The objective of the Basic Academy is to develop well trained, self disciplined, vocationally competent peace officers of a superior caliber, who are mentally mature, physically sound, and emotionally stable.
To accomplish this objective, an intensified training program has been developed which is designed to challenge individual capabilities in each of these areas. Although classified by some as a modified stress program, it is stress with a purpose. All activities are designed to mold the individual into a highly trained and well qualified peace officer.
Few recruits or officers are superior in every phase of the training program. However, standards have been established which are attainable. The program is under constant review and revision, in a progression striving for improvement.
The Basic Academy may be classified into two broad general categories - mental and physical. Although the mental area primarily relates to academic pursuits, it also challenges individual alertness, emotional stability, and the desire for the job. The physical area emphasizes such activities as defensive tactics, physical training, and military drill and is designed to test the general physical condition, agility, endurance, and psychological effect of such strains on the individual. The military atmosphere of the training academy has proven successful in shaping good peace officers, and it is by design and for a purpose that selected stress type tactics are employed.
Some may consider the regimentation and the enforced discipline as unduly harsh, however, indications are that after only limited peace officer experience these attitudes are usually dispelled. This change of attitude may best be illustrated by quoting from a critique of the Basic Academy by an officer with approximately one year of service.
"When evaluating our recruit school, I was critical of the pressures put on us by the instructors. After entering the field, it did not take long to realize that this was necessary to insure one another's safety. You don't want someone beside you who will not put his life on the line to cover you. I feel any lessening of the standards would be a disadvantage."
All training and/or discipline is expressly designed to produce a highly trained and well qualified peace officer, capable of functioning alone or as a member of a team. All Basic Academy staff members, both permanent and temporary, have these goals uppermost in their minds.
Recruits are individually and continually evaluated by members of the Basic Academy staff, using standardized criteria and measuring devices. A detailed profile is formed of each candidate in order to objectively appraise individual qualities and performance. Deliberate efforts are made to identify instructor/trainee personality differences which may exist, so that measures may be taken to minimize these in the rating process.
Throughout the program, the Academy's Vision, Philosophy, & Core Values are emphasized. These character traits are considered to be essential requirements for a peace officer. During the academy, ongoing evaluations of each Recruit are made in these areas, and violations thereof, may constitute grounds for immediate dismissal.
As individual Recruits are evaluated, and a total profile emerges, the final decision is based on a very simple stated question, with a very complex formula of rationale: "Will he/she make a good state peace officer?" The positives are weighed against the negatives, and the decision is made.