their homework and tasks done? Then report to the class lieutenant?

            Thanks Mike

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            • #7
              Originally posted by F=ma View Post
              Officer Mike, thanks for your input, the Academy is 2 months out for me @ Napa. I wanted to get a head start on the curriculum.. Is there anything that we can start to look at, maybe like get a head start on penal codes? Or even subjects that we will be required to do research on?

              Also, in a leadership position like the squad leader, are you responsible for the cadets in your squad to get their homework and tasks done? Then report to the class lieutenant?

              Thanks Mike
              I can't give you specifics about the curriculum… but do what I did: start studying the penal code now. Start reading your basic property crimes, then move on to persons crimes. Use online resources if you're confused about the law. I read a couple of books long before I even started the academy(Criminal Law for California Peace Officers by Dan Dramer is a great resource, if a bit dated). Make flash cards. Know basic radio codes for departments in northern CA (google "Police Radio Codes California").

              This is all extra stuff that you don't necessarily need to do. It just helps and will make you look good.

              For the leadership roles: yes, you're responsible if your squad is screwing up. Be prepared to eat **** if you have a crappy squad.

              Also, and this is important: DO A RIDE ALONG before you put yourself through the emotional, psychological and physical pain of going through an academy. You should at least get an idea of what you'll be doing for a living.

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              • #8
                As far as uniforms go, are the instructors sticklers on them to the point where we will need to dry clean them consistently? Could we get away with maintaining them at home?

                Also, for the most part, did most cadets get picked up by agencies?

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                • #9
                  While it's nice to get everything beforehand, why don't you wait until you start?
                  Evens out the field and allows you to enjoy the experience.

                  You are sweating the small stuff already and will get ALL THE INFO on your first day.

                  It's kind of uncool to give away the training...
                  Now go home and get your shine box!

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                  • #10
                    I apologize CCCSD.. I just figured since I'm forking out close to 6k after expenses, I kinda wanted as much info to be successful.. Anyway, are you enrolled in January's Academy?

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                    • #11
                      Noooo. I graduated from my first academy 30 years ago...
                      Now go home and get your shine box!

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                      • #12
                        I graduated from the extended academy ( year long ) back in 2013. Like stated it is academic meaning 80% or better on all things tested.

                        Few things: Uniforms, you don't need to have them dry cleaned per ce but if your budget can handle it and you trust your dry cleaner I say do it.. Huge time saver. You will be inspected many times throughout the academy. Disclaimer--if you don't use a dry cleaner still press your uniform etc. No wash and wear!

                        PT is fun, the cadre keep it interesting and really push you to your limits. I recommend getting in shape some before you go.

                        Study groups are your best friend your classmates can be very helpful. Also make flash cards for penal codes, definitions, etc. they will go a long way.

                        Some advice, this worked for me and your mileage may vary. Take some time to decompress while in. For me, since I worked full time and did the academy nights and weekends for 52 weeks my only day off was Sunday that's the day I " quit " the academy figuratively speaking. I spent time with my wife and boys etc.

                        I hope this helps some and good luck, the academy is fun, you will meet some great people and make new friends.

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                        • #13
                          You will get out of the academy what you put into it.
                          Excellent advice for ANY academy.

                          Take some time to decompress while in.
                          Also excellent advice for an academy OR for people out on the job afterwards.
                          "I am a Soldier. I fight where I'm told and I win where I fight." -- GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

                          "With a brother on my left and a sister on my right, we face…. We face what no one should face. We face, so no one else would face. We are in the face of Death." -- Holli Peet

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