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Guide Frequently asked questions about police academies

Answers to the most commonly asked questions about full-time and part-time police academies.

Table of Contents

How are police academies scheduled?

Full-time recruit officer courses (ROC) are only scheduled to meet anticipated demand. As a result, the Municipal Police Training Committee (MPTC) encourages departments to keep the MPTC informed regarding future hiring plans and recruit officer training needs. If you have questions regarding an MPTC police academy please contact Pat Caggiano at (781) 437-0306 or via email. Please contact your area's full-time police training organization to express interest in attending an authorized police academy.

With prior authorization, part-time police academies are scheduled by police training organizations throughout the Commonwealth based on demand. Please contact the part-time reserve/intermittent police training organization in your area with questions or to express interest in the academy.

What does it cost to attend the police academy?

Full-time police academy tuition is $3,000.00 per student officer. Tuition is due no later than 7 days prior to the start date of the police academy.

  • Payment is made in the form of a department or bank certified check made payable to "Municipal Police Training Committee".
  • When enrolled in an authorized full-time police academy, payments are made directly to the authorized police academy. Consult with the authorized full-time police academy for the cost of tuition.

Part-time (reserve/intermittent) police academy tuition is determined by individual police training organizations authorized by the Municipal Police Training Committee to train reserve/intermittent police officers. Academy tuition is found on the police training organization's registration page.

Does tuition include the required MPTC Standard Equipment?

Full-time Police Academies

No. Tuition does not include the equipment and gear required to attend a full-time police academy. The MPTC maintains a Standard Equipment List required by all student officers attending MPTC or MPTC-authorized police academies.

Part-time Police Academies

Contact the police training organization in your area to inquire if tuition includes the cost of equipment and gear required to attend the part-time police academy.

Is there a physical training requirement?

Full-time Police Academies

Yes. In an effort to prevent injuries, there is a physical training requirement to attend a full-time police academy. The MPTC is committed to optimizing the opportunity for all student officers to be successful in completing the 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
  • endurance
  • flexibility

Download the MPTC's Health & Wellness Preparation Guide to assist you in preparing for the academy.

Part-time Police Academies

At this time, part-time police academies do not have a physical training requirement. 

How do I get a chief to sponsor me?

The MPTC does not maintain a list of chiefs who are willing to sponsor students; however, the sponsoring chief does not need to be the chief of police from the municipality in which you reside.

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 a full-time police academy. 

To attend a part-time police academy an individual employed or sponsored by a municipal, Environmental, or University of Massachusetts police department or, if authorized by the Committee, some other law enforcement department may sponsor you to attend.

How are candidates selected to attend a police academy?

Full-time Police Academy

There is a ranking policy for acceptance in an MPTC operated full-time police academy. Seats are filled in the following order:

  • First priority - Full-time municipal, University of Massachusetts, 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, University of Massachusetts and Environmental police officers
  • Third priority - Full-time officers other than municipal, University of Massachusetts, and Environmental police officers
  • Fourth priority - Part-time officers other than municipal, University of Massachusetts, and Environmental police officers
  • 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. 30 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.

Part-time Police Academy

Please contact the police training organization in your area to ask what their selection process is.

Can I work nights or weekends during the full-time police 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, please note 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.

Do I need a license to carry a firearm?

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 Class A License to Carry
  • A person with a Class A License to Carry must transport the firearms to and from the range
  • The department must make arrangements for the transportation of their firearms to and from the range and place in the safekeeping of an instructor

Who provides the cruiser for defensive driving?

A cruiser is required to attend a full-time police academy for one-week of defensive driving. If your sponsoring department will not provide one for you, you are required to have made arrangements previous to submitting your application. The MPTC does not make recommendations.

When will I know if I have been accepted to attend?

30 days prior to a MPTC operated academy start date the MPTC will notify departments and candidates the status of their application; however, academy registrations may close sooner if sufficient completed application packets are received to fill the class with full-time officers. Reserve and/or sponsored applications are not reflected in this number. Reserve/sponsored applications are only filled on the deadline date if there is room. Priority is give to all full-time applications.

When should I give notice to my current employer?

When the police department and the applicant receive an official letter of acceptance from the Municipal Police Training Committee Headquarters the applicant is formally accepted as a student officer and can give notice to their present employer.

Are there overnight dormitories?

No. Police academies operate during the daytime, Monday through Friday. Student officers go home at the end of each day.

Who do I contact to become employed as a police officer in Massachusetts?

The Municipal Police Training Committee sets the standards for basic police training for candidates hired by individual police departments throughout the Commonwealth. Those police departments submit applications their employee (or sponsored candidate) to our authorized recruit academies. Hiring practices vary by departments and certain departments, operating by Civil Service, 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 or sponsorship decision rests solely with the employing or sponsoring agency. Those classes are held evenings and weekends and are administered by Chiefs of Police Associations throughout the Commonwealth.

We suggest that you contact Civil Service or your local police department to discuss the hiring process within that community.