While all academies are required to meet the screening standards of the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES), our process ensures that applicants do not waste time or money if they are not qualified to apply.
Questions will concern your health, moral character, driving record, past education, work record and general background. This is to determine that you are qualified to apply.
The director will discuss whether or not you can overcome the problem(s). You will be advised on how best to proceed with the application process or informed of other career options.
You have the right to contact MCOLES at 517-322-1417 and discuss an appeal process on the day that your enrollment is denied. In order to meet an enrollment deadline, you will have 72 hours to submit your appeal in writing to the MCOLES executive director detailing your reasons for the appeal.
A college degree and graduation from the police academy are both valuable in law enforcement. MCOLES requires pre-service recruits to exit the academy with a two-year degree. Many police departments are increasing their entry requirements to include some college or even a two- or four-year degree. However, to be employed as a police officer in Michigan, you must graduate from an approved police academy.
One of the first steps in your criminal justice career is to decide what you want to do in law enforcement. If your goal is to be a prosecuting attorney, a bachelor’s degree is required for admission to law school. If your goal is to be a police officer, your efforts are probably best spent entering and completing an academy. Graduation from a police academy is not a substitute for a college degree.
In real life, CSIs (crime scene investigators as they are called on TV) are drawn from the ranks of police officers within an agency. In Michigan, most crime scene specialists are uniformed evidence technicians. These are sworn police officers who receive training in evidence collection and crime scene processing. They spend most of their time working a normal uniformed assignment. When needed, they go to a crime scene, process it for evidence and then go back to patrol activities.
Forensic and laboratory personnel are sometimes employed by large organizations such as the FBI and state law enforcement agencies. They work in the lab and are normally not police officers. The first step toward these positions is to earn a Ph.D. in a relevant scientific field (chemistry, biology, physics, etc.). The next step (since they don’t have to go to the police academy) is to simply apply for jobs as they become available.
To be admitted to any police academy you must first pass both MCOLES pre-employment physical fitness test and the reading and writing test. The MCOLES pre-employment physical test requires applicants to perform specific physical activities for a timed or measured score. Contact WCC PST staff to identify any upcoming test dates.The results of this test are valid for 180 days. After the test results expire, it must be retaken to establish an applicant’s fitness for the application process. Contact Theresa Ford at 734-677-5024 for information.
The MCOLES reading and writing test is a computer-based test which measures your reading and writing skills. It is administered by MCOLES-authorized testing sites/academies around the state. Contact WCC PST staff to identify any upcoming test dates. The results of this test are good for life.
For a list of all test dates, including tests administered by WCC, see the MCOLES website.
To pre-register for the pre-employment physical fitness test, you should refer to the MCOLES website, click the link to the test schedule and follow the instructions. In order to take the physical fitness test you will need to present a properly completed Physician’s Health Screening Form, valid picture ID and $45 cash or money order (no personal checks will be accepted – money orders should be made out to Washtenaw Community College).
To be admitted to any police academy you must first pass both MCOLES pre-employment physical fitness test and the reading and writing test. The MCOLES pre-employment physical test requires applicants to perform specific physical activities for a timed or measured score. The results of this test are valid for 180 days. After the test results expire, it must be retaken to establish an applicant’s fitness for the application process. Contact Theresa Ford at 734-677-5024 for information.
The MCOLES reading and writing test is a computer-based test which measures your reading and writing skills. It is administered by MCOLES-authorized testing sites/academies around the state. The results of this test are good for life.
For a list of all test dates, including tests administered by WCC, see the MCOLES website.
You can also take the MCOLES reading and writing test at WCC but you must pre-register with MCOLES first. The cost of this test is $68. Contact MCOLES online or call them at 877-422-4092. WCC cannot register you for this test!
To enter the academy, MCOLES requires applicants to possess 20/20 corrected vision in each eye. See MCOLES Employment Standards for additional information.
Some medications are prohibited by MCOLES during academy training. These medications constitute a potential safety risk in a police-training environment. Your medications will be evaluated based on the MCOLES standards and policies. If you have a medication issue, it must be discussed with the director of the police academy during your first contact. Part of the application process is a drug test. If you fail to disclose medications during your interview with the director or on your medical history form, your application will be rejected. It’s important to realize that law enforcement training, and law enforcement itself, is a high-risk and high-stress profession. All medications will be evaluated in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on a case-by-case basis and related medical or psychological condition. A medical review or further information may be required by MCOLES prior to being admitted.
Law enforcement requires a high degree of integrity. There are several types of convictions that disqualify applicants from entrance to the academy. Any felony conviction will prevent an applicant from entering the police academy.
The WCC Police Academy is a highly structured, academically rigorous 18-week training program. Students are required to attend daytime classes and several evening sessions. Classes are held on at least half of the weekends. The dates and times of class are subject to change. WCC, like all academies, demands a high degree of discipline and self-control from recruits. No allowances can be made for personality clashes, negative attitudes or personal likes or dislikes. Personal work or family schedules cannot be accommodated. All of this is necessary and universal to police academies around the world and these conditions accurately reflect the realities of the law enforcement profession.
A normal recruit’s day at the WCC Police Academy runs: physical training 6:15 to 7:45am, class 8:30am to 12:30 p.m., lunch 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. and class 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. This does not reflect the time needed for dinner, travel and homework.
Some of the factors students should consider when selecting an academy include:
- The reputation of the academy: What do graduates of an academy say? Were they satisfied with the program? Did they feel they received a good education? Would they recommend that academy to other prospective recruits?
- The style of academy: Training schools or academies are built on one of two models: paramilitary or adult learning. The paramilitary model involves uniform inspections, marching and other paramilitary activities. People who like a very structured, competitive environment often enjoy this type of environment. At first glance, the adult learning model may appear more relaxed and less structured. The uniforms and daily operations seem more low-key. The focus is more on academics than on marching. More emphasis is placed on problem solving than on shining shoes. Adult learning academies often appeal to students with a strong academic orientation. WCC is an adult learning academy. Whether attending a paramilitary model academy or an adult learning model academy, students must meet the exact same state-mandated standards to graduate.
- The staff: Part of any educational process is the interaction between the students and the instructors. If you feel comfortable with the way you’re treated during the application process, that’s a good sign. If you’re uncomfortable when dealing with staff, you may want to reconsider.
- The timing of the academy: When does the academy start and when does it end? For some people this is an important consideration. If the timing of the program is important to you, look at several other academies to see if they fit your situation.
- Openings in the academy: Every academy has a specific capacity. You may choose an academy based on the availability of space. This is another reason to complete the process in an efficient and timely manner.
Graduates of the WCC police academy will have the basic qualifications required by the state to be hired by a Michigan police department or sheriff’s department. The Michigan State Police and the DNR Conservation Law Enforcement Division both require their employees to attend and graduate from their own proprietary academies. In addition to this, some other states accept Michigan’s police academy training. More information on individual state requirements and standards is available at International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training.
For college transcripts, you can find information on the Request a Transcript page.
To file a FOI request, you should use the Request for Public Information form.
Calculation of FOIA fees
Fees are calculated by adding together the following costs:
- The labor costs for searching for, locating, and examining responsive records
- The labor costs for review, separation, and deletion of exempt information from non-exempt information
- The cost of non-paper physical media, if used
- The cost per copy of paper copies, not to exceed $.10/page for standard 8 ½ x 11 inch paper
- The labor costs directly associated with duplication or publication, which may include copying to non-paper media
- The cost of mailing
WCC reserves the right to require payment in full of all fees included in the fee itemization calculation provided to the requester before delivering the final, responsive documents.
Fee reductions or waivers are required in certain instances involving proven indigence or non-profit organizations. When applicable, WCC will apply these reductions or waivers in accordance with the statute.
If you are a law enforcement background investigator you should contact 734-677-5024 and you will need to provide a signed authorization to release information for the candidate. There is no fee for law enforcement background investigators.