Even though the process of becoming a cop in Indiana lasts between 8 to 12 months, it is worth mentioning that becoming an officer of the law is not an easy task. During the training period, students enrolled in the accredited police academies have to pass painstaking physical and mental tests that guarantee the graduates gain all the necessary skills and abilities to perform their job properly.
However, before they can be admitted and have a chance to prove themselves, all aspiring candidates have to meet the pre-screening qualifications. Following is more detailed information on how to become a police officer in Indiana.
Preliminary Criteria of Admission to Become a Police Officer in Indiana
It is important to note that students aspiring for a career as police officers need to meet a few standard prerequisites, as established by the Indiana Code for police departments.
Therefore, students that are not US citizens, do not possess a driver’s license issued by their state of residence, do not have at least a GED or high school diploma and have a felony conviction or fines and arrests due to domestic violence are not eligible to apply for the police academy.
In addition, candidates must be at least 21 before applying, be a permanent resident of the counties of Indiana and successfully pass the drug-screening test. On a side note, due to aging issues, the police academies in Indiana do not accept candidates over 36 years of age.
A Word on the Additional Screening Requirements
Meeting the aforementioned conditions does not mean that students will be accepted into police academy, but rather it means that their applications will be admitted. Once the application is accepted by the academy, the next step involves several psychological and physical exams.
Even though it is not mandatory, candidates are advised to undergo the various tutoring sessions that are available at the accredited institutions.
Regardless of whether the applicant chooses to undergo the tutoring sessions or not, he has the right to select the date of the written exam. A high score on the written exam means that the case and application of the candidate will be presented to the Law Enforcement Training Board in Indiana for the final approval.
The Physical Ability Tests for Your Police Training in Indiana
Due to the nature of the job, police officers need to have above average physical capabilities. There are 5 mandatory physical ability tests for police officers in Indiana as of 2012.
Failing one usually means that the candidate is no longer eligible for becoming an officer at law.
These are the minimum scores to attain during training for students wondering how to become a police officer in Indiana:
- The 1.5 mile run needs to be completed in 16 minutes and 28 seconds at most. The goal of this test is to verify the cardiovascular endurance of the candidate, a quality that is often needed in pursuits, searches or extended use of force for instance
- The 300 meter run test needs to be completed within 71 seconds. Candidates that pass this test show that they have the necessary anaerobic abilities to engage in short and intense activities as a police officer, such as foot pursuits or rescues
- The 1 minute sit-ups is a test that typically verifies the number of correct exercises the candidate can perform within a minute. The minimum accepted number of sit-ups is usually 29 and its purpose is to test the strength of the abdominal muscles. Not only does this test show great physical endurance, but it is also useful in preventing lower back problems as it teaches applicants how to maintain a good posture
- The maximum push-up endurance test requires candidates to perform at least 25 consecutive successful push-ups. The aim of the test is to ensure the students have the right strength in the upper body and shoulders and this means they will perform well in circumstances when they need to use force to push obstacles or in rescues
- The vertical jumps test is an endurance screening that is intended to verify the leg power of the candidates. High scores at this test usually means that the candidate will be able to successfully engage in pursuits, especially the ones that include jumping over fences, ditches or other obstacles
Proving the Psychological Fitness
Being a police officer is a highly stressful job, as officers will often get to see gruesome bodies, mutilations and abuses, all of which can put a toil on an individual. This is why aspiring police officers and in-service police officers have to undergo regular psychological and psychiatric screening to verify their mental health integrity.
Overall, the psychological tests and interviews help examiners find possible behavioral or psychiatric issues that make an individual unfit to become a police officer. For more information on How to Become a Police Officer in Indiana, please check the Indiana State Police website for more details.
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