About the Police Academy
- How are candidates selected to attend an MPTC operated academy?
There is a ranking policy for acceptance in an MPTC operated academy. Seats are filled in the following order:
First priority - Full-time municipal, University of Massachusetts (UMASS), and Environmental Police (MEP) officers; Medical Deferments, and part-time police officers hired by municipal police departments that do NOT employ any full-time police officers.
Second priority - Part-time municipal, UMASS and MEP officers
Third priority - Full-time officers other than municipal, UMASS, and MEP
Fourth priority - Part-time officers other than municipal, UMASS, and MEP
Fifth priority - Sponsored candidates. Only after all employed officers on the waiting list are admitted can we secure seats for sponsored candidates.
Within each priority ranking, seats will be secured on a first come/first served basis. At 30 days prior to a scheduled academy, the enrollment will be locked and seats will be secured utilizing the above ranking system. Thirty-days prior to the start date of a MPTC-operated academy, the MPTC will notify departments and candidates as to the status of their completed application.
- Who do I contact to become employed as a police officer?
The MPTC is a state agency charged with providing training to municipal, University of Massachusetts and Environmental police officers throughout the Commonwealth. This training consists of both full-time recruit basic training and veteran officer training.
As a training agency, we do not “hire” or select those who attend our recruit academies. That decision rests solely with the individual police department. Those police departments submit applications to the MPTC to send their employee (or sponsored candidate) to MPTC Recruit Academies. Hiring practices vary from city to city and town to town. Civil Service departments must follow a selection process set forth by statute, while those departments not covered by civil service are free to design their own testing and selection process.
Several departments employ part-time “Reserve” police officers. As with full-time officers, the hiring/sponsorship decision rests solely with the employing/sponsoring agency. Those classes are held evenings and weekends and are administered by Chiefs of Police Associations.
We suggest that you contact Civil Service or your local police department to discuss the hiring process within that community.
- How are academies scheduled ?
Recruit Officer training classes are only scheduled to meet anticipated demand. One of the factors in determining when a class will be scheduled and its location is based upon the list of pending candidates gleaned from the interest we have on file from the calls and notices of interest we receive from departments and individuals who express interest in obtaining a seat in a future training academy. As a result, MPTC encourages departments to keep us informed regarding future hiring plans and recruit officer training needs. Please visit this Recruit Officer Training Request link and let us know what your hiring plans by answering the questions on the electronic form. Submitting this Request does not secure a seat in an academy. If you have questions please contact Patrick Caggiano, Recruit Officer Training Coordinator at (781) 437-0306 or email Pat for more information.
- How can I get a chief to sponsor me?
Any municipal or University of Massachusetts chief of police or colonel of the Environmental Police may sponsor an individual not hired by a police department to attend an academy. The MPTC does not maintain a list of chiefs who are willing to sponsorship students, however the sponsoring chief does not need to be the chief of police from the municipality in which you reside.
- How long are the academies?
MPTC-operated Academies are approximately 20-plus weeks. Some MPTC Authorized Academies (Boston, Lowell, MBTA, Springfield and Worcester) may run longer.
- What is the tuition fee for attending recruit training?
Tuition is $3,000.00 per student officer, due on or before Day One in the form of an official agency check or, if the student officer is responsible, a bank certified check or money order. No personal checks are accepted. The sponsoring department and the applicant will be invoiced on or about 30 days prior to the start of the academy. Any student who has not paid the tuition fee on or before Day One may be immediately dismissed from the academy.
MPTC-Authorized Academies' tuition may differ. Please contact the authorized academy you wish to attend for their tuition fees.
- How do I prepare for the academy ?
The recruit training program is designed to be rigorous and challenging. In an effort to prevent injuries and to prepare student officers for successful training and careers, the MPTC is committed to optimizing the opportunity for all student officers to fully benefit from and to be successful in completing the recruit Health and Wellness program. In order to meet these goals, student officers must know what to expect ahead of time and must prepare well in advance of the first day of the academy. The most significant factors in this preparation are: weight control, aerobic capacity, muscular strength and endurance, and flexibility. Download the MPTC Health and Wellness Guide to assist you in preparing for the academy.
- Can I have outside employment and/or work for my department during the academy?
Yes, however, it is strongly discouraged. The recruit training program is designed to be a rigorous program with challenging physical and academic requirements. The physical demands involve not only fitness training but also skills training, such as defensive tactics, firearms, and emergency vehicle operation, all of which require a high degree of stamina and concentration. The recruit training program also requires a great deal of non-academy time for homework, study, and preparation for the next training day. Similarly, bear in mind that the goal of the academy is to prepare you for performance on the street and your career as a police officer. Retention of the knowledge and skills obtained in the academy is critical to success on the street. Insufficient rest and inadequate time to study and prepare will severely and negatively impact retention and application. As a result, due to concerns about your attentiveness and safety during the training and due to our desire that you successfully complete the training and have success as an officer, we strongly discourage working during the academy training.
- How do I obtain a cruiser for the Emergency Vehicle Driving Course?
A cruiser is required for one-week of emergency vehicle driving. If your sponsoring department will not provide one for you, you are required to have made other arrangements previous to submitting your application. The MPTC does not furnish cruisers and does not make recommendations as to how to obtain one. That should be handled through and in communication with your sponsoring chief.
- Are there academies that have cruisers available for Defensive Driving?
No. If your sponsoring department will not provide one for you, you are required to have made other arrangements previous to submitting your application.
- Do I need a firearms license to carry?
One of the following courses of action must be taken prior to the firearms segment of the Basic Curriculum:
• The Student Officer must have a license to carry;
• A person with a license to carry must transport the firearms to and from the firearms range on the designated days; or
• The department must make arrangements for the transportation of their firearms to and from the range and placement in the safekeeping of an instructor.
- How do I apply to an academy?
For consideration in an MPTC-operated academy a complete Basic Training Application is submitted to the MPTC's Recruit Officer Training Coordinator. A complete Application includes the Basic Training Application, Comprehensive Medical pages 1 and 6, and the Official PAT Result. If you have been offered employment by a police department. a copy of your conditional offer of employment signed by the appointing authority is also required and that department will assist you with the application process. If you are not hired by a police department and are a self-sponsored candidate, you must first secure the sponsorship and signature of a municipal or University of Massachusetts chief of police or the colonel of the Environmental Police prior to submitting an application.
- When should I submit the application packet?
When a start date is advertised at an academy you wish to attend you should begin the process to enroll (see "How do I apply to an academy?" for more information). If your interest to attend an MPTC Authorized Academy you should submit your complete application packet directly to that academy. (Also see "How are candidates selected to attend an MPTC operated academy?").
- Where can I find the Application, Medical Forms and PAT schedule?
The Basic Training Application, a link to the Human Resource Division's website to download Medical form and the PAT schedule is available on our website. To access the Application and information necessary to apply, visit this Apply for A Police Academy link.
- Where do I take the Comprehensive Medical?
The Human Resource Division's Policy states: All candidates must have a comprehensive medical exam conducted by either a police department's physician or any occupational healthcare provider other than the candidate's personal physician or physician they know. A military doctor cannot be used as an occupational healthcare provider.
NOTE: All Medical Exams expire after a period of nine-months. The Municipal Police Training Committee's Policy requires that a Medical Exam must be valid (unexpired) on Day One of the recruit academy.
- How do I schedule the PAT?
The Comprehensive Medical must be completed prior to scheduling the PAT. Pages 1 & 6 of the Medical Examination Form are required for a candidate to participate in the Physical Abilities Test (PAT). Departments should be directed to PAT.Coordinator@state.ma.us , or (617) 727-3777, extension 29756 for scheduling needs or questions regarding site or time availability.
To schedule an Initial Hire PAT the hiring (or sponsoring) department must submit a request for the next available Preview and/or PAT along with pages 1 and 6 of the candidate's completed medical examination form to HRD at PAT.Coordinator@state.ma.us e-mail address.
A candidate's medical examination must have been completed within six months of the PAT date. Requests must be submitted no later than 48 hours before the Preview and/or PAT. Once scheduled, the hiring department will receive confirmation of the candidate's test date(s) and test time(s) by email.
- Does the Medical Exam and PAT expire?
Yes. PAT Exams expire after a period of six-months. Comprehensive Medical Exams expire after a period of nine-months. The Municipal Police Training Committee's Policy requires that the Medical and PAT must be valid (unexpired) on Day One of the recruit academy.
- How are seats in a recruit academy secured?
The process starts with submission of a properly completed application packet:
MPTC Operated Academies: The Application Packet (original Basic Training Application, copies of Medical pages 1 and 6, a copy of the Official PAT result, and if hired fulltime a copy of your appointment to the position signed by the appointing authority.) mailed to: Patrick Caggiano , Recruit Officer Training Coordinator, MPTC H.Q., 6 Adams Street, Randolph, MA 02368.
MPTC Authorized Academies: You must coordinate directly with the authorized academy to enroll. At this time it is not a requirement to send an application packet to the MTPC when attending either of the MPTC Authorized Academies (Boston, Lowell, Springfield PD, or MBTA).
- Who do I contact to enroll in the MPTC Authorized Academies ?
Each of the MPTC Authorized Academies has their specific point of contact, tuition costs and application process. The MPTC is not involved the their process. Click this link to the Police Academy Start Dates landing page for a list of authorized police academies and contact information.
- How long is an academy training day?
Training is held Monday through Friday. Typically, training days start early in the morning and conclude late afternoon, at which time students are released from the academy. The actual times vary by academy to accommodate local logistical issues. On occasion, night classes will be held for important training where low-light conditions are desirable, such as nighttime traffic stops and practical exercises, but those dates will be announced early in the academy training.
- Are the academies' residential?
None of the recruit academies require students to spend the night at the academy. However, when the State Police conduct municipal officer training at their New Braintree academy, they do make dorm rooms available to the student officers; however, spending the night is not a requirement. Their overnight accommodations are offered free of charge with a minimal expense for meals in their academy cafeteria. None of the other academies have dorm rooms available.
- When will the academy stop accepting applications for a specific academy?
Enrollment closes 30 days prior to the start of an MPTC-operated academy. However, academy registrations may close sooner if sufficient completed application packets are received to fill the class with fulltime officers.
- When will I know if I have been accepted to attend?
Everyone that has submitted a complete Application is notified of the status of their application on or about 30 days prior to a scheduled MPTC-operated academy.
- When should I give notice to my present employer?
Regardless of whether you are being hired by a police department or not, no applicant should give notice to their present employer until an Official Letter of Acceptance has been received by MPTC H.Q. Seats are secured 30-days prior to an academy start date which should allow sufficient time to give notice to present employers and to meet accepted business-practice etiquette for such notices.
- What equipment will I need?
Download the MPTC Standard Equipment List. This list and any additional requirements is discussed in detail with student officers at the academy's orientation.
- What is Orientation and when is it?
Orientation is a mandatory, pre-academy session wherein the academy staff outlines requirements and expectations for the academy. Orientation is typically held a few weeks prior to Day One. Thirty-days prior to a scheduled date departments will be notified when/where Orientation will be.