Municipal Police Academy

Training for Today's Law Enforcement Officers

Since its inception in 1979, the Westmoreland County Community College Municipal Police Officers’ Training Academy has provided police officers with the knowledge and training necessary to perform today’s law enforcement tasks as well as a foundation upon which the officer may continue to enhance his or her police skills and academic knowledge.

All of our programs are taught by experts with a collective 300 years of law enforcement experience. The academy is under the jurisdiction of the Municipal Police Officers’ Education and Training Commission (MPOETC), headquartered in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The commission is empowered to implement the statutory requirements of the various police training acts.

Tuition for 2020 is still ONLY $4,950.

Municipal Police Academy CadetsCourse Offerings

The college offers both a full-time and a part-time police academy each year. The full-time academy classes involve 40 hours per week.

The schedule for the 2020 part-time program:

  • January 11 – November 21, 2020
  • Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
  • Saturday: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Approximately one Sunday a month: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

This schedule will continue to accommodate those persons who want to maintain employment while attending the police academy. See the tentative syllabus

The tentative schedule for the 2020 full-time program:

  • June 3 – November 21, 2020
  • Tuesday–Saturday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • One Sunday a month:  8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Tentative full-time syllabus

Curriculum

A broad spectrum of information is presented to satisfy the educational needs of the basic patrol officer. The eighteen areas of study, as mandated by the commission, include:

  • Introduction to the Academy
  • Introduction to Pennsylvania Law Enforcement
  • Physical and Emotional Readiness
  • Human Relations
  • Civil and Criminal Laws and Procedures
  • Use of Force/Defensive Tactics
  • Motor Vehicle Law
  • Motor Vehicle Collision Investigations
  • Patrol Procedures and Operations
  • Basic Firearms
  • Principles of Criminal Investigation
  • Emergency First Responder and CPR
  • Operation of Patrol Vehicles
  • Case Presentation
  • Crisis Management
  • Families in Crisis
  • Report Writing
  • Handling Arrested Persons

College Credits Upon Completion

Upon successful completion of the Westmoreland County Community College Municipal Police Academy program, the cadet is eligible to receive up to a maximum of 15 Criminal Justice credits upon enrollment in the Westmoreland Criminal Justice program.

Those credits include the following courses: CRJ 160-Criminal Law, CRJ 262-Crime Prevention, CRJ 276-Community Relations, CRJ 263-Investigative Concepts and CRJ 296-Introduction to Criminalistics.

Philosophy

In today’s law enforcement community, there is  an ever-increasing trend toward true professionalism. This trend is mandated by our society’s concern for a reliable and effective system of criminal justice that uses alternatives to crude and simple physical force. Today’s society will not allow the law enforcement community to return to an era of limited education for police officers. The officer must be democratically oriented and mindful of the dignity of every citizen. He/she must also be knowledgeable in the technical and legal aspects of this occupation.

The Municipal Police Officers’ Training Academy (MPOTA) exists to provide the police officer with quality training, motivation and a positive philosophy of understanding about our society and its value systems. This academy is committed to continue this trend toward professionalism in its training programs so the officer can function in the community as an important member of the law enforcement team.

Police Academy graduates

Important Information

  • Only 32 cadets will be accepted for each academy. If sufficient enrollment is not attained, classes may be cancelled.
  • Academy tuition covers  textbooks and gym uniform (except gym shoes). Cadets will be responsible for the cost of their uniform and/or other sundries. A complete listing of covered and non-covered items can be found in the Cadet Handbook.
  • The academy is not eligible for traditional student loans or traditional grants. Banking institutions may offer private educational loan programs.
  • The academy is approved by the Veterans Administration. Veterans should contact the Veterans Administration regarding educational benefits that may be available.
  • Prior to applying to the Municipal Police Officers’ Training Academy, review the Cadet Handbook.  If you prefer a hard copy, please call 724-925-4112 and request a copy.

Accreditation

The Westmoreland County Community College Municipal Police Officers' Training Academy (MPOETC # 25) and its programs are fully certified through the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania by MPOETC and are inspected annually by the commission.

Ready to Apply?

Any person applying for the Municipal Police Officers’ Training Academy must adhere to the following to be considered for admission:

  • Be 18 years of age when applying to the police academy (disregard 21 years in cadet handbook). There is no maximum age restriction.
  • Be of good moral character and, under oath, attest that he/she has no prior criminal record.
  • Complete and submit an application, including Release of Information and Certification and the Oath of Applicant, before the advertised deadline.
  • Provide a current photo identification and/or driver's license.
  • Provide proof of high school graduation or GED certificate.
  • Submit college transcript, if applicable.
  • Obtain and submit (before deadline) a physical examination, at applicant's expense, by a PA licensed physician, certified nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant and a 5 panel drug test (See Forms section below).
    • Vision requirements for a municipal police officer are: a visual acuity of at least 20/70, uncorrected in the stronger eye, correctable to at least 20/20; and at least 20/200, uncorrected in the weaker eye, correctable to at least 20/40. Normal depth and color perception are also required. Applicants have had great success with Lasik Eye Surgery.
    • The physical form must be dated no earlier than six (6) months prior to the first class session.
    • The physical must be submitted before participating in the physical fitness screening evaluations. 
  • Obtain scores in the 30th percentile in the Physical Fitness Tests (One-minute sit-up test, One-repetition maximum bench press, 1.5 mile run and 300-meter run). This test is provided by the college for no charge.
  • Obtain and submit (before the deadline) a psychological examination, at applicant's expense, including the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), by a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist. (See Form section below)
  • Take the Nelson-Denny Reading Examination provided by the college for no charge.
  • Submit to a criminal history check and background investigation.
    • Any conviction graded misdemeanor of the 2nd degree or higher is grounds for automatic disqualification.
    • No applicant will be considered while under parole or probation, whatever the offense, including sentences of ARD (Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition) nor will an applicant be considered within one year of completing ARD probation.     
  • Complete, if requested, an oral interview with the Academy Director and Lead Instructor.
  • Submit a copy of military discharge (DD-214), if applicable, and F.B.I. background check
  • If you are already a sworn municipal police officer, present written authorization from the commissioner, Pennsylvania State Police, showing approval of enrollment.

Physical Fitness Test

Following receipt of completed applications, applicants will be scheduled for the physical fitness test.

NOTE: Nearly 50% of the applicants to the police academy fail the entrance physical fitness examination. If you are interested in attending the academy, start now to improve your health and fitness. Suggestions on improving your fitness may be found in the Cadet Handbook.

Nelson-Denny Reading Examination

After successful completion of the physical fitness test, applicants will be scheduled to take the Nelson-Denny Reading Examination.

Acceptance into the academy is contingent upon successful completion of every process described above. Representatives of the academy staff determine final acceptance after reviewing all available information. Westmoreland reserves the right to reject any applicant who fails to comply with all the standards established above or who fails to fully cooperate in any of the screening processes.

Tuition for the 2019 police academies has been reduced to $4,950There are several methods for paying tuition:

  • GI Bill® and PA National Guard and reservist educational benefits approved for both academies.
  • Self-pay: Westmoreland also has a three payment plan with one third due before classes start, another third payable 1/3 of the way through the class and the final third payable 2/3 of the way through the course.
  • The academy program is eligible for certain private educational loans. Please contact the Police Academy Director at 724-925-4298 for details.

In an effort to keep the cost down to our cadet applicants, we do not add additional charges for reading tests, background investigations or physical entry assessment testing.

We allow the flexibility of the applicant to seek a medical professional for their physical and psychological test that fits their budget.  Should you have difficulty finding one of these professionals, feel free to contact us and we will assist you.

For information on finding a psychologist, physician or drug testing location please contact the director at 724-925-4298.

Act 165 Waivers (Please contact MPOETC for partial waiver information)

Attention former Federal Law Enforcement and Military Police Officers:

Pennsylvania passed Act 165 of 2012 which, amongst other things, allows former Federal Law Enforcement Officers (FLEO) and former Military Police (MP) officers to obtain a waiver to a sizable portion of the Act 120 772-hour Basic Municipal Police Officer Training Program. MPOETC has asked existing PA Municipal Police Officer Training Academies to provide these training courses. Westmoreland has agreed to provide this training.

Once a waiver is approved by the Municipal Police Officer Training and Education Commission (MPOETC), the former FLEO or MP attends an abbreviated training course. Upon successful completion of the course and the state certification examination, these former FLEO’s and MP’s become certifiable as municipal police officers in the state of Pennsylvania. The MPOETC has developed an abbreviated Partial Waiver Course specific to this FLEO/MP waiver. The MPOETC may determine that additional training is required in HAZMAT, EVOC, Firearms, First Aid and CPR.

You may download these forms by clicking on the links below. Please view them in the order in which they are found below.

We recommend that you immediately start preparing for the physical fitness entrance requirements.  These testing standards and suggestions for developing a personal fitness regimen can be found in the back section of the Cadet Handbook.

All application paperwork should be mailed to:
Ms. Karen Fisher
Westmoreland County Community College Police Academy
65 Public Safety Drive 
Smithton, PA 15479

If you have any questions, please contact Franklin R. Newill III at 724-925-4298 or at newillf@westmoreland.edu