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State and Local Law Enforcement Training Academies, 2006

ADVANCE FOR RELEASE AT 4:00 P.M. EST Bureau of Justice Statistics
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2009 Contact: Kara McCarthy: 202-307-1241
www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs After hours: 781-308-3696


WASHINGTON – A total of 648 state and local law enforcement training academies were providing basic training to entry-level recruits at yearend 2006, the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) in the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, announced today. An estimated 57,000 recruits entered basic training at these academies during 2005. Eighty-six percent of recruits successfully completed training and graduated from the academy.

The average cost of operating a training academy totaled $1.3 million during 2005. Academies spent an estimated $16,000 per successful recruit.

Nearly all academies trained recruits for careers as local police officers (92 percent), and many academies trained recruits who were hired as sheriffs’ deputies (70 percent) or campus police officers (50 percent). Some academies also trained recruits for careers as state police officers (21 percent), constables (16 percent), tribal police officers (15 percent), natural resources officers (15 percent), or transportation police officers (14 percent).

More than two-thirds of academies were operated by colleges and universities (45 percent) or municipal police departments (22 percent). Training programs averaged 761 hours of classroom time. A third of academies required an average of 453 hours of mandatory field training.

The academies employed more than 10,000 full-time and 28,000 part-time instructors during 2006 and spent around $33,000 per full-time equivalent employee.

Basic training programs covered a variety of subjects. Academies devoted a median of 40 or more hours each to firearms, self-defense, health and fitness, patrol procedures, emergency vehicle operations, and investigations. Nearly all academies also included instruction on criminal and constitutional law, community policing, basic first aid, report writing, ethics and integrity, and non-lethal weapons. Ninety percent of academies provided training on the prevention of terrorism.

Overall, male recruits (87 percent) had a higher completion rate than females (80 percent). Non-Hispanic whites (87 percent) had a higher completion rate than Hispanics (82 percent), non-Hispanic blacks (81 percent), or recruits of other races (78 percent). For race and gender combined, white males (95 percent) had the highest completion rate, followed by white females and black males (88 percent each).

The type of training approach significantly affected completion rates. Both male and female recruits had the same completion rates (89 percent) at academies with a predominately non-stress, academic-style of training. However, in academies with a predominately stress-based, military-style of training, the completion rate for female recruits (68 percent) lagged behind that of male recruits (81 percent).

The report, State and Local Law Enforcement Training Academies, 2006 (NCJ-222987), was written by BJS statistician Brian A. Reaves. Following publication, the report can be found at http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=1207.

For additional information about the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ statistical reports and programs, please visit the BJS Web site at http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/.

The Office of Justice Programs (OJP), headed by Acting Assistant Attorney General Laurie O. Robinson, provides federal leadership in developing the nation's capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice, and assist victims. OJP has five component bureaus: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; and the Office for Victims of Crime. In addition, OJP has two program offices: the Community Capacity Development Office, which incorporates the Weed and Seed strategy, and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART). More information can be found at http://www.ojp.gov.

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Date Published: February 26, 2009