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STL American: Recruitment program for police officers starts August 27

A group of graduates from the Ethical Society of Police’s free Pre-Academy Recruitment Program in 2018.

People interested in a career in law enforcement are invited to participate in the free Pre-Academy Recruitment Program sponsored by the Ethical Society of Police (E.S.O.P.). The next session of the 10-week course begins on Tuesday, August 27, and continues through November 5. The program, which prepares attendees for the St. Louis Police Academy, is open to individuals of all races and genders, ages 19 and older.

Since 2015, 63 participants have been hired as police recruits in training and civilian law enforcement employees by local law enforcement agencies, including the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, St. Louis County Police Department and the City of St. Louis. There are five graduates of the last session, which ended May 2019, who are currently in the St. Louis City and St. Louis County Police Academy.

Courses will be taught by current and former St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department officers. New this session are courses on study habits and time management to help recruits succeed in the police academy. Other courses are Community Outreach and Engagement, Law Enforcement Ethics, Cultural Diversity, Constitutional Law, CPR, Public Speaking, Report Writing, Patrol, and Officer Wellness. Attendees also will participate in community service projects.

Participation in the E.S.O.P. Police Pre-Academy Recruitment Program does not guarantee employment within the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. To become a police officer in Missouri, candidates must be at least 21 years old upon graduation from the Police Academy, a U.S. citizen with a high school diploma or GED, with a minimal criminal record.

Classes will be held on Tuesday evenings from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday mornings from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Urban League, 3701 Grandel Square in St. Louis. Class size is limited. To register, visit, call (314) 478-8140 or email at