Many cities, counties, and states operate their own police academy to train new recruits for the job. You might have all or at least one sequel of the famous Police Academy movies and I can tell you, don’t expect any of that in real life (but you probably know that anyway). Attending a police officer training at a Police Academy is serious business. The city and county of Denver has their own Police Academy to train new recruits accordingly.
Please note: Due to budget issues there are currently no active classes scheduled at the Denver Police Academy. This has been affecting the academy since 2011 and as far as I know this might carry over into the budget year of 2012 as well.
How does training at the Denver Police Academy look like (assuming classes were provided)?
As a recruit for the Denver Police the basic training is 27 weeks long. During this 27 week long training the recruits are being trained in many different topics related to the job of being a police officer. As an example the recruits have to go through a difficult physical strength and fitness program to be ready for the job. After all, if you become a police officer you need to be able to perform dangerous tasks and those require a solid physical strength level. Please be aware that there can be (and will be) weekly examinations about your progress and ability to perform required physical tasks. So, if you are not very fit before applying I highly recommend to start working out as soon as possible. In addition to the fitness training Police recruits have to undergo other tests and programs to become a Police officer.
Classes teach students on many different topics. Here is a list of some of those topics you can expect to be trained on:
- Municipal Law, State Law, Federal Law
- Arrest Control
- Emergency Driving
- Search and Seizure
- Report Writing
- Patrol Tactics
- Weapons Training
As a Denver Police Academy Recruit you can expect over 1,000 hours of training and instructions that you need to go through.
If you make it through training and weekly exams you are then qualified to take the Colorado State P.O.S.T. exam. P.O.S.T. stands for Peace Officer Standards and Training and the associated board manages the training and certification of all active peace officers that work at any of the Colorado based law enforcement agencies. No matter how good you might have been during the 27 weeks of training, without passing the P.O.S.T. exam you will not become a Police Officer for the Denver Police.
Training is not over just yet
Once you pass the Colorado State P.O.S.T. exam you will be assigned to the Patrol Division of the Denver Police Department. From here you pretty much receive field training on the job. The coming 3.5 months will train and prepare you to be able to work solo in the field like all other active Denver Police Officers in the Patrol Division. After completing the 3.5 months long on the job training program you will eventually rotate into the normal work schedule of a Denver Police Officer. Be aware that new recruits usually start working graveyard shifts or less desired shifts while Police Officers with more seniority slowly move up in ranks.
The Denver Police Academy has a great reputation and has trained many great police officers over the years. Like many Police Departments Denver had its own share of problems, but that has not really anything to do with the Police Academy. As mentioned earlier, the Denver Police Academy is currently shutdown due to budget constraints, but if you are interested in becoming a Police Officer for the Denver Police you should a) check out the website of the Denver Police Academy and b) reach out early to get in touch so that you have a fair shot of being accepted into class when training starts again. Classes are usually limited to 50 new recruits at a time.