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The Chicago Police and Firefighter Training Academy (CPFTA) program provides training for students interested in careers in public safety, law enforcement, criminal justice, and fire science. The 2-year program was developed jointly by the Chicago Public Schools’ Department of Career and Technical Education (CTE), the Chicago Police Department (CPD), the Chicago Fire Department (CFD), and the City Colleges of Chicago (CCC). The program recruits and trains up to 250 public and non-public high school students each year. One of the immediate goals is to provide a pool of qualified applicants for the city’s police and fire academies.

The CPFTA program fulfills the two career education or elective credits that all CPS high school students need in order to graduate. The CPFTA curriculum allows juniors and seniors who are city residents to progress seamlessly from high school directly into any City College of Chicago to complete their Associate’s degree.

In addition to high school and college training, students have the opportunity to participate in a paid summer internship between junior and senior year to promote a better understanding of all aspects of careers in public safety. After completion of the two years in high school and two years at a city college, students will have met the minimum educational requirements to take the Chicago Police and Fire Department examinations for entry into their respective academies.

Program Details

  • Attend classes two days a week (Tuesday and Wednesday) from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Chicago Police Academy or the Chicago Fire Academy
  • Possible opportunity for summer internship between junior and senior year
  • Financial assistance to attend a City College of Chicago to complete an Associate’s Degree.
  • Transportation assistance to get to and from each academy
  • Uniforms provided to all cadets
  • After school snacks provided by Aramark
  • Instructional materials provided at no additional cost
  • Cadets can earn OSHA, Cyber Security Safety, Unarmed Security Guard (PERC), and  CPR/FA/AED Certification. Cadets can also apply to take the EMT-B state licensure class for State Certification. 

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