Only a few applicants meet the police academy requirements in Indiana as it is one of the toughest in the country. However, your chances of acing the exams will go up dramatically if you train properly and know the prerequisites.
The process of becoming a cop in the Indianapolis Police Department can take anywhere from 8 months to more than a year. The reason for this isn’t just the number of applicants, but a testament to how difficult the process is. The training is very demanding physically so if you’re thinking of joining, you need to lose those extra pounds and get in good condition.
The first step to becoming a cop is to meet the minimum requirements set by the state, and they are the following.
- You are a citizen of the United States.
- You are at least 21 years old during the time you filed the application. You must also not be more than 38 at the time.
- Only applicants who have never been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor charge will be considered.
- You must have a high school diploma or GED.
- You have a valid driver’s license.
- If you engaged in military service, an honorable discharge is required.
The Selection Process
Applicants also need to pass the physical fitness standards since intense training is required. However, there is much more to the selection process than that, and an overview is as follows.
- Submit the application according to the requirements stated above.
- Take part in the written exam and pass it. This test will determine if your vocabulary, reading comprehension and grammatical skills meet the minimum standards set by the Indiana State Police.
- Physical Ability Tests – pushups, sit ups and running
- Oral interview – if you’re thinking of working as a cop in the Fort Wayne Police Department, you must pass the oral board interview. Your responses will be added to your overall grade and performance and affect your chances of moving on.
- Pass a polygraph test.
- Be subjected to a background investigation – this is very comprehensive and all pieces of information you submitted will be subject to verification.
- Psychological and medical examination
- Drug screening – the tests will be performed randomly
- Review – your performance in the training will be subjected to a review to determine if you passed or not.
Physical Training Preparation
The easiest way to learn how to prepare for the Indiana law enforcement academy is to use a guide like http://www.prepareforthepoliceacademy.com/. This guide includes tips for passing the law exam as well as detailed instructions on to learn the right kind of workouts you need to do to prepare for the intense physical training.
The importance of getting in shape cannot be stressed enough. The physical training regimen will require you to do a specific number of sit ups and pushups in a specific manner. Unless you’re in good physical condition, you won’t be able to complete these routines, let alone do a specific number of them while being timed. If you want to be hired at the Evansville Police Department you’ll need to go beyond fluff workouts and do the real thing.
An important part of your training is the academic curriculum. Just like the academic training in other states, there are several topics that will be covered, each lasting a specific number of hours. The number of hours you will need to train depends on the academy, but it won’t be less than 1,000 if you combine the academic and field training.
Some of the topics that you will need to study are:
- Indiana criminal law and in particular those that concern police officers
- The state laws, as a working knowledge is necessary for any policeman to perform his or her duties.
- Handling people of different cultures – this is included in virtually every police academy in the United States, as it is imperative for a police officer to learn, respect and be sensitive to people of different cultures.
- Policing the community – this includes learning the community around you and how to handle different tasks, situations and circumstances that might arise in the community and require your assistance.
- Conflict management – part of a police officer’s task is to try and resolve conflicts and disputes amicably, so this is an integral part of their study.
- Writing police reports – police officers in Indiana must also be able to write clear, concise and grammatically correct police reports.
- Ethics – this is also required so they know and understand the values that the Indiana State Police are upholding.
Salary and Benefits
The salaries of police officers in Indiana vary a bit, but on the whole they are on the national average, or in some cases a little above it. At the South Bend Police Department the average salary is $47,083, while at the Carmel Police Department it is $49,909.
However, the salary is only one benefit they receive. Those who get accepted as an Indiana police officer may collect a vacation leave, get college incentive pay and overtime pay, sick leave and life and dental insurance. In addition, police officers will also receive the benefits of a full featured retirement plan and pension fund.
Aside from the information provided above, you may also use the following websites and resources to help with your training.
- http://www.in.gov/isp/ is the official website of the Indiana State Police and contains all the updated and relevant information aspirants need to know. Aside from those, the website has links to firearms licensing information, criminal history, crime reports and more.
- http://www.in.gov/ilea is the website of the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy, and it is a good starting point if you are interested in becoming a law enforcer in the state.
- http://www.50states.com/indiana/police_departments.htm is an online resource that provides information about all the police departments in Indiana.
Passing the physical fitness test standards is one of the main requirements to becoming a police officer in Indiana, so it’s imperative that you prepare before you join the academy. Make no mistake about it, becoming a police officer is hard work, and only those who are truly fit stand any chance of going all the way through.