Expert Advice on How to Become a Police Officer

We have the information you need to help you get started in your career in law enforcement - step by step processes per state, police officer requirements, police academy requirements, and your career options are just some of the things you'll find in this site.

Law Enforcement Training

While gratifying and honorable, pursuing a career as a law enforcement officer implies more than just taking on a job. Essentially, a person following this path is expected to make use of all his professional and personal skills to orderly apply the rules and regulations. Nowadays, it is estimated that the average law enforcement officer in the United States must be ready to perform any of the 3000 tasks he has been trained for. Consequentially, officers must undergo extensive training if they want to be prepared to face the challenges of the job.

Federal Law Enforcement Training

Federal Law Enforcement Training FBI Agent Training – FBI photo by Kurt Crawford

Federal officers and law enforcement agents must undergo the programs and courses of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. Offering over 250 programs and accommodating approximately 20,000 students annually, the federal training center is focused on teaching future federal law enforcement officers about the principles of law and provides instructions on how to properly run an investigation, make an arrest, handle detention and the principles behind the search and seizure actions.

In addition, FLETC programs also include undercover investigations, physical conditioning, radio communication procedures, firearm usage, interviewing skills, fingerprinting, high speed pursuit and protection and photography. Because the federal agents will overview the application of the law across the state, the advanced training programs include courses on advanced marine law enforcement, advanced computer crime detection and advanced fraud detection.

Law Enforcement Training Center

Becoming a federal law enforcement officer entails enrolling in the instruction programs of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. The FLETC functions as an interagency organization providing basic and advanced training for licensed officers, but also for state, local, tribal and international police agencies. The vast majority of the training programs are held at the FLETC headquarters located in Glynco, Georgia. However, due to the high demand for training as a federal law enforcement officer, the center has recently opened two additional residential sites in New Mexico and South Carolina.

The admission requirements for the FLETC include:

  • Following a full-time university or college during the application and internship
  • Majoring on degree programs in forensic science, criminal justice, juris doctorate, criminology, psychology or related areas
  • U.S. citizenship and the status of Baccalaureate graduate or senior

FBI Training for Law Enforcement

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is another institution that provides specialized training for law enforcement officers at their branch in Quantico, Virginia. It is necessary to point out that while there are numerous training programs available, the selection is very scrutinizing and candidates who attend the FBI National Academy must be nominated by a chief of police, superintendent or commissioner.

The courses are exclusively addressed to officers with a minimum rank of lieutenant or equivalent and the applicants must agree to remain in the law enforcement field for at least 3 years after graduating the academy.

NRA Law Enforcement Training

If a law enforcement officer wants to join the Special Forces at one point of his career then graduating from the NRA law enforcement training programs will constitute a trump card. The National Rifle Association currently offers certification for police instructors and specialized training courses in the police departments. Take note that the NRA certification is valid for 3 years and therefore, officers will have to apply for renewal by providing proof of 24 hours continuing education or attending any NRA program.

Law Enforcement Training Network

The LETN programs refer to accredited law enforcement training agencies focused on providing state-of-the-art education and information, specially tailored to meet the demands and needs of each particular police department. The LETN training programs was founded mainly because of the need to keep up with the ever-changing standards of care in the law enforcement line of work. Essentially, the training makes use of the latest educational, technical and diversified tools to ensure a consistent and quick learning process. Moreover, the programs cover a plethora of training requirements and all officers, regardless of the job or experience.

Law Enforcement Online Training

The FBI is one of the accredited institutions offering online law enforcement training via the Virtual Academy program. In order to participate in the online training, the applicant must be affiliated with criminal justice or law enforcement organization, which is accepted and registered in the Virtual Academy program.

Students and interns who cannot meet the criteria of the VA can search for other online police training centers. However, they should verify that the online training programs are accredited and recognized in their state or the by law enforcement agency they are/will be employed.

Law Enforcement Training Grants

Police departments that do not possess funds for law enforcement officer training can apply for a grant from the federal, state, local and governmental agencies. Because training funding is awarded for particular operations or department areas, the law enforcement agencies must plan and research in order to be certain that they meet the criteria for the grants.

Some Frequently Asked Questions on Law Enforcement Training

  1. How Long Does it Take to Become a Police Officer?
  2. How Hard is it to Become a Police Officer?
  3. How to Apply to Become a Police Officer?
  4. How to Become a Police Officer without a College Degree?
  5. How Much Does it Cost to Become a Police Officer?