The program, operated through Cazenovia College’s Center for Adult and Continuing Education, is designed for current civilian or non-sworn New York State residents who are interested in entering the law enforcement field as police officers in New York State. Although the program does not guarantee admission into a police department, every standard required by a full-time basic police academy applies, including physical fitness, attendance and academics.
Training is conducted by certified police instructors or approved instructors. Cazenovia College provides professional instructors from both the police community and the College in order to facilitate the appropriate learning environment and meet the rigid standards of the DCJS.
Upon successful completion of the program, graduates receive a transcript and a certificate indicating completion of Phase I of Pre-Employment Police Basic Training. The certificate gives students two years to secure employment in a police department and complete the Phase II portion of the training before being awarded a full Basic School Certificate from DCJS.
During the Phase II training, police officers must be presented the three remaining units of the Basic Course for Police Officers, including, but not limited to: Counter-Terrorism for Recruit Police Officers; Firearms Training; and Supervised Field Training Review and Orientation. In addition, each police officer must be presented Impact Device Training and Testing for at least eight hours. Cazenovia College does not currently offer Phase II training.
Several years ago many small police departments throughout New York State petitioned the DCJS and the Governor’s Office for help in alleviating the costs of training police officers throughout the state.
Considering that all agencies had to first hire new police officers, send them to a municipal police academy and equip them, all while paying their salaries, small departments found the fiscal burden too cumbersome. Many officers left their departments for various reasons after finishing their training, leaving those departments a tab of about $30,000 per officer.
Pre-Employment Police Basic Training is not a new concept. Thirty-seven other states in the United States conduct it with great success. It relieves law enforcement agencies of the burden and expense of providing Phase I training, but all aspects of regular academy training are essentially the same, except that the student is not a sworn police officer and enters the program as a civilian.