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How Police Academies Work


International Police Academies

From bobbies in Britain to jakes in Japan, similarities exist in police training programs across the world because officers share a common objective: to enforce the law. The differences arise in which training areas are emphasized and qualifications. States in the U.S., as we've discussed, balance both physical and academic training over an average six-month to eight-month period. After that, new police officers must complete a field training program and probationary period before moving into a specialized area.

Great Britain has a similar system for its Metropolitan Police force. Its training program covers law, police procedure, communication, emergency life-saving techniques and physical fitness [source: Metropolitan Police]. However, age restrictions are lower, allowing training to begin at 18 and a half years old. There are also no education prerequisites, and the probationary period lasts for two years.

In the Middle East, Palestine opened the Fatah Police Academy in 2007 with major funding from Saudi Arabia and the European Union [source: Gradstein]. Although this police academy is initially training current police officers in an effort to reestablish security in Palestine, it covers the same basic physical and academic training with which we're familiar. Before the academy opened, police officers received little instruction. Now, their classes teach computer and technical skills, as well as management and negotiation tactics. Like the Los Angeles Police Department's Police Academy that teaches Spanish, the Fatah academy recruits learn Hebrew, the language of their Israeli neighbors.

On the other side of Asia, Japanese police training is supervised through the National Policing Agency. Its training has a more comprehensive, educational approach since more recruits have high school diplomas or college degrees, compared with the United States [source: Bayley]. New recruits go through a classroom training period and time in the field, followed by more classroom training. Interestingly, their academic instruction also reflects the Japanese history and culture by integrating Confucian principles and samurai fighting traditions [source: Bayley].

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