Police Officer Recruit Training

This is an overview of the training process for Police Officer Recruits.

City of Suffolk Police Department

Pre-Academy Training

Police Officer Recruits often have a period of time between their hire date and the start of the next Police Academy class. This time is used to familiarize Recruits with the Department, its personnel, operations, and policies. This includes ride-alongs with more experienced officers and shadowing with various units within the Department.

Academy Training

The academy is held at the Hampton Roads Criminal Justice Training Academy and lasts approximately 17 weeks. The academy is in operation from Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m. All applicable state and federal laws and codes will be taught as well as firearms, defensive tactics, police driving, and other skills. There is also a physical fitness component to the training. Those who possess a valid Virginia DCJS police officer certification may be exempt from this requirement.

Post-Academy Training

The post academy is held in the City of Suffolk and lasts approximately six weeks. The Post Academy is where all necessary City information, policy and procedures, and applicable local laws and codes will be taught.

Field Training Program

The Field Training Program is a 12 week program. Applicants will be assigned to three separate instructors for the duration of the 12 week program. Applicants will spend their first four weeks of training with their first or primary instructor. The applicant will then complete the next four weeks of training under their second instructor. The applicant will then complete two weeks of training under their third instructor. The final two weeks is a “shadow phase” of instruction where the applicant is followed at a distance by their primary instructor.

Mandatory Probation Period

The probationary period for a police officer is for duration of approximately one year from their date of employment. Applicants will have needed to satisfactorily complete all the necessary training requirements to complete their probationary period. Extensions may be granted to applicants whose training is not completed within one year from their date of employment.

For any questions regarding the training requirements, please contact Sergeant Crawley at 757-514-7913 or e-mail him at

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