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What Do You Do As A Police Officer

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Associate Degree In Law Enforcement

Do you have what it takes to become a Houston police officer?

An associate degree in law enforcement prepares graduates for police careers by providing the information necessary to pass police academy entrance exams. The associate degree usually takes two years to complete, is a well-rounded degree with general education courses mixed in, and serves as a stepping stone to the bachelors degree. Because each associate degree program will be tailored to the requirements of the local and regional law enforcement departments, curriculums will vary. However, some of the classes incoming students can expect include:

Crime Types

The Job We Prepare Police For

This all adds up to a fundamental problem with policing in America: We prepare police for a role vastly different from the one they actually play in society.

A 2016 national study of the training of 135,000 recruits across 664 local police academies found that, on average, officers each received 168 hours of training in firearm skills, self-defense, and use of force out of 840 total hours. Another 42 hours were spent on criminal investigations, 38 on operating an emergency vehicle, 86 on legal education aimed primarily at force amendment law, and hundreds more on basic operations and self-improvement. Topics like domestic violence , mental illness , and mediation and conflict management received a fraction of trainee time. Others, like homelessness and substance abuse, were so rare they didnt make the data set.

Those averages mask an even more worrying reality. Almost half of American police academies utilize what is called the military model of instruction a high-stress, physically and psychologically excruciating approach traditionally used to train soldiers for battle. Another third use a hybrid approach that draws heavily on the military model.

The amount of firearms and use of force training in our academies is completely at odds with the problem we most often ask police to deal with, says Ratcliffe, the former UK police officer turned Temple criminologist. Police training is simply not reflective of the role of police in our society.

Police Training Requirements By State

According to the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the general job description of a police patrol officer is to enforce laws and ordinances, for the protection of life and property in their assigned area. Police officers receive assignments for the protection of a particular area, conducting investigations, and apprehending criminals.Every state has different requirements for police training. We’ve created this list to help you learn more about the police training requirements in your state. This list was last updated for the 2021 calendar year.

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Roles And Duties Of Police Officers

Learn about the diverse roles and duties of a Victoria Police police officer in the community and day to day.

General Duties officers are the foundation of Victoria Police and play an essential function in serving and protecting the Victorian Community.

You will be a first responder at any reportable crime or public need and provide service to the community 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

As a General Duties officer, no two days are the same and you will be required to undertake a range of duties including:

  • prevent anti-social behaviour
  • deal with community safety concerns
  • resolve disputes
  • deal with drug and alcohol affected people
  • attend critical incidents and emergencies

You are also required to perform administrative duties such as:

  • submit paperwork on jobs you attend
  • keep an on-going diary of the duties you perform during each shift
  • prepare paperwork for courts

You may also be required to do community engagement tasks such as:

  • visit schools and interact with the children
  • coffee with a cop
  • talk to and assist vulnerable members of the community
  • general interaction with the community members of diverse backgrounds and
  • build positive relationships with community groups and members

All recruits are required to complete a minimum of 2-4 years in General Duties prior to applying for any specialist roles or units.

Qualities Of A Police Officer

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We respect life and liberty. We are sensitive and inclusive, treating everyone with dignity and compassion.
We are guided by the principles of justice. We employ the highest ethical standard, we demand accountability, consistency, fairness and honesty in the performance of our duties.
We take pride in our department. We are committed to excellence in our profession, and we maintain the highest standard of education in our field.
Maintain a mental and moral strength to resist opposition and fairness of mind. Always stand by your fellow officers in the face of danger or extreme difficulty. Position duties are inclusive of all required tasks. Employees perform other related work as required.

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Often Overlooked Qualities Of A Great Police Officer

By Jess Scherman on 09/16/2019

If youve long dreamt of helping others by serving your community and keeping dangerous criminals off of the street, its no wonder youve considered becoming a police officer. But youll want to be sure youve got what it takes to succeed before diving into such an important career.

When asked about the characteristics of a police officer, most people will rattle off adjectives like strong, brave and heroic. While such qualities are definitely in the job description, there are several less-prominent traits that the best police officers share.

We spoke with seasoned law enforcement professionals to learn more about the overlooked abilities that distinguish an average officer from a great one. Take a look at what they had to sayyou may even be surprised to learn you already possess some of the most important qualities of a police officer.

What Is The Workplace Of A Police Officer Like

Police officers rarely work a regular, 40-hour week. Officers work late at night, on the weekends, and even on holidays. Most police officers work outdoors while on patrol, and are subjected to all types of weather conditions. Police work is also mentally gruelling. Officers often witness terrible crimes or become the focus of a criminal’s rage and abuse. Police officers must handle the stress brought on by these situations while remaining calm and collected.

Working as a police officer can bring on a range of emotions. It can leave you feeling satisfied, sad, rewarded, disgruntled, lonely and fulfilled, all within the same shift. A police officer needs to be a warrior, an information booth, a social worker, a guardian angel, a marriage counselor, and an arbitrator . The mental challenges are far more rigorous than all of the physical challenges put together.

Police officers carry the power of life and death on their hips, and are empowered to do things that, were they done by civilians, would get those civilians arrested. They can control traffic, take and imprison people against their will, and seize property. However, they are constantly reminded of the constraints that they must work under in order to exercise that power lawfully and fairly.

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Explain What You Plan To Do In Your Role

In your answer, explain what you would strive to do in your role as a police officer. This helps the interviewer see that you are a motivated and ambitious person who is right for the position. Show the interviewer that you want to make real, positive changes in your community and that you have a plan for how to do this, and provide an answer that demonstrates your commitment to public safety.

Here are a few ideas for what you might plan to do on the job to show that you have good intentions as a police officer:

  • Lower crime rates in the community
  • Help people build trust and respect for the police
  • Treat people of all backgrounds fairly
  • Work to help people understand the law better
  • Make people feel safe and secure
  • Mentor troubled children and teens
  • Help ex-convicts become productive members of society

Your California Privacy Rights

Do you have what it takes to become a Peel Regional Police officer?

If you are a California resident, you have the additional data rights listed below. You can exercise some of these rights by utilizing the prompts within messages we send you within your account settings, or within the privacy settings on our web pages. Otherwise, you are also able to exercise these rights by contacting our support team using the privacy support emails listed at the end of this Policy. Please note, if we cannot verify your identity we may deny certain data right requests. You can designate an authorized agent to submit requests on your behalf, but we require written proof of the agents permission and verify your identity directly.

California Civil Code Section 1798.83 permits our visitors who are California customers to request certain information regarding our disclosure of personal data to third parties for the third parties direct marketing purposes. To make such a request please send a letter to:, Inc., 300 Continental Blvd. Suite 565, El Segundo, CA 90245 Attn: Privacy Department. Requests must include California Privacy Rights Request in the first line of the description and include your name, street address, city, state, and ZIP code. Please note Governmentjobs is not required to respond to requests made by means other than through the provided mail address.

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Personal Data We Collect About You And Why

In this Section we set out general categories of personal data we may collect and the purpose for using your personal data, including the personal data collected and processed over the past year. We collect and process personal data to provide you the Services, fulfill our contractual responsibility to deliver the Services to our Customers, fulfill your requests, and pursue our legitimate interests and our business and commercial purposes. We also automatically collect data during your usage and collect other personal data about you from other sources. Your personal data will only be collected and used for purposes stated herein, where you provide additional consent, or as required by law or regulation – including national security or law enforcement requirements.

Information Provided by You.

We collect personal data from you directly when you visit our Services from either your computer, mobile phone, or other device, attend one our events, or communicate with our personnel. The categories of personal data we collect from you, including over the past year, involve the following:

You may voluntarily submit other personal data to us through our Services that we do not request and are not required for the relevant data processing activity. In such instances, you are solely responsible for such personal data.

Information Collected Automatically.

Information from Other Sources.

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:

Vocational/trade schools

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.

Community colleges

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.

Four-year schools

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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Police Officers Can Legally Lie To You About Having Evidence

If a policer officer tells you that they found your DNA at the scene of the crime, they may not necessarily be telling the truthand that’s perfectly within their rights. Time and time again this issue has come up in court casesand every time it does, the judges ultimately side with the cops, noting that deliberate deception is fair game so long as it’s not likely to produce a false confession.

Discuss Your Applicable Skills

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Police departments are looking for officers who have a certain set of skills. In your answer, discuss some skills and abilities you have that make you a qualified candidate. Here are some important police officer skills that you could include in your answer:

  • Bravery
  • Deep understanding of the law
  • Logic and reasoning
  • Quick-thinking

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Where We Are A Service Provider

Our Customers are organizations such as federal, state, local, tribal, or other municipal government agencies , private businesses, and educational institutions , who use our Services to evaluate job applicants and manage their relationship with their personnel. When we provide our Services to our Customers, the Customer generally controls and manages the personal data, and we process personal data as a data processor or service provider. Our legal obligations as a processor and service provider are set out in our Customer contracts and policies.

For instance, if you apply to a job or your employer utilizes our Services to manage their relationship with you, the personal data collected about you is generally controlled by the employer . This Policy does not describe the processing of your personal data by our Customers, and we encourage you to visit the Customers privacy policy for information about their privacy practices. For example, if you applied to a job at a local state agency, you should contact that agency with any questions you may have relating to the personal data processing by that state agency within our Services.

Where we serve as a data processor, our Customer contracts and policies require us to either instruct you to contact our Customer, or redirect your inquiry to our Customer

Civil Litigation And Settlement

The family of George Floyd filed a wrongful death lawsuit in federal court in July 2020 against the City of Minneapolis and the four former police officers involved in the murder. The complaint said Floyd’s Fourth Amendment rights were violated by “excessive use of unjustified, excessive, illegal, and deadly force.” The lawsuit did not specify the amount of monetary damages the family sought.

On March 12, 2021, the City of Minneapolis announced a settlement with Floyd’s family for $27 million. It was approved unanimously by the City Council. Family lawyer Ben Crump described it as the “largest pre-trial settlement in a civil rights wrongful death case in U.S. history.” The settlement surpassed the previous record for Minneapolis of $20 million, paid in 2019 in the killing of Justine Damond. The city allocated $500,000 “for the benefit of the community around 38th and Chicago”, the street intersection where Floyd died.

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It’s Also Possible For Them To Get Access To Your Dna Through Dna Testing Kit Companies

Think twice before sending your DNA in to get tested by a company like 23andMe or Ancestry. Though it’s extremely uncommon, DNA-testing companies like these make it clear on their websites that they will comply with government and law enforcement requests for user information and DNA samples. In 2018, a sample from an ancestry website even helped Sacramento authorities catch the infamous Golden State Killer.

A Mismatch With Devastating Consequences

What You Should Do If Youre Stopped by a Police Officer

Police officers are functionally generalists responsible for dealing with a vast array of our societys most sensitive situations yet weve recruited, hired, trained, equipped, and deployed them to be specialists in force. And weve done it all using an often disproportionately white police force with a well-documentedracial biasproblem entering Black and brown communities that historically distrust the police.

Would it surprise anyone if this occasionally resulted in unnecessary violence?

Often what these situations require is someone to calm things down, cool things off, and deescalate, says Tom Tyler, a legal scholar at Yale Law School and a founding director of Yales Justice Collaboratory. But police tend to manage all the problems they face through the threat or use of coercive force. This amplifies the level of emotion and anger in a given situation and can create a spiral of conflict that ends tragically.

Brooks died in the hospital.

Even when civilians are armed, that doesnt necessarily mean police killings are justified. Upon extensively analyzing the 1,100 total fatal police killings in the US in 2015, Zimring concluded that almost half the cases … were confrontations where the police were not at objective risk of a deadly attack. And, of course, it is impossible to quantify how many of those confrontations would not have escalated to the point of potential violence in the first place if not for police presence and tactics.

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Qualifications And Training Required

It is possible to become a police officer both with or without a degree, although all entrants must pass standard police initial recruitment tests .

You could qualify through a police constable degree apprenticeship, which takes a minimum of three years to complete and requires candidates to have two A levels as well as to be competent in both written and spoken English. You could also take a degree in policing, which usually lasts for three years and after which students can apply to join the police.

For those who have a degree, there are degree-holder programmes that lead to a graduate diploma in professional policing. One is the Police Now Leadership programme, which is open to candidates with a minimum 2.1 in any degree discipline and works with a number of forces across England and Wales. Applicants for the programme will be expected to undergo fitness checks and will be tested for substance misuse during the application process.

Different police forces will have different expectations of officers. The Metropolitan Police, for example, ask candidates to have lived or studied in London for three out of the last six years. They also have a policy against tattoos on the face, on certain areas of the neck and that are considered discriminatory or offensive.

  • Able to remain calm in challenging or dangerous situations
  • Good interpersonal skills

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