Apply To Become A Police Officer
Working as a police officer is a popular job, so it makes sense that each job opening has more than a few applicants. In fact, in some areas of the country, becoming a police officer can be a highly competitive process, with hundreds of qualified applicants vying for only a handful of positions. Given this, its very important to learn how to stand out from the pack of hopefuls and get the attention of those who call the shots when hiring time rolls around. The following resources can help you with everything from cleaning up your resume to understanding how to interview for the job you really want.
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Recruitment Process For Police Officers
The recruitment process to become a police officer with Victoria Police.
There is no one key attribute, skill or experience that Victoria Police looks for in our police officer candidates. Instead, its your overall suitability for the role that will improve your chances.
The recruitment process can take more than six months to complete. It will assess key competencies covering:
Do You Get Paid To Go To The Police Academy
Training is demanding. It requires long hours in the classroom and field, plus outside studying. Thankfully, officers typically receive their full starting salary during training. Its also common to receive a raise after successfully completing academy training. If you can make it through, youll deserve it.
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Programs In The Police Academy
When you decide to pursue your career by going through the police academy, you will learn relevant skills based on your goals and the needs of the police. The academy trains in criminal law, defensive tactics, firearms safety, first aid, policing, and related topics. The exact standards and programs available through the police academy depend on the state. Each state sets different standards for the programs, so you will want to evaluate the details for your state to determine the training you can expect.
Keep in mind that you will also go through physical training as part of your studies. The physical training focuses on helping you pass the physical fitness test when you complete the program.
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.
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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.
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Ensure A Career As A Police Officer Is Right For You
As with any job, its important to take a hard look at what the position requires to determine whether the career path is really right for you. Not only is it important to consider the career in general, its also important to look at the education required, the on-the-job intensity that police officers might experience on a day-to-day basis, and other factors. Its also a good idea to consider advancement if you have an eye toward higher-level administrative or federal work, is becoming a police officer the best stepping stone? Here are some questions to ask before diving into training to become a police officer.
- Do I have the physical strength to restrain dangerous individuals or save innocent civilians?
- Can I effectively read peoples emotions and feelings, in particular when it comes to assessing an individuals credibility and danger to others?
- Can I make difficult decisions that often have no ideal outcomes?
- Am I comfortable taking on a leadership role, whether it be as a community resource or point of assurance during a crisis?
- Am I good at communicating with others, especially in high stress situations?
If you answered yes to these questions, you may be an excellent fit for a police officer career.
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How Long Does It Take To Become A Police Officer
The process of becoming a police officer requires a significant investment of your time. The duration varies and depends on how quickly and accurately an individual completes the forms and assessments. This also depends on the police agency you apply at.
The CPS states that their process takes between 3-6 months to complete. The RCMP doesnt provide a set duration for the entire process their cadet training takes 26 weeks. At the VPD, the recruit training alone takes up to 44 weeks in total.
Generally, you can expect to set aside 6 months for your application process. We recommend that you contact the police agency that youre interested in to find out how long their process takes from start to finish.
How Important Is Accreditation
Accreditation refers to an outside organization reviewing a particular school or program to ensure it meets certain standards of quality. Accreditation is important for police training programs because it serves as a mark of quality graduates who complete their education and training can be confident that what they have earned will be accepted by future employers and peers. The specific entities that offer accreditation will vary depending on the program. For instance, many associate or bachelors degree programs will not be accredited at the program level, but the school offering the degree will be accredited. This will usually be a regional or national accrediting organization recognized by the US Department of Education.
As for the accreditation of police training academies, the most prominent is the Commission on Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies, or CALEA.
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Pass The Post Exam & Become A Police Officer
In order to work as a police officer, aspiring applicants must pass the Peace Officer Standards and Training or Police Officer Standards and Training exam. Commonly known as the POST exam, this is required for each state except Hawaii . Each state has subtle differences in their testing procedure, requirements, and the test itself, so its important to do in-depth research on the test your particular state requires.
Examsfor police officers include not only the POST written examination which includes an evaluation of grammar, reading comprehension, andwriting but other points as well, such as physical agility,medical health, psychological fitness, background review, and an oralinterview. Some states might add other requirements, such as apolygraph test. Once these tests are satisfactorily passed, graduatesare ready to work as police officers. The procedure it takes to getfrom passing the tests to wearing the badge depends on the state andin some cases, the department itself.
Complete Coursework & Field Training
The coursework involved in a program that leads to work as a police officer can vary depending upon the institution and the degree level. For instance, those in a training academy will dive right into the nitty-gritty of everyday police work and not touch on general education requirements, such as you would find in an associate degree program. In both the associate and the bachelors program, students will encounter not only general education courses and several possible electives, but they will also focus on the core courses for police officers, such as those in criminal justice, ethics, corrections systems, communication, and more. Heres a good idea of courses you might encounter, either in the core curriculum of the degree program or at the police academy:
- Patrol Procedures
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Police Academy Requirements For Education
Obtaining a high school diploma or GED equivalent is the minimum police academy requirement for education in most police academies. Many academies encourage a two year college degree from their applicants without making it a requirement. Having a college degree can give applicants an edge on acceptance to the academy. When deciding on a college major, keep in mind that police academies will be looking for relevancy to your future job. Classes focusing on criminology, legal studies, sociology and psychology are all useful for aspiring police officers.
Can Non Citizens Become Police Officers
Applicability Upon Request To be considered for this position, you will typically require A levels or an equivalent level 3 certificate, as well as previous experience in a relevant field such as the military.One police department at a time is typically how youll apply.Upon receiving a positive response to your application, you will be invited to an assessment center where you will: participate in an interview
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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.
What Were Looking For In Recruit Candidates
Competitive applicants enjoy continuous learning. They have a positive work history and experience in leadership roles, are professional and strive for excellence. In order to serve all community members with fairness, equality and respect, it is integral for police officers to be honest, accountable, caring and committed to upholding the law and keeping our province safe.
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List Of Police Services Websites
Thank you for your interest in our local police services. Below is a comprehensive list of of the Police Services in Ontario. Once you click the link, you will be directed to the Police website.
Those interested in federal-wide policing can contact the RCMP for job opportunities. Please note that the RCMP does have a different Constable Selection Process and does not require the OACP Certificate in order to apply.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Section 83 of the Comprehensive Ontario Police Services Act, 2019, stipulates a person appointed as a police officer must:
is a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada
is at least 18 years of age
is physically and mentally able to perform the duties of the position, having regard to his or her own safety and the safety of members of the public
is of good character
has successfully completed, prescribed training by the Minister
In addition, you must
obtained a University Degree or a diploma from a college of applied arts and technology,
possess a valid driverâs licence with no more than six accumulated demerit-points, permitting you to drive an automobile in Ontario with full driving privileges
have current certification in Standard First Aid Level C CPR by the time the offer of employment is given
be able to pass a security clearance as well as background investigation, credit and reference checks.
This certificate is valid for 2 years. That includes all documents in Part A and the Part B, Part C testing.
Intox Ec/ir Ii Qualified Technician Course
This five-day course is designed to train law enforcement officers in the theory and operation of the “Intox EC/IR II” approved breath testing instrument. The course is conducted with the support of forensic specialists and senior field instructors from various police agencies with a background in alcohol and toxicology. The course is conducted in accordance with the recommended standards of the Canadian Society of Forensic Science and the National Alcohol Test Committee. Successful participants will be awarded a certificate of completion identifying them as qualified technicians in accordance with the Criminal Code of Canada. Notification of completion is forwarded to the provincial Attorney General for designation.
Prerequisite: Participants must be peace officers involved in the detection of impaired drivers. Other interested parties should contact the APA.
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Is Becoming A Police Officer In Your Future
While the steps to becoming a police officer may seem lengthy, completing them is absolutely necessary if you want to achieve the fulfilling career youve set your sights on. And a good law enforcement program will help you navigate the process.
Now that youre familiar with the process of how to become a police officer, you may be curious if you have what it takes to excel on the job. Learn more in our article, Often Overlooked Qualities of a Great Police Officer.
If youre already set on becoming a police officer, visit our Law Enforcement degree page to learn how we can help you take the next step toward becoming a police officer in Minnesota.
The Law Enforcement programs at Rasmussen University are not aligned to the standards of any professional licensing body other than the MN POST and are not intended to satisfy professional licensure requirements of any professional licensing agency in any other state.Editors note: This article was originally published in June 2016. It has since been updated to include information relevant to 2020. Insight from Shetler and Plantinga remain from the original.
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
- 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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Why Join The Opp
From a competitive salary to exceptional support services and the opportunity to experience careers within a career, the OPP is a perfect fit for people who are adventurous, hard-working and dedicated to making a difference. But dont take our word for it! Hear what OPP officers across Ontario have to say about their experiences on the job.
California Police Officer Requirements
The California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training oversees the standards and requirements to become a cop in California. Although there are minimum state-wide requirements that apply to all aspiring police recruits, local police departments may impose additional standards above the minimum. For example, although a college degree may not be mandatory to become a police officer in California, many local departments may require an associates degree. As with many public sectors, although the minimum requirement may be a high school diploma or GED, college credit is seen as a strong advantage in terms of employability and promotion within law enforcement.
The minimum guidelines set by CA Post state that candidates for peace officer positions must:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Be a US citizen, either by birth or naturalization
- Hold a high school diploma or equivalent GED certificate
- Pass an extensive background investigation indicating the candidate is free of felony convictions, drug use, certain misdemeanors, etc.
- Have no physical, emotional, or mental conditions that may interfere with police work
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Job Outlook For Ontario Police Officers
The labour market conditions for police officer jobs are currently Average. This indicates that these jobs are not difficult to find nor are they necessarily in abundance. Salaries have increased at a slower rate compared to jobs rated as Above average, but faster than those rated as Below average.
According to the Job Bank, employment growth and retirement will lead to a moderate number of new positions. In other words, the balanced labour market from 2016 â 2018 means there have been as many jobs available as there have been job seekers.
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What Are The Minimum Requirements
Heres a look at the minimum requirements to become a police officer in California. Keep in mind that the majority of police departments in the state follow POST requirements. You can find the agencies that dont here their requirements may vary, but are likely to be similar to the below:
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