Law Enforcement Training Academy (LETA)

Program Description

Welcome to the Arizona Western College Law Enforcement Training Academy (AWC L.E.T.A) We are pleased that you have chosen to pursue an exciting and rewarding career of serving others as a certified peace officer.

As in all of our programs at Arizona Western College (AWC), we seriously view the responsibility of educating and training future professionals. No matter how innovative a law enforcement agency may be, the real strength of the organization lies within the people it employs. The quality of law enforcement officer that you will be in the future is, to a very large degree, dependent upon the quality of basic training that you receive. 

AWC L.E.T.A. is fully accredited by Arizona Peace Officers Standards and Training (AZPOST) and complies with all recommended and existing AZPOST rules and regulations. 

The basic training program is a 21-week curriculum. The intense training experience will challenge you mentally, physically, and academically. Training at AWC L.E.T.A. is accomplished through classroom lectures, hands-on training, and leverages the use of technology in order to provide you certification as an Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training (AZPOST) Peace Officer during the course of a 21-week training program. 

AWC L.E.T.A. utilizes a multi-agency staffing and instructor philosophy. This benefits cadets because it allows them to work with and learn from a wide variety of experienced police officers and civilian experts. Our Academy, as with many academies, has examined the issue of stress training versus non-stress training.  Although many studies have been conducted to examine the pros and cons of each, the results are contradictory. The reality is that the profession you have chosen to enter has a greater number of risks and stress than almost any other profession.  The Academy needs to prepare cadets to perform both effectively and professionally under stressful situations.

For this reason, the Academy will utilize a combination of stress and non-stress training.  When stress is applied, it is done in job-related areas.  At all times, a “learning environment” is achieved with cadets. The training you receive at the academy will provide the foundation for 21st-century policing and establish your role as a servant to your community. 

Each law enforcement agency participating with AWC L.E.T.A has a training coordinator to assist recruits with training questions. To help prospective recruit candidates prepare to meet the demands of the training, specific information about the program and our training standards. 

Training Standards

The academy is required by AZPOST to ensure that each graduate of basic training meets specific minimum performance objectives. Including: 

Assignments & Examinations 

Recruit officers will have different written assignments and will be tested to measure their knowledge. All assignments are to be completed within the time frame specified with a minimum passing grade of 70% in each of the functional area testing blocks. 

Recruits must also maintain a cumulative grade point average of no less than 70%. If a block of instruction is failed, the recruit will receive remedial training before being re-tested. Recruit officers who do not achieve a passing score on a remedial examination, or who don’t achieve a passing score on any three weekly examinations will be dismissed. 

Physical Conditioning Standards 

Officers who maintain a high degree of physical conditioning are less prone to be affected by stressful conditions of the job, sustain fewer injuries and less likely to be sick. AWCLETA’s physical conditioning program combines strength training and aerobic exercise to help students develop good exercise habits and improve their fitness level. It’s strongly recommended that recruits begin a fitness regimen before beginning academy training. 

However, before starting an exercise program you should consult with a physician. 

General Exercise Pattern 

Regardless of the type of exercise activity you select your exercise regimen should include three basic phases: 

  • Warm-up - Stretching and rhythmic movement to warm-up the muscles and gradually elevates the heart rate. 
  • Training - Performing the major exercise activity, i.e., cardiovascular or strength training 
  • Cool-down - Slow rhythmic tapering down and stretching to get the pulse rate gradually down and to remove muscle tissue waste products. 

Cardiovascular Endurance 

Cardiovascular endurance training will consist of running (jogging at a cadence pace and sprint work) and stair climbing. 

Begin running a minimum of 3 days per week. Your initial goal should be to run 3 miles at a 10 minute per mile pace. Increase to 7.5 minutes per mile. You may increase the training effect by adding to the intensity of your workout – try speeding up for a distance (50 to 100 yards) and then slowing down to your baseline pace. 

To assist in stair climbing use a Stairmaster or find a flight of stairs for training. Work at your own level. As a goal you should try to be able to do about 20 minutes of activity. Run the flight of stairs with a short jog/recovery distance and repeat again. Continue for as many times as you can. 

Strength Training 

At the academy you’ll be using a universal weight machine. It’s important that you work on increasing the strength of all your major muscles by using weights or with calisthenics. This will lessen your potential for injury and help you complete the POPAT. Pay close attention to increasing your strength in the following areas: 

  • Shoulders 
  • Chest 
  • Arms 
  • Upper and lower legs 

When performing strength-training exercises allow a day of rest before exercising the same muscle group again. A 3-day per week strength program is appropriate. 


Perform different stretching movements as part of your exercise routine. Move slowly into the stretch pulling the muscle gently and holding the position for about 20 seconds. Don't bounce or jerk the movement. Stretching is ideally done as part of a "warm-up" prior to exercise and to "cool-down" after exercise. 

Fitness Tests 

Police Officer Physical Aptitude Test 

AZPOST rules require each graduate to complete all five of the activities in the POPAT test with a minimum specified score. Failure to achieve this standard will mean dismissal from the academy. 

The POPAT course consists of five components: 

  • A timed 500-yard run 
  • A timed 99-yard obstacle course 
  • A 165-pound dummy drag 
  • A 6-foot chain link fence climb 
  • A 6-foot wall climb 

Applied Skills Proficiency 

All recruit officers must meet AZPOST minimum standards in each of the applied skill areas in order to graduate. The skill areas are inclusive of firearms training, drivers training, emergency medical care, report writing, defensive tactics, practical problems and search techniques. 

Firearms Training & Qualifications 

All recruit officers must achieve minimum passing scores in two of three daytime qualification attempts, and one out of two nighttime attempts with an authorized duty handgun on a 50-round course of fire. 

AWC LETA utilizes the VirTra firearms simulation training system along with scenario based exercises to test each recruit’s judgement when faced with shoot / don’t shoot decisions. AZ POST requires each recruit officer to participate in and pass the judgmental shooting training. 

Each recruit will also qualify with the shotgun and will participate in a tactical firearm-training course. 

Recruit officers are responsible for the security of their weapons at all times. Weapons shall not be left in plain sight unattended under any circumstances. 


Agencies will need to provide (2) training cartridges, (1) Exposure cartridge and (2) Duty Cartridges by week 15.   

Driver's Training 

The academy will provide intensive driving training. Recruits are required to successfully demonstrate the ability to adapt their driving skills to the demands of law enforcement work. 

Report Writing 

Report writing is an often-overlooked skill for peace officers. During basic training, recruits will be instructed on the mechanics of writing police reports and challenged with multiple writing assignments. Candidates can prepare themselves by seeking out education at community colleges. 

Defensive Tactics Training 

The emphasis of the defensive tactics training is officer safety and control of a person(s) that pose a threat. Recruits will receive classroom lectures along with demonstrations to help them develop the skills and techniques to effectively control and restrain suspects. Prior to graduation, recruit officers will be required to demonstrate proficiency with these skills.

Check the above to view our training standards.


Arriving at the Academy 

Recruit officers are expected to be punctual when reporting for duty at the academy. Those selected to attend will be notified of the time and place to report. Recruits should come prepared to participate in both classroom and physical activity. 

Vehicles & Parking 

Recruits must have a valid driver's license and are required to park in the south parking lot.  Recruits shall have valid driver’s license with them. 

  • Recruits shall park in the South Lot at Ray Kroc complex 
  • Recruits shall lock their vehicles 
  • Recruits shall display current vehicle registration tags 


In the first week, recruit officers are required to wear appropriate business attire. For men and women this consists of a button-down shirt, necktie, dress pants and cross trainers. Recruit officers will begin wearing agency uniforms at the discretion of the class supervisor and need to have their agency uniform available no later than the beginning of week two. 

Required uniform articles: 

  • Agency short- or long-sleeve shirt as designated by the class supervisor 
  • Agency pants 
  • Agency belt 
  • Agency authorized uniform shoe or boot 
  • Crew neck T-shirt with no markings (color authorized by individual agencies) 
  • Gun/Utility belt (when directed) 
  • Brassiere (females) 
  • Agency approved socks 

Recruit officers are required to purchase their physical training uniforms from an authorized vendor for the first day of training. The physical conditioning program involves strength and aerobic exercises. It is highly recommended that you have a good pair of running or cross-training shoes to prevent injury. 

Physical Training Uniform: 

  • Black gym shorts (no stripes, colors, or marking on them of any kind. Brand logo is acceptable as long as it is small).  
  • White T-Shirts – No logos 
  • Mouth Piece (must be fitted and ready to go) 
  • Sports bras (for female recruits) must be black or grey  
  • Compression shorts/Jock straps (not a required item, but if used, must be black or white) 
  • Wrestling, boxing, or mat shoes strongly recommended by week 2  
  • (3) Black BDU cargo pants, Propper brand, Rip-stop 65/35 poly/cotton blend  
  • (3) Tan Cornerstone “Performance” snag proof short sleeve polo shirt (First Name Initial and Last name embroidered in black letters)  
  • (1) Black Propper Tactical Duty belt  
  • (1) Black Port Authority twill snap-back cap with yellow “RECRUIT” embroidered 

The above items can be purchased at the Arizona Southwest Uniform store in Yuma, (928)726-1500 and request the LETA Package. If agencies choose to purchase the academy uniforms from their own vendor please contact the Academy Director or Coordinator to ensure the correct colors and styles are purchased. 


Recruit officers shall maintain the highest standards of personal hygiene. 

  • Hair may be worn in contemporary styles, but no longer than the top of the shirt collar at the back of the neck, and no lower than the top of the ear at the sides when the recruit is in a standing position with the head in normal posture. 
  • Hair shall at all times be neatly trimmed, clean and combed. 
  • Multicolored hairstyles, ponytails, and braids are prohibited. 
  • Females shall arrange their hair to conform to these standards if they choose to have long hair. 
  • Sideburns will not extend below the mid-ear. 
  • No facial hair. 
  • Earrings, bracelets (other than medical ID), necklaces, chokers, brooches, or other items of jewelry that constitute a safety hazard are prohibited. 


Recruit officers are required to bring their own lunch. A refrigerator and microwave are available in the lunchroom. Recruit officers are not permitted to leave the campus for meal purposes. Meals may be provided for those recruits staying in the dormitory. 


Recruit officers will be assigned a locker for storage of uniforms and gear.  


Weapons are not permitted on campus until authorized by the class supervisor or firearms training officer. 

Other Required Equipment and Supplies 

In addition to the required uniform and physical training uniform, recruit officers should bring the following items to facilitate the training process: 

  • Agency policies and procedures manual 
  • Agency report forms to include basic incident reports, supplemental reports, field interview forms, and citation forms.  
  • Flashlight 
  • Toiletries and towels 
  • Arizona Revised Statue book (ONLY book allowed to be used for the AZPOST CFE) 


For those recruits coming from out of town, lodging will be available on the college campus in a designated dormitory. Two recruits per room. Room and board will be $4500 for 21 weeks, which must be paid in full or payment plan must be set up prior to moving in. This will include 3 meals/day Monday-Thursday, and 2 meals/day Friday –Sunday.  

A Housing Application will be forwarded to the agency and must be completed prior to the start of the academy.  For more information about lodging, visit On-Campus Housing.

Accommodations will be made to have breakfast and lunch meals ready to go in the mornings for the recruits.   For more information about dining and dining hours, visit the Eatery.


The Academy classroom is about 8 miles from the AWC dorms.  Transportation will not be provided and will be the responsibility of the recruit to arrive on time. Agencies providing department vehicles are asked to avoid providing marked vehicles to their recruits.  If that’s not possible, applying “not in service” signs is requested. 

Standards of Conduct 

The law enforcement profession demands honesty, integrity, and moral decency of its members. To foster this type of behavior, recruit officers will be expected to abide by the academy's standards of conduct. 

All recruits will work together and strive to obtain a high degree of cooperation and teamwork. They shall treat one another and staff with respect and courtesy. 

Recruit officers are also required to conduct their private and professional lives in such a manner as to avoid discredit upon themselves, the academy, and their sponsoring agency. 

Check the above to view the requirements for LETA.

Program Documents

File Name Downloads
LETA Minimum Qualifications Download
LETA Guide Download
LETA Agility Testing Download
LETA Personal History and Application Download

Check the above for any necessary program documents.

Degree(s) / Certificates(s)

Title Local Bachelor's
Law Enforcement Training Academy - CERT Occupational Certificate -

Classroom/Lab Tour