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Thread: Academy advice
04-12-07, 09:59 AM #1
whats up everyone.
Im curious as to what daily life is like at the academy. If anybody went to Northern Virginia Criminal Justice Academy, that would be cool. If all goes well, Ill be in the July academy. Any expierences are welcome, thanks
04-12-07, 11:50 PM #2
I am not sure what the academy is like now, but I know one thing for sure. Go there in the best possible physical shape you can be in. The PT and self defense programs will wear you down and you can get hurt. If you are in great shape and strong, you have a better chance of making it through with flying colors.
04-13-07, 12:22 AM #3
I am in the Hocking College OPOTA, and YES physical demand is VERY HIGH. I am going to be in it for 2 years, because we only have it every Friday, and we will be able to graduate with the Assoc. degree and from the academy at the same time.
There are 563 hours required now from the OPOTC, but Commander Camechis added on extra for us, so it is above 600. We have P.T. at 6am with Drill Instructor Reed, and it is NOT EASY....to put it lightly. He makes it as close to army drill P.T. as possible......we march in formation, exercise in formation, and pretty much have to breathe in formation. We have PT from 6am to 8:40am then we have 50 minutes to shower and change into our uniforms. From there, we go to academy from 9:30am to 7pm with an hour lunchbreak. We are on traffic crash investigation right now, which is 15 hours total.
After the morning PT it is a huge struggle to stay awake for 10 hours listening to a guy talk. This summer we will be starting defensive driving and defensive tactics, so it will be alot of fun finally being able to be outside. But we dont get to go home for most of our summer break like the rest of the students, thats the bad thing. Im enjoying myself, now that the weather is a little warmer though. Who knows with the Ohio weather.
Has anyone here graduated from the Hocking Police Academy in Nelsonville?
04-13-07, 11:09 AM #4
Ive had alot of people tell me that I need to be in the best possible shape. I dont want to get shin splints. The NVCJA is not a residential academy, its 7-3:30 monday through friday. Thanks for the info!
04-13-07, 12:03 PM #5
Just remeber that its a game. Just like basic in the military. The Drill Instructors will try to get into your head, tell you to quit, and fuck with you every chance they get. its all a big game.
I dunno what NC Academies are like compared to AZ. But I know here, Physical Fitness wise you only HAVE to pass the state mandated POPAT test (6 foot wall jump, 6 foot fence, jump, 165 pound dummay drag, 99 yd obstical course, and 500 yard run) its really a joke. But the academy PT is WAY worse. I didn't go into it in all the great of shape, and it sucked. Not to mention is was up in the mountains in winter, so plenty of push ups in the snow (yes, snow in AZ). On average we ran about 5 miles a day with hundreds of push ups and sit ups along the way.
Chances are you will be pushed WAY WAY WAY above the minimun standards. But as long as you can pass, they can't kick you out. But they'll try to make you quit. Just remeber, no matter how hard it is, no matter how much it sucks, DON'T QUIT. I was tempted to a few times, but stuck through it. (And WANTING to quit is normal, even the guys in tip top shape thought about it.) But no matter what ya want at the time, DON'T QUIT.
And make sure you don't slack the studies either. in AZ, if you fail 3 BLOCKS on testing (and each test had about 3 or 4 blocks, 1 test a week) you were out. We had one guy in our class fail 3, and they pulled him right out of class. The testing isn't HARD, anyone with a High School education can do it, just can't slack on yer studies.
Oh, and the last bit of advice. If you live in dorms on campus, go home every weekend. Those few days of unwinding time with family really help. Was a 3 hour drive to home from mine, but still went every weekend.
Last edited by TwanimusPrime; 04-13-07 at 12:05 PM.
04-13-07, 12:23 PM #6
04-13-07, 01:13 PM #7
Although I am not in Northern Va, I am not too far from you. One of the best things to do is to start changing your diet now. The academy is very physically and mentally demanding. Start eating more veggies and take multivitamins.. you'll need em. Also since you have a little bit of time, start NOW going for slight runs. Start off with a mile and half. By the time the academy starts you should be up to three and five miles easy.
Be prepared for them to torture you mentally. They will scream and spray Clear Out and O.C. but it is all for a purpose. Just remember they only get to torture you for eight hour blocks at a time. With holidays off!!!
04-13-07, 01:27 PM #8
04-13-07, 01:57 PM #9
Like someone else said above, it is a game... My academy was a non-residential one, but it was run by the department (gives them a lot more control than a lot of community college academies in my mind). Our academy was run in a "para-military" fashion... We did drill, were addressed in formation daily, had uniform inspections, yes sir/no sir type of mindset... No matter how good you were they'd try to fuck with you to see if you'd quit. On our first day we were told to show up in business suits. We probably ran two miles and did 100 pushups per day in those suits for the next week.
So, that leads me to the next part... GET IN SHAPE BEFORE THE ACADEMY!!! Every class has a slug (usually a handful of them). If you're the slug, life is going to be very tough for you. The instructors will beat on you more, and your classmates will look down on the fact that you are getting them in trouble for being such a slouch. Having said that, I didn't find the PT at the academy to be very tough. You don't have to be an Ironman triathlete to make it through at the top of your class, but you should be able to comfortably run 5 miles at a slow pace, a quick 1 mile, and do 50 or more pushups/situps from the outset.
Also, academics are important. Like the other poster mentioned, our academy provided a guideline of failing three tests and you were fired.
Anyway, good luck... And keep an open mind. At least at my academy it was mostly a psychological game (90% bullshit, 10% police related). Oh, and learn how to spit shine your boots!!! Our academy was big on that.
04-13-07, 02:18 PM #10
04-13-07, 03:16 PM #11
find humor in everything and keep it to yourself
follow directions and know that when they stress you out physically to your exhaustion and then tell you to recite a statute that it is for your own good to get used to thinking under extreme pressures...
think of everything as a team effort and remember that not everyone will be as good as you... think team and you are only as strong as your weakest person.
Sometimes when you really want to say something its better to just take the punishment.
There are no excuses... just say you messed up and its on you... own it... and your respect level goes up.
Have 2 or three of everything lol... and keep it in your car trunk out of sight.
Those were pretty much the highlights of my class that I can think of.... good luckhttp://www.allpoetry.com/Grunts%20Girl
We dallied under
Vine maples and sapling alders
Searched for lady slippers
Found blackberry riots and
An old skid road
Brought ghost ferns and
Hollows filled with
While waves wrapped
Intricate lacings of weeds
'Round mule spinners
His cyanotic eyes
Were hard enough to make
The sun turn tail and
Tender enough to attract me
To his world of illusion
04-13-07, 04:09 PM #12
04-13-07, 04:47 PM #13
Academy's very per agency, per state, etc. But as you can see, one thing that is common is the physical aspect of everything. I know you say you are not too worried about it, and that academics is your concern. My best advice: discipline. If you have trouble with several areas, stay home and read up on the stuff instead of grabbing a brew with the boys. Most of this stuff is plain common sense, but sometimes the finer details is what needs to be studied.
Last edited by slick628; 04-13-07 at 04:48 PM. Reason: I can't spell worth a shit, and to think, they gave me a job"That's how we roll"
04-14-07, 07:43 AM #14
I plan on studying every night, when I get off of work now, I just go home and spend time with the girlfriend anyway lol. She will understand how it goes because she is in college right now, and she is swamped with homework all the time. The boys come to my house to have a brew Thanks for the advice bro!
04-14-07, 09:57 AM #15
If you have anything where you sit that can fall off the table take a small piece of tape and secure it. For instance at my academy we had a name plate and little flag holders with a state flag and US flag. Everytime someone walked by the table one fell off....Soo that ment everyone followed and began push-ups. However, once are instructors found the tape we did more pushing than ever....so nevermind. They did admire our creativity though. Just remember how important this is to you. Don't quit...this is your dream...you will be fine. Also, when your instructors get bored....WATCH OUT! Because you will be there to entertain them!
04-14-07, 11:07 AM #16
04-14-07, 11:34 AM #17
Maybe some of the other guuys here can attent to their academies doing this to. But I know in mine, perhaps the biggest source of guff for us was the ol' Cover (IE, Hat. A crappy baseball cap with the academy logo) these things would get lost, and we all would pay.
So, my advice. If you get your own academy gear (hat, PT gear, etc..) BUY MORE THAN ONE. We had to put our names in ours, but having some recruits with a blank spare saved our asses a few times when one knucklhead forgot his, we could get him a spare. Cause remeber, when one person fucks up, you ALL pay.
Oh, and have yer class leaders, president, etc.. assign someone to check the locks on the lockers after you change out and make sure they all are closed. One gets left unlocked/open, you guessed it. Everyone pays.
Its best to have one person (rotating by day when we do it) be responsible for duties like this. Keeps yer classmates from saying "I thought someone else would get it."
Just some stories from mine. The first day one of our guys left his car unlocked with the keys inside. So the class Sgt basically stole the car. And we all paid :P
Always good to have someone with a lint brush and a small pair of scissors for uniform inspection. Theres always gonna be a piece of lint or string on yer uniform.
Oh, last but not least. make sure EVERYONE in your class knows wtf a gig line is (I didn't when i first went, we all paid :P)
(BTW, I used the feamle picture caue the male one had a tie on it, and its much easier to see the gig line w/o a tie)
04-14-07, 12:11 PM #18
04-14-07, 03:09 PM #19The Reason People Hate Cops & Causer of WarVerified LEO
- Join Date
- Northern VA
- Rep Power
The PT side will take care of itself, if you start getting in shape now. I would suggest investing now in a decent pair of running shoes; they'll be broken in and in good shape by the July. They'll teach what you need to know in DT as well.
The academics and practicals will be tough. The key is simple... Pay attention in class, take notes, and study. If you study a little bit at a time, every day -- you'll do fine. Buy yourself a copy of Strunk & White's The Elements of Style; it's available at Borders or Barnes & Noble for about $7. If you read, and apply, the rules in it -- your report writing will be 100% improved.
Because NVCJA is a multi-agency academy, you'll have homework assignments like finding out your agency's policies on a topic. Don't skimp; make sure you really do this. If the agency doesn't give you one -- make sure that you've got a contact at the agency that you can touch base with or go to with problems or questions, as well.
When you're there -- you're being paid to go to school. Give it the attention that they're paying you do give it. A few things not to say: "I learned in college..." "I saw on a law enforcement forum..." Just keep your mouth shut, and your eyes and ears open.
NVCJA has a very good reputation; they'll work you hard, but you'll learn what you need to. It's absolutely doable -- no matter how it may feel sometimes.
(And... Not to throw rain on your parade, but don't count your chickens before they hatch! Don't quit your job or advertise the change too much until it's final...)
04-14-07, 03:24 PM #20
Thanks! If I get hired, ill go buy that book. All the advice you gave me is very helpfull. Also, thanks for the info on NVCJA. Im not gonna quit my job untill everything is final, sorry if I sound like I already got the job, im just so excited about being so close Thanks again! Take care, and stay safe.
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