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 Mohawk Valley Police Academy 
1101 Sherman Drive
Utica  NY  13501

Academy Logo

Sergeant Christine W. Reilly - Sheriff's Office
Sergeant Arlene Hernandez - Utica Police
Ph. (315) 792-5532
Ph. (315) 792-5646
Fax (315) 792-5694

The Mohawk Valley Police Academy provides police recruit training; and specialized and in-service training, for law enforcement officers and agencies in the central New York region. Jointly sponsored and administered by the Sheriff’s Office and the Utica Police Department, the Academy is located on the campus of Mohawk Valley Community College  in Utica, NY. The college supplies classrooms, office space, technical support and use of all college facilities. With over forty years of service, the Mohawk Valley Police Academy has earned a reputation as one of the premier law enforcement training facilities in New York State.

The predecessor to the Mohawk Valley Police Academy was the in-house training program of the Utica Police Department. In the early 1960’s, New York State passed legislation that mandated formal training for police officers. Utica’s Deputy-Chief Joseph (Chubby) Piccola was instrumental in the establishment of Utica’s formalized training. In 1968, Piccola was elected Sheriff of Oneida County and the Sheriff’s Office soon joined Utica in the formation of an off-site training Academy.

In the 1960’s, the Academy’s recruit training program was four weeks long. The training was very similar to basic military training, with emphasis placed on combat and offensive tactics training. By the standards of today’s society, this archaic training was suited for the police role of the times. Over the next four decades, the recruit training evolved into a twenty-three week school that concentrates on the science of performing as a police officer.

Under the guidance of full-time staff and guest instructors, police recruits train in a myriad of subjects and skills:

Upon successful completion of the Academy and twelve weeks of agency field training, police recruits receive New York State certification as a Police Officer, and seventeen Criminal Justice Program credit hours from Mohawk Valley Community College.

The Police Academy’s training for experienced officers is diverse. The Academy hosts many lectures and seminars pertaining to law enforcement updates and advanced officer training. The Academy offers specialized training in advanced accident reconstruction, commercial vehicle inspection, evidence technician, drug interdiction and Police Supervision. The Academy provides ongoing re-certifications and updates for skills learned in the recruit school, such as Breath Test Operator, Laser and Radar Operator and defensive driving.

Thanks to Captain Don Ambrose (UPD - Retired) and Captain Nick LaBella (UPD - Retired) for their assistance with the Academy's history.