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Law Enforcement Training Institute

The SUNY Potsdam Law Enforcement Training Institute is a landmark applied learning initiative, designed to provide students with the opportunity to complete a rigorous pre-employment, state-approved police training course as part of their undergraduate curriculum.

Students in an accredited New York State police basic course (colloquially a "police academy", though New York does not officially use this term) are trained in defensive tactics, emergency medical services, emergency vehicle operation, applying field sobriety tests to intoxicated individuals in a controlled setting, processing crime scenes, learning military drill and ceremony, and a plethora of other law enforcement training topics.

The New York State pre-employment basic police training curriculum is one of the very best in the country and is above the standard of most other curricula. SUNY Potsdam's Criminal Justice faculty have augmented this excellent curriculum to create an exceptional learning experience.


Applications for the Fall Law Enforcement Training Institute will be accepted starting January 2nd and will end the last day of April...learn more.

View Rules & Regulations (PDF)

Program Overview

Read the ABC’s of the program, and be sure to contact our Police Academy Director Sonny Duquette ( for additional information.


  • One of only 11 schools in New York authorized to teach pre-employment police basic training, and the only SUNY liberal arts college offering this program.
  • Full semester of dedicated, Department of Justice approved curriculum (485 total contact hours)
  • Offered in the fall semesters only
  • Up to 24 seats available. Priority seating goes SUNY Potsdam’s Criminal Justice students, then to the rest of the students enrolled at SUNY Potsdam, then any seats left remaining is opened to all others, to include recently hired police officers, on a case by case basis to be determined by Director Duquette.


  • Students will complete 95% of the total requirements for attending a NYS Police Academy, prior to completing their undergraduate degree!
  • Those who complete the academy will receive a college stamped transcript of “Pre-Employment Basic Police Training.”
  • Students will receive 15 upper division credits towards the 45 required for the bachelor’s degree.

Core Eligibility Requirements

Candidates must:

  • Have a minimum of a 2.5 cumulative GPA in their undergraduate study
  • Have Junior or Senior status or higher (may apply in their sophomore year and enroll in the academy in their Junior or Senior year)
  • Pass an interview with Police Academy Director Sonny Duquette
An Opportunity to Serve

SUNY Potsdam’s Law Enforcement Training Institute is busy training the largest cohort in its history and catching attention from afar. In early November, a representative from the U.S. Capitol Police made the trip north to get eyes on the academy in action, and let its leadership know that Potsdam is top of mind when the agency goes afield in search of promising candidates to fill roles in Washington, D.C.

Read more

SUNY Potsdam Police Academy Sees Largest Cohort in Eight Years

The SUNY Potsdam Law Enforcement Training Institute is bursting at the seams as it prepares students for professions struggling to fill their vacancies. The police academy this fall welcomed its largest class in eight years, moved into new space on the Potsdam campus to accommodate the growth, and received a rare infusion of energy as retired law enforcement veterans entered the academy both to learn new skills and to share their decades of field experience with the cohort.

read more

ER Doctor Trains as Police Officer

As an emergency room physician with more than a decade of experience, Dr. Scott Glick still wanted more. Now, he’s making his childhood dream of working in law enforcement a reality as he completes the College’s Law Enforcement Training Institute this semester—with the goal of bringing his medical expertise to the front lines as he works with SWAT teams.

read more

Total Requirements

Students will complete 95% of the total requirements for attending a NYS Police Academy, prior to completing their undergraduate degree!

Upper Division Credits

Students will receive 15 upper division credits towards the 45 required for the bachelor’s degree.

Law Enforcement Skills

"Through hands-on learning and the academic component, we will have created graduates with the three key skills law enforcement is looking for: 1) Leadership ability; 2) Ability to work with diverse groups of people; and 3) Command presence."  ~ Dr. David Bugg, LETI Academic Sponsor and Associate Professor

What You Will Learn

Learn about arrest techniques, defense tactics, standardized field sobriety testing and much more!

2023 Law Enforcement Training Institute Academy Graduation Video:

Contact Information:

Sonny Duquette, Director
Law Enforcement Training Institute
(315) 261-8223 

An initiative of:
The Center for Applied Learning
(315) 267-2507

FAQ from New York Division of Criminal Justice services about pre-employment police basice training