Alabama Criminal Justice Training Center

1005 Charles Byrd Blvd., Selma, AL 36703

For almost 75 years, sworn members of the Alabama Department of Public Safety have been tasked with enforcing traffic and criminal laws, investigating crashes and promoting traffic safety in Alabama.


Phone: 334-263-8950

APOSTC Law Enforcement Academy – Baldwin County

15950 Mosley Road, Stapleton, AL 36578

The APOSTC Law Enforcement Academy Baldwin County formerly Southwest Alabama Police Academy (SWAPA) was establish in 1972 pursuant to the passage of the Minimum Standards Act in 1971 by the…


Phone: 251-937-1840

APOSTC Law Enforcement Academy at Tuscaloosa

7601 Robert Cardinal Airport Road, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401

It is the mission of the APOSTC Law Enforcement Academy at Tuscaloosa to train Law Enforcement Personnel. The Academy provides basic, advanced and reserve officer training. The Ultimate goal of…


Phone: 205-759-3000

Birmingham Police Academy

1710 1st Avenue North, Birmingham, AL 35203

The Birmingham Police Academy curriculum includes approximately 920 hours of instructions, including 480 hours required by the Alabama Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission. All training aids and materials are…


Phone: 205-254-1700

Huntsville Police Academy

3011-A Sparkman Drive, Huntsville, AL 35810

The Huntsville Police Academy is responsible for teaching new recruits the knowledge and skills to become competent professional police officers. The Training Division also holds annual training for current employees…


Phone: 256-746-4409

Jefferson County Law Enforcement Academy

3500 Happy Hollow Lane, Fultondale, AL 35068

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Academy provides training for all law enforcement personnel and includes a basic sheriff’s academy, reserve academy, firearms training, and continuing education, in-service and advanced training.


Phone: 205-849-5246

Mobile Police Academy

2460 Government Blvd, Mobile, AL 36606

The level of training at the Mobile Police Department is high to assure that our officers can meet the demands of the job. Recruits receive 600 to 700 hours of…


Phone: 251-208-2720

Montgomery Police Academy

740 Mildred St, Montgomery, AL 36104

Trainees attending the Alabama Advanced Criminal Justice Academy can expect a physically and mentally challenging experience to prepare them for the world of a Law Enforcement. Our trainees will be…


Phone: 334-240-4824

Northeast Alabama Law Enforcement Academy

100 Gamecock Drive, Fort McClellan, AL 36205

The Alabama Peace Officers’ Standards and Training requires law enforcement training consisting of 13 weeks of intensified classroom and field work designed to qualify the newly employed law enforcement officer…


Phone: 256-782-5318

Hundreds of law enforcement agencies in the state of Alabama hire qualified recruits to take on the daily challenges of patrolling the streets. They pay competitive rates and offer significant benefits including medical insurance, retirement plans, and paid leave. Although the training process for new officers is rigorous, a career in law enforcement is one of the most rewarding opportunities in the public sector.

In order to effectively serve the community as a cop, one must be responsible, trustworthy, and self-motivated. Honesty is essential while interacting with citizens, court officials, and superiors. Sworn officers must be able to follow orders but also take command in emergency situations. Since inherent danger exists each day, deputies have to be prepared at all times to make split-second decisions that may result in use of deadly force. Both the recruit and his family members must be able to cope with the stress of a life in law enforcement.

The basic requirements that have been set by the Alabama Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission provide direction to individuals who wish to join the state’s police force. Certification can be achieved by most trainees through adequate instruction and practice. Between its large number of academies and wide variety of law enforcement offices, the Yellowhammer State has plenty to offer to new recruits.

Minimum Requirements

While different police departments and sheriffs offices have established their own preconditions for employment, all law enforcement agencies in Alabama must adhere to the statewide minimum standards. To begin the certification process, applicants must satisfy the following APOSTC requirements.

  • Be a U.S. Citizen
  • Be at least 19 years old
  • Have a high school diploma, GED, or ACT score of 18 or higher
  • Hold a valid Alabama drivers license
  • Have good moral character
  • Have no felony nor misdemeanor convictions
  • Have no dishonorable discharge from the U.S. Armed Forces

Each new recruit must be examined by a certified physician and confirmed to be in good health. A psychological checkup is also necessary for the detection of potential problems in dealing with the demands of the job. Once the basic standards have been met and the appropriate examinations have been completed, the aspiring officer is ready to attend a training academy.

Police Training Academy

To achieve certification in Alabama, every recruit must attend 480 hours of instruction at an APOSTC-accredited police academy. Applicants are often expected to have a full-time job with a law enforcement agency in order to be accepted into a training program. They must pass all segments of the training course and become certified within the first six months of employment.

The Alabama Highway Patrol trains cadets at Selma’s Alabama Criminal Justice Training Center. In addition to military-style conditioning, potential troopers undergo extensive instruction in the following subjects.

  • First Aid
  • Criminal and Traffic Law
  • Constitutional Law
  • Firearms
  • Defensive Tactics
  • Accident Investigation
  • Pursuit Driving
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Public Speaking

Each trainee for the Alabama Highway Patrol must be willing to work in any location in the state. He is assigned a trooper field training officer for his first eight weeks then receives a patrol car and operates on his own. After three years, the trooper can request a transfer to another division.

The Birmingham Police Department requires 920 hours of law enforcement instruction at its 20-week academy. Recruits learn appropriate methods of search and seizure along with many other tactics. The physical training aspect of the program includes the following tasks.

  • Scale a six-foot fence
  • Crawl through a 2′ x 2′ window opening
  • Push a car 15 feet
  • Drag a 165 pound dummy five yards
  • Walk five yards on a balance beam
  • Run a mile and a half within 15 minutes and 28 seconds

Upon certification, new officers at the Birmingham Police Department are placed under the supervision of a Field Training Officer for at least 16 weeks. This segment of the training process prepares the rookie for full responsibilities in the Patrol Division. After three years working on the streets, the officer is eligible for special positions ranging from canine handler to crime scene technician.

Law enforcement agencies around the state call for similar training and experience. Some departments, such asHuntsville, require employees to be 21 years old at the time of academy graduation. Most agencies include a mandatory polygraph test in addition to an extensive background check and drug screening. Applicants are normally asked to fill out an affidavit to certify that all requirements have been met according to Alabama title 36-21-46.

Benefits of a Career in Alabama Law Enforcement

Once the skills have been mastered, the Alabama law enforcement officer is rewarded for his efforts. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, he can expect to start at more than $40,000 a year if he works in a large city. The pay rate in less populated areas depends on the size of the jurisdiction and budgetary demands. Supervisors usually make over $60,000 annually.

Medical and life insurance coverage is among the most important benefits that are extended to officers in the state. A retirement plan that pays up to 72.5 percent of the employee’s base pay after 30 years is significant as well. Many sworn officers enjoy perks like the use of a take-home vehicle and the constant availability of overtime. Dependable officers can also boost their pay rates by obtaining an associates or bachelor’s degree in a related field.

Perhaps the greatest benefit of all, however, is gratification. Law enforcement personnel are typically committed to serving the general public in any way possible. Their dedication often goes above and beyond the basic requirements of the job. Capable individuals who are devoted to full-time community protection are always highly demanded in the state of Alabama!

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