MUNICIPAL POLICE ACADEMY PROGRAMS AND TRAINING

Throughout the year, the Municipal Police Academy offers a selection of trainings and programs, which provide testing and instruction to both safety professionals and the public. All events 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. 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. 

ACT 180 Training

This 12-hour program is exclusively for sworn law enforcement officers on active duty. Training is offered annually and covers changes in criminal and vehicle law and other elective courses provided by the Municipal Police Officers' Education and Training Commission (M.P.O.E.T.C.). All active-duty police officers must complete this training each year to maintain their certification. The 2020 topics include:

20-001 Legal Updates (Required course – 3 hours)

This three-hour course will discuss significant pieces of legislation passed after Oct 1, 2018 that affect police operations and investigations, specifically changes and updates to the Pennsylvania Crimes Code, Vehicle Code, and Rules of Criminal Procedure.  The training program also addresses pertinent court decisions from the Pennsylvania Commonwealth, Superior and Supreme Courts, and the United States Supreme Court and other federal courts and explains legal issues directly impacting police procedures and the case preparation process. 

20-002 Officer Safety: Explosive Devices (Elective course – 3 hours)

This three-hour elective course will discuss the current trends in improvised explosives safety, including recognition of key components, response, and post blast investigations.  Officer safety and investigative sufficiency will be overriding themes.

20-003 Operational Planning and Crowd Management (Elective course – 3 hours)

This three-hour elective course will address the logistics of preparing for planned and unplanned events by learning how to develop an Operational Plan. Officers will review crowd management response tactics and will be introduced to protective detail principles during an event. The course will conclude with how to conduct an After-Action Review and its importance regarding lessons learned and actions to take for future events.

20-004 Personal Leadership (Elective course – 3 hours)

This three-hour elective course will develop personal leadership skills by focusing on an understanding of self through mindfulness, discussing the traits of effective leaders, and exploring the continuing development aspect of leadership.  The course will spend time discussing the specific skills of time management, critical decision making, and self-care.  Authenticity and legitimacy as a leader will be a theme throughout the course.   This course is intended to provide useful and immediately applicable knowledge and skills.

ACT 235 Training

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania requires that any person wishing to become a certified security officer, or who is privately employed and is required as a condition of employment to carry a lethal weapon, must participate in a 40 hour Lethal Weapons Training Program. Pennsylvania also requires that every five years, individuals who have been certified, must attend an eight hour recertification (renewal) program. The Mercyhurst University Police Academy offers these classes periodically each year with sessions held at the Academy’s HQ in North East, PA. The price for the 40 hour course is $350 and renewal is $125. Please click here for important facts about the Lethal Weapons Training Act.

To apply for either the basic forty (40) hour course or the eight (8) hour renewal course, please fill out the Mercyhurst University ACT 235 form. Please note that YOU DO NOT have to pay in advance for this course but bring a check or money order, payable to Mercyhurst University, to the first class. Finally, after receiving approval from the Pennsylvania State Police to attend one of our courses, they will send you a letter to this effect. This letter, or a copy, MUST be brought to the first class or you cannot be admitted.

Academics and Skills programs are set on an as-needed basis. Please call 814-725-6230 for dates. Sessions begin at 7 a.m. and end at 8 p.m. at the Mercyhurst University Municipal Police Training Academy, North East, PA. See directions below; this class is NOT located on the Main or North East campus.

Firearms programs are also set on an as-needed basis. Please call 814-725-6230 for dates. Sessions begin at 8:30 a.m. and conclude at 3:30 p.m at the Keystone Gun Club, 902 East 28th Street, Erie, PA. Students will need a serviceable duty sidearm, revolver or semi-automatic, a holster and sturdy belt, magazine holder, ball cap, ear and eye protection (safety glasses), and 130 rounds of factory ammunition. Shotguns and rounds will be provided.

The cost for these programs is $350, payable to Mercyhurst University. $150 is due before attending. The balance MUST be paid by the final day of training. Checks can be sent to Bill Hale, Director, Mercyhurst Municipal Police Training Academy, 16 West Division St., Erie, PA., 16428. DO NOT send a check until the state has authorized your attendance. Log on at: www.lethalweapons.state.pa.us.

Questions can be directed to Bill Hale, Director, Municipal Police Training Academy, at bhale@mercyhurst.edu or 814-725-6230.

Application Process

  1. Complete an online (Basic Applicant) application using the TACS System.  Log in as a First-Time User on the left side of the screen. If the system recognizes your information, you may be instructed to select the other option to log in with your existing profile, also on the left side of the screen. Once you are in the system select the Home Act 235 button and select the Basic Training Application. Scroll down to select “Start Application”. Complete all required information on each screen and submit when you have finished. This will require a credit card payment of $50. 
  2. When you submit your application you will receive an automated email from Identigo/Morphotrust with instructions for scheduling your fingerprint session. You must be fingerprinted at one of the approved Identigo/Morphotrust locations. You will not receive the results of your fingerprints, these will be forwarded directly to the Lethal Weapons Certification Unit for review.
  3. When you submit your application you will also receive a confirmation email from the Lethal Weapons Certification Unit with instructions to download and print the physical and psychological examination forms. You must undergo a physical and psychological examination at your own expense. The physicians must be PA licensed and the physicians must submit completed and signed forms to the Lethal Weapons Certification Unit.
  4. It is the applicant's responsibility to schedule the training after receiving the approval letter from the State Police*. After you receive approval, contact the Mercyhurst University Municipal Police Training Academy at 814-725-6230 to schedule training. Once you have scheduled, fill out the appropriate registration form for that class and mail it to:   

    Mercyhurst Municipal Police Training Academy
    Act 235
    16 West Division Street
    North East, PA 16428

    *Individuals who have completed comparable law enforcement training within the past five years may be waived of the academic training requirement. Individuals who have successfully qualified on a law enforcement firearms course within the past 12 months may be waived of the firearms training requirement.  To request waiver consideration, please submit the following supporting documents to the Lethal Weapons Certification Unit at mpolethalweapcert@pa.gov or at the address listed above.

    Physical Form
    Psychological Form

Citizen Safety Academy

In response to requests from the public, and in keeping with the pledge to provide “services for a safer tomorrow,” we are offering three unique but interwoven training programs designed specifically for citizens.  These programs are fairly short in nature to acknowledge that our students are busy adults, yet inexpensive in order to provide this training to as many people as possible.  Additionally, all instructors are employees of the Mercyhurst University Municipal Police Training Academy especially suited for working with adult students concerning public and personal safety issues. Program prices are reasonable, more information can be obtained on this by contacting the Mercyhurst University Municipal Police Training Academy at 814-725-6230. To request a program, please download our application and send to:

Bill Hale
Program Director, Municipal Police Academy
Mercyhurst North East
16 West Division Street
North East PA, 16428

Current programs include:

Situational Awareness

In response to the dangers inherent in a free society, public safety experts at the Mercyhurst University Municipal Police Training Academy developed a concise but intensive training program titled “Situational Awareness.” This is NOT a “fighting” curriculum, but rather one focused on developing the mental and emotional skills needed to survive high risk events, either personally or in the workplace.  This program runs from four to seven hours depending on the material requested by our students. Please click here to download our Sitational Awareness program flyer.

Citizen Handgun Familiarization

Each month in our region hundreds of people obtain a license to carry firearms.  Some states require training for individuals obtaining licenses but Pennsylvania is not one of them. Regional law enforcement and legal authorities underscore the importance of training for the license carrying public but none are offered by higher education.  This eight hour course features classroom instruction including material on the “Castle Doctrine” and four hours of range time. Please click here to download our Citizen Handgun Familiarization program flyer.

Fighting Back

Fighting Back is a five-hour, one time, hands-on course that follows Situational Awareness and/or Handgun Familiarization. It can also be a stand-alone training event. The class size is small (usually 10 to a session) and combines some classroom instruction plus physical interaction with other students and the instructor(s).  The purpose of this course is to familiarize students with self-defense options that may enhance their survival chances during a violent assault.  Consideration is given to using everyday objects such as sticks, hornet spray or umbrellas as self-defense tools. Students do not have to be in tip-top shape to benefit from this training. Please click here to download our Fighting Back program flyer.

SFST Practitioner Training

This training event is offered several times yearly and is conducted by the Pennsylvania DUI Association.  For the next class please visit their website at https://padui.org/ or call the DUI Association at 1-800-627-2384.

The SFST practitioner course, developed by the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, trains police and other law enforcement officers to recognize impaired driving behaviors and other indicators commonly exhibited by persons under the influence of alcoholic beverages. 

Participants will learn to:

  • Recognize driving behaviors and other indicators commonly exhibited by impaired drivers; become better detectors and better describers by improving their knowledge, attitudes and skills in detecting the impaired driver and articulating their observations
  • develop a better understanding of the tasks and decisions involved in the DUI detection process 
  • Recognize the magnitude and scope of DUI related crashes, injuries, deaths and property loss, and other social aspects of the DUI problem
  • Understand the deterrent effects of DUI enforcement
  • Have a better understanding of the legal environment relevant to DUI enforcement and use of the three Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST)
  • Know and recognize typical clues of alcohol impairment that may be detected during face to face contact with DUI suspects
  • Know and perform the appropriate administrative procedures for the divided attention psychophysical tests
  • Know and perform appropriate administrative procedures for the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test
  • Know and recognize typical clues of alcohol impairment that may be seen during administration of the SFSTs
  • Understand the DUI prosecution requirements and their relevance to DUI arrest reporting. 

An introduction to drug impaired driving will also be presented.

Glock Armorer Training

Mercyhurst University Municipal Police Academy occasionally hosts Glock Armorer Training, which allows Glock owners to learn how to safely use and maintain their weapon in a one day (8-hour) class. Please call 814-725-6230 for dates.


Contact Us

Bill Hale
Program Director, Municipal Police Academy
Phone: 814-725-6137
Email: whale@mercyhurst.edu