Guide Requirements of all Student Officers

This Guide provides an overview of the fulltime Recruit Officer Course, the student officer candidate’s eligibility and requirements to securing a seat. These requirements apply to all student officer candidates.

Police Academy Overview

The Recruit Officer Course is a comprehensive training program. This course combines classroom instruction, practical exercises, and scenarios designed to provide the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to excel in the police profession and be an asset to the community. This program emphasizes integrity, professionalism, and community service is under constant review to make sure topics are updated, to address emerging trends in policing, and to take advantage of technology. For example, large-screen computer simulations are used to teach and test force response. MPTC academies utilize municipal and state police officers as Staff Instructors. These outstanding police professionals act as role models and mentors to the student officers and guide them towards becoming exemplary officers.

The MPTC also approves recruit academies run by municipal police departments statewide. Upon graduation of MPTC and MPTC Approved Police Academies the student officer will have successfully completed the prescribed course of study for basic police training, to exercise police powers, as mandated by Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 41, § 96B.

Miminum Requirements of all Applicants

Candidates accepted into a police academy must:

  • Be a minimum of 21 years old
  • Be employed or sponsored by a municipal, Environmental, or University of Massachusetts police department or, if authorized by the Committee, some other law enforcement department.
  • Sponsored candidates must also sign and comply with the terms of the academy's Waiver and Release.
  • Successfully complete the Massachusetts Human Resource Division's Physical Ability Test (PAT) and medical examinations
  • Have a valid medical exam. Medical Exams expire after a period of nine months, must be unexpired on Day One
  • Physical Ability Tests expire after a period of six months, must be unexpired on Day One
  • Have full medical coverage for the duration of the police academy.
  • Have a cruiser 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.

Additional Resources

Physical Fitness Requirements

Must prepare well in advance of the first day of 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. The candidate should download the MPTC Health and Wellness Guide to assist h/she in preparing for the academy.

Additional Resources

Student Officer Tuition

  • Student Officer Tuition is $3,000.00 per student officer. 
  • Tuition does not include the required equipment and gear listed on the MPTC Standard Equipment List.

Additional Resources

Completing the Application Process

When a start date is advertised at a police academy, potential student officer candidates should begin the process to enroll by scheduling the Comprehensive Medical and Physical Ability Test. If your interest is to attend an MPTC Authorized Academy you must coordinate directly with the authorized academy. At this time it is not a requirement to send an application packet to the MTPC when attending either of the MPTC Authorized Academies.

The Complete Application Packet:

For consideration, a complete Application Packet must be received by MPTC's Basic Recruit Officer Training Coordinator.

A complete Application Packet includes:    

  • One original application signed by the sponsoring authority and the applicant
  • One copy of applicant's appointment letter (for full-time and permanent part-time applicants)
  • One copy of pages 1 and 6  of the comprehensive medical 
  • One copy of the official Physical Ability Test (PAT)
  • One original signed waiver and release (for part-time applicants that are sponsored or sponsored applicants)
  • After the student officer's seat is confirmed by the MPTC, tuition is due no later than seven 7 days prior to the police academy start date.



How seats are filled

Departments are notified 30 days prior to a police academy start date or sooner if an academy reaches capacity.

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

  1. 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.
  2. Second priority - Part-time municipal, UMASS and MEP officers
  3. Third priority - Full-time officers other than municipal, UMASS, and MEP
  4. Fourth priority - Part-time officers other than municipal, UMASS, and MEP
  5. 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.

Image credits:  Academy Director Joseph Witkowski, WMASS Police Academy


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