The Harford County Sheriff's Office Training Academy is located on the campus of Harford Community College in the Edgewood Hall Apprenticeship Training Center at 401 Thomas Run Road Bel Air, Maryland 21015. The Academy operates with a staff of five full-time personnel: the Academy Director (Civilian), Law Enforcement Training Coordinator (Corporal), Correctional Training Coordinator (Deputy First Class), Range Master for firearms training of Law Enforcement and Correctional Officers (Deputy First Class) and an office manager for managing daily office activities. The Harford County Sheriff's Office Training Academy is certified through the Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commissions and is responsible for training new law enforcement and correctional officers. These new officers are from the Harford County Sheriff's Office and numerous other law enforcement and correctional agencies within the State of Maryland.
The Training Academy has a modern outdoor firing range located in Whiteford, Maryland. The range has two handgun ranges, a sniper range, and a state of the art shoot house facility. The range is operational year round and consistently provides quality weapons training to numerous law enforcement deputies and to outside agencies. In addition to the Harford County Sheriff's Office Special Response Team (SRT), special weapons teams from the Baltimore Police Department, Baltimore County Police Department and the Maryland State Police often use the range facilities for training exercises. In addition, outside companies, such as Exelon Nuclear, utilize the facilities to train for emergency incidents.
Law enforcement recruits are required to complete an intensive 28-week training program. Subject training areas include firearms training, emergency vehicle operation, physical fitness, criminal and traffic law, and community policing among many others. Once the formal training has been completed, each student is eligible to receive a maximum of thirty college credits, awarded by Harford Community College. Upon returning to his or her respective agency, each recruit then must still complete a period of field training.
Correctional entrance level recruits are also trained at the facility. They undergo an intensive ten-week training program. Courses of instruction include physical fitness, report writing, cell extraction, drill and ceremony, interpersonal communication skills, and defensive tactics among others. All recruits are required to achieve an eighty percent grade in all testing to successfully complete the training. Graduating correctional recruits are eligible to receive eight college credits, awarded by Harford Community College. Field training is completed upon graduation at the Harford County Detention Center.
Each certified member of the Sheriff's Office is also required to undergo 18 hours of in-service training yearly. The training encompasses diversified areas designed to enhance and reinforce the deputies' and officers' skills and knowledge. These courses include firearms' qualification, first responder re-certification training, search management, defensive tactics, and other topics designed to provide a comprehensive educational experience. Each year, with the exception of the mandated courses, the curriculum is changed in an effort to expand the knowledge and expertise of the attendees. This mandated training is taught to certified agency personnel and members of allied law enforcement and corrections agencies.
Along with the aforementioned units of training, the Training Academy also provides supervisory training, mid-level management training and administrative level training geared towards professional development. Elective courses and hosted courses provide deputies with the chance to learn about computer technology, special weapons training, sensitivity training, criminal investigations and officer safety. Each of these electives and hosted classes are designed to assist the deputies in the performance of their duties.
Citizen's Police Academy
The Training Academy conducts the Citizens' Police Academy each year. This course is presented over a 16-week period, meeting one night per week. The course is designed to provide the citizens of Harford County a better understanding of the operations of the agency; and allows them to have personal interaction with law enforcement and correctional officers. Each block of instruction provides an overview of various components within the agency.
In addition to the training offered to deputies, the Sheriff's Office Training Academy strives to participate in, and co-sponsor, valuable training designed to help fellow agencies in the law enforcement and correctional field. The Harford County Sheriff's Office, in partnership with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, implemented the first Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar (LEEDS) Command College in the Greater Chesapeake Region. Each year the Sheriff's Office, along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, hosts this weeklong law enforcement executive training program. Members of local, county, state and Federal level law enforcement agencies from Maryland and surrounding states attend the course.
The Harford County Sheriff's Office Training Academy is committed to providing the most up-to-date training available to keep pace with the ever-changing needs of the law enforcement community. For more information on the Training Academy or course offerings, please call 410-638-3860 or view the training conferences section of this website.