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Basic Recruit Sessions

Blue Crush training

Your career as a Memphis Police Officer begins with the extensive training you will receive at the Memphis Police Academy. While in the Academy, you will draw a full salary as a Recruit Police Officer.

During the 21 week training period, you will be taught a variety of subjects:

  • Criminal law
  • Report writing
  • Principles of investigation
  • Defensive tactics
  • Police vehicle operations
  • Firearms training


Upon completion of the Academy, you will be assigned at one of our precincts located throughout the city. During the next year you will apply what you learned in the Academy under the supervision of a Field Training Officer who will provide on the job training and evaluations.

Uniformed officers can be expected to perform a wide variety of duties:

  • Answering radio calls to on-site actions
  • Investigation of crimes and traffic accidents
  • Making arrests
  • Intervening in domestic disturbances
  • Assisting the fire department and paramedics


As your career develops, there are promotional opportunities to the rank of sergeant, lieutenant, major and lieutenant colonel. As a sergeant you will be assigned to a bureau to conduct detailed investigations in areas such as burglary, robbery, homicide, auto theft, sexual assaults, narcotics and vice. In addition, you may qualify to perform in specialized areas such as tactical operations, training, or crime scene investigations.

John D. Holt Training Facilities

firing range

The John D. Holt Police Training Academy offers recruits a 21-week instructional and physical training program. The fully-equipped Training Academy is spacious, and structured to accommodate classes of all sizes. The facility features:

  • A 150 seat auditorium
  • Two 50 seat classrooms
  • Four breakout rooms
  • Gymnasium with weight room
  • Video production lab
  • Satellite link
  • Computer lab
  • Driver training track
  • 24 lane indoor shooting range
  • 50 lane outdoor shooting range
  • Skeet range

Basic training includes, but is not limited to, classroom instruction in law enforcement policies and procedures, firearms use/handling and intensive physical training:

* Final Fitness Test

A minimum Score of 70% of norm is required for successful completion of the physical profile. The Physical training tests will consist of six (6) events, which require the recruit to pass all events at or above the 70th percentile in each of the six (6) events. The overall physical training score is comprised of 25% of the recruit’s overall class standing.

  • 1.5 mile run – aerobic power
  • Push-ups – tests upper body muscular endurance
  • Sit-ups – tests abdominal muscular endurance
  • Vertical Jump – tests dynamic power
  • 300 meter run – tests anaerobic power
  • Illinois Agility Run – tests agility
Fitness Profile Scale
Norm Percentile Vertical Jump Push-ups Sit-ups 300 Meter Run 1.5 Mile Run Illinois Agility Run
  (inches) 1-Min 1-Min Seconds Min:Sec Seconds
99th 28 77 60 38.8 9:28 15.2
90th 23 56 49 48.3 11:31 16.2
80th 21 47 44 52.8 12:32 16.7
70th 20 40 40 55.6 13:14 17.0
60th 19 35 37 58.9 13:58 17.3
50th 18 31 34 62.2 14:40 17.7
40th 16.5 29 31 65.4 15:20 18.0
30th 15 24 28 70.1 15:55 18.5
20th 14 19 25 75.3 16.55 19.1
10th 12 13 20 82.9 17:00 20.1
1st 7 2 6 114.7 23:35 24.3
N = approximately 4000
Source: Fit for Duty by Tom Collingwood, Ph.D, et al. 2nd edition, page 39.



After graduation from the academy, recruits are assigned to the Uniform Patrol Division. Upon completion of recruit probation, officers are eligible to bid for many of the Specialized Units based on employment seniority and job openings.

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