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Technical and community colleges in Pennsylvania offer police training programs. Many of these schools also offer related associate's degree programs, and in some cases credits from the police training can be transferred into these programs. Some programs can be taken part time or include an internship. In addition, some schools offer specialty police training, such as for officers who wish to work in the national parks.
Community College of Beaver County
Located northwest of Pittsburgh in the town of Monaca, the Community College of Beaver County opened their Municipal Police Training Academy in 1974. The training program consists of 22 written and physical examinations and 18 modules of training in preparation for the MPOETC certification examination. Training facilities are located at the Aviation Center in Beaver Falls. The program can be applied toward the Associate in Applied Science in Police Technology with additional coursework covering criminal investigations, report writing and case preparation, patrol operations, human relations and crisis management.
Delaware County Community College
Founded in 1967 to provide postsecondary education to students of Delaware and Chester County, Delaware Community College is located in the town of Media, outside of Philadelphia. The Municipal Police Academy features training in emergency response, vehicle code, handling arrests, human relations and patrol vehicle operations, as well as firearm training. The school also offers an Associate in Applied Science in Administration of Justice as a professional development program.
Greater Johnstown Career and Technical Center
In the rural community of Johnstown, students can receive police training through the Johnstown Regional Police Academy, founded in 1970. The Police Academy program training areas include physical readiness, defensive tactics, collision investigation, criminal investigation and crisis management.
Harrisburg Area Community College - Harrisburg
Founded in 1964, Harrisburg's community college is the largest and oldest in the state. The Shumacker Public Safety Center is home to the Municipal Police Academy. Students at Harrisburg Area Community College can also pursue an Associate of Arts in Police Science, which feature courses covering criminalistics, instrumentation, physical education and technical writing, as well as internship opportunities.
Indiana University of Pennsylvania - Main Campus
In the Pennsylvania town of Indiana, northeast of Pittsburg, Indiana University of Pennsylvania offers both full and part-time training academies through the Criminal Justice Training Center. The program includes training in case presentation and report writing, firearms and self-defense, as well as first-aid and cardio-pulmonary recitation (CPR).
Lackawanna College in Scranton began as a private non-profit business college in 1957. Today, the college houses a Municipal Police Training program which features 15 to 21 college credits that can be applied toward the Associate in Science in Criminal Justice - Police Career, Police - Security or Counseling program plans. Associate-level coursework includes topics such as forensic science, criminal procedures, investigation and juvenile delinquency.
A private Catholic institution founded in 1926, Mercyhurst University is located in Erie. The 21-week Municipal Police Training Academy is available at the northeast branch and includes 16 course credits that can be applied toward the associate's degree in criminal justice. Completion of the training program allows students to apply for entry-level jobs for municipal patrol officers or employment in security. The law enforcement concentration of the associate's degree program includes course topics such as police functions, criminal investigations and police community relations.
Montgomery County Community College
Located in Blue Bell, Montgomery County Community College houses a Municipal Police Training Program and an Associate in Applied Science in Criminal Justice. The Municipal Training Program is offered at the Montgomery County Public Safety Training Campus in Conshohocken through the Division of Workplace Development and Continuing Education and can be applied as up to 15 credit hours toward the AAS degree program. The police training program can be completed through full-time enrollment (22 weeks) or part-time enrollment (42 weeks).
A comprehensive public research university in Philadelphia, Temple University offers a 22-week non-credit police academy. Students may also choose to complete a 13-week Seasonal Law Enforcement Training Program for careers in the National Park Service. The Temple University Police Academy covers areas such as physical conditioning, human relations, self-defense and criminal investigations. Students will also be trained in the use of firearms, pepper spray and batons.
Westmoreland County Community College
East of Pittsburg in the town of Youngwood, Westmoreland County Community College offers its police training program through the Public Safety Training Center near Smithton. The Municipal Police Officer Training Academy features training in areas such as defensive tactics, emergency first-responder and human relations, and can be used as 15 credit-hours toward the Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice. The AAS program covers topics such as criminal law, police administration, substance abuse, investigative concepts and multiculturalism. There is also an alternative criminal justice program that builds towards an Associate in Art for those interested in transferring to a 4-year college.
Municipal police trainees in Pennsylvania must be 18 years of age, earn a high school diploma or equivalent, be a U.S. citizen and possess a clean criminal record. Pennsylvania Act 120 requires prospective police officers to complete academy training through one of over 20 training academies, including several public and private postsecondary institutions throughout the state. These schools are certified through the Municipal Police Officer's Education and Training Commission (MPOETC) to provide training courses and examinations in preparation for the state's certification examination.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Police Training Programs and Degrees Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)|
|Community College of Beaver County|| 2-year public;
| Municipal Police Training Academy,
Associate in Applied Science in Police Technology
| $5,460 in-district,
|Delaware County Community College|| 2-year public;
| Municipal Police Academy Certificate,
Associate in Arts in Administration of Justice
| $4,760 in-district,
|Greater Johnstown Career and Technical Center|| Less than 2-year public;
|Regional Police Academy||$16,530*|
|Harrisburg Area Community College - Harrisburg|| 2-year public;
| Municipal Police Academy Training,
Associate of Arts in Police Science
| $6,015 in-district,
|Indiana University of Pennsylvania - Main Campus|| 4-year public;
|Municipal Police Academy|| $9,936 in-state;
|Lackawanna College|| 2-year private not-for-profit;
| Municipal Police Training,
Associate in Science in Criminal Justice
|Mercyhurst University|| 4-year private not-for-profit;
| Municipal Police Training Academy,
Associate in Criminal Justice - Law Enforcement
|Montgomery County Community College|| 2-year public;
| Municipal Police Training Program,
Associate in Applied Science in Criminal Justice
| $4,920 in-district,
|Temple University|| 4-year public;
|Municipal Police Academy|| $15,188 in-state,
|Westmoreland County Community College|| 2-year public;
| Municipal Police Training Academy,
Associate of Art in Criminal Justice,
Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice
| $4,830 in-district,
Sources: *NCES College Navigator