Sheriff's Academy

Since 1978, the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Academy has offered a unique program in partnership with JCC to those interested in careers as police officers. The training program provides successful graduates with up to 45 college credits and a certificate of completion from the New York State Certified Basic Police Training Course, which is a legal requirement for municipal police officers in New York state.

Most police agencies in New York state or any state honoring New York State Certified Basic Training Courses may hire a graduate of the Sheriff’s Academy program and be able to put their new employee to work immediately with little additional local training.

The fall Basic Police Academy begins in August each year on the Jamestown Campus. This full-time (35 hours per week, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.) training experience continues until mid-March, followed by 160 hours of field training. Graduation generally occurs in June.

The program is operated in a two-semester system. Upon completion of 45 college credits, a student is eligible to earn a certificate in law enforcement technology from JCC. All credits earned in the certificate can be applied toward the A.A.S. Individual Studies degree.

Program staff

Lt. Kirk Lyon
Director, Sheriff's Academy
CARN, Jamestown Campus

Students at a simulated jail cell at JCC

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How long is the academy and when does it start?

The academy begins sessions in August of each year and continues through late spring. Following successful completion of the classroom training, recruits will then be required to complete 160 hours of supervised field training before they can graduate. Graduation normally takes place in July or early August for those recruits that have met all requirements. Breaks for Thanksgiving and Christmas follow the college calendar.

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What hours during the day is the academy held?

Academy class hours are normally 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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Will I receive college credits for successfully completing the academy?

There are up to 45 college credits associated with this training.

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How many total hours of instruction will I receive?

You will receive a total of 780 classroom hours both in lecture and lab classes.

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How much does it cost to attend the academy?

Currently the total fees are around $6,500 to attend. These fees will change as mandates change.

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Can I get financial aid to attend the academy?

Financial aid is available through the college and a student must apply at Jamestown Community College for those benefits. The Montgomery GI Bill can also be used.

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When do I have to pay the tuition and lab fees?

Tuition and lab fees are due and to be paid in full at the beginning of each semester. Students who do not pay their tuition and lab fees will not be credited with course hours and therefore will not receive their academy certification.

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How old do I need to be to attend the academy?

Students must be at least 20 years old to attend and must be 21 prior to the last day of the academy, which is typically in April.

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Do I need previous college credits to attend the academy?

Chautauqua County students should have at least 42 college credits prior to attending the academy. The fall semester will provide 18 credits, thus giving the student the 60 credits necessary to take the civil service exam which is offered in November as called for by the Chautauqua County Human Resources Office. Cattaraugus and Allegany County students may have different requirements.

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Do I need to provide my college transcript?

Yes, all applicants must provide a certified college transcript with their application.

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What are the minimum and maximum ages to take the Civil Service Exam to become a deputy sheriff?

Anyone taking the civil service exam for deputy sheriff must be at least 20 years old on the date of the exam. Candidates can not have reached their 35th birthday prior to or on the date of the exam unless they have an age exemption due to continuous military service.

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What are the residency requirements to attend the academy?

Candidates must be a resident of Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, or Allegany counties to attend this academy.

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Do I need to be appointed by a law enforcement agency, and who makes them?

Candidates must be appointed by the law enforcement in their jurisdiction. Appointments are made by the sheriff in Chautauqua County and by the sheriff or chiefs in Allegany or Cattaraugus counties.

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Are there background checks done on me?

All candidates will be subject to an extensive background check. Any felony conviction will disqualify attendance. Misdemeanors may also disqualify attendance.

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What are the physical and mental fitness requirements?

All candidates must undergo a physical by UPMC Chautauqua WCA Hospital in Jamestown. This is the only facility allowed to perform academy physicals. Once a physician has deemed you medically physically fit, candidates must meet the following requirements:

  • Perform and pass a pre-academy physical fitness test. The requirements are minimum mandates established by the New York State DCJS. For males: 1.5 mile run in under 12:38, 38 sit-ups in a minute, 29 push-ups with no time limit. For females: 1.5 mile run in under 14:50, 32 sit-ups in a minute and 15 push-ups with no time limit.
  • Take a written psychological examination that is evaluated by a licensed doctor certified to evaluate these occupational health exams. The academy contracts with a doctor for this purpose and his practice is the only firm allowed to evaluate the exams
  • Have vision that is at 20/100 uncorrected and 20/30 corrected. Note: Total color blindness can disqualify candidates from attendance.
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How long is the academy training certificate valid?

Academy certificates are good for 2 years from the date issued. An officer must be employed by an authorized police department or sheriff in New York State on at least a part time basis to keep their certification valid.

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When is the application process?

The application process begins January 1 and ends April 15.