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Chicago Police and Firefighter Training Academy (CPFTA)

The Chicago Police and Firefighter Training Academy (CPFTA) is a training program for students interested in careers in public safety, law enforcement, criminal justice, and fire science.

The two-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 125 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.

Recruitment events are held at high schools, City Colleges of Chicago, and the Chicago Police and Chicago Fire Academies during the months of February and March. Interested sophomores can apply online each year beginning in February.


The application period for the Class of 2026 is now open and will close May 1, 2024.



Get details about the course content for juniors and seniors.

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View this year's program schedule.

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CPFTA Media and Videos

Chicago training academy molds future first responders

CPFTA Featured on WGN news

Program Overview


Find answers to frequently asked questions about the Chicago Police and Firefighter Training Academy.


Additional Contacts

Chicago Police and Firefighter Training Academy logo

Citywide Program Coordinator Carolyn Rownd Jourdan


42 W. Madison St.
Chicago, IL 60602