The rigorous training regimen at the Academy is meant to instill pride and discipline in each recruit. The paramilitary setting helps accomplish this with uniforms, ranks and insignias, chain of command, and traditions. Come graduation day, you will have earned and will take great pride in your new position as an officer with the Whittier Police Department.
Your recruit training will include academics, physical training, enforcement tactics, weapons training, and vehicle operations. You will be required to meet the standards set forth by both the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.) and the Academy. The following descriptions will provide an overview of what to expect from each type of training.
You will be responsible for the 42 “learning domains” (LD) mandated by P.O.S.T., as well as agency-specific policies and procedures. During your six months at the Academy, you will receive over 1,000 hours of training from experienced officers. Should you fail to pass any LD examination, you must take a remedial exam. Failure of the remedial exam will result in termination from the Academy.
Most recruits find physical training to the most challenging portion of Academy attendance. You will need to report for training prepared for a strenuous conditioning program. You will be motivated to push your body to its limits. You will also be expected to pass a multitude of physical fitness tests.
To prepare yourself for such demanding activity, you should be involved in a strength-training program well in advance of entering the Academy (a circuit training program is advisable). You should also be running at least 3 miles, 3 times a week, at a 9 minute per mile pace. Prior to reporting to the Academy, you should also be able to complete 50 sit-ups, 50 push-ups, and 4 pull-ups. Following these guidelines will ensure that you meet the minimum acceptable level for new recruits.
The staff will train you in various aspects of enforcement procedures. You will learn basic applications regarding use of force, patrol techniques, vehicle pullovers, and crimes in progress. Your general knowledge will be tested in each phase, as well as your ability to apply that knowledge to both day and night scenarios.
Weapons Training is a realistic program that prepares officers to face the challenges of on-the-job encounters.
Each recruit will be instructed in the safe handling and effective use of the Department’s general duty weapons: SigArms Model 226 .40 caliber semiautomatic pistol.
Weapons Training also includes the proper use of Oleoresin Capsicum (OC spray: also known as pepper spray), operations in a chemical environment (CS gas), and basic recognition and handling of confiscated and clandestine weapons.
Emergency Vehicle Operations Course (EVOC)
EVOC, one of the finest law enforcement driver training programs available, will train you in enforcement driving. You will hear lectures on vehicle dynamics, performance driving techniques, and departmental policy. You will also receive interactive driver training, which includes vehicle placement, skid control techniques, performance driving, defensive driving, and Code-3 pursuit driving.
Each recruit must meet minimum performance goals during each phase of interactive training, as well as demonstrate knowledge by written examination.
The Academy will be your “home away from home” for the next several months (you do not live on Academy grounds). Your training day will typically begin at 0645 hours and end at approximately 1700 hours. You must remain on Academy grounds during training hours.
Recruits learn the drill procedures necessary to participate in ceremonies and tactical formations, including riots and civil disturbances. Marching is a critical aspect of drill procedures, and you will practice it often.
Each recruit will face a number of obstacles during Academy training. Most recruits have difficulty with the regimentation and some with the physical testing, but most recruits share one obstacle: they failed to adequately prepare for the demanding Academy lifestyle.