How To Become A Police Officer: Your Step
By on 02/10/2020
There are plenty of Hollywood movies out there that detail the rigorous physical training involved in becoming a cop. You might even be able to picture the obstacle courses, shooting ranges and tactical scenario training rooms. These are all important elements of police officer trainingbut they only make up one portion of the process.
Given the high level of responsibility and trust afforded to law enforcement, the standards for becoming a police officer are higher than what youll likely find in many careers. The specific standards and process will vary slightly based on the state, county or town youre applying to work in, but there are a few universal requirements to become a police officer you should be familiar with.
If youre wondering how to become a police officer, youre in the right place. Keep reading for a high-level breakdown of the path to pursuing a career in law enforcement.
Common Hurdles By Veterans
If youre like most military service members, youve spent your entire working career in the military. You know how it works and you know how to work with it. Getting out and entering the civilian world can be daunting to think about. Youll hit your fair share of hurdles along the way. As long as you expect them, they should be easier to overcome.
We asked a few veterans who are now sworn law enforcement officers some of the things they ran into during their transition into civilian law enforcement. We hope these tips help better prepare you for your own journey into the most rewarding career of your life.
Starting at the bottom
After moving your way up through the ranks, be prepared to start at the bottom all over again. This applies to officers and enlisted service members alike. You will be considered the rookie for the next few years and will have to earn the respect of the LEOs you are now working with. And be sure you can take a practical joke.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is one of those things that people often dont want to talk about. If you served in a combat zone or otherwise feel that you could be suffering from PTSD, seek help. Dont be ashamed about it. It can be overcome, but not if you refuse to do anything about it.
Military.com has pulled together a lot of great resources about combat zone PTSD that can help you find the treatment you may need.
Being considered overly aggressive
Two Months Before Separation
Continue to actively hunt for job opportunities and send out resumes.
Verify your DD214. Your DD 214 is the most important document you will ever take away from the military. Any inaccuracies that go un-fixed may cause you to be ineligible for VA benefits, or worse.
Make sure your DD214 reflects all awards, citations, and MOS information.
Apply for permissive orders to go house hunting in the area you are planning to move to.
Make sure your departure physical is correct.
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How To Become A Marine Corps Police Officer
The Marine Corps like most branches is best known for its foot soldiers.
Nonetheless, there are several other worthwhile professions to consider if you plan to enlist in the Marines.
For example, a Marine Corps Police Officer plays an important role in the branch even if its not as glamorous as combat.
There are many reasons why you should consider the military profession, including the opportunities it creates after your service agreement concludes in the USMC.
Learn more about what it takes to become a Marine Corps Police Officer, including entry requirements and training expectations.
Day 2 Aosb Main Board
During day 2 of the Army Officer Selection Board, you will have to pass an interview that will assess why you are applying to become an Army Officer, why you want to join the Royal Military Police and also your experiences and interests that will help you to become a professional and competent leader and Officer within the British Army.
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Responsibilities Of An Officer In The Royal Military Police
As part of your role as an Officer in the Army Royal Military Police, you will:
- Take command of Military Police Soldiers at Platoon Level
- Carry out investigations using your specialist training
- Participate in a number of specialised training courses to enable you to carry out Serious Crime Investigations
- Provide Police support to military establishments and also whilst on Military Service and Army Operations.
The role of an Officer in the Royal Military Police is highly rewarding. However, as we have already eluded to in this blog, there comes a difficult and challenging Army Officer Selection Board to tackle first.
Picking A Police Department
There are many things to take into consideration when picking a department. Things like the type of law enforcement agency, proximity to where you want to live, or starting pay all are important factors. One of the biggest mistakes made by candidates is having their heart set on one specific department and refusing to apply anywhere else. As anyone with experience will tell you, this is a big no-no.
Once you decide what type of agency you want to work for for example, a county sheriffs office, big city police department, or a state police department figure out WHERE you want to work. Maybe you want to stay near your last duty station, or maybe you want to return to your hometown. Try to narrow it down sooner rather than later, because you want to be sure youre available in the area for interviews, exams, polygraphs, etc.
Now that youve decided where you want to work, here are a few pointers for narrowing in on the specific departments.
Zeroing in on a department
The best way to learn about any department is by getting the inside scoop from people already serving in it. That may seem a `bit tedious when youre serving your country half a world away. Fortunately, both PoliceLink and Military.com have the two largest communities of law enforcement and military personnel in the world.
And remember in a few years from youll have the opportunity to help the next wave of transitioning veterans, so be sure you help out when the time is right.
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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|
Tips For Transitioning From Military To Police
Some this advice may or may not apply to you, so take what you find useful
Editors Note: This weeks PoliceOne First Person essay is from PoliceOne Member Gordon Eatley, who writes that making the move from a military career to a police career can be done successfully if you plan ahead and prepare for setbacks as well as success. In PoliceOne “First Person” essays, our Members and Columnists candidly share their own unique view of the world. This is a platform from which individual officers can share their own personal insights on issues confronting cops today, as well as opinions, observations, and advice on living life behind the thin blue line. If you want to share your own perspective with other P1 Members, simply with your story.
In December 2009, Id just returned from a nine-month deployment to the detainee camps at Guantanamo. After the homecoming hugs and kisses, my wife asked, What ever happened to you wanting to be a cop?
But the question caused me to wonder: Was I too old to be a rookie cop? Did I really want to jump ship from an already promising career that was already half way to a retirement check? Did I really want to start over? I was solidly on the fence. Then the Navy made the decision for me. I was told all E6s were being extended a year at my Command. The people were good, but for various reasons I couldnt stomach it. The fence collapsed and I knew it was time to go. And so began my transition from sailor to cop.
I figured, Great, Im set.
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Military Police And Department Of Defense Police
The several armed forces of the United States employ both civilian Department of Defense police officers and military police forces. DoD officers and military police both perform functions similar to their counterparts in conventional police departments by providing base security, investigating minor crimes and traffic crashes, and enforcing portions of the Uniform Code of Military Justice on military bases.
Military police, as opposed to DoD police, however, are subject to deployment overseas and into battle, and have expanded roles and responsibilities. Each branch of the armed forces has a military law enforcement component. These forces work closely with their branch’s criminal investigative arm. In fact, serving in the military police corps can be an excellent jumping off point to an investigative career with one of the investigative divisions.
How To Become A Police Officer After 10th
Being proactive, agile and good in shape are the important attributes in police officers as they have to be fast on their feet. Students who have completed their class 10 from CBSE, RBSE or West Bengal or any other recognized education board and wish to pursue a career as a police officer can opt for any stream- Science, Commerce and Humanities in their 10+2. The stream doesnt make any difference to candidates who aspire to pursue a career as a police officer. Participating in sports and physical education classes, however, can prepare one to fulfil the physical requirement for the job of a police officer. In addition, developing interpersonal skills is a plus as you always have to interact with the public. Candidates can apply for police constable after completing 12th provided they clear the competitive exam.
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Military Police Personal Difficulties
Military Police are just soldiers doing a different job. They carry weapons with live ammunition everyday. They write tickets for military members and other well above their own pay grades. MPs face combat situations in the front lawns of soldiers homes weekly. Most people are indifferent to MPs typically. While many fellow soldiers and their families sleep or take holidays, they work the roads and gates of the base and base housing areas. 24 hours a day you can find a crew of MPs standing guard or patrolling the base. 365 days a year you can call the MP station and get a dispatcher on the phone. That is the nature of MP work. So, yes, it can be difficult securing a base of your fellow soldiers and families, but in the end, the MP knows that maintaining the peace is part of the job.
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Requirements To Become A Military Police Member
Each branch of military service has its own requirements to join a military police or security forces career field.
The basic educational requirements for joining the military as an officer or enlisted member apply. Beyond that, minimum ASVAB scores in certain areas will apply. For the Army the bare minimum requirements to be accepted into the 31B Military Police MOS include:
- 91 ASVAB Score: Skilled Technical
- 10 weeks of Basic Training
- 20 weeks of One Station Unit Training
- Additional on-the-job training
For the Air Force, requirements for the Security Forces career field include:
- Must be between the ages of 17 and 39
- Normal color vision
- No history of excessive alcohol use, drug use or drug- or alcohol-related incidents
- No record of sleep disorders
- No current history of ADD, ADHD or perceptual/learning disorders
- No fear of working around nuclear weapons
- No fear of heights or confined spaces
- No documented record of gang affiliations
- No history of mood or personality disorders
- No speech disorder or noticeable communication deficiency Possession of a valid state drivers license to operate government motor vehicles
- Completion of a National Agency Check, Local Agency Checks and Credit
The Navy recruiting official site includes the following list of requirements for Law Enforcement And Security career field:
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.
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Have A Relatively Clean Background Check
The screening for law enforcement jobs is often more rigorous than the screening for military service. You will be subjected to a thorough background check that may also include several rounds of polygraph questions and drug testing. You are advised to be honest in all aspects of your background check and interview process. Getting in trouble for vandalizing a neighbors mailbox when you were 13 wont lose you the job, but lying about it will. This is also the time to go ahead and personally identify any factors that might eliminate you from consideration for a position. Any convictions for violent crimes, drug-dealing, or sex offenses will put an immediate end to your candidacy, as will the failure of any drug test or the inability to pass a polygraph interview indicating your abstention from illegal or illicit drugs for a period of at least seven years. Its important to determine your likely eligibility for a job in law enforcement before undertaking the process.
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.
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The Basic Military Police Training
In Fort Leonardwood, Missouri at the USMC Detachment, Marine Corps students are taught the skills necessary to function in the Operating Force and Supporting Establishment during peacetime and time of conflict. The students will receive instruction and practical application in the following areas related to the missions of the Military Police: Law Enforcement Operations, Law and Order Operations, Detainee/Corrections Operations, Law Enforcement Support to Mission Assurance Operations.
Day 1 Aosb Main Board
During the first day of AOSB, you will undergo a series of fitness tests, including the Bleep Test. You will also receive an Introductory Talk to explain what will happen during the AOSB, and also what the instructors are looking for.
You will also need to pass a series of psychometric tests and also undertake a written assessment which includes an assessment of your general knowledge, current affairs and also your Army and military knowledge. You will also undergo personality testing and cognitive ability assessments.
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