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How Much Does the Police Academy Cost?

Aug 30th, 2023
how much does police academy cost

You have passed the police officer exam and have made it through to the police academy. Now what?

You will probably be asking yourself many questions. Questions about training, duration of study, and prospective salaries going forward. But many candidates get in touch to ask us the question: how much does the police academy cost? What expenses can I expect to pay?

And that’s the question we answer in today’s blog.

Police Academy Costs

Training at police academies throughout the United States is free.

That’s because the recruit is considered a new employee of the department to which they have been hired and sponsored.

On average, it typically takes 5 months to train new recruits.

Throughout this period, recruits can expect to earn a salary. The salary you earn depends on a department-by-department basis. Many recruits enjoy a full starting salary, whereas other recruits can expect to earn only part of the salary, with the remainder added on once the recruit has graduated from the police academy.

Some states require that new recruits are offered a permanent job at the department before commencing training at the academy. This includes states such as Oregon and Washington. Other states allow new recruits to undergo their own training at separate academies – academies that charge tuition fees.

Tuition fees vary, but fees are typically within the range $1,500 – $3,000. For example, Sacramento Police Academy charges $1,897.55 per recruit for all training. More expensive training also exists, such as Weber State University, which charges $7,000 per recruit. Each candidate can decide for themselves which training suits their interests and is allowed by the police department in question.

Additional fees may also be charged for separate services, including:

  • Background investigation
  • Fingerprint checks
  • Physical abilities evaluation
  • Police uniforms

How much does it cost to train police officers?

Even though tuition fees are free for new recruits sponsored into the police academy, it still costs money to train new recruits.

On average, it can cost up to $6,500 to train each recruit.

And that’s only the minimum cost.

Remember, even after a recruit has been formally trained, it can take several years for that officer to be considered optimally trained to work in society as an effective law enforcement officer. Some estimates put the total cost per officer at $240,000 over several years.

Though this cost is substantial, it is considered a necessary cost to ensure that citizens of cities and towns throughout the country are compliant with the law and that any criminals are apprehended in the safe and proportionate manner required.

There are more than 800,000 law enforcement officers throughout the United States. The total cost burden to maintain law and order is therefore substantial, not only at the academy level but also at the individual police exam level, too.

What matters is that the best candidates make it through each round, and that optimum training is provided – at the necessary cost burden – to ensure that law enforcement standards remain as high as possible.

Hope you found this helpful! Check back to our police test blog soon for all the latest content to help you through the police test and onto the police academy.

Daniel Sullivan

Daniel joined Police Test Study Guide in 2019, and currently serves as a senior executive overseeing course product development. With over 20-years’ experience in law enforcement, Mr. Sullivan began his career in Philadelphia Police Department before advancing to the role of detective. He has more recently worked with police departments throughout the country in the development and preparation of law enforcement exams to ensure applicants meet the standards needed to meet today’s growing challenges.

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Daniel Sullivan

Daniel joined Police Test Study Guide in 2019, and currently serves as a senior executive overseeing course product development. With over 20-years’ experience in law enforcement, Mr. Sullivan began his career in Philadelphia Police Department before advancing to the role of detective. He has more recently worked with police departments throughout the country in the development and preparation of law enforcement exams to ensure applicants meet the standards needed to meet today’s growing challenges.

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