Impress At Your Police Officer Interview
Many hopeful applicants will be offered an interview during the hiring process. This is an opportunity to get to know you on a personal level, and sometimes that can be enough to land you that coveted job. Here are some questions you might encounter during that interview:
Police Officer Degree Levels
There are many degree options for prospective and current police who are interested in furthering their education. As previously mentioned, a successful policing career does not necessarily require a college degree, but pursuing a degree can benefit your career as a police officer not only by helping you get hired but also by putting you in a better position to be promoted and/or move into a supervisory position. Before we look at the degree majors available for those interested in police education, lets look at the police officer education levels available.
New York Sheriff Deputy Requirements
There are 58 New York sheriffs, who may be elected or appointed depending on county laws.3 Unlike in most other states, the training of sheriffs and sheriffs deputies in New York is not overseen by the statewide police training board. Instead, training for county law enforcement is designed by the New York Sheriffs Association. For those looking to become a sheriffs deputy in New York, candidates must meet statewide requirements.
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How To Become A Police Officer In California
For people considering a career in law enforcement, the great state of California is the land of opportunity, offering more than just sunshine and surf. From Los Angeles to San Francisco and everywhere in between, Californian police departments are facing recruiting shortfalls. It also frequently tops the list of highest-paying states for police officers, with an average salary of $105,220.
With such good prospects for employment and compensation, policing is a great option for anyone looking to make a difference and serve the community in California.
What it takes to become a police officer is a little different depending on where you are located, because there are 509 different law enforcement agencies in California. Most of them follow a set of standard guidelines outlined by the state government.
Heres what it takes to start your career in law enforcement in the sunshine state:
Successfully Pass A Background Check
You can expect any law enforcement agency youre applying for to conduct a number of checks into your background, including criminal history and even credit history. While this isnt literally the first step to becoming a police officer, it is the first one youll need to consider before you get too invested in the process. If you have concerns about how your background might impact your candidacy, you may want to consult a police academy admissions representative about it.
Your credit history may be analyzed because it gives potential employers an idea of your level of responsibility and potential problems like gambling-related debts. Police departments look into applicants history of criminal activity, employment, residency and academic records as well.
Basically, the police department is going to get deep into your business, says Adam Plantinga, and 17-year veteran sergeant with the San Francisco Police Department. Dont leave anything out on your background packet. If you omit something, even inadvertently, and it comes to light, you will likely be eliminated as a candidate. Departments are looking for responsible people who play by the rules.
Things like felonies and gross misdemeanors could disqualify you from becoming a police officer, but less serious offenses could also be problematicit really depends on the department and its policies.
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Law Enforcement Or Policing
One common degree specialty for those interested in a career in policing is law enforcement. Degrees in law enforcement are offered at the certificate, associate, bachelors, and masters levels. Students in law enforcement and policing degree programs learn about the history of law enforcement, focusing on an ethical approach to policing, the application of law, due process, tactical strategies, law enforcement technology, and the proper use of force. Law enforcement and policing degrees may be pursued in a traditional format as well as in a hybrid or online format. Courses common to a degree in law enforcement include Physical Training/ Use of Force, Constitutional Law, Police Report Writing, Firearms, Law Enforcement Leadership, and Traffic Law. Courses taken at the police academy after being hired as an officer are typically similar to those found in law enforcement or policing degree programs.
Toronto Police Officer Application Process
The process outlined below belongs to the Toronto Police Service. Most police agencies in Ontario follow a similar process.
Applicants can be declined at any stage in the application process. The most suitable candidates in the application pool are selected amongst those who pass every stage.
Once you have been selected, you advance to recruit training. In the Toronto Police Service application process, you are sent to the Ontario Police College for recruit training. Recruits need to pass this program in order to become a police officer.
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Police Officer Salaries In Ontario
The provincial hourly rate ranges from $30.05-$57.69/hr with a median hourly wage of $46.15/hr. The salary range for police officers in Ontario is $56k-$117k/year, while the median annual salary is $97,115/year.
The median employment income in 2015 for police officers in Toronto was $107,627. The median employment income in 2015 for police officers in Ottawa was $105,533, and the median employment income in 2015 for police officers in Hamilton was $106,485.
The starting salary at the Toronto Police Service is $70,643.30/year. By the fourth year, expected the annual salary to be $100,923.48/year. Benefits include paid vacation, family medical and dental benefits, life insurance, pension plan, and paternal and maternity leave.
The starting salary at the Ottawa Police Service is $67,615.92/year. By the fourth year, depending on your performance reviews, the annual salary is expected to increase to $99,434.93/year. Benefits include education reimbursement programs, a generous pension plan, medical, dental and vision coverage, life insurance, as well as long-term disability insurance.
Meanwhile, if working for the Ontario Provincial Police , the average salary is roughly $100,500/year.
Here is a list of average salaries for police officers in Ontario, according to Glassdoor:
|$98K – $104K|
Bachelors Degree In Law Enforcement
A law enforcement degree at the bachelors level typically takes four years to complete and can include many different topics or subjects. There are prototypical degrees such as criminal justice, criminology and law enforcement studies. But there are other majors that can hold police officers in good stead. For example, graduates with a degree in accounting are excellent candidates for a career in white collar crime investigations, while computer science majors can have an advantage if theyre interested in pursuing a career in computer forensics or cyber crimes.
Those in a bachelors degree program in a law-related field can expect to find courses like these:
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Potential Disqualifiers For A Policing Career In Canada
When preparing yourself for a policing career, you need to be aware of what will disqualify you from the police application process. As far as the written, physical, and medical exams, the requirements are fairly consistent across all agencies.
Language Disqualifier: You need to be fluent in either English or French including being able to speak, read, and understand one of these languages.
Physical Disqualifier: You cannot be in poor physical condition. Failure to successfully complete the physical examination in the minimum time frame is an automatic disqualification.
Test particulars can vary from one police agency to the next. However, all tests simulate critical incidents that police officers are exposed to. For example. the Physical Abilities Requirement Evaluation , used by the RCMP, consists of three sections:
Psychological Disqualifiers: A candidate can be disqualified if they do not meet the minimum psychological examination requirements.
Work Environment Disqualifiers: Police departments require you to work shift work which includes nights, evenings, weekends, and holidays as policing takes place 24 hours per day. If you are unwilling to accommodate this type of work schedule, you will be disqualified from the process.
What Do Police Look For In A Background Check
The background exam is a very thorough investigation of the applicants past. It is common for the hiring parties to speak to colleagues, family members, neighbours, landlords, as well as present and past employers. This helps to determine whether you have a track record of high ethical standards in all areas of your life. You will be required to provide your criminal record, driving record, credit history, and history of alcohol and drug use. Additionally, you will need to pass a polygraph exam that shows whether you have been dishonest or deceitful in answering any of the questions throughout the application process.
When applying to police agencies, you will be disqualified if*:
- You have matters pending at a criminal court
- You participated in any indictable offenses. These offenses are the mostserious of criminal activities, which include murder, sexual assault, and terrorist activities.
- You have a criminal conviction that has not been pardone.
- You participated in less serious criminal behaviour or activity within one year of applying. These activities are referred to as summary conviction offenses under the Criminal Code. They include illicit drug use, theft, and impaired driving.
- You have been dishonourably discharged or dismissed from any other law enforcement organization
- You have a pending or current personal bankruptcy
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Police Officer Titles And Career Concentrations
Police officers go by many names and titles, including law enforcement officer, patrol officer, peace officer, public safety officer, state trooper, and uniform patrol police officer.
These are generic names for the same occupation. You can get more specific by incorporating rank. Officers, troopers, deputies, and corporals are all names for lower-ranking officers in different types of agencies. Sergeants, lieutenants, captains, and so on up to chief, commissioner, or sheriff are titles for higher-ranking officers in different jurisdictions.
These ranks are separate from police officer concentrations, which are numerous. Here are 11:
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Police Officer Jobs By Jurisdiction
Another aspect of law enforcement to take into consideration is the jurisdiction of the agency you want to work for. Across the U.S., there are city, county, and state levels of law enforcement. City police officers stay within city limits and often patrol the streets or work on citywide investigations. Police detectives usually require a bachelors degree as well as experience in street patrol.
County law enforcement typically consists of a sheriff and several deputies who serve warrants, subpoenas, and respond to rural civil disputes. Bailiffs and constables are under the sheriffs department and often serve the courts.
State law enforcement officers patrol highways, interstates, and county roads the jurisdiction of a state patrol officer is designated to a region of the state and includes those jurisdictions covered by city and county officers. Each law enforcement agency, no matter the size, has specialized units such as narcotics and SWAT, and offer specialized training through the academy for each unit.
Federal agents often travel across the nation or are assigned to various states, which can be a bit unstable if you have a family. For example, working as a federal air marshal requires air travel across the nation to secure domestic and international United States flights. The hours and requirements can be physically and emotionally demanding with little recovery time between assignments.
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Career Outlook For Police Officers
Police officers are expected to experience job growth of five percent between 2018 and 2028, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics . Although the need for qualified police officers to provide public safety will continue to grow, how many are actually hired is often dependent on local and state budgets.
As of May 2018, police officers nationwide earned an average annual wage of $65,400, but their wages ranged from $35,750 to $101,620. The average hourly wage for police officers across the nation was $31.44. Police officers earned the highest wages in the states of California, Alaska, New Jersey, Washington and Illinois.
Working as a police officer can be extremely rewarding but can also be stressful and dangerous. While earning a degree in criminal justice may not be necessary to become a police officer, it can be beneficial and can also help the police officer advance to leadership positions in the field.
Faq: Do You Need A Degree To Be A Cop
Being a police officer is a worthwhile and impactful job that serves the community. Experience and skills are key to a role as a police officer. They undergo specialized academy training and pass exams to gain employment, though often no formal education is required. In this article, we explore the career of a police officer, including their duties, experience, skills and how to become one to help you decide if this is the right career for you.
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Is Criminal Justice Right For Me
This is a question you have to answer for yourself. But if you have a passion for protecting citizens, solving crimes, and upholding the law with integrity and steadfastness, you might have what it takes to be a police officer. Keep in mind that most law enforcement jobs include background checks, drug tests, physical fitness tests, and other qualifications that a candidate must pass before being able to work in the field. If you are ready to undergo this testing, a career in criminal justice might be for you.
Do you want to get started on your new career today? If you want to earn a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice, consider ECPI University for the education youll need for making a difference in the world. For more information about this exciting degree program, connect with a friendly admissions counselor today.
It could be the Best Decision You Ever Make!
DISCLAIMER ECPI University makes no claim, warranty, or guarantee as to actual employability or earning potential to current, past or future students or graduates of any educational program we offer. The ECPI University website is published for informational purposes only. Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of information contained on the ECPI.edu domain however, no warranty of accuracy is made. No contractual rights, either expressed or implied, are created by its content.
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Get Accepted & Paying Your Way
Admission requirements can vary widely depending on the type of program and institution offering it. Another consideration is how to pay for this education and training. During your application process, keep the following pointers in the back of your mind to help you get into the best program to meet your needs and goals as a future police officer.
Entry into various degree programs in law enforcement will all require some general points, such as completing an application, paying an application fee and presenting proof of high school graduation.
The associate degree program might require:
- A personal statement
- Transcripts from any other college courses taken
The bachelors degree might require additional information:
- An essay
- Transcripts from associate degree work
- Completion of certain prerequisites
- A resume of related experience
Application process & fees
Paying for Your Program
How much a training or educational program costs depends greatly upon the degree level you want to obtain. For instance, obtaining an associate degree will cost much less than a bachelors degree will. To learn more about financial aid options and how those will affect your financial bottom line, visit our online financial aid handbook:
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Local Needs Of Police Services
Apart from the competencies, individual police services may also require certain special skills and abilities in order to address issues pertaining to the service or the community. A local need may be a second language, a special type or level of computer skills or prior experience in working with victims and/or members of a vulnerable community.
Us Border Patrol Agents
Uniformed border patrol agents work to keep the United States borders safe by curbing illegal immigration, preventing illegal border crossings, and striving to keep dangerous drugs and weapons from entering the country.
Border patrol agents do not need a college degree but instead attend one of the most rigorous training academies in the United States. Like other police officer careers, an extensive background investigation is required, including a polygraph exam.
Border patrol agents must also be able to speak functional Spanish before they are released for patrol. Agents start around $55,000 and can earn up to $101,000.