Become A Police Officer
This is no small stepbecoming a police officer means youll need to meet several requirements for employment, such as being at least 21 years old, having a drivers license and being physically fit, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.* Many states will require that you complete some form of police training academy.
Can I Become A Police Officer After Passing 10th
If you have just cleared your 10th grade and are determined to become a Police Officer then you are on the right track. Unfortunately, becoming a police officer after completing only 10th grade is not possible. You need to complete at least 12th grade to be eligible for various posts in the police force. So, after passing your Class 10, take up any of the Science, Commerce and Arts streams and prepare for your goal. Participating in sports or NCC/ Scout and Guide would also be helpful for your career.
What Do Police Officers Do
Dont believe what you see on the TV show Copsits not an accurate depiction of police work.
At the core level, a polices officer primary job is to patrol a section of the community in order to make the community feel safe, Vincent says, as well as to respond emergency calls for anything from suspicious behavior to felony crimes.
In addition to patrolling their assigned areas, police officers typically conduct traffic stops and issue citations, observe suspects, and testify in court against criminal defendants. They also spend a fair amount of time at their desk doing paperwork, such as writing detailed crime reports and filling out forms. Check out Monsters police officer job description for more info.
Don’t Miss: How Many Police Are Killed Each Year
What To Expect From A Career In Police Services
A career in police services is physically and mentally demanding, but police programs at Ontario colleges prepare students to meet those demands. From the skills you develop in youth conflict management or community policing to personal development training in fitness, lifestyle management and problem-solving, youll leave the program with the skills you need to make it in law enforcement.
If you see yourself upholding the law and working to keep communities safe through police services, heres what you need to know.
Finding A Job As A Police Officer
Recommended Reading: How Do Police Deal With Homeless
Police Officer Hours And Work Environment
Work hours can vary depending on the police department. Arlington County police officers are assigned to one of three eight-hour shifts, while police stations in smaller communities may only have two 12-hour shifts, Vincent says.
However, We offer an opportunity twice a year for officers to change shifts, Vincent says. Thats our system because research shows that poor sleep patterns can affect job performance. For that reason, police officers also usually have the same days off every week, Vincent says: Weve found that some officers prefer the midnight shift because theyre night owls.
As for the work environment, Vincent says theres inherent stress in any public safety job: And on top of being physically demanding, police work can be stressful and dangerouspolice officers may suffer physical injuries during conflicts and other high-risk situations. Therefore, officers must possess the physical and mental stamina to perform their job.
Emphasize Related Work Experience
Explaining how your work history has prepared you for police work is very important. Talking about your military service can give you an edge over civilians who are applying. Employers value the skills that veterans bring to the police force such as mental strength, sense of duty and unwavering courage. Other directly related experiences include full-time or volunteer fire fighting, driving an armored car, sleuthing as a private detective or working as a security guard. If you are at least 20 years old, consider volunteering for the police reserves, in which you will receive introductory law enforcement training. Joining the army reserves is an excellent way of acquiring skills and standing-out in the application process.
Recommended Reading: How To Get A Police Accident Report Online
How Does Police Academy Training Work
No matter which program you choose, before beginning work at a police department, you will have to enter a police academy for formal training. This training will consist of various elements that prepare you for life as a police officer, including training it the classroom, field training that walks you through the rigors of the day-to-day work, and in-service training that allows you to begin working with the public on a probationary basis. Heres more about police academy training:
The classroom curriculum will focus on a variety of subjects, ranging from the law itself to administrative and department procedures. Cadets will also learn not just what the law is, but how to apply it in the real world. For example, a police officer may know that probable cause is required for a warrant to conduct a search, but what about the exceptions where a warrant isnt needed? Or what should the officer do or say if an individual contests the validity of the warrant? Much of this classroom training will be necessary before field training can take place or to put the hands-on skills into context.
Education & Training For A Police Officer
To become a police officer you usually have to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education, or complete Year 10 plus a trade certificate. Tertiary qualifications may add to your competitiveness and, wherever possible, the AFP seeks to recruit graduates from a wide range of disciplines, not limited to law, justice or criminology studies.To get into the degree courses you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. Institutions have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information.Successful applicants complete 24 weeks of training at the AFP College in Barton, ACT. Recruits complete a further 12 months of on-the-job training.
Read Also: Can I Be A Part Time Police Officer
Physical Requirements To Become A Police Officer
Beyond the basic bio requirements, you will also need to meet physical requirements, such as:
- Basic physical criteria
- Good vision and hearing
- Mental strength
The physical requirements will vary from state to state and even city to city. For example in LA, male applicants must have a body fat percentage of less than 22%. In Philadelphia, recruits must pass a physical fitness test to be accepted into the training academy.
If you meet these essential requirements, you can move forward with education and training, which may include formal college courses, an important part of how to become a police officer.
Careers In Law Enforcement
There are a number of career options available in the myriad of organizations and agencies operating within the law enforcement field, ranging from state and local police to federal agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Agency .
If you are considering a career in law enforcement, one distinction to understand is the difference between sworn and non-sworn positions. Sworn officers have a badge, carry a firearm, and have the ability to arrest suspects. Patrol officers, detectives, sheriffs, state troopers, and federal agents are all sworn officers. Non-sworn positions include correctional officers, dispatchers, crime scene technicians, and lab personnel. Johns, for example, began her law enforcement career as a non-sworn probation officer before graduating from the police academy and becoming a sworn police officer.
The career outlook for jobs in law enforcement is positive. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for police and detectives are expected to grow by 7 percent between 2016 and 2026. The median pay nationally in 2017 was $62,960. California leads the country in the number of law enforcement jobs, employing nearly 73,000 sheriffs and police patrol officers. The 2017 annual mean wage for law enforcement professionals in California was $100,090 and the hourly mean wage was $48.12.
Don’t Miss: Can I Get A Police Report Emailed To Me
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.
How Many Years Of School Does It Take To Become A Cop
The training required to become a police officer begins with your high school diploma. After you have complete high school you the number of years of schooling differs depending on the police force you wish to work for as well as your other experience in college or military service. This schooling is in addition to the training required once you are admitted to the police force as a trainee.
Read Also: How To Get Police Report For Lost Passport
Law Enforcement Education At National University
Criminal justice seems like the most obvious educational pathway for someone interested in a career in law enforcement, but its not the only applicable major. A 2015 study from Michigan State University surveyed seven medium-sized to large police departments across the United States. Forty-five percent of officers had a four-year degree, and about half of those had studied criminal justice.
As a law enforcement university, NU offers a number of related undergraduate programs, in addition to criminal justice administration: pre-law, public administration, cybersecurity, and homeland security and emergency management. In addition, graduate students can earn masters degrees in criminal justice, forensic sciences, public administration, cybersecurity and information assurance, homeland security and emergency management, and juvenile justice. Beyond programs that are specific to various branches of law enforcement, students also might consider majors such as psychology and sociology. Online degrees are available for most of NUs programs.
Guffey adds that a criminal justice degree will give students a leg up at the police academy: The police academy is pretty intense. Youre going to fare better on those tests. Youre going to be able to write better reports, understand what youre writing, and what crime youre faced with on the street. All of those things are going to be stressed in a bachelors in criminal justice.
Network In The Community
To land a job in law enforcement without a degree, you will want strong letters of recommendations from upstanding citizens like your pastor or former high school principal. Be visible by attending art fairs, athletic events and charity fundraisers. Consider volunteering to be on a board of directors of a youth organization to show community spirit and meet people. Talk about your interest in becoming a police officer with the professional contacts you make through public service. You never know who might put in a good word for you with the police chief on the golf course.
Don’t Miss: What Do You Need To Join The Police Academy
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.
Books & Study Material To Become Police Officer
Here are some of the important books that a person can refer to clear police officer recruitment exam: –
- Police Exam Preparation Book by Norman Hall
- SSC Sub-Inspector Recruitment Exam by Disha Publications
- Kirans SSC Constable Exam
- SSC Delhi Police Executive Recruitment Exam by R. Gupta
- Haryana Police Constable Recruitment Exam by R. Gupta
- Vijetha Competitions Andhra Pradesh Police Recruitment Exam
- Kirans Kolkata Police Constable Recruitment Exam Practice Book
- SSC Constable Recruitment Exam by VVK Subburaj
Apart from the above, students need to refer state-level police recruitment exam books. Several publications have made these books available in local languages.
Do You Know How To Improve Your Profile For College Applications
See how your profile ranks among thousands of other students using CollegeVine. Calculate your chances at your dream schools and learn what areas you need to improve right now it only takes 3 minutes and it’s 100% free.
As a high school student, you probably hear a great deal about the importance of getting into a good college. However, you likely spend significantly less time talking about your future goals from a career perspective. As a result, when you get to college, you might not know what major to pursue or even which courses of study to explore. This can lead to students taking a much longer path to get where they ultimately end up!
At CollegeVine, were passionate about helping high schoolers determine what careers will bring them happiness for the long haul. Thats why we started this career series, so you can learn more about potential professions that might suit you.
If youre wondering how to become a police officer, well go over the steps you should take, starting from high school.
Police Detective Vs Police Officer
First, lets get some of the basics squared away and explain how a police detective differs from a police officer. Its true that some duties and skills may overlap between the two roles, but they are different positions that require different levels of experience and expertise.
Lets use a random homicide as an example. Police patrol officers are the men and women called first to the scene of the crime. They assess the overall situation, gather evidence, protect the scene from contamination and work to identify victims, witnesses and potential suspects. In short, the work done by the officers lays the groundwork for a successful investigation, says Eileen Carlin, a 20-year law enforcement veteran and current state program coordinator for the Rasmussen College School of Justice Studies.
Police detectives are then called to the scene. They collect and evaluate evidence, interview witnesses, identify and question potential suspects, obtain arrest warrants and close cases. Essentially, detectives move a step beyond just getting a crime scene under control and identifying the basic facts of the situation. They need strong reasoning, personal communication and investigative skills to build strong cases against the people they eventually charge with a crime.
Also Check: Will Police Come To Your House For A Warrant
Police Officer Job Training
Law enforcement careers usually require some on-the-job training. After graduating from the training academy, police officers usually undergo a probationary period under the supervision of a superior officer. During this probationary period, inexperienced police officers learn how to apply techniques in the real world.
After probation, officers qualify for promotion. To become a corporal, sergeant, lieutenant, or captain, applicants must pass a written exam in addition to on-the-job training. In large departments, candidates may qualify for detective positions or specific criminal fields, such as homicide or juvenile crime.
Students can also acquire on-the-job training while pursuing a criminal justice degree. Many colleges and universities offer internships for law enforcement students. Learners can also apply for internships at local police departments, giving students the chance to network with veteran police officers and gain first-hand experience in protecting local communities.
Paid internships also exist with the CIA, the FBI, and the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The U.S. Treasury Department also provides internships for students interested in learning about financial crimes. These internships can also help degree candidates gain necessary skills and stand out among job candidates when entering the workforce.