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.
Police Officer Resume Summary
Your police officer resume summary is an overview of your entire resume.
It gives the recruiter a glimpse of what to find in your police resume. Thus, your job here is to concisely write an impactful resume summary.
Heres a list of what you should do to perfect this section:
- Write your summary at the end. This simplifies the process of perfectly drafting the summary by eliminating the need to revisit your resume summary which happens if you write it in the beginning.
- Your resume summary is a brief pitch of what you can do for the prospective recruiter. Your job here is to make it powerful and make it short.
- Make sure that you pick the best highlights of your career and write them in this section. While you do this, make sure that it does not exceed the 5-line limit.
- Keep your resume summary limited to 3-5 lines. Anything more is not as ideal as the whole point of composing resume summaries is to give a brief account of your professional proficiency.
- Write a resume summary only if you have worked for over 3 years. If you have less than 3 years of work experience, write a police officer resume objective instead.
Read Hiration’s 2020 Resume Summary Guide to learn how to write an impactful summary for your law enforcement resume.
If you’re running short of time, feel free to use Hiration’s Online Resume Builder for a hassle-free resume writing experience.
Police Officer Resume: Certifications
This section ideally communicates the following information:
- Certification course name
- Name of the institute of affiliation
- Location of the institute of affiliation
- Enrolment and completion date of the course
Arrange these points in the below format:
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The certifications section is really helpful for those professionals who are writing an entry level police officer resume.
In other words, if you are writing an entry level police officer resume, the certifications section can help. Someone who has relevant certifications almost always gets picked over someone who doesn’t.
So if you have done relevant certifications that complement your target job, list them down in this section.
If you are just beginning your career, are looking for your first job, don’t lose heart.
Do the relevant certifications and list them down in your resume!
Is this too vague? Would you like to learn more?
Mentioned below is a police officer resume sample illustrating the perfect certifications section for your resume for police officer.
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Eligibility To Become A Police Officer
- Candidates must be at least 20 years of age and under 35 years of age at the time of written exam but must be at least 21 years of age and under 36 years of age at time of appointment, pursuant to the Illinois Municipal Code as amended .
- Must be an U.S. citizen at the time of appointment.
- Must possess a valid Class D Illinois drivers license or a valid out-of-state drivers license of similar classification.
- The applicant must have achieved a high school diploma with a grade point average of 2.5 out of 4.0 , or a G.E.D. with a minimum composite score of no less than 2480 points, or at least sixteen hours of college credit with a grade point average of 2.5 out of 4.0 regardless of high school grade point average or G.E.D. composite score.
- Must be able to meet vision standard at time of appointment. Must be correctable to 20/20 with both eyes open including field of vision/depth perception/color vision within normal ranges.
- Must possess a valid Police Officer Physical Ability Test certification/POWER card. Certifications will be considered valid within one year of the issuance date.
- Must be of excellent moral character and personal integrity.
- A subsequent polygraph and psychological examination will be required, in addition to a thorough background investigation, drug screen and per-employment physical.
Which Degree Is Best For A Police Officer To Take
Once upon a time it was simple to become a police officer. All you had to do was show up at the local station when they had an opening available and apply. Your police studies training was an informal education, earned through basic training, working your territory and learning from the veterans. After enough time, if you showed an aptitude for the work, you would expect to move up in rank.
That is no longer the case.
Becoming a police officer is one thing, but what about moving up the ranks?
You might be asking yourself the question, How do I get to the sergeant or detective level?
The new road to rising above a patrolling officers wage is a bachelors degree in law enforcement. To accommodate your ambition, Wilfrid Laurier Universitys online Honours Bachelor of Arts in Policing is uniquely suited to giving busy officers, like you, the opportunity to earn a police degree without missing time at work.
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From Security Guard To Police Officer
While there are a fair number of employment opportunities, as you have seen in the information presented in this article, policy agencies hire only the most suitable candidates. So you need to do what you can to ensure that your application stands out from the rest.
Police agency recruiters advise applicants to significantly improve their chances of being selected through:
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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Get The Right Police Education & Training
There was a time when becoming a police officer was as simple as graduating high school or earning your GED, then attending a short training academy before diving into on-the-job training. And though those opportunities do still exist, especially in smaller departments, most departments have raised their standards of education to at least two years of post-secondary work. This means pursing an associate degree in law enforcement or a related field, such as criminal justice, criminology, or police science should be the first option to consider. The associate degree can then serve as a stepping stone to the bachelors degree, which then leads to graduate degree options.
However, other routes to the profession do exist. In addition to the on-the-job training after completing academy training, there is also the military option. Those who work as military police or in a similar capacity while serving their country can be perfectly suited to move into a police force after their military time is up. Lets take a look at the options.
Associate Degree in Law Enforcement
Bestfor? Those who want to stand outagainst the competition, or need a basic college degree to apply fora particular job opening.
Bachelors Degree in Law Enforcement
Best for? Those who have the time and financial resources to earn a four-year degree, want to work in federal law enforcement, or anticipate future professional advancement.
Masters Degree in Law Enforcement
Military experience in lieu of a degree
The Importance Of A Degree
The importance of higher education does not end with recruitment. Police officers with an advanced degree have an edge over their counterparts without a comparable education. In long range professional studies, it is proven that individuals with a college degree have a better chance of being promoted, receive greater opportunities for skills-enhancement and leadership training, and are likely to advance in their career at a faster rate than those without a degree.
In addition to preparing officers for the specific tasks they will encounter on the job, many degree programs offer supplemental courses that will benefit an officer in the field. A great example of this are courses in foreign language. Police Officers who can communicate in another language are extremely valuable to a police force, because they are able to explaining legal procedures, obtaining information during an investigation, or comfort the victims of crimes.
Moreover, academic training also provides aspiring police officers a range of opportunities to develop soft skills that are equally important in pursuing a career in law enforcement. Soft skills, which commonly relate to an individual’s emotional intelligence, include: oral and written communication, teamwork and collaboration, adaptability to the workplace and the community, interpersonal relationships, and conflict resolution.
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Texas Trooper Or Highway Patrol Requirements
Texas has approximately 225,544 miles of rural highways and the state depends on the Texas Highway Patrol to patrol those highways.2 The THP has over 2,100 commissioned officers and is divided into seven regions and 19 districts.2 In order to be eligible for a Texas state trooper position, prospective officers must satisfy state requirements and:
- Be 21 years old upon graduation from the departments law enforcement academy
- Have at least 60 credit hours from a regionally accredited college or university*
- Have uncorrected vision at the following levels: 20/40 in one eye and 20/70 in the other eye, 20/30 in one eye and 20/400 in the other eye or 20/20 in one eye and 20/400 in the other eye.
*Applicants with prior law enforcement or military experience may substitute experience for required semester hours.
Training for the Texas Highway Patrol takes place at the Departments Law Enforcement Education Academy. The curriculum is made up of intense physical and academic classes across a span of 28 weeks. Troopers are paid a base salary of $55,481 per year while in training, $60,613 upon swearing-in, and $73,208 after a 12-month field training probation period, with regular increases thereafter.2 Note that the basic schedule for Texas state troopers assumes a 50-hour work week as the standard.
What Types Of Career Advancements Can A Bachelors Degree In Policing Lead To
Besides the knowledge that you gain, the skills youll develop can lead to many exciting career paths. The list below is a small sample of the careers Laurier police studies degree graduates have gone on to:
- Chief of Police / Commissioner / Chief Constable
- Deputy Chief of Police / Deputy Chief Constable
- Staff Superintendent
- Sergeant / Detective
- Police Constable 1st Class / Detective Constable
In the curriculum guide, you’ll find:
- Complete curriculum listings
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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.
What Are The Duties Of A Va Police Officer
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Police are solely responsible for the protection and monitoring of VA hospitals, outpatient clinics and community-based outpatient clinics . They are required to:
- Deter and prevent crime
- Maintain order
- Investigate crimes
- They often work in conjunction with the VA Office of the Inspector General for certain cases.
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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.
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.
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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.
Police Officer Resume Sections
Knowing what to put in your resume is key to writing an impeccable law enforcement resume.
Given below is the quintessential sections that your resume should have if you want to make an ideal police officer resume:
To learn more about resume sections and how to perfect them, read Hiration’s 2020 Guide to sections in a resume.
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