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The most important thing you will need for the academy is a positive attitude! The academy is tough but many recruits have completed training before you. Think of the academy as the foundation for building your career and work hard to make it a strong foundation. The academy staff is here to help you get the most out of your training experience. If you have any questions please contact us at (540) 375-3095.
When you are hired, your employing agency will inform you when to report to the academy for the start of your training program. The academy is located at 917 Central Avenue in Salem, VA (click here for directions.) Please keep in mind that railroad tracks cross several roads near the academy so give yourself extra time in case you have to wait on a train.
You should be in the academy and prepared to start training at 7:00AM each day. Class lengths vary depending on the subject but you normally have a ten minute break each hour. You will be given a one hour lunch break from 12:00PM to 1:00PM and you will be free to go to a local restaurant or you may bring your own lunch to the academy. A microwave oven and a refrigerator are located in the academy lounge and are available for student use. The academy also has drink machines and a snack machine.
The uniform for the academy is your issued agency uniform. You will not need your gun belt in the classroom and weapons are not permitted in the academy. If you have not been issued a uniform by the first day, you should wear appropriate business attire. For men, appropriate business attire consists of dress trousers, shirt, tie, sports jacket, and dress shoes. For women, appropriate business attire consists of a blouse or shirt with a collar, dress slacks or a skirt and dress shoes.
The academy will provide you with all of the material that you will need for the training.
Your first day of training will be devoted to an orientation to the academy and a briefing on the academy rules and regulations.
Physical fitness is an important part of the entry level law enforcement and jailor/court services training programs at Cardinal Academy. Recruits attending either of these programs will have one hour of physical fitness training each day. The law enforcement recruits will take four physical fitness tests and the jailor/court services class will take three physical fitness tests during their respective training sessions. In addition, both classes will run the physical ability (obstacle) course four times during the session. All entry level law enforcement and jail recruits will be required to run the 1.5 mile run on their first physical fitness test in 20 minutes or less to continue in that session. All entry level law enforcement and jail recruits will also be required to complete the physical ability course in one minute and thirty seconds to pass the block of instruction on physical fitness.
It is important that you start preparing yourself before you report to the academy. Hopefully, you are already in good physical condition, but, if you need a little help, the academy staff can provide you with an outline for a pre-academy fitness program that will prepare you for the first week. This program is for recruits who have not worked out in the past and is just a program to prepare for the first week of runs. Ideally you would need to prepare yourself to run all distances up to 4 miles comfortably.
Always consult a physician before starting a fitness program, especially if you are out of shape or overweight. If you are a smoker, try to quit or cut back. Before attending the entry level law enforcement or jailor/court services program, you are required by DCJS regulation to undergo a complete physical examination. If you plan to use the Pre-Academy Fitness Program, your physical examination form must be on file at the academy before we can provide you with an outline of the program.
You will need a good pair of running shoes while you are at the academy. Plan on spending between $70 and $140 dollars for your shoes. Make sure that you buy the right shoe for your running style and body type. All of the running will be done on either asphalt or concrete and proper shoes will greatly reduce the strain on your feet and legs. Basketball shoes, tennis shoes or cross training shoes are not recommended. You will be issued an academy PT uniform that must be worn during physical training. Each student will be expected to provide plain white socks and running shoes. Male students are required to wear an athletic supporter or compression shorts and female students must wear a support bra during physical fitness training. The academy will also provide sweat suits for those recruits who are attending the spring session.
Cardinal Criminal Justice Academy is one of ten regional criminal justice training academies located throughout Virginia. Normally recruit officers that attend Cardinal are employed by one of our 36 member agencies. The academy conducts entry level training programs to certify recruit officers as law enforcement officers, jailors/court services officers, dispatchers, and animal control officers. The entry level training programs are academically and physically demanding and the recruit officers are required to demonstrate proficiency in all of training areas mandated by the Department of Criminal Justice Services. In addition, the law enforcement and jailor/court services include a demanding physical fitness program.