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Police Department

Police Department Training Academy

recruit class standing in formation

The Training Division and Academy is part of the Administrative Services Bureau. The Training Academy is divided into four sections: Basic Police Training, In-Service Training, Physical Fitness & Wellness, and Confrontation Management.

Consistent with the Department’s Mission, the primary role of the Training Division is the operation of a Police Training Academy where, through the training of officers in law, ethics, fitness, and community service, the highest level of professional law enforcement performance is achieved. The Academy provides approximately 950 hours of training to newly hired police officer trainees, 40 hours of in-service training to all police officers every year, and thousands of hours of specialized training to officers from across the MNPD and the Metropolitan Government. All basic and in-service training is approved and monitored by the Tennessee Peace Officers Standards Training (P.O.S.T.) Commission.

On September 1, 1970, the first Officer Trainee class began its training on the current Academy grounds under the direction of Captain James York. Classes were held in the old chapel building across the parking lot from the present Academy building and were later expanded to the basement of the hospital building. In December 1974, the present Academy structure was completed and on January 2, 1975, Session 1 began its twenty-one weeks of basic officer training. Since that time the Training Academy has graduated over 2,600 police officers, and boasts an Academy staff, which represents a multitude of areas of expertise.

1962 police graduating class

A variety of sworn and civilian members, from across the department, have served as instructors at the Academy in its 40 year history. These instructors have been supplemented by experts from local universities, the community, and from other state and federal agencies.

Basic Police Training

Basic Police Trainees are hired after a lengthy selection process and then attend training for approximately twenty-two (22) weeks. The basic police-training program is the foundation upon which the career of all officers begins.

training officer watching recruits do push ups

The program is guided by minimum requirements established by the Tennessee Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission, the governing agency of law enforcement training on behalf of the State of Tennessee and the standards developed by the Metropolitan Police Department.

The Training Division also follows guidelines suggested by The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc., (CALEA). The MNPD Training Academy received the CALEA Public Safety Training Academy Accreditation.

Our commitment to the citizens of Nashville demands that only the highest caliber individual serve as a Police Officer. Under the guidance of a committed chain of command, the goal of building a professional team of officers is entrusted to the staff of the Police Training Academy.

recruits doing sit ups

The basic training program is designed to challenge the trainee-both mentally and physically. The curriculum is developed with the goal of providing Nashville with the most qualified officers. Trainees receive instruction in the following topic areas: Firearms, Emergency Medical Training, Patrol Procedures, Interpersonal Communications, Professional & Ethical Conduct, Physical Defense Techniques, Criminal & Constitutional Law & Procedures, Communications, Human Relations, Criminal Justice System, Police Stress, Emergency Vehicle Operation, Diversity, and Physical Training.

recruits learning defensive tactics

police cars on driving course

recruits on the shooting range

recruits learning to defend themselves against red man suit

recruit learning to measure vehicle skid marks

recruits in the classroom

Before graduating the basic training program, the trainee will be able to complete a 1.5 mile run in 14:20 or less, 300 meter pursuit run in 62 seconds or less, 35 or more sit-ups in 1 minute, and 32 push-ups (not timed).

recruit class running in formation


The Graduation Ceremony represents the successful completion of the Basic Training Academy and is a memorable occasion for all officers.

Recruit Officers are encouraged to bring their families to this event. The graduation program consists of:

  • Processional by the Class.
  • Presentation of the Colors by the MNPD Honor Guard and singing of the National Anthem.
  • Invocation by the Police Chaplain.
  • Introduction by the Director of Training.
  • Mayor’s address and Chiefs of Police address to graduating police officers.
  • Oath of Office.
  • Presentation of Certificates and Awards
  • Remarks of Graduating Class President.
  • Closing and Benediction
  • Recessional

Special awards are presented at this occasion. The awards are:

  • Academic Excellence Award presented by American Legion Post #5.
  • Officer Christy Dedman Spirit Award.
  • Physical Fitness Award.
  • Michael Petrina Leadership Award.
  • Law Award.
  • Firearms Award.
  • Top Cop Award.

new police officers throwing their hats up in the air after graduation

After Graduation

After graduation, officers are on probation for six months while they train / patrol with Field Training Officers (FTO's). Officers will ride with several FTO’s in different areas of the city as they rotate within the field training program. The goals of the FTO program are: to provide a structured, standard learning experience in preparation for solo patrol; to transfer and apply classroom training to the real problems and situations of an officer's daily patrol activities; to provide a mentor, guide, advisor and role model in the form of an FTO; to provide documented evaluation of performance in order to determine readiness for solo patrol duty. Successful completion of the field training program is essential to retention as a police officer with the Metropolitan Government of Nashville.

In-service Training

State law and department policy require all sworn officers to attend an annual In-service training program consisting of a minimum of forty hours of relevant topics. Within the forty hours, at least eight hours is devoted to firearms training and qualification (including use of force training and training with all issued weapons). Also included are updates in criminal/constitutional law, diversity, management, officer survival, child sexual abuse, administrative issues, department policies/procedures, professional communication, defensive and arrest tactics/procedures, and departmental inspections. A written test is administered at the end of the training and officers must make a passing score. Officers must also qualify with any firearm they carry twice yearly. Additional practice on the officer's own time is available throughout the year.

metro police honor guard standing at attention

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Group photo

Capt. Keith Stephens
Capt. Keith Stephens

Assistant: Lisa Holladay

Contact Information

Training Division
Metropolitan Nashville Police Department
2715 Tucker Rd.
Nashville, TN 37218


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