Pre-Employment Basic Program
Through a partnership with the Rockland Community College, the Rockland County Police and Public Safety Academy offers the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Service Pre-Employment Police Basic Course. This program is often referred to as "Phase One."
Through this program, civilians may apply to attend the Academy as Recruits. Pre-Employment Recruits attend nearly all of the blocks of instruction that employed Recruits attend except some specific weapons training and topics that are restricted to sworn law-enforcement officers only. Pre-Employment Recruits receive college credit for their academy training.
The number of spots available for Pre-Employment Recruits varies based on the number of spots that law enforcement agencies reserve. Some classes have several Pre-Employment spots, others do not have any.
New York State Division of Criminal Justice prerequisite rules state that a prior felony conviction is a specific bar for acceptance to a Pre-Employment Program. A felony conviction may not be a bar to employment as a police officer, however, as those rules are set by individual employing agencies. A criminal record consisting of a misdemeanor is not a specific bar to acceptance to the Pre-Employment Program.
The academy, however, makes efforts to ensure that those granted admission to the program have a high likelihood of gaining employment as a law enforcement officer upon graduation.
Those considering applying for the Pre-Employment program should be aware of the standards New York State has for hiring police officers contained in NYS 9 NYCRR 6000.
District Attorney's Offices must comply with NYS Criminal Law Procedure Article §245.20(1)(k)(iv) which requires the disclosure of information involving eligibility of police officers to testify. Police Officers must answer questions that are similar to those on this District Attorney's Model Questionnaire Form. Candidates should review these questions and consider the answers before applying.
Graduates of "Phase One" do not receive a full police certification, they are not authorized to take any police actions and there is no offer or guarantee of an offer of employment upon graduation. Recruits must attest to the receipt of this information by signing the New York State Pre-Employment Police Basic Training Program Student Advisory Notice before attending a Pre-Employment academy.
To achieve a full New York State Basic Police Certification, within two years of graduation a Phase One Recruit must
- be hired by an agency authorized to field police officers and
- return to any police academy that offers the "Phase Two" Course and
- successfully complete Field Training
A student whose "Phase One" certification expires may have to attend a Phase Two plus Refresher Course or repeat the entire program to be eligible for a full Police Certification.
Pre-Employment Basic Program Application Process
1. Complete this written application and mail it to the academy with a postmark no later than November 28th, 2022.
2. Physical Fitness entrance testing will be at the main academy building on
December 19th, 2022 at 1100. The fitness test follows the standards of
the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Service and consists of
age- & gender-adjusted scores for sit-ups, push-ups and a 1.5 mile run.
You can view the standard here and watch a tutorial video here.
3. Candidates should not expect to hear from the Academy until early January. Candidates who are invited to continue
the application process will be directed to submit to drug screening and a criminal background check performed by
a local occupational health lab. There is a fee for these tests, set by and payable directly to the lab. Candidates
will also be directed to be fingerprinted by a law enforcement agency.
4. After passing the drug screening and criminal background check, admissions staff will conduct a deeper background
investigation using the information in the application file as a starting point. This background may include
an interview process, home and neighborhood visits depending on what the investigation reveals.
Admissions staff will use criteria such as previous college-level success, military service, and reference checks, with the physical fitness scores, criminal background check and drug screening when making final admissions decisions. Every effort is made to ensure that those granted admission to the program have a high likelihood of gaining employment as a law enforcement officer upon graduation.
5. Successful applicants are issued a tentative acceptance letter and are put in touch with the program's point of contact
at Rockland Community College, who will explain the process for taking an English placement test or having that test requirement waived.
Some applicants may be placed on a Wait List while sponsoring agencies make hiring decisions about recruits.
*** DO NOT REGISTER AT ROCKLAND COMMUNITY COLLEGE UNTIL YOU HAVE BEEN FULLY ACCEPTED ***
6. The Rockland Community College Bursar charges tuition. You do not pay the academy directly.
Veterans may be eligible for tuition assistance under a variety of programs. Find out more about them here.
7. Pre-Employment Recruits must supply their own uniforms and equipment. The list of required items is in the
registration packet issued with the acceptance letter.
8. Recruits are expected to know the academy Basic Exercises upon arrival.
The Pre-Basic Fitness and Health Guide can be found here.
Police academy courses are held consistent with the needs of hiring agencies. Dates listed are subject to change.
There is no guarantee that future classes of Basic Course for Police Officers
will have any Pre-Employment spots available.