What to Expect

IMPORTANT: Personal weapons of any kind are prohibited and are not to be brought with applicants when reporting for training!


The resident training program lasts approximately 27 weeks and is purposely designed to eliminate any Cadet who does not possess the necessary intelligence, emotional stability, or physical stamina to meet the requirements. Training may also be conducted at any other facility as the need arises.

 

  • Training is normally scheduled Monday through Friday, 0530 hours to 2245 hours.
    • Special duty assignments and training will occasionally be conducted during evening and nighttime hours, both weekdays and weekends.
  • Cadets receive extensive training and education in related police knowledge and skills.
  • A passing grade of 70% or higher must be achieved in all academic courses.
  • A passing grade of 80% or higher must be achieved in the American Red Cross First Aid and CPR class.
  • Applicants must possess a valid Pennsylvania driver’s license at the time of graduation as a Cadet. Applicants who do not have the necessary on-the-road driving experience are encouraged to obtain such experience prior to reporting to training. When Cadets report, they should possess an acceptable proficiency in operating a vehicle in both rural and urban situations.
  • Cadets will be instructed in pursuit driving techniques and must score 75% or higher in the driver training portion of the curriculum.
  • Cadets will be instructed in the use of Department weapons that will include, but not be limited to, tear gas, police batons, etc., and they will experience the effects of pepper spray.
  • After instruction in the use and care of the issued service pistol and shotgun, Cadets must qualify with those weapons by scoring 75% or higher of the total possible score.

 

Prior to arrival at the training facility, it is essential that applicants engage in a well-rounded physical fitness program to include aerobic fitness and strengthening exercises. Upon arrival at the Academy, newly-appointed Cadets must pass the same physical readiness tests administered during processing.

 

A rigorous program of physical conditioning that will include calisthenics, weight training, fighting techniques, boxing, and defensive tactics will be conducted during training. Training will also consist of a progressive, cross-country running program designed to strengthen the cardiovascular and cardiorespiratory systems as well as increase the aerobic capacity of Cadets.

 

The cross-country running program begins at a distance of approximately one and one-half miles and progresses to a distance of approximately three miles covering wooded and hilly terrain.  Cadets must average approximately eight and one-half minutes per mile by the completion of training.

 

 

Prior to their appointment as a Pennsylvania State Police Cadet, applicants who cannot swim are encouraged to enroll in a basic swimming program that is designed to enable them to successfully complete the preliminary swimming test. When Cadets report to the training facility, they will be given a preliminary swimming test in which their ability to perform basic swimming skills is required to qualify for the Emergency Water Safety Course. Cadets must demonstrate their ability to successfully pass the following swimming skills:

 

  • Swim continuously for five minutes while performing the crawl stroke and the sidestroke for a minimum of 50 yards.
  • Jump into deep water, swim approximately four body lengths under water, surface, and tread water for one minute.

 

Cadets are required to reside at the training facility. Meals and lodging are provided at no cost to the Cadet. Cadets scheduled to remain at the training facility on weekends for non-disciplinary related matters are permitted visitors during specified hours. Cadets restricted for disciplinary reasons are not permitted visitors. Weekends off are considered a privilege and are subject to withdrawal for failure to achieve or maintain training requirements.

 

Cadets provide their own transportation to and from the training facility. Parking space is allocated for personal vehicles. Use of personal vehicles during training is governed by rules and regulations.

 

Upon successful completion of training, Cadets are promoted to the rank of Trooper and assigned to a Troop for the duration of the 18-month probationary period. The Department’s current policy requires a newly-promoted Trooper to remain in their first Troop assignment for the duration of the 18-month probationary period, which is approximately one year from the date of their graduation from the academy. Further assignments are based upon the needs of the Department and may result in assignment to any Pennsylvania State Police field installation in the Commonwealth. Therefore, it is incumbent upon every applicant to ensure that their family is fully aware of the possibility of having to relocate and the type of duty to which the applicant may be assigned.