To work as a law enforcement officer in the state of Tennessee, applicants must meet all eligibility requirements to enroll at the Tennessee Police Academy. As of 2010, Tennessee houses six police academies; however, each features the same enrollment requirements. Police academy is an intensive training program where aspiring police officers are taught skills and techniques to safely work in law enforcement. This academy also weeds out candidates that are not fit for this type of work. Prior to enrolling in police academy, applicants must first meet all eligibility requirements.
All applicants for a police academy must be United States citizens, be at least 21 years old and have a valid Tennessee driver’s license. The applicants driving record must be free from any major traffic violations to apply. Due to the nature of police work all applicants must have 20/100 uncorrected vision within each eye, or a minimum of 20/30 vision when corrected. Lastly, all applicants must hold a high school diploma from a school accredited with the State Department of Education. A GED is also applicable.
Applicants are subjected to an intensive background check before enrollment to a police academy. This background check reviews previous employers, credit rating, driving history and federal and state criminal records. Applicants must also undergo a polygraph test. If an applicant has been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor crime, he is disqualified from the police academy. If information from a background check reveals a history of theft, gambling problems, violence, DUI or addiction to a controlled substance the applicant is no longer eligible for police academy.
Prior to being accepted into a police academy, applicants must undergo extensive physical, medical and psychological examinations. The physical examination is performed in Donelson, Tennessee at the Tennessee Department of Safety Training Center and consists of timed challenges to determine the physical agility of applicants. The medical examination must be performed by a licensed physician while psychological examinations must be completed by a licensed psychologist. If a candidate is found to be unfit for police academy based on physical or mental deficiencies, they are no longer eligible for enrollment.
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