To become a police officer in Tennessee, all candidates must first complete basic training at an accredited police academy. There are six major police academies throughout the state. Tennessee has over 12,000 actively employed police officers and every year, there are new recruits trained to staff the force. For the most part, academies save space in basic training for cadets that are already employed by a police department. After these recruits have been served, the remaining spots in basic are available to qualified applicants that are in the fourth year of a criminal justice degree at an accredited college in Tennessee. To be a successful police officer, you must have the grit and compassion to serve the community before yourself. Every day, officers put their lives on the line to protect and serve the people that rely on them. Only those who make it through extensive screening processes and basic training will have the opportunity to work as a public servant and law enforcement officer.
Police Training Qualifications
All police officers must be at least 21 years old, hold a valid driver’s license, and be a citizen of the United States. Extensive background checks are conducted on each applicant. Financial records, medical histories and criminal backgrounds are all important for consideration. Applicants must have recent medical records and a psychological evaluation completed for admission boards to consider. Anyone with a health complication that will limit their ability to perform police work will not be admitted into training. For criminal histories, applicants must not have any felony convictions or serious misdemeanors such as domestic violence or multiple DUIs. Financial records are scoured for signs of insolvency or large outstanding debts because any police officer that has a conflict of interest or reason to abuse their power will not be admitted to the force. Once accepted into the academy, there will be a series of evaluations required to move forward. Physical trails in speed, strength and endurance will be conducted. Written tests are also necessary to prove a basic understanding of civil rights and police protocol.
Popular Police Academies
There are six major police academies in Tennessee. The most popular of these are the Memphis Police Academy in Memphis and the Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy in Nashville. Both of these institutions offer about five law enforcement training classes per year, graduating as many as 2,000 new recruits each year. There are also options for training at smaller academies operated by regional police departments. These include the Chattanooga Police Academy, the Knoxville Police Department Training Division, and the Metro Nashville Police Academy. These academies cater to municipal police officers and the best way to get a spot is applying for a job or volunteering with the local departments. Another option is to enroll in a criminal justice program at an accredited college or university in Tennessee.