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What Are The Steps To Becoming A Police Officer

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Step : Interview With The Academy Manager

Steps to Becoming a Police Officer

After completing the above steps, your chosen academy will contact you to schedule an appointment for an interview with the Academy Manager. This should be considered a formal interview, so please dress accordingly. The Academy Manager will determine the candidates demeanor and suitability to become a certified Peace Officer in the State of Georgia.

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.

Step : Minimum Qualifications

First, you must determine if you are eligible to become a Peace Officer in Georgia. According to Georgia Law you must meet or be willing to meet all of the criteria below to become employed or certified as a peace officer:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be a citizen of the United States
  • Have a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent
  • Not have been convicted by any state or by the federal government of any crime the punishment for which could have been imprisonment in the federal or state prison or institution nor have been convicted of enough misdemeanors to establish a pattern of disregard for the law
  • Contact the GPSTC Regional Academy you wish to attend
  • Undergo a background investigation
  • Successfully complete the Accuplacer, Asset, or Compass Test. This exam must be completed prior to enrolling in any Basic Law Enforcement Course. This test is given at any technical school. Candidates who do not pass the entrance exam will be ineligible to retake the exam for a period of 30 days after an unsuccessful attempt.
  • POST applications are now completed electronically on the Georgia Post website. Instructions are on the POST website on how to register as a new user through the Post Data Gateway and complete the online application. The academy staff can also help
  • Be fingerprinted for the GBI and FBI to determine the existence of a criminal record
  • Be interviewed by the manager of the GPSTC Regional Academy where you will attend training.
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    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.

    Start A Physical Fitness Routine

    Fit For Duty The Need Physical Fitness Programs Law ...

    You might already be a fitness buff. If not, it’s time to become one. Police officers must be able to run, climb, crawl, dodge objects, defend themselves, and subdue suspects. They also need healthy ways to cope with the stress they often experience. That’s why regular physical exercise is so important.

    As part of the recruitment process, you’ll need to pass a physical abilities test. And when you attend a police academy, you’ll be tasked with all kinds of physical demands on a regular basis. So start preparing for those things right away. Create a routine that features cardio, strength, and flexibility training multiple days a week. If you can, find out exactly what your physical abilities test will include so that you can tailor your training to it.

    Recommended Reading: What Do You Need To Join The Police Academy

    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
    Step 5

    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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    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.

    Police Officer Written Test

    How to Become a Cop – Step by Step

    Most police departments require applicants to take a . This can be in the form of a civil service exam or a department specific test. Some tests require you to pay a fee to take the test. There are plenty of police officer test study guides that can be purchased online or in bookstores to help you prepare for the exam.

    Most of the guides are not expensive and can be very beneficial to a potential police officer candidate. The information and sample questions can help you to prepare for the actual exam. You definitely dont want to walk into the test unprepared and put yourself in a situation where you get a bad score on the test or need to retake the exam. If you are looking to get into an agency specific position, like the U.S. Border Patrol, there are specific study materials that you will need for their test. It is a good idea to gather as many materials as possible. Many law enforcement recruiters and human resources departments have information that can help you pass the exam.

    As with any exam, make sure you get plenty of rest the night before the exam and eat a healthy meal in the morning. Stay away from fast food, instead eat a breakfast high in protein and healthy fats. These will help give you energy and jumpstart your brain. As with the other parts of the process, you need to dress and act professionally. This will eventually be part of your job as a police officer, so the more quickly you can adjust to this, the better off you will be.

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    Complete Your Police Academy Training

    When you’ve made it through all the other screening steps, you’re finally ready to start training as a police cadet. This traditional route involves having your police academy training paid for by the agency that hired you. In addition, you generally start getting paid a salary or hourly wage. In 2019, entry-level pay for police officers in America was about $36,960 per year or less. However, police cadets aren’t yet sworn officers, so they don’t always earn full entry-level pay. In exchange for having your training paid for, you may need to sign an agreement that says you’ll stay with the agency for a minimum amount of time .

    There are many different types of police academies. According to a from the U.S. Department of Justice, about one-third of all police academies in the U.S. are operated by two-year colleges. Another 20 percent are run by city police agencies. The rest are operated by state police and highway patrol agencies, county police departments, sheriffs’ offices, four-year colleges and universities, technical schools, multi-agency partnerships, state law-enforcement commissions, or other similar organizations.

    Every police academy has its own curriculum, so police cadets from different agencies don’t always learn about all of the same things. However, areas of training that are commonly covered at various academies include:

    • Constitutional rights
    • Mental illness, domestic violence, and other social issues
    • Physical conditioning

    S To Becoming A Police Officer

    Police officers are public servants responsible for preserving law and order in society. They are typically employed by state and local law enforcement agencies to uphold the law of that particular locale. They carry out a number of tasks that include regulating traffic, apprehending criminals, etc.There are a number of steps potential police officers must follow when seeking to become a police officer. Listed below is a general overview of what the process may look like.

    If you want to learn how to become a police officer, you have come to the right place. All aspiring police officers have to meet certain requirements and clear certain steps to join the police force. As the first step, all candidates have to ensure that they meet the minimum educational requirements, which is a high school diploma or a GED in most cases. The next step is the application process, and then clearing the hiring process. After you clear all the steps, you will have to get training at a police academy before you can be sworn in as a police officer in the US.

    As with any profession, its very important to carefully weigh the pros and cons that exist. Having a clearer idea of what the job entails can help you honestly determine whether or not this is a career path you want to pursue further.

    The job can also be very dangerous as police officers are often put in the harms way. Hours will be long and unpredictable and you may even have to work weekends.

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    How To Become A Canadian Police Officer

    wikiHow is a wiki, similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. To create this article, 22 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time.There are 17 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 93% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 220,060 times.Learn more…

    If you’re a Canadian considering a career in policing, you have the opportunity to join the national police force called the Royal Canadian Mounted Police or join a provincial police force. Each Canadian law enforcement agency has its own requirements and standards for police recruits, but you will see some basic requirements across the agencies. Once the agency has verified you meet all the requirements, the recruit will need to complete an extensive hiring process to become a Canadian police officer.

    Police Oral Board Interview

    How to Become a Police Officer

    Applicants consider this as the most intimidating step of the police hiring process.The oral board panel is made up of three to five people and heavily weighted on the law enforcementend.

    These include training officers, sergeants, lieutenants, captains, and sometimes even the chief.And their job is to get inside your brain.

    They want to figure out if youre a reasonable person, see if you have common sense, and if you canthink quickly on your feet.

    Bottom line, their main goal is to flush you out of the system .Your job, on the other hand, is to eliminate other applicants and show the board youre a top candidatethat deserves to be a police officer.

    Here are a few valuable tips to help you prep and pass the Oral Board:

    The following are some of the questions youll likely be asked during the police panel interview. Makesure you come prepared with good answers and learn how to articulate them:

    • Why do you want to work for this department specifically?
    • Have you sent applications to other departments, and why?
    • What do you think separates you from the other applicants?
    • Where do you see yourself in 10 years from now?
    • Have you read the description of what you’re applying for?

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    Honestly Assess Your Personal Traits And Motivation

    Nobody likes to have their time wasted, least of all those who are in charge of screening, hiring, and training new police officers. And you probably don’t want to waste your own time either. So it’s important to be realistic about your qualifications, what drives you, and what kind of person you are.

    Keep in mind that being a cop is inherently a little dangerous. Each day presents new circumstances and challenges, both physical and mental. Police officers are also held to high ethical and moral standards. Simply put, being a police officer isn’t just a job it’s a calling. It’s also a privilege. Above all else, you need to be driven by the selfless desire to serve and protect the people in your community.

    Becoming a cop will test your character, mental toughness, and physical stamina. That’s why it’s wise to think about the life you’ve had so far, the traits you possess, and the things that are driving you to become a police officer. Be honest with yourself. For example, determine if you have:

    Salary And Career Outlook

    Police officer salaries vary depending on many factors, including job type, location, and additional compensation and benefits. Some police departments even offer higher pay for officers with college degrees and who speak multiple languages.


    According to the BLS, the lowest-paid police officers earned less than $37,710, while the highest-paid officers earned an annual salary exceeding $109,620 as of 2019. Police officers often earn additional pay through overtime and special assignments.

    In this field, individuals can increase their salaries through education and job experience. According to the BLS, detectives and federal agents earn the most of all police officers, taking home a median annual salary of $83,170 as of 2019. Aspiring federal police officers and detectives typically must possess a college degree and prior job experience.

    As the need for public safety continues, the BLS projects employment for police to grow on pace with other occupations. Demand for police officers varies by location and depending on state and local budgets. Due to low job turnover, police candidates may face competition. Candidates with college degrees, law enforcement or military experience, and knowledge of other languages may stand out among job applicants.

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    Pros And Cons Of Becoming A Police Officer

    This isnt an 8 to 5 office job. Its an on-your-feet, always-alert, out-and-about career. And while thats a good thing, it also comes with a few downsides. Heres the straight story on what to expect in a career as a police officer:


    • Job stability: Police officers work for the local, state, or federal government, which dont generally go bust or downsize like companies.
    • Benefits: Many government agencies, unlike most private companies, still provide pension plans so people can comfortably retire not to mention life insurance policies and more time off.
    • Advancement opportunities: The combination of job stability and retirement benefits leads to a fairly consistent hierarchy in constant need of new people moving up the ranks.
    • Training: Police officers receive excellent training that can be used beyond their careers in police work, should they want to go into private security, firearms training, or similar work.
    • Sense of pride: In a 2016 study of law enforcement officers, 58% reported feeling proud of their work nearly always or often.
    • Collegiality: Like other coworkers, police officers bond over shared duties. But those bonds are reinforced with constant teamwork in the face of danger.


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