New legislation in Michigan has made it harder to become a law enforcement officer than ever before. You need to attend a police academy and then obtain certification from the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES). This has become the minimum to work in Michigan law enforcement in any capacity.
MCOLES is the agency that governs police in Michigan. They set the standards for law enforcement certification, recertification and for ongoing training requirements while working the beat as a law enforcement officer. MCOLES also makes the standards that you need to meet in order to pass police academy and find employment in the industry.
There are MCOLES-certified police academies scattered throughout Michigan. Training is usually full time, and it lasts for several weeks. To enter a Michigan Police Academy, you have to be a citizen of the United States, and twenty-one years old. Most people enter after or shortly after college.
To attend the academy, you have to have good senses, including vision and hearing, but you can wear glasses. You have to show that you don’t have any physically challenges or illness that interferes with your ability to perform the duties of a police officer.
To become a law enforcement officer in Michigan, you need to stand out while you’re at the academy. This is because if you don’t find a job as a law-enforcement officer in Michigan within a certain period of time, your MCOLES academy certification lapses, and you have to attend police academy all over again, at your own cost. This could set you back more than $10,000.
To get a head start on police academy in Michigan, you might consider taking some time to study before the academy starts. This is a great way to get a jump start on the many criminal laws that you need to know, as well as a great way to learn what to expect when you’re in the academy.
One great place to start is www.PrepareForThePoliceAcademy.com. Prepare for the Police Academy is a comprehensive survival guide that can help you avoid the many pitfalls that Michigan recruits often fall victim to. The guide walks you through criminal law, search and seizure, police driving techniques and defensive behaviors for law enforcement safety. This can give you the confidence to enter police academy on the first day with a smile. It’s available for a low price, and with as much time and money as you’re investing in your law enforcement career, it’s worth taking the time to read up on what to expect in this new chapter of your life.
You need a high school diploma to enter an MCOLES-certified training academy, and if you haven’t yet been hired by a law enforcement agency, you have to have at least an associate’s degree by the time you graduate from police academy. These are just minimums, though; more and more police departments are turning to recruits that possess a Bachelor’s degree and above.
Don’t expect to enter a police academy in Michigan if you’ve been convicted of a felony. This even includes convictions set aside or later expunged. And you have to have a record with at least no drunk driving convictions (drunk driving in Michigan is called Operating While Intoxicated, which is something you learn in police academy).
There’s also a physical fitness test. You have to bench press a certain percent of your body weight. You have to get a pretty detailed physical from an occupational physician. There’s a written exam for you to pass, too.
When you apply for police academy, expect the admissions team to research your moral character. They might look at your school and employment records in addition to your criminal history. They want to make sure you’re going to be an honest police officer.
During a Michigan police academy, you learn a variety of things. You learn how to handle your service weapon. You learn about evidence gathering and report writing. You learn about common investigations and when you need to use force to protect yourself and the public.
Fulfilling these requirements is the first step to becoming a law enforcement officer in Michigan. Reading Prepare For The Police Academy and working on your physical fitness are ways that you can help your entry into the academy go smoothly. Congratulations on your decision to protect and serve.