The Regional Police Academy of Northern Michigan University is accepting applications for its upcoming training session to take place May 7 through Aug. 21.
According to Lieutenant Kenneth Love, if you are interested in applying, you should contact the police academy. Love also said that you need to either have an associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree or be eligible for one by the time you graduate from the academy because it is worth 12 credits or one year experience as a military police officer. If you have met one of these requirements, the next step is to fill out a packet.
“You also have to pass a physical fitness test, a reading and writing test, a background check, a physical form that involves vision, hearing and an actual physical,” Love said. “Once that packet is turned in, you are interviewed by a panel. If you are given a conditional offer of acceptance, you are then reviewed by the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES) and they have the final say-so of whether you get in or not.”
If you are approved by MCOLES, you are then able to enroll in the academy. Upon completion of the academy, you take a licensing exam. You have two chances to take the exam.
“This is what gets you certifiable as a police officer,” Love said.
The academy is 16 weeks long and classes and training take place five days a week. At the end you will have put in 800 hours, Love said.
“Some days you will be going from 5 a.m. until midnight,” Love said.
According to Love, some of the classes include Michigan law, procedures of being a police officer, evidence collection, evidence packaging, dealing with subjects and interpersonal communications.
“And of course you have your shooting, your driving, your defensive tactics, your skills areas; so basically you learn the tools to be a police officer,” Love said.
The first week of the academy is mostly hands-on. It deals with military bearing, like marching and how to dress. The second week is all law, which takes place in the classroom. About half of the academy is hands on, while the other half takes place in the classroom, Love said.
There are also extracurricular activities like being security at the Hiawatha Music Festival and Ore to Shore. Love said that the ideal amount of students to have enrolled in the academy is somewhere in the upper 20s to lower 30s. Joining the police academy at NMU was something that Public Safety officer Jesse Wernholm always wanted to do.
“I knew the one here had a good reputation,” Wernholm said.
Wernholm suggested that people thinking about applying to the academy should be in good physical condition before joining and doing an internship beforehand is also a good idea.
For those interested in enrolling this summer, call the NMU Regional Police Academy at (906) 227-1408.