Keeping An Officer Interested
Finding The Descriptions Of Crimes For Different Penal Code Sections
Police records usually refer to penal code sections in describing crimes police are investigating.
For example, section 187 of the penal code is for homicides.
How can you find out which crimes the various sections of the state penal code stand for?
The Berkeley Police Department has a list of commonly used penal code sections and which crimes they refer to. Thats at:
At the site check the box next to Penal Code. In the search box type in the number for the penal code section youre interested in .
At the search results page, click on the first listing. That should give you the penal code section youre seeking .
Exemption From Traffic Rules
The police are entitled to breach traffic rules if this is necessary for theperformance of their duties, as they are exempted from most of the articles ofthe Traffic Rules and Signs Regulations 1990 . This means that officers are permitted to:
- drive through red lights
- drive on the wrong side of the road.
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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.
Training Institutions For Police Officers
Now that you know what options there are for becoming a police officer, its important to know where they are offered. There are many schools that exist to help you move into the law enforcement career of your choice. Here are the options:
These post-high school institutions focus their programs and curriculums on skill-oriented or hands-on training. This training can come in the form of what effectively amounts to an in-house police academy. Vocational and trade schools can provide the fastest way to obtain the training necessary to become a police officer and allow students to receive police academy training without attending the official police academy. Its also fairly affordable compared to earning a college degree. Keep in mind that graduation doesnt guarantee a job in law enforcement and may not result in an academic credential that provides opportunities for professional advancement.
Best for? Those confident in obtaining a job offer after graduation and want to serve as a police officer as quickly as possible.
Best for? Students who would like to earn a college degree along with their law enforcement training.
Best for? Those who love serving their country or community will benefit from the rewarding experience that can come from military service.
Best for? Aspiring police officers who want an extra way to stand out from the pack of applicants, as well as those looking for federal work.
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Exemption : Search Incident To Arrest
Police officers do not need a warrant to perform a search in connection with an arrest. If you are arrested for a crime, the police have the legal right to protect themselves by searching for weapons, evidence that could be destroyed, or accomplices to the crime. For example, if you are arrested for drug possession, the police can search for additional drugs by searching you, your home, or your car, and any evidence found can be used against you in a court of law.
Police can also perform what is called a protective sweep following an arrest. This is done if the police believe a dangerous accomplice or accomplices may be hiding inside a specific location. The police will walk through the location and can legally visually inspect places in which an accomplice may be hiding. In addition, the police can legally seize any evidence located in plain view during the sweep.
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
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Your Rights If You’re Searched
You should be treated with fairness, dignity and respect. You have the right to:
- ask the officer to identify themselves – they should give you their name and constables number or warrant card. This also applies if they are in plain clothes
- stay silent – you dont have to say anything or provide any information about yourself such as your name or address, and the officer must tell you this. But you can provide an honest explanation for your behaviour to avoid the search if you want to. If the officer accepts your explanation they should not carry out the search
- an explanation of what illegal item they are searching for and under what law it is illegal
- an explanation of the reasonable grounds of suspicion they have for the search – for example, if you match the description of someone seen carrying a knife. Or explain why searches have been authorised in that place during that period of time
- be searched in as private a place as possible, near to where you were detained. This could be a nearby police station
- be searched by an officer of the same sex and away from the view of members of the opposite sex
- be given a receipt of the search – unless this isnt possible because the officer has to attend an urgent incident.
The police should try to get your cooperation with the search but can use reasonable force if necessary.
If nothing illegal has been found in the search, and there is no other reason for the police to detain you, you are free to go.
The Records And How To Search For Them
The National Archives has administrative records relating to the Railway and Transport Police, but not records relating to its investigation of crime. To access the records held here you will either need to visit us, pay for research or, where you can identify a specific record reference, order a copy .
Among the records that we hold are the following :
- Corresponence and other records relating to railways staff conferences, covering topics which include pay and conditions, in RAIL 1172
- Personnel department records of the British Transport Commission and British Railways Board, 1928-1994, in AN 174 including records of pay, conditions and training
- Administration records of the Railway Executive Committee which governed the railways during the Second World War in AN 2 and AN 3
Use the advanced search option in our catalogue to limit your search to records with department references RAIL and/or AN. Generally, records from before 1921 have the departmental reference RAIL and those from after 1921 have the reference AN. Search with key words which might include:
- railway police
- transport police
- the name of one of the railway companies listed above and the word police
The British Transport Police hold records on its officers and staff. You can request information from the British Transport Police historical group. The organisation holds several thousand staff record cards dating back to the 1860s.
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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.
Ficers Found Guilty On Federal Charges In George Floyds Killing
Three former Minneapolis police officers were found guilty on Thursday of violating the civil rights of George Floyd, the Black man whose death at the hands of police in 2020 spurred protests against systemic racism around the world.
The former officers, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao, all were convicted of depriving Floyd of his civil rights while acting under government authority when they failed to give him medical aid. Kueng and Thao, additionally, were convicted of not intervening to stop their fellow officer Derek Chauvin from using excessive force.
Thao, Kueng and Lane each face up to life in prison, although such a severe punishment is unlikely. The men are scheduled for trial in June on state charges of aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter.
This is just accountability. It can never be justice because I can never get George back, Floyds brother Philonise Floyd said at a news conference Thursday afternoon. And no matter how many times that I pray at night and I think about my brother 24/7, it still is going to be hard.
The jury began deliberating Wednesday morning after a monthlong trial.
In closing arguments, prosecutors said the defendants had front-row seats to Floyds murder and “chose to do nothing” to help him while Chauvin knelt on Floyds neck for 9 ½ minutes.
Defense attorneys argued that the men did not receive adequate training and that they relied on Chauvin as the most experienced officer on the scene.
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Cases Of Mistaken Identity
When law enforcement issues a BOLO for a person, the police database will trigger an alert for people with similar names.
For example, a BOLO for Sam Smith may flag the names Sam Smyth and Samantha Smith.
As such, its possible to mistakenly have your name flagged when police run your drivers license if theres a BOLO for someone with a similar name.
When this happens, the officer should compare your physical appearance to the description of the person with the BOLO, and they may ask you some personal questions to eliminate any suspicion.
A BOLO for a vehicle often includes partial information, so its also possible to get caught up in the net if your vehicle matches part of that description.
For example, if the police are looking for a late-model red Mercedes coupe and a police officer happens to run your license plate while stopped behind you at a traffic light, the BOLO may trigger a traffic stop if you drive a matching vehicle.
Similarly, if your vehicles VIN includes enough matching digits to the vehicle the police are looking for , your vehicle may get flagged for a traffic stop.
If you find yourself in either of these cases of mistaken identity, understand that the police officer who pulled you over is likely in a heightened state of cautionespecially if the BOLO is for a stolen vehicle or in connection to a serious crime.
Municipal Police Force Salaries & Benefits
In comparison to the federal police force, the municipal police agencies offer slightly higher salaries.
The Calgary Police Service offers a starting salary of approximately $66,000/year.
The Vancouver Police Department offers new hires $70,154/year with an incremental increase to $90,198 after 3 years. Benefits include paid vacation, medical and dental benefits and a BC Municipal Pension Plan membership.
The Toronto Police Service has a starting salary of $63,564.98 for their cadets. After year 3, police officers receive an annual salary of $90,836. Benefits include paid vacation, family medical and dental benefits, life insurance, pension plan, parental/maternity leave and more.
Considering that the median income for individual Canadians was $36,400 in 2018, according to Statistics Canada, the starting salary for a Canadian police officer is an attractive one.
When deciding between the federal or municipal level, keep in mind that while the RCMP might have a lower salary, the role involves police duties at the international, federal, provincial and municipal levels with a much wider variety in operational and administrative opportunities.Some specializations that are unique to the RCMP are: Integrated Border Enforcement Team, National Security, Marine Services, International Peace Operations and many, many more.
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Finding A Badge Number Online
Some cities have a website with a list of all the badge numbers of sworn officers. A party interested in seeing whether his city has such a list should do a web search with the keywords of the name of the city and the term badge number. Badge numbers can be very different, even within the same department. Older numbers may have fewer digits than more recent numbers.
Facts Versus Opinions In Police Reports
The information contained in the police report can be a fact or an opinion. For example, the date, time, and location of the collision are facts. Fault determinations are the opinions of the police officer.
Regardless of whats included in the police report, the insurance company, through its own investigation, will come to its own conclusion as to who was at fault for the accident.
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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.