To become a police officer in West Virginia, you have to complete police academy training. To enroll in police officer training, you first have to receive an offer of employment and then complete the lengthy application process. Currently, there are over 3,500 police working across West Virginia and this relatively small police force has a competitive pool of applicants. The people best suited for police work have a strong work ethic, a solid moral code, and the willingness to put their community before themselves. The best way to receive an offer of employment is to volunteer with local department or the nearest 911 dispatcher. By demonstrating your willingness to learn and a commitment to serve the public, you can earn a spot in the next class of new recruits.
Police Academy Training Qualifications
All new recruits must be at least 21 years old, hold a driver’s license, and be a United States citizen. The only education required is a high school diploma or GED, but having a college degree can help your chances of being hired. There are several pieces of background information that must be provided to the academy before basic training can be started. Medical records must be submitted and any applicant that has a condition that will hamper their ability to complete training or perform regular police work may be turned away. Psychological evaluations are also necessary and every cadet must have their critical thinking and emotional stability approved to serve. Criminal backgrounds are scoured for any criminal conduct. Convicted felons will be turned away. Some misdemeanors will also disqualify an applicant, such as domestic abuse or multiple DUIs. In some cases, the academy will also check financial records to ensure that the cadet will not be tempted to abuse their power for personal gain. Bad credit scores and large outstanding debts will sometimes be cause for rejection. Once all the background information has been processed and approved, the cadet may enter basic training.
Popular Police Academies
The main police academy in West Virginia is called the West Virginia State Police Academy. The training facility is based outside of South Charleston, in Institute. This police academy handles all the training for police officers in West Virginia. Whether you plan to become a municipal police officer or state trooper, you will complete your training at the West Virginia State Police Academy. There is also a police training facility in Dunbar called the Professional Development Center, but this academy handles in-service training and continuing education classes for licensed police officers only.