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 2022 topics include:

22-201 Legal Updates (Required course: 3 hours)

A required three-hour course highlighting pertinent court decisions and significant pieces of legislation passed after July 1, 2020 that affect police operations and investigations. Lessons will address changes and updates to the Pennsylvania Crimes Code, Vehicle Code, and Rules of Criminal Procedures as well as decisions from Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth, Superior and Supreme Courts, various Federal Courts, and the United States Supreme Court. A final segment of the course will focus on topics such as the issue of excessive charging by police officers and the different jurisdiction and authority of the various law enforcement agencies and officers throughout the Commonwealth.

22-301 Use of Force (Required course: 2.5 hours)

A required two and half-hour course that will review legal concepts and issues that impact the use of force and use of deadly force in law enforcement today. The course will cover modern decision-making concerns in the areas of de-escalation, harm reduction techniques, the duty to intervene, and liability issues. Use of Force 22-301 is a pre-requisite course. It must be completed and passed before taking Control Tactics 22-302 (a practical application).

22-302 Control Tactics (Required course: 3.5 hours)

A required three and one half-hour course that will provide practical use of force application. Officers will physically interact with instructors. After a short review of concepts learned in Use of Force, there will be a review of universal principles regarding body positioning and reactionary gap concepts. There will be a review and application of single and two-person handcuffing techniques, as well as a practical demonstration of simple control techniques for standing and grounded passive resistant subjects. Control Tactics 22-302 can only be taken after completing and passing Use of Force 22-301. Control Tactics is a participation course. Officers will participate to the level of their ability.

22-601 Understanding Bias (Required course: 3 hours)

A required three-hour course that will focus on helping police officers recognize and understand how bias, specifically implicit bias, can affect interactions with diverse citizens and the communities they serve. Along with incorporating Procedural Justice (PJ) principles and the Critical Decision-Making Model (CDM), officers will continue to build self-awareness and develop strategies to overcome bias.

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 must 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

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

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 whale@mercyhurst.edu or 814-725-6230.

Proposed 2020 Schedule

September 12 and 13: Academics and Skills Training, 08:30 to 18:30
September 26 and 27: Firearms Training, 08:30 to 18:30

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