The Rocky Mount Police Department operates a police academy through a joint effort with Nash Community College. Nash Community College is the approved site by the N.C. Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission.


Drill and Ceremony Training

The Rocky Mount Police Academy is located in Rocky Mount, N.C. at Nash Community College and training consists of approximately 20 weeks. Cadets are required to report for training Monday through Friday, generally 6:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Hours change depending on the block of instruction and state requirements. Each cadet is provided with academy uniforms and gear. The cadets are subject to inspections by the Academy Staff and each class stands for formal inspections on occasion. Each day begins with roll call at 6:30 a.m. followed by military drill and the raising of the colors. Each day cadets follow a rigorous training schedule combining classroom and physical training.


Classroom instruction is a vital part of the Police Academy

The Rocky Mount Police Academy and Nash Community College follow training guidelines and regulations set by the N.C. Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission. The N.C. Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission is the State agency that is charged with the responsibility of developing and implementing mandatory criminal justice basic law enforcement training (BLET) programs that are required within the officer's first year of employment. The Commission recognizes the importance of a high quality basic training program which provides the recruit with the minimum basic skills necessary to function as an inexperienced law enforcement officer after completing the training. To maintain a high quality standard of training, the Commission has formulated certain regulations which must be adhered to by each recruit participating in the basic training program. These regulations are designed to ensure that the recruit receives the best training available so that he/she can perform his/her duties to the best of his/her abilities in the law enforcement profession.

Cadets training in Crowd Management procedures

The Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) Curriculum is designed to prepare entry level individuals with the cognitive and physical skills needed to become certified law enforcement officers in North Carolina. The course is comprised of 33 separate blocks of instruction to include topics such as Firearms, Driver Training, Motor Vehicle Law and Arrest, Search and Seizure. The BLET course is filled with practical exercises and an extensive Ethics section that is woven throughout the training experience.

Each cadet is required to pass written and practical examinations (if applicable) at the end of each block of instruction. The written examinations require a minimum passing score of 70%. The practical examinations are hands-on scenarios that require cadets to demonstrate proficiency in the subject matter and skills covered in the unit. Cadets must also pass a state exam, consisting of cumulative information from all 33 blocks of instruction, at the end of the academy.

Subject Control Arrest Techniques training


Designed to prepare cadets for the rigors of a career of a Rocky Mount Police Officer, physical training consists of approximately four one hour sessions per week. All physical training is utilized to assist cadets in meeting state mandated standards. Endurance running is a large part of the physical training program. Cadets begin week one with a 1.5 mile run which increases by 10% per week to a maximum of ten miles at the end of the academy. Cadets also participate in muscular strength training and cardiovascular activities to improve their overall physical health. State certified physical fitness instructors coordinate and monitor all physical training sessions.

Cadets are required to pass the state mandated Police Officer's Physical Agility Test (POPAT).The POPAT measures applicants' abilities to perform tasks related to the job of police officer. The POPAT is a requirement for certification as a Law Enforcement Officer in N.C. and all cadets are required to complete the POPAT in 7 minutes and 20 seconds.

Cadet entering a 40 foot enclosed culvert during the POPAT

POPAT Description

A cadet will start the test sitting in the driver's seat of a patrol vehicle. The seatbelt will be fastened about the body and the hands will be at 10 and 2 on the steering wheel. The cadet will be given two street names orally. Time will start when the cadet takes his/her hands off the steering wheel.

  1. The cadet will remove his/her seat belt, exit the patrol vehicle and advance 100 yards on foot. Then, the cadet will turn around and return the 100 yards to the patrol vehicle.
  2. Then, the cadet will open the passenger door and remove the seat belt fastened around a victim (150lbs), body drag the subject 50 feet and place gently on the ground.
  3. The cadet will then scale a set of 5-up and 5-down steps three times.
  4. The cadet will then advance 25 feet on foot and use body force to open a 50-lb. metal door.
  5. The cadet will then perform 20 military style push-ups followed by 20 sit-ups. *(Note: Push-ups and sit-ups will be standardized with no modification for gender or age.)
  6. The cadet will then advance on foot back to the steps and scale and circle the same staircase as before.
  7. The cadet will then advance on foot 25 feet from the staircase to a 40-foot enclosed culvert. The cadet will enter the culvert and crawl through on hands and knees.
  8. Upon exiting the culvert, the cadet will again perform 20 push-ups and 20 sit-ups.
  9. The cadet will then advance on foot 100 yards and return 100 yards to the patrol vehicle.
  10. The cadet will then grab the victim (standing by the vehicle) and drag the victim 50 feet. The cadet will then give the two street names in the same order they were given at the start of the test. Once this is completed, the clock will stop. (If the cadet does not remember the street names, he/she will have to advance 100yds and return 100 yards to the corner of the steps; then, the clock will stop.)


The Academy Staff consists of employees from Nash Community College and the Rocky Mount Police Department. The Academy Director is employed by Nash Community College. The Rocky Mount Police Department Academy Staff consists of employees from the Administrative Support Section/Recruitment and Career Development Unit. All instructors are state certified instructors. Most instructors are Rocky Mount Police Department officers and employees. At times, instructors from other agencies are brought in for specialty areas of instruction.


Academy Staff presenting an award during a graduation ceremony

The Rocky Mount Police Department hosts a graduation ceremony at the conclusion of the police academy and orientation phase before beginning the field training program. The graduation is a proud moment for the cadets, their families and the Rocky Mount Police Department family. Cadets are sworn in by a magistrate and have their badges pinned on by a family member. Several awards are presented, to include: the highest grade point average, most outstanding cadet and the physical fitness award. Each cadet is in their police officer uniform and they receive certificates which designate successful completion of the B.L.E.T. program.

To obtain more information about the Rocky Mount Police Department Academy, contact Career Development at (252) 972-1203.