So you have decided to become a Police officer and are wondering what it will take to get started? The job is demanding and stressful, perfect for the few, but definitely not a career for just anyone. We’ve listed some of the important aspects to help you determine whether the job is in your future.
Are you sure you can meet the eligibility to become a police officer?
Most jurisdictions have some of the similar job qualifications that they expect applicants for law enforcement to be able to meet.
- A diploma or a GED minimum
- Criminal Justice Bachelor or Associate degree is not usually required but is preferred.
- Strong moral ethics, physical fitness, and mental strength are necessary to become a police officer. The job is demanding and will present challenges that require you to think on your feet, using common sense. Strength and speed are often necessary for apprehending suspects.
You will need the fortitude to persevere both when applying to a highly competitive position and to keep it once you have been hired.
Now that you know what it takes and that you have the strength and drive to join this lucrative field, what is your next step? You will have the best success pursuing your career by following a proven route.
College is by and large the route preferred by employers. You will not only have added connections and resources but will have the advantage of the degree and the knowledge you gained to earn it.
Direct applications are available at some locations, even for job candidates who you have no formal training. You can simply walk in and ask about jobs at a local station or find job applications online.
I am ready to become a police officer, what’s my next step?
After attending college and training or if you have applied for a local position, you should be prepared for the next steps once a local law enforcement agency contacts you. You must pass the following to be eligible.
Background checks are required for applicants who want to become a police officer. You will need to be clear of criminal convictions, drug charges, and numerous traffic positions or will risk being declined.
The civil service exam covers both job specific and general knowledge including state law statistics, reasoning ability, ethics and customer service ability.
Lie detector tests, physical exams and drug tests are required to begin working. You will also be required to have strong moral values, positive personal history, and pass tests for strength, speed, hearing, vision and agility.
Police Officers receive specialty training at the Academy. Before hiring you will have to pass numerous interviews, undergoing a process that can be expected to last between three months and a year. Patience is a job requirement.
Having the strength and fortitude to undertake a law enforcement career is a rewarding lifestyle that benefits you and the community.