How do I get Law Enforcement Training?

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  • Written By: Erin Oxendine
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 14 January 2019
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Law enforcement training can prepare an individual for an exciting and rewarding career in law enforcement. In most cases, high school education is required. Some agencies have certain criteria exclusive to their department, but the majority of law enforcement agencies prefer that an officer have a two-year degree or a four-year degree from an accredited institute of higher education. You can begin your training with this degree, and continue with more specialized training, such as the police academy.

Before applying to a program, check the requirements to work for law enforcement in your area. Specific things such as a prior criminal record, traffic violations, history of drug abuse, and severe lack of physical fitness can be disqualifying factors. Check with the local and regional agencies to get a list of the prerequisites such as background check, and psychological and physical criteria.

You may want to compare information from several universities and community colleges on the law enforcement training programs that are available. Some community colleges offer a certification program when the applicant already has a degree in another area. Another option is to consider the specific area of criminal justice you want to go into, and look at getting a specialized degree. Online classes are also a choice for those with a busy schedule.


The curriculum for a law enforcement training program is often strict, and offers a range of law enforcement courses. Instructors are usually sworn officers, and teach subjects such as intelligence gathering, firearms handling, defensive driving tactics, weapons training, investigating, interrogatory techniques, and public safety.

If you are considering law enforcement training, further your education by taking additional classes such as a foreign language or forensic science. Officers who are fluent in several languages are often in high demand. Forensic science and computer science training are also highly sought after skills. The advancement of modern technology has made it possible for officers to have good computer training in order to do research and create reports.

After receiving an offer of employment from a department, the recruit will need to go the department’s state or local training school, such as a police academy. The law enforcement school is a vigorous training program that provides certification to law enforcement recruits. In the US, each state mandates their own training program and sets the requirements for completion. The program consists of extensive physical fitness testing and classroom training. The officer will then need to pass a civil service exam upon graduating from the academy and pass a basic law enforcement test.

When law enforcement training is finished, the officer may be eligible for a variety of jobs. These can include police officer, deputy sheriff, highway patrol officer, game warden, or detective. In most cases, officers must participate in mandatory state and federal training every year and make sure they maintain their law enforcement credentials.



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