In today’s law enforcement community, we find an ever-increasing trend toward true professionalism. This trend is mandated by our society’s concern for a reliable and effective system of criminal justice that uses alternatives to crude and simple physical force. Today’s society will not allow the law enforcement community to return to an era of limited education for police officers.

The officer must be democratically oriented and mindful of the dignity of every citizen. He/she must also be knowledgeable in the technical and legal aspects of this occupation. The Municipal Police Officers’ Training Academy (MPOTA) exists to provide the police officer with quality training, motivation and a positive philosophy of understanding about our society and its value systems. This academy is committed to continue this trend toward professionalism in its training programs so the officer can function in the community as an important member of the law enforcement team.

This full-time, 940 plus hour intensive course satisfies the Pennsylvania Municipal Police Officer’s Education and Training Commission (MPOETC) minimum training requirements for Pennsylvania entry-level law enforcement officers. 

The course typically meets Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m, is approximately five months in duration and is designed for aspiring peace officer recruits who can dedicate their full attention and efforts towards completing the program. The full-time intensive Academy requires a strong commitment by the recruits and their families. Upon completion the student can typically apply to police agencies. 

The Basic Police Academy course includes fundamental principles, procedures and techniques of law enforcement, including: Criminal Law, Patrol Procedures, Cultural Diversity, Investigative Procedures, Report Writing, Defensive Tactics, Firearms, Leadership, Ethics, Community Policing, Police Vehicle Operations, Traffic Enforcement, Accident Investigation, Handling Emotional Situations and First Aid/CPR.

The course also includes a challenging physical conditioning requirement that will prepare academy students for police service.

Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate basic skills and knowledge of the criminal justice system
  • Demonstrate exemplary written and communication interpersonal skills
  • Evaluate and apply basic knowledge of legal aspects of police operations
  • Demonstrate exemplary problem solving skills
  • Understand and demonstrate good investigative technique
  • Understand the differences and work effectively with diverse populations
  • Exhibit good situational awareness and judgement
  • Demonstrate the ability to correctly articulate high stress events
  • Demonstrate physical fitness, stamina, and fine motor skills related to the profession

Graduation and Pennsylvania Certification

To graduate you will be required to successfully complete numerous exams, covering 4 modules of training, with a minimum score of 80%.

To be certified for employment as a police officer in Pennsylvania, you will be required to pass a certification exam administered by MPOETC officials after being hired as a police officer.

The following links will help interested persons with any questions regarding Act 120 Certification and requirements for certification:

College Credits Upon Completion

Upon successful completion of the Mercyhurst University Municipal Police Training Academy program, the cadet is eligible to receive up to a maximum of twenty-two (22) Criminal Justice credits. Those credits include the following courses: 

  • MUNP 101: Introduction to the Police Academy (1 credit)
  • MUNP 104: Physical and Emotional Readiness (1 credit)
  • MUNP 107: Laws and Procedures (4 credits)
  • MUNP 110: Patrol Procedures and Operations (3 credits)
  • MUNP 115: Criminal Investigations (3 credits)
  • MUNP 120: Topics in Criminal Justice (3 credits)
  • MUNP 125: Mechanics of Arrest (1 credit)
  • MUNP 130: Vehicle Operations and Procedures (1 credit)
  • MUNP 135: First Aid and CPR (1 credit)
  • MUNP 140: Tactical Self Defense (4 credits)

Admissions Requirements

The application process is two fold.  Every candidate must also apply to Mercyhurst University using our free online application.

Before being accepted into the Police Academy candidates must:

  • Complete the online Police Academy application
  • Attend an Information Session
  • Complete University Registration
  • Provide a physical examination form completed by a doctor certifying that they meet the physical requirements mandated by the MPOETC
  • Complete and pass a Pre-Entry Psychological and Reading Exam. Candidates must have a 9th grade minimum reading / comprehension level
  • Complete and pass a Pre-Entry Physical Abilities Assessment
  • Provide a Criminal History and Driving History meeting the requirements required by MPOETC
  • Pay tuition in full or make arrangements for financial aid with the University
  • Provide all necessary paperwork and complete all testing as described in the entry-level application before you can be accepted into the Academy

NOTE: All applicants must complete and return the Physical Examination Form included with the application and pay the application fee before they will be permitted to take the pre-entry testing. Applicants will be notified at the information sessions of available testing dates.

Application Forms

Application Process
Act 120 Application
Combined Fitness Chart

Background Checks

Pennsylvania Driving History
Pennsylvania Criminal History

Information Sessions

Information sessions are held at the Mercyhurst University Municipal Police Academy located in the Janet L. Miller Building at 5999 State Rt. 89, North East, PA, 16428. Dates of information sessions can be found below.

The application process is for Class 122, with courses beginning on July 5, 2023.

  • Wednesday, March 15, 6 p.m.
  • Wednesday, March 29, 6 p.m.
  • Wednesday, April 12, 1 p.m.
  • Wednesday, April 19, 6 p.m.
  • Wednesday, April 26, 6 p.m.
  • Wednesday, May 3, 6 p.m.
  • Wednesday, May 10, 6 p.m.
  • Wednesday, May 17, 6 p.m.
  • Wednesday, May 31, 1 p.m.

Directions to the academy can be found below.

  • Take Exit 41 from I-90 to PA-89 N. Turn right onto PA-89 N (Station Road).
  • Continue on PA-89 N (Station Road) for approximately 0.2 miles.
  • The Janet L. Miller Building will be on your right, just past the intersection with South Washington Street (across the street from the Orton’s Fruit Market). 
  • Please park in the front lot and enter through the front doors. 

Please be prepared and bring:

  • Any completed application paperwork 
  • $50 application fee

Please review the Municipal Police Academy application process prior to the information session. For any additional questions, the Academy can be contacted at 814-725-6121.

Contact Us

Bill Hale
Program Director, Municipal Police Academy
Phone: 814-725-6137

Chris Constantine
Veterans Services Coordinator
Phone: 814-824-2617

Meet the Faculty

Municipal Police Academy
John Olszowka, Ph.D.
Dean, Ridge College of Intelligence Studies and Applied Sciences, Associate Vice President, Graduate Programming and Strategic Academic Initiatives
Maria Garase, Ph.D.
Associate Dean, Ridge College of Intelligence Studies and Applied Sciences, Program Director, Criminal Justice Administration, Associate Professor
Bill Hale, M.S., MBA
Program Director, Municipal Police Academy
Ronald Gluvna
Deputy Director, Municipal Police Academy, Instructor
Richard Skonieczka
Emergency Services Training Manager