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Posted: 9/13/2004 1:47:24 PM EDT
I want to get my foot in the door with LE when I'm out of college. I was hoping to work on that rather soon, and was told to look into something called "Citizen Police Academy". Can anyone tell me what exactly this is and what it consists of?
Link Posted: 9/13/2004 5:00:29 PM EDT
Mostly these are nine to twelve week courses that are run by departments as a part of their community policing program. Civilians are introduced to the basics of municipal law enforcement in hopes of broading commumity understanding and acceptence of policing practices. Topics such as domestic violence, force continuem, the vehicle code, K-9 and SWAT team demonstrations are just a few of the areas covered. I would not expect a citizen's police academy to give you a leg up with a local department. It may however give you valuable insight into the men and women you might be working along side someday. Departments who go to the trouble of sponsoring a citizen's police academy are clearly commited to community based policing and from my perspective, this is a positive thing to look for in a prospective employer. I hope this helps.

Link Posted: 9/13/2004 5:01:57 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/13/2004 5:02:12 PM EDT
What part of WI do you live? I know of several agencies that used to have them.
Link Posted: 9/13/2004 5:04:22 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Lumpy196:
Wont do that much to get you in the door other than get your face recognized.

I was told by a small southeastern WI dept the specific reason I did not get hired, even with my good (BASIC) LE background, was because the "Only hire people they know."

So, it's a crap shoot. It aint gonna get you the job, but it's better than meeting the officers "The other way"
Link Posted: 9/13/2004 5:49:12 PM EDT
Thanks for the replies.
nationwide, I'm in Waukesha.
So even if it doesn't help aquiring a job, you guys think I should take it anyway? Any suggestions on what would help to get some LE background?
Thanks again
Link Posted: 9/13/2004 5:57:13 PM EDT
Cool, I went to the academy at WCTC.

It real tought to get into Law Enforcement up there. You have all these people with 4 year degrees fightin for $14.00 an hour jobs. Never made any sense to me.

If you are serious about a career as a LEO, and can swing it, WCTC used to let civilians go thru the academy and pay for themselves.

Gary Hadorski (sp?) used to be the associate dean of law enforcement there, great guy. He would be able to answer any questions you have, if he didn't retire. Otherwise, it only takes a phone call to find out.

Good luck
Link Posted: 9/13/2004 5:57:48 PM EDT
Its a good deal. It really shows you what the Police do. I would either recomend a Citizens Academy or ride-a-longs. Get your face recognized get to know other officers you might get to work with. Find out what dept. you like the best and which ones you could give two shits to work for.

Link Posted: 9/13/2004 7:42:56 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/14/2004 1:24:33 PM EDT
Or you can look for an agency that has an auxiliary program and get involved in that. You're basically a ride along with police powers. You may or may not get paid. You may or may not be armed. You may or may not have to purchase your own weapon. For that matter, the same applies to duties, level of official capacity while on duty, etc. Every program is different, but it's a great way to "try out " LE without making a major life committment should you decide its not for you. Citizen Academy type programs are pretty comprehesive from the ones I've seen-
Link Posted: 9/14/2004 1:54:15 PM EDT
I would recommend ride-a-longs as a better intro to law enforcement . Here in Albuquerque the Citizens Academy is for seniors and politicians. Even better if you are 21 just get on with a department and try it for a couple of years. If they aren't hiring where you live - Go West young man. Go West! Go to the job, don't wait for it to come to you. Here in Albuquerque we are hiring every qualified applicant. No degree required.
Link Posted: 9/14/2004 7:23:37 PM EDT
Great replies, thanks Where should I ask about both the CPA and these ride alongs? The local PD or the sheriff?
Link Posted: 9/14/2004 7:28:39 PM EDT
I'd go ahead and try City of Waukesha. They have lots of action all the time. the SO is spread out all over, it could be fun too.

Link Posted: 9/15/2004 7:33:45 AM EDT
Same here in Virginia. My department always seems to be a few people short and turnout for the app process has been especially light the past few years.

It used to be, the only way to get hired was to get a foot in the door as an auxiliary officer.

We have a great auxiliary program. They are sworn with 24/7 arrest authority, full state cert after completing the academy (700+ hours), patrol city solo after completing FTO process (400+ hours), can try out for two SWAT team positions, can work with detective division (vice, narcs, etc...), and the dept will sponsor them for just about any special school that they want to attend (except K-9 and the state forensics school). All uniforms and equipment is provided by the department. All for a tree year committment to do 20 hours of service a month.

The problem is that it's hard to get someone to commit to the academy time, since it is part-time and takes 11 months to complete. Many who do it end up going full-time as soon as they can. Fortunately, over the last 5 years, most of the time they get hired by us, so it's not a complete waste of money. About 80% of our full-time officers started as auxiliary officers.

If you are in an area that it is more competitive, you may want to look into starting off as a reserve or auxiliary officer/deputy.

Originally Posted By Lumpy196:

They must have a glut of people applying where you live. Its the exact opposite in my area. Agencies are competing to hire people.

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