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Research the Academy before you apply or attend! Know what you are getting into!


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  • Research the Academy before you apply or attend! Know what you are getting into!

    If you are thinking of going to the academy you need to research it before you invest your time and effort in it. In the State of Florida you can be sponsored (you are hired and the department sends you and pays you and your fees) or you can self sponsor (you pay for everything in the hopes that when you get out and pass the state exam you can apply as a certified officer). Either way you should know a little about the academy you are going to attend (or try to). Not all academies are created equal!

    Some academies are better than others. Some have all the required facilities on site and some have to have you travel to different places for different parts of the academy. One of the things you want to look at is what is the passing rate of the graduates from the academy on the state exam? What percentage of the students pass the state exam? That would reflect that you are taught those things you need to get your "certification" so you can apply. You only get three tries at the exam before you have to go back through the entire training again! And I can say I do not know of anyone that has done that.

    I will use as an example my academy. We have a 99.4% passing rate on the State Exam! That means if you complete our program here, you can almost (99%) count on passing the exam. Also we have a great facility. We have 64 acres and are a separate campus from the main campus. Only first responders train here (also the local agencies train here) we have three gun ranges, a driving pad, and other facilities that make training more effective. We also have a 8.1 million dollar grant to build onto our facility to increase our training room and other facilities. Its a great campus and police academy!

    We also have a great Director! He is fairly new to our academy but he comes from the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center or FLETC as we know it. His experience at the Federal level has already helped us out here and he is one of those types of people that is a "let's try it!" if it is something to make training better.

    Have you really thought this through? Have you thought about what it really means to be a police officer? Do you really think you can do the job? Trust me, law enforcement as a career is not for everyone. And everyone that starts out in law enforcement does not make it to retirement. This job is hard on some people, some make it, some don’t, it’s just the nature of the job. As you have heard other places I am sure, but it is very appropriate for Law Enforcement, "with great power comes great responsibility". There is no greater responsibility then taking care of your fellow man, and protecting those that can not protect themselves. This is the only occupation that is given the ability to take a human life if needed on a split second decision and you alone are the one making it! That is the greatest responsibility you can have in this world! Guard it with care!

    Then there is always the aspect of danger. This job is dangerous. You can not stop some things and you can not predict all people, no matter how good you think you are. Police are killed every year, and many more injured. You have to live with the feeling that you will be as cautious as you can for the situation, and always be prepared to fight for your life in the next few seconds. I have been shot at, I have been in fights that were life and death. I have been to the hospital one to many times. But you have to learn to live with the knowledge that people out in the world may want to kill you just because your doing your job!

    Why listen to me? Who am I to tell you about this?

    So you may be asking first off why listen to this guy, what makes him think he can tell me about being a cop? Why do I think I can write this and it is worth your reading? Well I am and have been a cop (Police Officer) in Florida for 33 years (Since December 1980 to Present). I have served in both small and large agencies (3 and a break for serving in the U.S. Army Military Police, 3rd Infantry Division, 981st Military Police Company). I have served in many different units, Narcotics (where I was involved in my first shooting), Patrol, Traffic, DUI Task Force, Dive Rescue Team, Traffic Homicide Investigation, Training Unit, Academy Staff, and now my current position (for the last 16 years) Police Academy Trainer (and Police Commander up until Dec 6th, 2010). I teach and travel a lot, teaching all over the world. I have been as far away as Singapore and other places, to teach police officers and I still currently teach. I am currently the Police Academy Coordinator at Santa Fe College, Institute of Public Safety in Gainesville, Florida. I helped write portions of the Florida State Law Enforcement Basic Recruit curriculum and some of the advanced and specialized courses, assisting the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. They do a great job in keeping the curriculums up to date, having people work on them full time. Its not an easy task. We just finished writing a brand new Advanced and Speciaized Course on "Dealing with Veterans", which I helped write and now teach statewide. I have posted a short Resume of myself at the bottom you can view and see who I am and what experience I have had. I hide nothing.
    Thats why I think you should look over the material on this site. I have pages upon pages dedicated to all things related to becoming a cop (police officer), especially in Florida. Many of these pages apply to any state and any police officer applicant anywhere. Here are links to help on Oral Boards, Filling out an application, the background check and a lot more. I have recently added a webpage of a complete set of study guides for the End of Chapter Exams you will find helpful if you go to any academy in Florida, and for the State of Florida Officer Certification Exam. Please don't fall for paying for a book or website that wants your money and is not made for Florida Police Recruits specifically, by someone with experience in this. I do not charge for study guides (or anything else). Please look over the study guides page before spending your hard earned money on something that "guarantees" you pass, no one can do that. Before you pay for something, ask this question, why are they charging for this, and who are they? What background do they have to make this stuff and is it really going to help me? My study guides are talked about all over the state. I travel and meet all the Directors and Coordinators at each CJSTC meeting (you will learn what that means in the academy ! ).

    Veterans! Did you know that GI-33 and Post 911 Bill pays for ALL of your schooling, including some money to live on while you go to the academy?? That's right it can all be paid for by the US Military!!!

    Please feel free to download and use any material on my site. Recommend the site to your classmates, instructors, Academy staff (some of who use this site on a regular basis) as they are all welcome to use any portion of my site in your training and studying. Look around feel free to send me comments or suggestions at [email protected] .
    Police Academy Commander
    Lead Firearms Instructor
    35+ years as a cop
    Becoming a Police Officer
    So you think you can do this job?

    I accept all private messages requesting help or advice, why else bother to be here?

  • #2



    • #3
      Originally posted by Yo_CO View Post

      If that is all you were going to post, why did you bother posting anything at all? The above is very good information that probably should be stickied and referred to when some people come here asking about Florida academies and police hiring in general.


      • #4
        Very good read! I appreciate the time you spent writing this. I have my psych exam tomorrow and my psych oral next Thursday. If I pass those things I will be sponsored through the academy starting on October 13th!


        • #5
          Great read Shadow, I've read so many threads that you have posted on here and always get something from them. I've really been contemplating attensing this academy too, it's not easy to get into either I've been told. So when I apply I plan to have all my ducks in a row to prevent any hiccups!
          USMC-6322 Comm/Nav Tech


          • #6
            Thank you for this. So much to learn, and this is a step in the right direction. I realize this thread is several months old, but I wonder if Mr. Shadow has any relative information for other states, and their process?


            • #7
              Vote #2 for a sticky
              REINSTATE THE TRIG
              Originally posted by Iowa #1603
              Your logic defies logic
              Originally posted by Rudy8116
              Blah blah blah, cops don't need camo, something something something, why do police need armored vehicles, angry rant angry rant angry rant let's take them all away, angry masturbation.
              Originally posted by Michigan
              Arresting someone is fun, but playing with my pecker is still more fun.
              Originally posted by TheTick
              A pallet of Cheetos and pictures of my cock are inbound.
              Originally posted by TheTick
              This gangsta *** mother ****er was twisting trees with dank nuggs while in his crib.
              Originally posted by 02paul09
              Being a cop these days in an officer safety issue


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