How Much Does the Police Academy Cost?
A police academy is a specialized school that works with individuals to certify them as law enforcement officers. Depending on the state, the credentials and requirements needed in order to become certified will be different. Each academy also can set its own rules for enrollment and graduation, such as the age which people can begin the training as well as how many hours of training are needed.
How much is it?
- Typically affiliated with local community colleges or training centers, the police academy is going to cost anywhere from $3,500 to as much as $6,500 for the entire program.
- In some states, you may be required to be hired by a department before you can even attend the police academy. However, this means that you may get a discount on tuition or even have it paid for depending on the position for which he was hired as well as his credentials.
- According to HowStuffWorks.com, the average policy academy is going to cost upwards of $5,000 for the entire program.
- For example, Oakland Community College, located in Auburn Hills, Michigan, charges $5,500 for the entire program.
- Washtenaw Community College, also located in Michigan, charges $4,460 for in-district tuition and $5,990 for out-of-district. This does not include the books, uniforms, or application fees.
What is going to be included?
- On average, a program can last anywhere from 300 to as many as 800 hours, which means it can take up to nine months to complete the entire program. Some states, such as California, will require you to take an additional 100 hours of law classes.
- Depending on state requirements, every course will offer different learning environments that include extensive physical and academic training.
- During the program, recruits will learn about using their strength properly, how to shoot, how to conduct a high-speed chase, handcuffing, using a two-way radio, the knowledge of the law, how to conduct a police report and a lot more.
- There are also portions of the program that are done in the field. For example, there may be a mock crime scene set up for the trainees to investigate.
- After the program is done, a written exam must be passed along with a physical fitness test.
What are the extra costs?
- The police academy is just the first step of becoming a certified police officer. As you progress in this career, you may find yourself wanting to advance to other levels such as getting higher police certification levels, becoming a detective, etc.
- You can take your training one step higher by earning an associates degree in law enforcement. This will give you more training in dealing with different types and groups of people rather than simply dealing with a situation. Classes will include information on things such as racial relations and legal issues.
- After a certain number of years of service, some states may ask you to become re-certified. While you will not have to go through the entire process, you may have to pay a small classroom fee.
- Depending on the academy, uniform and study material may be considered as an extra expense.
- Most community colleges will charge more for students that are outside of the district.
- The application process can cost anywhere from $500 to $1,000. This is going to include medical examinations, drivers history check, fingerprints, psychological examination, drug tests and more.
Tips to know:
- If you know that becoming a police officer is what you want to do, you can begin preparing earlier in life. For example, there are some classes that may be offered at the high school level that can help you, such as physical education, sociology, psychology, and criminology. Not all high schools will offer these classes.
- To get hired with a police station, most will recommend a written exam, drug test, physical fitness test, clean background check, a high school diploma and sometimes an education that is more than two years.
- In a fitness exam, potential officers will be asked to perform a certain number of push-ups and crunches in a day. Every state will have its own requirements.
How can I save money?
- Some local police stations will reimburse you for your police training. While rare, try talking with a few police stations in the area to see who they are hiring and if any educational assistance is available.
- Check with a handful of community colleges and local training centers. Find out how each program is going to work and what their success rate is. Do not just choose the first academy that you find.
- If you cannot afford the payments up front for your community college, consider applying for scholarships, grants or applying for student loans. Many community colleges also have payment plans of which you can take advantage.
- If you meet certain income requirements, you may be eligible for financial aid. Talk with your local community college to see what you qualify for.