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What Do You Need To Be A Police Officer

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Prep For Your Basic Abilities Test

Do You Need College To Be A Police Officer?

In order to enter a police academy and get hired in law enforcement, you might be required to take a written basic abilities test to measure your reading comprehension, cognitive reasoning, and problem-solving skills.

The purpose is to make sure you have what it takes to successfully complete your academy training. The test is not overly difficult, but it would be wise to look over the sample questions and test overview, which you can probably see after you register for the test.

Why Employers Ask Why Do You Want To Be A Police Officer

A prospective employer might ask why you want to be a police officer to learn why you want to get into such a demanding career. As a police officer, you have to work in challenging situations on a daily basis. Though this work can be extremely rewarding, it does come with some risks. It takes a motivated and passionate person to be an effective and reliable police officer.

Police departments want to ensure that their officers are committed to their role as protectors and are entering the force for the right reasons. They are looking for ethical people who want to make their communities safer places to live. A quality police officer genuinely wants to help people and reduce the rate of crime, so an interviewer may ask you this question to make sure you are dedicated to these goals.

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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.

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Similar Jobs In This Industry

To become a police officer you need to complete the police training course, which involves:

  • 16 weeks of training at the Royal New Zealand Police College in Porirua
  • two years of supervised police work, which is regularly assessed
  • a compulsory 12-week university distance learning course.

To enter police training you must:

  • be at least 17 years old
  • hold a full driver’s licence
  • be a New Zealand or Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • be able to speak, read, write and listen in English
  • pass psychological, maths and problem-solving tests
  • pass physical fitness and eyesight tests
  • attend an interview

What Are The Minimum Requirements

Police Recruitment Guidance

Heres a look at the minimum requirements to become a police officer in California. Keep in mind that the majority of police departments in the state follow POST requirements. You can find the agencies that dont here their requirements may vary, but are likely to be similar to the below:

  • You must be at least 21 years old.
  • You must be a citizen of the US through either naturalization or birth.
  • You must have attained either your high school diploma or GED. Some agencies may require a 4-year degree or an associates degree.
  • You must have a valid drivers license.
  • No felony convictions or misdemeanors that prohibit ownership, possession or control of a firearm.

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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.

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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Qualities And Skills To Achieve Success As A Police Office

1. Integrity. A police officer and all other persons in the law enforcement occupation must be particularly people of integrity. You must not be found breaking the law you are to protect, like driving while under the influence of substance. You must resist all attempts to break the law as this can get you fired from the police department.

2. Honesty and Strong Sense of Ethics. A police officer must be honest in carrying out his/her duties. He/she should give correct report of event or investigation and must not be seen to lie about a case just to get a suspect punished. Being honest on the job will ensure justice to all and ensure that only those who have broken the law are punished. Police officers are expected to be trustworthy and serve as role model in the community.

3. Physical Fitness. The job of a police office may involve physical activities like running and jumping for instance, he/she may have to chase down a suspect on foot if a car cannot be used in the area. The officer will need to be healthy and physically fit to be able to successfully get the suspect.

4. Patient. You will need a lot of patient as a police officer to be successful on your job as you deal with various kinds of people with different and sometimes annoying character.

If you are a police officer, you probably want to be successful in your career, which you can achieve by developing the qualities and skills presented in this post.

Ontario Police College Physical Component

Why do you want to be a police officer?

As of September 2019, all applicants that have been offered a pre-employment letter by a police service will be required to successfully pass the PREP during their Basic Constable Training course at the Ontario Police College. The Ontario Police College is located in Aylmer, Ontario, which is the official training facility for all police constables across the Province.

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Acquire A Degree Or Academy Training

The requirements for this step will vary substantially depending on the state in which you plan on becoming a police officer. Some states do not require their officers to be college-educated, even if they may prefer it. Other states, like Minnesota, an Associates degree or equivalent training is one of the requirements to become a police officer.

Generally speaking, the training process for aspiring police officers follows two routes:

Since police officer requirements differ, youll want to be sure to check with the agency that sets the standards for law enforcement training and licensure in your area. Some also have arrangements for military reciprocity, allowing candidates who served in the military to follow a different process in acknowledgement of the training they already have.

Whichever path you take, your training will include classroom instruction in state and local laws, covering topics like constitutional law, civil rights and police ethics. Recruits also receive training and supervised experience in areas such as patrol, traffic control, firearm use, self-defense, first aid and emergency response.

Employers That Recruited In The Last 2 Years

  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg

Interest in analyzing information to investigate crimes and accidents


Interest in driving when patrolling assigned areas to maintain public safety and order and in enforcing laws and regulations and arresting criminal suspects may supervise and co-ordinate the work of other police officers


Interest in speaking to the public when participating in crime prevention, public information and safety programs

The interest code helps you figure out if youd like to work in a particular occupation. Its based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory , which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means its a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

In their daily work, police officers perform diverse duties ranging from patrolling communities, enforcing the law and apprehending criminals to promoting traffic safety and responding to domestic disputes. Police work does not always involve a physical act of protection or the apprehension of a law breaker. It also involves activities related to:

  • Responding to dispatched calls for service
  • Crime prevention
  • Working with community groups to identify and solve policing problems of mutual concern
  • Writing reports

Opportunities within various police agencies may include:

  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg

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Step : Background Investigation

All Peace Officer candidates must undergo a thorough background investigation which includes a drug test. When directed by the academy staff, Pre-Service Candidates should contact Professional Screening and Information . The current cost for the PSI background investigation for Pre-Service Candidates is $245.00 and is payable online. Contact your academy of choice to obtain the organization code and Chain of Custody form, when applicable, for the drug test. Once completed, the PSI background investigation results will be forwarded to the chosen academy.

Our Organisation Has People With Different Backgrounds Experiences And Interests What Unites Us Is That Were All Working Toward The Same Vision

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We encourage applications from anyone whos got what it takes, regardless of your gender, ethnicity, culture, sexuality, or faith. Were also very interested in applicants who understand different languages and cultures. New Zealands diversity is growing, so bring your background and values to the job.

Above all else, youll want to help people in your community. Youll need to make tough calls, build community networks, and instill confidence in those around you. Youll understand the communities you serve and identify and examine the problems that lead to trouble.

This role can influence the lives of many. If you decide to push ahead and apply, our constabulary recruitment staff will look to see if you have these meaningful qualities:

  • Outstanding communication skills

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Local Needs Of Police Services

Apart from the competencies, individual police services may also require certain special skills and abilities in order to address issues pertaining to the service or the community. A local need may be a second language, a special type or level of computer skills or prior experience in working with victims and/or members of a vulnerable community.

What Qualifications Do You Need To Become A Police Officer In The Uk

In Career by Think Student EditorJanuary 8, 2021

Police Officers are an essential part of society, dealing with crime and peoples concerns in order to make everyone in a community feel as safe as possible. It can be a very rewarding, hands-on career, and if it is something that you are interested in, you should know about the routes into the profession. This article is here to guide you through subject choices at GCSE, A-Level and Degree level that will benefit you and help you build the skills you will need to become a Police Officer.

There are several stages to go through if you would like to become a Police Officer, and you will gain the qualifications necessary for a career as a Police Officer. These include:

  • 5 GCSE passes in core subjects . You may also want to consider taking GCSE P.E. and Modern Foreign Languages, and should try to focus on passing Science too.
  • 3 A-Levels or a BTEC in Uniformed Public Services.
  • A degree-apprenticeship in Professional Policing Practice or a degree in Professional Policing.
  • A graduate diploma in Professional Policing Practice, and success in written assessments, fitness and medical tests, and interviews.
  • Continuing Professional Development .
  • Possible training for career progression.
  • Career Progression
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    Pass A Polygraph Exam

    Many departments require applicants to undergo a polygraph exam to determine their level of truthfulness. In most cases, the polygraph will serve to confirm the information a candidate provided in their supplemental application.

    Applicants are given the opportunity to talk about their answers with their polygraph examiner and go even more in-depth with questions. After questioning, applicants are hooked up to a polygraph instrument and asked a series of “yes or no” questions for the purpose of detecting truthfulness or deception.

    How Does Police Academy Training Work

    How to Become a Police Officer – Do you need to be a US Citizen?

    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:

    Classroom education

    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.

    Field training

    In-service training

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    What Do Community Police Do

    Day-to-day duties usually include high visibility patrolling, tackling anti-social behaviour, dealing with minor offences, crowd control and directing traffic at public events, helping direct traffic at roadblocks or scenes of accidents, gathering criminal intelligence and supporting front-line policing.

    What’s It Like To Be A Police Officer

    Police Officers serve to protect public life and property. They undertake extensive on-the-job training and perform a diverse range of duties, including: maintaining public order and safety being first responder to emergency calls investigating and prosecuting criminal offences enforcing traffic law securing and examining crime scenes and dealing with violent offenders or people under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

    Police Officers in Australia are required to carry a firearm and must pass a series of background checks and psychometric, fitness and medical tests.

    Police Officers interact with members of the public daily and must be adept at resolving disputes, de-escalation, and remaining calm under pressure.

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    What Gcses Do You Need To Become A Police Officer

    In order to become a Police Officer, you will need a minimum of 5 GCSEs at pass grades and above. These should include English Language, Maths, and Science as a baseline. However, you may find it useful to have GCSEs in a Modern Foreign Language or P.E., as these could contribute to the skillset that you will need as a Police Officer.

    Apply To Become A Police Officer

    Do you want to be a police officer?

    Working as a police officer is a popular job, so it makes sense that each job opening has more than a few applicants. In fact, in some areas of the country, becoming a police officer can be a highly competitive process, with hundreds of qualified applicants vying for only a handful of positions. Given this, its very important to learn how to stand out from the pack of hopefuls and get the attention of those who call the shots when hiring time rolls around. The following resources can help you with everything from cleaning up your resume to understanding how to interview for the job you really want.

    Step 7

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