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Act 120 Police Training

DeSales is proud to team up with the Allentown Police Academy to provide basic training for aspiring police officers. The academy tuition is included in the student’s regular spring tuition.

"Not only does [the DeSales Act 120 program] put you ahead of other people, it prepares you for your future and you get your education at the same time." - Detective Stacey Janusz '11

Criminal Justice and Homeland Security majors can be considered for acceptance in the Municipal Police Officers’ Education and Training Commission Basic Training Program (MPOETC). MPOETC has a certified Pennsylvania Police Officer Training Academy at the Allentown Police Academy, Allentown, Pennsylvania.

The Basic Training Course, as prescribed by Act 120, is designed to provide students with the skills necessary to begin their careers as police officers. The Act 120 course is required training for all Pennsylvania municipal police officers. The course hours and content are determined by MPOETC. Classes typically run from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, but those hours are subject to modification at the discretion of MPOETC and the Allentown Police Academy. The Basic Training Course is approximately 22 weeks and is subject to modification at the discretion of MPOETC and the Allentown Police Academy.

Upon successful completion of the police academy and after passing the certification examination administered by MPOETC, an individual will be eligible for certification and will be certified when they are employed by a municipal police department. If not hired within two years, the individual must successfully pass the certification examination again to be eligible for certification.

MPOETC sets the requirements for admittance into the police academy and the curriculum, and it determines students’ successful completion of the program. The curriculum and training academics, physical fitness, defensive tactics, first aid and CPR, basic firearms, and emergency vehicle operation.  MPOETC makes the final decision concerning any individual entering the police academy.  An applicant will be notified of MPOETC’s final decision during the fall semester of his/her senior year.  

Criteria for Eligibility

DeSales University criteria for eligibility and consideration to be accepted into this program include:

  • Full-time traditional day Criminal Justice or Homeland Security major
  • Senior status with an overall 2.5 grade point average at time of application
  • Endorsement from the Chair of the Social Sciences Department
  • Completion of the following courses prior to beginning the police academy: CJ 109, CJ 160, CJ 260, CJ 250, CJ 350, CJ 365, and CJ 453
  • A record of no DeSales University discipline violations
  • Passing all physical and mental tests administered by DeSales University and the Allentown Police Academy
  • Reviewing and signing the liability waiver (Appendix B)

In addition, the student must comply with the following requirements from MPOETC:

  • Minimum of 21 years of age
  • United States citizen with appropriate proof
  • Valid driver’s license
  • A “clean” criminal record.  No convictions above a misdemeanor of the 3rd degree
  • In good physical condition
  • The student must provide school transcripts (both high school and college)
  • The student must obtain and then submit a current criminal record check from each state he or she has lived in.  This is typically obtained from the State Police in each state.

Compliance with all of the requirements listed above does not automatically admit a student into the program.  Participation will be limited to five DeSales University students per year.

Allentown Police Academy will reserve five spots in the spring academy class for DeSales University students. If there are more than five spots available, additional DeSales students may be allowed to attend at the discretion of the Allentown Police Academy staff.  The Act 120 Coordinator will make the final selection of the five accepted students. If more than five students successfully complete the entire application process, preference will be based on the student’s GPA, with the student with the highest GPA being admitted to the program.  

Application Process

Students interested in participating in the Act 120 Program will be required to apply to both the DeSales Act 120 Program and the Allentown Police Academy. Participation in the program will require acceptance into both programs.

DeSales application process:

  • Complete the DeSales University application form
  • Submit 2 letters of recommendation from a Social Sciences faculty member (excluding the Act 120 Coordinator) or a current/former employer
  • Successfully complete a required physical fitness test:
    • 300 meter run:  Males – 62.1 seconds; Females – 75.0 seconds
    • 1 minute sit-ups:  Males – 35; Females – 30
    • 1 minute push-ups: Males – 26; Females – 13
    • 1.5 miles run:  Males – 13:15; Females – 15:46

This is a cumulative test. Each event is pass/fail; thus, if one event is failed, the entire test is failed.



DeSales Act 120 Program:

  • Your DeSales application must be completed prior to March 15 of your junior year at DeSales.
  • All testing will be completed by the end of the spring semester.
  • DeSales will notify students of their acceptance or denial of their application by May 31 of the year they applied.
  • Acceptance into the DeSales Act 120 Program allows the student to continue the process by applying to the Allentown Police Academy. 

Allentown Police Academy application process

Your application form must be completed and submitted four months prior to the commencement date of the academy class. In the four months between the submission of the completed application and the start of the academy class, the student will be required to (in order):

  • Attend one of two information sessions presented by the academy staff
  • Submit to a drug screen at St. Luke’s West End medical center at an approximate cost to the student of $70
  • Successfully complete a physical fitness test
  • Successfully complete the Nelson/Denny reading comprehension test
  • Successfully complete a psychological test given by Dr. Regina at a cost to the student of approximately $260
  • Participate in an interview with the academy staff

Exact dates for the requirements will be provided to the students during the information session. 

The Allentown Police Academy will not finish prior to the May graduation date at DeSales University. As a result, students participating in the Act 120 Program will not graduate until they receive the final grades for the five classes. Those grades will not be assigned until the student completes the Academy. Students will be allowed to participate in the May graduation ceremony and will be designated as “candidates” for graduation.


Costs & Fees

Students participating in the Act 120 Program must pay normal tuition for the spring semester of their senior undergraduate year to DeSales University. 

* The student will also bear the costs and must pass all of the following during the application process administered by the Allentown Police Academy (all costs listed below are approximate and subject to modification at the discretion of MPOETC and the Allentown Police Academy):

  • Non-Refundable application fee (approximately $50.00)
  • Physical examination by a department physician
  • Standardized Reading Test
  • Physical Fitness Test
  • Psychological examination (approximately $250.00)
  • Background investigation

In addition, the student will bear the following costs once accepted by MPOETC and the Allentown Police Academy (all costs listed below are approximate and subject to modification at the discretion of MPOETC and the Allentown Police Academy):

  • Cadet uniform (approximately $100.00)
  • Physical fitness uniform (approximately $130.00)
  • Firearm (approximately $600.00)

It is anticipated students will not complete the police academy until approximately mid-to late-June, approximately one month after the spring semester ends. Special accommodations will need to be made for students wishing to live on campus for the duration of the academy.

The student will be required to provide his or her own transportation to and from the Allentown Police Academy in Allentown, Pennsylvania.