Applying To Join The Police
You’ll first need to check that you meet the minimum eligibility requirements. These vary between police forces, but in general you should:
- be aged 18 or over
- be a British citizen, a European Community /European Economic Area citizen, or a foreign national with indefinite leave to remain in the UK without restrictions
- have lived in the UK for the last three years
- possess a qualification equivalent to A-level, have been a special constable who has been signed off for independent patrol service in the last two years or have served as a police community support officer for 18 months.
You may not be accepted if you have certain criminal convictions, debt problems, or tattoos that could be deemed offensive. Members of certain extreme political groups are not allowed to apply. A valid driving licence is often essential, and you’ll also have to pass medical, eyesight and fitness tests.
You can’t apply if you’ve made an unsuccessful application to a police force in the last six months.
Visit the recruitment website of the police force you’re interested in joining to confirm their full requirements and determine whether you’re eligible.
The application process involves several stages:
- undergoing medical and fitness tests
- passing background/security checks
- any additional assessment stages, such as a second interview.
The police force you’re applying to will be able to provide more details about their recruitment process.
Associate Degree In Criminal Justice
There are many ways to approach careers in criminal justice. You might be thinking about a career in law enforcement or security working the court system or even social services and counseling. Whatever your passion, when you pursue your associate degree in Criminal Justice, youll learn about:
- The history, theory, and practice of criminal law
- Criminal procedure and process
- Ethical issues in criminal justice
- The relationship between the criminal justice system and the communities it serves
With an associate degree in Criminal Justice, youll be prepared to enter a rich career with many possible paths ahead.
Pass The Licensing Exam
The next step to becoming a police officer is to earn a passing score on your states police licensing board exam. Your education and training will prepare you to take the Peace Officer Standards and Training exam.
Each state has its own licensing board, so the tests will also vary. But generally speaking, most POST exams cover topics like: practical application and techniques, civil and criminal law, community policing, victims rights and management and communication. By passing this capstone exam, you are licensed to become a police officer and enforce the law in your jurisdiction. You are now free to seek employment with a police department.
Step : Minimum Qualifications
First, you must determine if you are eligible to become a Peace Officer in Georgia. According to Georgia Law you must meet or be willing to meet all of the criteria below to become employed or certified as a peace officer:
How To Become A Police Officer: 4 Steps To The Best Job Outlook
Its hard to image our society without police officers.
Under-appreciated even in the most appreciative communities, police officers are the stewards of justice, peace, and safety all over the country. They may not be perfect, and their public images may not be flawless, but police officers and other law enforcement officials are vital to this county.
You can be one of the proud police officers who protect the peace and safety of our communities, but it takes the right attitude, fortitude, and education to make it a reality.
To make the right decision for your future, you probably have a lot of questions. This article walks you through each of the 4 steps needed to become a police officer, so you can make the right choice and hit the ground running in your new career.
You May Like: How To Apply To A Police Department
Can You Become A Cop Without Going To College
The lack of a college degree will not be an insurmountable road block for someone interested in becoming a police officer. Many law enforcement agencies hire applicants with a high school diploma or its equivalent, provided he meets other minimal qualifications set by the state and local police department.
Going Back To College While Working Full
Law enforcement officers looking to promote are often left with the question how do I find time to earn my masters degree with my unpredictable work schedule and numerous family obligations? For many working in criminal justice, the answer lies in an online degree program designed for working adults a program that allows students to balance their schedule while earning a degree in a realistic timeframe and without having to drive to campus.
The University of San Diegos online masters degree in Law Enforcement and Public Safety Leadership is one such program designed specifically for experienced law enforcement professionals. Students in the program range from newer officers interested in eventually advancing to command staff positions to current law enforcement administrators looking to refine and improve their leadership skills. No matter what stage of their career a student is in, one highlight of the program is the practical application of learning concepts to the daily working environment of students. Program alumni Jennifer Tejada, retired chief of police from Emeryville, California said, Theres experiential learning and theres academic learning, and I think we need both. Another alumnus was able to put his practical and academic learning to use right way. Brent Kaneyuki from the Sacramento Police Department said I was promoted to Lieutenant the same day I completed the LEPSL program. I attribute much of my recent success to the program.
Recommended Reading: How To Find A Police Report For A Car Accident
Municipal Police Force Salaries & Benefits
In comparison to the federal police force, the municipal police agencies offer slightly higher salaries.
The Calgary Police Service offers a starting salary of approximately $66,000/year.
The Vancouver Police Department offers new hires $70,154/year with an incremental increase to $90,198 after 3 years. Benefits include paid vacation, medical and dental benefits and a BC Municipal Pension Plan membership.
The Toronto Police Service has a starting salary of $63,564.98 for their cadets. After year 3, police officers receive an annual salary of $90,836. Benefits include paid vacation, family medical and dental benefits, life insurance, pension plan, parental/maternity leave and more.
Considering that the median income for individual Canadians was $36,400 in 2018, according to Statistics Canada, the starting salary for a Canadian police officer is an attractive one.
When deciding between the federal or municipal level, keep in mind that while the RCMP might have a lower salary, the role involves police duties at the international, federal, provincial and municipal levels with a much wider variety in operational and administrative opportunities.Some specializations that are unique to the RCMP are: Integrated Border Enforcement Team, National Security, Marine Services, International Peace Operations and many, many more.
How Hard Is Police Academy
The police academy is, above all, an educational institution. In classroom settings, youll learn the basics of law enforcement, crime prevention, patrol, conflict management, and investigations. You will also complete field training that will cover firearms proficiency, self defense, agility and strength training, and more.
Similar to basic training for a military recruit, this all-encompassing education requires physical and mental endurance. Youll be up early for exercise, attend strict classroom settings, drill in firearms, learn how to use non-lethal measures, and likely spend hours in the hot sun running, jumping, wrestling, and becoming a more physically-fit police recruit. Its not easy, but at the end you will be prepared to face the physical, mental, and emotional rigors of police work.
Recommended Reading: How Can I Find My Police Report Online
Tip 2 Dont Listen To Barracks Lawyers
When I was first thinking about applying, I heard nuggets of wisdom such as If youve ever smoked weed or driven drunk, dont admit it no matter what because youll never be a cop. Well, heres the reality: every agency has its own standards, but Im not aware of any agency that would reject a 40-year-old retired colonel because he smoked a joint once in high school.
We dont expect perfection. If we rejected anyone who ever smoked marijuana, cities like LA would have about three cops to patrol the whole city. No, you wont be hired if you show up to your first interview high because you just burned one in the parking lot to calm your nerves. You probably wont get hired if you hang out in head shops with potheads every weekend. But if youre a normal guy or girl who experimented with marijuana long ago, or even did more than experimentation, you should be fine as long as you disclose it.
Same deal with driving drunk. Again, dont drive drunk to your interview. But if you screwed up in the past and drove when you know you shouldnt have, disclose it. Explain it, own it, get it in the open and move on. Most police departments arent going to kick you out and tell you to never come back if you honestly disclose past mistakes.
Do You Need A Degree To Be A Cop
To be completely clear, formal education, such as an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree is not actually a strict requirement for becoming a police officer. However, many departments across the country are requiring at least a two-year degree, while others are placing a strong emphasis on hiring 4-year college graduates.
Even when not an official requirement for a job opening, having your college degree will be immensely helpful in the hiring process. Despite the fact that these are extremely challenging jobs, there can be lots of competition for positions, so having a formal degree, in addition to the required police training, will make you a more attractive job candidate.
Not only will a degree enhance your chances of being hired, it will also increase your chances of being promoted. At some point in your career, you may want to move into leadership roles, such as a captain or sergeant having a bachelors degree in an appropriate area will make you more likely to find promotion.
You May Like: How To Get A Police Report From Another State
Federal Police Force Salary & Benefits
If youre interested in the federal police force, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police offers new hires $53,144/year with an incremental increase to $86,110 within 3 years of employment. Benefits include paid vacation days, an RCMP pension plan, medical, dental and family health plans and group life insurance. The RCMP also offers generous maternity and parental allowances as well as financial support for continuing education and professional development opportunities.
Continuing Education And Career Advancement
Once you have completed all of these steps to becoming a police officer, you will still have plenty to learn. Nothing beats on-the-job experience to show you all of the specialized areas police officers might want or need to learn more about. The best officers are never done learning.
Similar to other industries, officers must meet continuing education requirements in order to renew their license. For example, Minnesota police officer requirements mandate a minimum of 48 hours of continuing education within the three-year licensing period in order to maintain their license.
In addition, active officers are required to train annually in use of force and once every five years in emergency vehicle operations/pursuit driving. Specialized training may also be directed by your police department based on federal and local needs. Departments might also incentivize other education opportunities to encourage their officers forward. Additional training or credentials may be required for those looking to climb the police ranks.
Don’t Miss: How To Lookup Police Report Number
Step : Post Application Physical Examination And Fingerprints
Once a background investigation is complete, register on the Georgia POST website as a new user so you can begin your online application. It is essential that you complete this application correctly or your admittance to the Basic Training Course will be delayed. There are several attachments to the application as well as a requirement for a physical examination and a requirement that you are fingerprinted. You should go to Georgia Applicants Processing Service to be fingerprinted. Physical examinations generally cost about $30 and the fee to be fingerprinted is roughly $53. If you have any questions, contact your chosen academy for assistance.
Sponsored Online Law Enforcement Degrees
Criminal Justice & Criminology
Another degree field that will be helpful is criminology. This field of study takes a broad-range, science-based approach to crime, looking at crime statistics in relation to frequency, causes, demographics, and more. This is an academic discipline heavily rooted in science , so a curious mind and an aptitude for numbers is helpful. When complete, this degree is useful for career advancement, as it can be applied to the big-picture issues that law enforcement leaders need to tackle.
Although sharing many similarities to criminology, criminal justice focuses on navigating the societal systems that have been set up to stop crime, punish criminals, and reduce future instances. Basically, a criminal justice degree gives you a thorough understanding of law enforcement, the court system, and corrections. Once again, this degree is extremely useful for future advancement, as it gives a strong understanding of the overall crime-prevention efforts in the United States. Its beneficial for people who want to shift horizontally in law enforcement, moving into areas such as victim support or rehabilitation.
Read Also: How To Join Military Police
How Long Is Police Academy
One of the most important steps, as well as possibly the most challenging, in your path to becoming a police officer is training at a police academy. Each state will have different requirements for the specifics of a police academy, but recruits will typically spend about 800 hours in training before graduation. In general, the academy will take about six months to complete.
Picking The Right Program
Once you know which program level you want to pursue, its time to figure out which one best suits your needs. When researching the schools that make it onto your all-important shortlist, keep the following questions in mind:
- Is the school regionally accredited?
- Can you afford the tuition?
- Does the timeline fit with your future goals?
- Does the program have a high success rate?
- Does the program provide POST exam prep?
Recommended Reading: Where To Buy Police Equipment
Prosecutors: Us Capitol Officer Told Jan 6 Rioter To Hide Evidence
Trump protesters breach U.S. Capitol
A U.S. Capitol Police officer has been indicted on obstruction of justice charges after prosecutors say he helped to hide evidence of a rioters involvement in the Jan. 6 insurrection.
The officer, Michael A. Riley, is accused of tipping off someone who participated in the riot by telling them to remove posts from Facebook that had showed the person inside the Capitol during the Jan. 6 attack, according to court documents.
Riley, 50, appeared virtually in federal court in Washington and was released with several conditions, including that he surrender any firearms and not travel outside the U.S. without permission from a judge. He was ordered to return to court later this month.
Riley, who responded to a report of a pipe bomb on Jan. 6 and has been a Capitol Police officer for about 25 years, had sent the person a message telling them that he was an officer with the police force who agrees with your political stance, an indictment against him says.
The indictment spells out how Riley sent dozens of messages to the unidentified person, encouraging them to remove incriminating photos and videos and telling them how the FBI was investigating to identify rioters.
Rileys attorney did not immediately respond to a reporters message seeking comment.
Later in January, after two had discussed their love of fishing, Riley told the man to get off social media.
Obtaining A Bachelors Degree In Law Enforcement
Honours bachelors degrees in law enforcement are most often earned in three to four years. Entrance requirements will vary by institution, but undergraduate programs typically require completion of high school or equivalent.
Regardless of where you take your police studies degree, youll be expected to attend lectures , work on projects, write essays, and possibly take tests, quizzes, or exams. Provided you complete these challenges at or above the institutions standards, youll be awarded your degree.
Remember: only licensed, fully-accredited universities can offer police studies degrees that your employer will recognize.
Dont Miss: How To Hire A Police Officer For A Party
Recommended Reading: How To Get A Police Report