Delaware State Police Training Academy

1441 N Dupont Hwy, Dover, DE 19903

In 2014, the Delaware State Police Training Academy was commanded by Director of Training Captain Galen M. Purcell. The Academy Staff includes fourteen sworn and non-sworn employees of the Division…


Phone: 302-739-7300

New Castle County Police Academy

3601 N Dupont Hwy, New Castle, DE 19720

The Lieutenant Joseph L. Szczerba Police Academy is located in the community of Kimberton, just outside of Newark. The 14,000-square-foot facility replaced an abandoned swimming pool that was located within…


Phone: 302-395-8171

So, you want to be a police officer in the state of Delaware, huh? First, there are certain things that you need to know about and understand. A lot of times people think being a police officer is a glamorous position, but in reality it is not a position to take lightly. As you will see in this article, it is not easy being a police officer or even trying to become a police officer.

As we all know, a lot of young children grow up hoping to one day become police officers. There is a certain allure about saying you were able to become a police officer and help people when they need it the most.

This job, however, is not for the faint of heart, as the old saying goes: they run to what you run from. A police officer job is very physically demanding, emotionally demanding, and even psychologically demanding.

That’s why it is not for everybody.

Responsibility to Protect and Serve

One thing to keep in mind is that, as a police officer, there is a huge amount of responsibility that goes with the job. Not just anyone can become a police officer. If you think about it, a police officer has the power to take someone’s life if they need too, so they have to be capable of making those split second decisions. Now most people are not going to be able to make those type of decisions without training. That is where the police academy comes into play. You have to remember that you will take an oath to protect and serve all people, and you will possibly give your life for someone you do not even know, but such is the life of a true police officer.

Getting In: Tests and Exams

In Delaware, the only way to get into a police academy is for a police department to hire you and put you through the academy. Needless to say, before you go into a police academy you have to prove yourself worthy of getting the job. What does proving yourself worthy entail? For starters, in most cases, police departments want you to have a college degree, but it is not really required.

For most departments, the first step, before you even get an interview you will have to take what is called a PT test, which is physical training. This test encompasses several different tests including, push ups, jumping jacks, sit-ups and running. If you pass that test then you will take a written test, and if you pass that one you might be set up for an interview. If you pass the first interview, they will have you do a background which is not small, but very intense, and they will talk to your neighbors, co-workers, and friends.

If you make it through that, then you will go through a psychological exam, which is really the last step. Then you will have the opportunity to go through a review board which will ask you questions. If you pass all of that, and they decide to hire you, then you go to the police academy.

Preparing for the Academy

As you enter the police academy, you have to be prepared because it will be intense. One thing most people recommend is that you start doing physical training at home. You will be doing a lot of it at the academy, so you may as well be prepared. Police academy is like boot camp training. They will break you down mentally to bring you back up. Your drill instructors are doing it to prepare you for what you will encounter in uniform. One thing you can almost guarantee is that not everyone that you start the academy with will be there when you graduate. A lot of times it is too intense for a lot of people.

What to Expect from Training

Most police academies in the state of Delaware require the recruit to stay there. The normal time a police academy runs is usually 21 weeks long. The very first day you walk in the academy you can expect very harsh training. Physical training every single solid day, including long runs, boxing and sometimes grappling. You will also be trained on the criminal code, so you know what types of charges you can charge people with, and be prepared to take tests on drug codes, criminal codes and traffic codes. As a recruit, which is what you should expect to be called, you will also go through fire arms training, including a handgun and probably a shotgun.

The training does not stop there, in most cases you will be sprayed by pepper spray and possibly tear gas, so you can feel and see what that is like, but also so you can testify to it being non lethal. You will be taught how to testify in court, as most police officers are in court quite a bit. So the key to understanding everything is that you need to be properly trained before you can become a police officer. However, once you graduate the police academy you will be given a certificate stating that you can work as a police officer in the state of Delaware. Because the police department that hired you paid for the academy, it is frowned upon if a police officer tries to go to another department before two years.

Working as a Police Officer

Once you’re in a patrol division, it becomes fun and interesting. You can now use all that great training that you received to take any number of paths. You can work in patrol, you can go into special units like homicide, drug investigations, K-9 division or even community policing, which we need plenty of right now. Police officers will never be rich, but they certainly do well. You can expect to make anywhere from $25k-$40k per year, depending on the department you go with.

However, being a police officer is not an easy job. In most cases, you will see people at their worst. You will deal with bad car accidents and sometimes people being killed or harmed in some sort of way, but the rewards for helping people and taking a stand can not be forgotten. Most police officers will tell you that the greatest thing for them is making a difference in children’s lives.

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