Wisconsin Police Academy Requirements

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Joining a police academy is a milestone on the path to becoming a police officer. The Wisconsin police academy requirements are intended to set a high standard potential officers. Below are all the requirements and disqualifying factors. Be aware that there is a lot of competition for police jobs so going above the minimum requirements is advised. Wisconsin police academy requirements consist of, in part, the following:

Academy Training
– This 520 hour academy is specifically designed for potential law enforcement officers in need of meeting Wisconsin certification requirements.  The competency-based instruction meets the criteria set forth by the Wisconsin Department of Justice, Training and Standards Bureau.  Training is delivered through a combination of lecture, multi-media, interactive group discussion and hands-on instruction.  All full-time training is conducted at FVTC in the Criminal Justice Department, Appleton, Wisconsin.  Some training will take place outdoors and in the evening hours to simulate actual conditions.  The training instructors are a combination of full-time educators, law enforcement officers, supervisors and administrators who are recognized as leaders in law enforcement training.  Only 24 recruits will be accepted in each academy.

Age Requirements – Applicants shall have attained a minimum age of 18 years. There is no maximum age limit.

Residency and Citizenship Requirements – Applicants must be Wisconsin residents who are eligible to work in the state. Work eligibility is Determined by the department of Homeland Security when you fill out form. Please refer to the last two pages of the I-9 form for required documentation. Applicants shall also possess a valid driver’s license or other valid operator’s permit recognized by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation as authorizing operation of a motor vehicle in Wisconsin prior to completion of the preparatory training course.

Education Requirements – Applicants shall possess a Wisconsin high school diploma or a diploma issued by an out-of-state high school accredited by an appropriate agency of the state or shall have passed the general education development diploma test or any other test recommended by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction as indicating high school diploma level.

Applicants shall possess a two-year associate degree from an accredited college or university; OR have earned at least 60 associate degree level credits or higher. All credits must be obtained prior to commencing employment. Applicants who anticipate 60 college credits by the start of the academy ARE eligible to compete in the recruitment process.

The Law Enforcement Standards Board (LESB) may waive a maximum of 30 college level credits. To request a waiver you must submit an application it to the Department of Justice (DOJ) for review. The Division of State Patrol is unable to answer specific questions regarding your eligibility for a waiver. Please note requests for waivers are only reviewed four times a year. Therefore, applicants seeking waivers should complete the form and submit to DOJ as soon as possible. In order for a waiver to be considered, you must have completed one of the following prior learning assessment methods:

  • ACE military evaluation program – College credit may be granted for military service school courses and skills if the awarding of credit is recommended in the current edition of the American Council on Education (ACE) publication, a Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services. Refer to the College Credit Waiver Application for additional information.
  • Credit by examination (CLEP) – The most widely recognized credit by examination program is the College-Level Examination Program known as CLEP. CLEP examinations cover material taught in courses that most students take as requirements in the first two years of college. Many CLEP examinations are designed to correspond to one-semester courses; some, however, correspond to full-year or two-year courses.
  • Credit for prior learning or advanced standing – Offered by many colleges (including technical colleges) and universities, students complete a portfolio documenting their previous work, life and military experiences that are comparable in content and level with specific courses at the college or university. The portfolio is then reviewed by college or university faculty who determine course and credit equivalents. To locate a portfolio development program, consult the registration offices at colleges and universities in your community. Refer to the College Credit Waiver Application for additional information
  • Credit for completion of preparatory training – Preparatory law enforcement, jail and secure detention officer training courses are technical diploma level courses, unless the training is integrated into an associate degree or bachelor’s degree program. Refer to the College Credit Waiver Application for additional information.
  • Other prior learning assessment methods – The LESB will consider credit recommendations via other prior learning assessment methods on a case-by-case basis. Examples include: College Board Advanced Placement Examinations, Excelsior College Examinations (ECE) and the American Council on Education Program on Non-Collegiate Sponsored Instruction.

Automatic Disqualification Factors – Applicants are advised that the West Virginia State Police will automatically disqualify any applicant who does not meet the general requirements as detailed above.  In addition, the following information is provided regarding our criteria for automatic disqualification:

  • Felony Convictions – Applicants shall not have been convicted of any federal felony or of any offense which if committed in Wisconsin could be punished as a felony unless the applicant has been granted an absolute and unconditional pardon.
  • Selective Service – All male applicants between the ages of 18 through 25 must be registered with the Selective Service or they are not eligible to be hired. This requirement is mandated in Wis. Stats. 230.143.
  • Drug Test – Applicants must pass a pre-employment drug test.

Other Qualifications

  • Good Character _ Applicants shall be in good character as determined from a written report containing the results of an applicant fingerprint search and a background investigation conducted by the employer.

Physical Readiness Test

  • No more than a 20 decibel hearing loss (uncorrected) in either ear at 1000, 2000, 3000 and 4000 hertz.
  • Minimum uncorrected vision of 20/100 in each eye. Vision must be correctable to 20/20. Weak eye corrected vision can be 20/30, with binocular vision of 20/20.

The above listed are the only physical readiness requirements for entering the academy. To graduate from the academy each individual must pass a physical readiness test. The physical readiness test includes: One Rep Maximum (1RM) Bench Press, Vertical Jump, One Minute Sit Up, One Minute Push Up, Maximum Pullup, 1.5 Mile Run and 300 Meter Run. Each event will be scored individually.   A minimum score of one point must be achieved in each of the One Minute Sit Up, One Minute Push Up, 300 eter Run, and 1.5 Mile Run events to graduate from the Academy.