The Broome County Law Enforcement Academy just started this week.
We were invited on Thursday by Sheriff David Harder to see what the recruits go through. As NewsChannel 34's Peter Quinn shows us, it's not for the faint of heart.
The men and women who make it through the police academy are mentally and physically tough. Already this week, 5 of the original 33 people have dropped out.
Sgt. Ben Harting says, "For the last three days they've been doing sit-ups, pushups, running, squats, every kind of physical activity you can think of for 8 hours a day. We're literally pushing their bodies to physical exhaustion, their mentally drained and physically tired. We keep pushing them along to see how dedicated they are to be here."
By the time I got here at 9:30 this morning, these recruits had already done 300 sit-ups. Then came the mile and a half run.
There appear to be a new record set in today's mile and a half run. One of the recruits ran a 7:41 mile and a half. That's incredible under any circumstance let alone after three days of grueling activities. The worst time today was nearly 16 minutes."
In addition to pushing their bodies, trainers want to see if the recruits can be mentally broken easily.
Ben Harting says, "The purpose of the yelling and screaming and activity is that we're inducing as much stress as possible on them to see how they'll react. A lot of people when they're under that much stress stop working, they sit down or become upset. We want to figure out who will be like that because they don't need to be here."
The recruits for police agencies across several counties who make it past the initial stages of the academy will also be educated about the law, domestic violence, mental health, firearms and have to go through an officer survival course.
Harting says, "The paramilitary organization that we are continues through the rest of the academy, if anything it gets a little more strict. When they come out of here they're a very disciplined paramilitary unit."
The academy wraps up in November.