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What Does It Take To Be A Cop In The San Antonio Police Department?

Lisa Krantz/San Antonio Express-News

The San Antonio Police Department's training academy is unlike any in the United States. 

Renowned for rigorous academics and physical fitness standards, current SAPD officers lead new cadets through over 1,300 hours of training over 32 weeks of instruction.

Compared to other cities that may not provide benefits for cadets, SAPD offers medical coverage and pays cadets to take the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement licensing exam.    

For one year, Emilie Eaton and Lisa Krantz of the San Antonio Express-News followed 38 cadetsas they worked through tough trials, including the dreaded "Hell Day," a 250-question state-mandated test, and the funeral of fallen SAPD officer Miguel Moreno

What are the requirements to join SAPD's training academy? How are the physical demands and skills needed to graduate assessed?

In what ways does San Antonio prepare its police officers? During a time of a tension about the role of law enforcement in America, how do local officers create a better relationship with the community? 


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Jan Ross Piedad Sakian is TPR’s News Operations Producer. In this role, she develops strategy on collaborative and digital initiatives for the station. Since 2016, Jan Ross has served in a coordinating capacity for TPR’s state and national partners, including The Texas Newsroom.