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Academy in your mid/late 30s

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  • Academy in your mid/late 30s

    How was you experience at the academy in your mid/late 30's?

  • #2
    I attended at 43. I was the oldest in my academy, but I was told they often get firefighters in their 50s transitioning to be arson investigators. There were several cadets in their 30s in my academy. I would guess there were about as many over 30 as under.

    The three secrets to the police academy:

    1. The more fit you are, the better. You don’t have to be Mr. CrossFit triathlete but the more fit you are the more energy you’ll have for other things like skills and academics, and the less resulting stress from struggling in PT and arrest control. Fitness is the one thing you can do before the academy to prepare…. Driving, shooting, fighting and academics they will teach you their way. Strength, endurance and flexibility you can improve yourself.
    2. All that matters is the certificate. High PT, high academic, best dressed, whatever don’t matter at all after you graduate. Nobody cares. Risking exhaustion or injury (and thus risking not getting your certificate) trying to achieve something that won’t do you any good is counter productive. Perform to standard, pull your weight, but don’t risk your goal for something ultimately worthless.
    3. Focus entirely on the academy. Don’t date, don’t vacation, don’t travel, don’t work, don’t attend classes, don’t workout outside academy PT sessions. Attend the academy, give it 100% of your focus and energy, graduate, move on. The only guy who didn’t graduate from my academy was the fool who went skiing one weekend and broke his wrist. Don’t do anything that isn’t required to graduate that you don’t absolutely have to do.
    Last edited by tanksoldier; 06-04-2022, 03:35 AM.
    "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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    • #3
      In my class, as with all other graduating classes, the top and last student both graduated and were sworn in as POST Deputies.

      Always do your very best and never quit, you’ll do fine!

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by NolaT View Post
        In my class, as with all other graduating classes, the top and last student both graduated and were sworn in as POST Deputies.

        Always do your very best and never quit, you’ll do fine!
        Remember this
        My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

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        • #5
          I went through two academies- the first one was in my 20s, and was cake. The second one was at 43 and 44, and was one of the hardest things I've ever done.

          Every academy is different.

          My first academy was probably an "easy" academy.

          The second one was absolutely a difficult one, as judged by the injuries and attrition. Our PT was run by the SWAT team commander, who was a spectacular athlete, and he treated us like he thought he was training Navy SEALs. We ran up to 10 miles a day, 5 days a week, in tropical mid-day summer sun. Almost every day, at least one person would drop and get transported by ambulance to the ER for IV fluids. Most (maybe all) of them never came back. We had numerous broken bones during ground fighting- I finished with a cracked rib that I refused to acknowledge. Out of about 1,000 applicants, our academy started with 22, and graduated 6. I benched 285, did 100 push-ups, about 100 sit-ups, ran the 1.5 mile run in 9:28 (a 6:18 mile pace), did 18 dead-hang overhand pull-ups, and that level of performance put me in the middle of my class.

          I second everything that tanksoldier said, plus DON'T drink. Even though I had been a distance athlete when I was younger (200 mile bicycle races) and did triathlons into my late 40s, hydration was a struggle, and any use of alcohol during those 9 months would have made it worse.

          Learn hydration. Learn sports diet. Learn sports medicine.

          You might get lucky and have an easy academy...or you might not.
          Last edited by Aidokea; 06-04-2022, 09:28 AM.

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          • #6
            First academy: age 21
            Second academy: age 23
            Third academy: age 28
            Fourth academy: age 31
            Fifth academy: age 40

            Insane, really, when I look back and think about thrudging through five academies during my career. Add up the weeks and nearly two years were spent doing pushups and taking tests....

            (in full candor, the second academy was the only true ballbuster. Number one was at a community college, and numbers 3-5 were at Club Fed).

            The advantage to being a little older than everyone else is no one expects you to be a rockstar, and the instructors tend to pick on the 22 year olds because they do dumb stuff with greater frequency.

            The disadvantage to being a little older is getting yelled at during inspection for scuffed shoes or not perfectly reciting the legal defintion of probable cause by a 29 year old instructor isn't easy for any self-respecting grown arse man.
            A leader without followers is just a man taking a walk.

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            • vdfnco
              vdfnco commented
              Editing a comment
              I feel you brother. I've done 4 police academies and I hope I'm done.

          • #7
            Originally posted by Ratatatat View Post
            The disadvantage to being a little older is getting yelled at during inspection for scuffed shoes or not perfectly reciting the legal defintion of probable cause by a 29 year old instructor isn't easy for any self-respecting grown arse man.
            Lol.

            At age 44, having had a successful career in business management AND more law-enforcement experience than my 26 year old FTO, I had perspective not possessed by a coach who tortured me for four weeks just for their own entertainment value. That particular coach was known department-wide to be a worthless officer, and liked to brag that they had never passed a single trainee officer. This coach became available when their previous trainee quit because they couldn't keep their gun out of their mouth because of the stress intentionally inflicted by this coach.

            I just kept my mouth shut and kept smiling, knowing that I could endure anything for four weeks, then move on to my next coach, and everything would be just fine.
            Last edited by Aidokea; 06-04-2022, 10:10 AM.

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            • #8
              Originally posted by Aidokea View Post
              I went through two academies- the first one was in my 20s, and was cake. The second one was at 43 and 44, and was one of the hardest things I've ever done.

              Every academy is different.

              My first academy was probably an "easy" academy.

              The second one was absolutely a difficult one, as judged by the injuries and attrition. Our PT was run by the SWAT team commander, who was a spectacular athlete, and he treated us like he thought he was training Navy SEALs. We ran up to 10 miles a day, 5 days a week, in tropical mid-day summer sun. Almost every day, at least one person would drop and get transported by ambulance to the ER for IV fluids. Most (maybe all) of them never came back. We had numerous broken bones during ground fighting- I finished with a cracked rib that I refused to acknowledge. Out of about 1,000 applicants, our academy started with 22, and graduated 6. I benched 285, did 100 push-ups, about 100 sit-ups, ran the 1.5 mile run in 9:28 (a 6:18 mile pace), did 18 dead-hang overhand pull-ups, and that level of performance put me in the middle of my class.

              I second everything that tanksoldier said, plus DON'T drink. Even though I had been a distance athlete when I was younger (200 mile bicycle races) and did triathlons into my late 40s, hydration was a struggle, and any use of alcohol during those 9 months would have made it worse.

              Learn hydration. Learn sports diet. Learn sports medicine.

              You might get lucky and have an easy academy...or you might not.
              Rookie.

              We ran 10.5 miles every hour, uphill both ways. Hot desert sun on the way up. Freezing snow on the way down. No ambulances allowed. Six guys lost their hands to frostbite.

              Kids….

              Comment


              • Aidokea
                Aidokea commented
                Editing a comment
                Lol.......

              • GoldBadge
                GoldBadge commented
                Editing a comment
                And that was on green flag day.

            • #9
              Originally posted by Ratatatat View Post
              First academy: age 21
              Second academy: age 23
              Third academy: age 28
              Fourth academy: age 31
              Fifth academy: age 40

              Insane, really, when I look back and think about thrudging through five academies during my career. Add up the weeks and nearly two years were spent doing pushups and taking tests....

              (in full candor, the second academy was the only true ballbuster. Number one was at a community college, and numbers 3-5 were at Club Fed).

              The advantage to being a little older than everyone else is no one expects you to be a rockstar, and the instructors tend to pick on the 22 year olds because they do dumb stuff with greater frequency.

              The disadvantage to being a little older is getting yelled at during inspection for scuffed shoes or not perfectly reciting the legal defintion of probable cause by a 29 year old instructor isn't easy for any self-respecting grown arse man.
              Were these all full academies, no refresher / transitions?

              Comment


              • #10
                Originally posted by NolaT View Post

                Were these all full academies, no refresher / transitions?
                Full. Three were 12 weeks, one was 14 weeks, and the longest was 6 months.

                That I spent so much time in academies is a testament to the ambitions, and frustrations, which shaped my career.
                A leader without followers is just a man taking a walk.

                Comment


                • #11
                  You’re no Quitter!

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                  • #12
                    There were differences between the three academies:

                    1. Community college: no one got sent home between day one and graduation. Instructors were local cops happy as clams to have a decent paying side hustle so they didn't go overboard with the para-military stuff. No inspections or petty mind games. We played hack-sack in the hall between class and wore jeans. Some of the students had no chance of ever becoming cops, like the aging hippy with a ponytail or the guy who was practically a mute except when he mumbled. A few years ago, I found the student roster and googled everyone's name to see where they ended up. Only found two out of the twenty students who made a career out of LE.

                    2. State-run academy: three got sent home on day one for being out of shape. First half of the academy was tear everyone down to later build them up. Daily PT at 6am, then inspection with dog-breath instructors and belittling academy brass before class. Daily psychological games, like making the class go on a five mile run in dress uniform because one student supposedly didn't sign out the night before. Marched everywhere and stared ahead in hallways and chow hall. From what I can gather 30 years later, about half had full LE careers, the other half ultimately landed in different jobs (attorney, school teacher, military, etc.)

                    3. Club Fed: no one got sent home between day one and graduation (but a few came close). Daily maid service and endless salad bar in chow hall. Instructors ranged from FROGs (fat retired old guys who checked out years prior) to over-compensators with an attitude. Beer showers in the G bar as Border Patrol students sang tejano karoake. Romance was everywhere, especially among the married students with their fletc wives. Most students had full LE careers afterward, except for a few exceptions (one guy got seriously injured, another killed himself).

                    Larger point... there is a spectrum to academies, and the range can be "that wasn't hard at all" to "Good God, the days can't pass fast enough".
                    A leader without followers is just a man taking a walk.

                    Comment


                    • #13
                      The NYPD academy started off heavy on the yelling and ballbusting and light on the physical fitness. As it went on the ballbusting got less and the fitness regimen became harder. There were some slackers but they were few. NYPD academies are/ were huge, a thousand recruits were the norm in the 80's and 90's. It seemed like a good way to get a wide range of recruits ( most without military training) up to speed.

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                      • #14
                        A class of 1,000 together sounds huge, did you do things together, or were you broken down into subgroups?

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                        • #15
                          Originally posted by NolaT View Post
                          A class of 1,000 together sounds huge, did you do things together, or were you broken down into subgroups?
                          There is a new police academy facilility so things may be different.But this is how it worked when I went through.

                          The recruit class is broken down ito companies of about 20-25 recruits. Each company does its acedemic work on its own. The gym block consisted of about 6 companies at a time. The outdoor range can handle hundreds of recruits and requalifing officers at any given time. on 2 shifts.
                          My class was considered small so we had the luxury of steady days and weekends off. Larger classes are split between days and nights and also rotate through the weekends

                          Each company had a company Sgt and asistant company sgt. These were recruits selected because they had military experience(there were exceptions) and their job was to make sure the company as a whole was where they were supposed to be with the proper gear and act as a liasion between the staff and recruits. They got nothing for this added work from the PD. but the custom at the time was each company took a collection that was equal to the amount of an off duty revolver and give it to the company Sgt upon graduation.
                          Last edited by BNWS; 06-05-2022, 01:55 PM.

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