Throughout the police departments of the United States, requirements are set for those individuals who want to become a police officer. For instance, basic requirements include that the applicant be at least 21 years of age, hold a high school diploma and a maintain a background that is free from criminal activity such as domestic violence. Yet, the requirements don't stop there. Many police departments require prospective police officers to attend an academy to learn things such as constitutional and state laws, local ordinances, civil rights, self-defense, responsible use of firearms and accident investigation procedures, according to the 2010-2011 Occupational Outlook Handbook. While larger police departments often house their own academies, smaller agencies often must refer recruits to regional or state-operated institutions.

Call your local police department if you are interested in working in your city or town as an officer. Ask them if they have their own academy for recruits, or if they can recommend a regional or state academy to you. You can find your local police department's number in the Yellow Pages under "Police" or you can use yellow pages.com to find the number.

Go to PoliceAcademyInfo.com and click on the "Police Academies" tab at the top of the page. Once you reach the page, you will find links to police academy listings for all 50 U.S. states.

Scroll down the page to find your state or the state in where you are interested in attending an academy and click on the state. You will receive a listing of available academies in the state you chose. Address and phone contact information will also be available.

Call the academies. Find out what it takes to enroll in the specific institution.

Tip

  • Unless a police department is sponsoring you while you attend a police academy, you will not have a guaranteed job once you graduate. If you are interested in working in the city or town where you currently live, contact the local department and ask them about job opportunities.