Police Officers Often Work Long Hours
Also if you think that police officers have a relaxed life, you should think twice.
In fact, shifts of police officers can be quite long and depending on what happens in your district, you will have to work long hours and will come home exhausted.
Thus, make sure that you are willing to work hard if you really aspire to a police officer career.
How Long Does It Take To Become A Police Officer In Ontario
There is no set time period for the hiring process. It varies between police agencies and also depends on the successful completion of all the stages in the application process. You can expect to set aside 6 months for the application process.
If you are not successful in any part of the process, some police agencies may require a one-year waiting period before another application can be submitted.
To find out how long it takes at the police agency of your choice, contact the police agency directly.
Burglary And House Clearing
You ask the woman to stay outside by her car while you enter her house. You check the doors for any signs that someone broke in. You notice scrape marks on the rear door and it appears that someone tampered with the lock there. You draw your handgun and enter the house to clear it, wondering if it will be the last thing you do.
But you find no one in the house so you ask the woman to come in and tell you if anything is missing. You caution her not to touch anything as you process the scene, and you call for a crime scene technician.
She gives you a list of what she’s missing. You tell her you’ll do everything you can to help her get her things back, and you make sure she’s safe and secure before you leave the scene to enter evidence into the property room at the station…and write another report.
She offers you $20 dollars for your trouble, which you decline. She insists on paying you for your services despite the fact that you tell her you’re already getting paid. She continues to press the issue, so you ask her to donate the money to a charity of her choice instead.
You drop off your evidence at the station and realize that it’s almost time for your shift to end. You get back in your car and head home after you finish the required paperwork.
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Time To Make The Doughnuts
The alarm wakes you from a long sleep or a nap, depending on what shift you’re working. You grab a quick shower and give yourself a thorough shave so your sergeant doesn’t ding you on your inspection.
Your whole demeanor changes as you get dressed. You become quiet, stern, and thoughtful as you prepare yourself mentally for the day ahead. You stop being “you” and become “officer you” as you strap on your ballistic vest and zip up your uniform shirt. The transformation is complete when you wrap your utility belt around your waist.
Some departments let you take your patrol car home so you can be in service as soon as you leave your driveway.
Bachelors Degree In Law Enforcement
A law enforcement degree at the bachelors level typically takes four years to complete and can include many different topics or subjects. There are prototypical degrees such as criminal justice, criminology and law enforcement studies. But there are other majors that can hold police officers in good stead. For example, graduates with a degree in accounting are excellent candidates for a career in white collar crime investigations, while computer science majors can have an advantage if theyre interested in pursuing a career in computer forensics or cyber crimes.
Those in a bachelors degree program in a law-related field can expect to find courses like these:
How To Become A Police Officer
Preparing For A Police Officer Career: Find The Right Environment
When an aspiring police officer chooses to go to school to obtain formal education, a world of possibilities opens up. Here are some of the potential places where the certificate or degree can be earned.
Some vocational or trade schools have certificate programs that may count towards college credit, such as for a future associate or bachelors degree. Some might offer associate degrees. Vocational or trade schools can provide a way to save money on college costs while receiving necessary college course instruction.
Military experience is well regarded by law enforcement agencies and police departments. Familiarity with firearms, mental toughness, physical conditioning, discipline and an understanding of command structure and culture are all benefits that come with hiring a recruit with military experience.
Community colleges provide multiple options for students who want to become police officers. Students can complete their associate degree in two years or a certificate in a few months. As an added bonus, many community colleges allow credits earned in a certificate program to go towards an associate degree.
Law Enforcement School
Departments that require a bachelors degree are often found at the federal level. However, even if a four-year degree isnt required, getting a bachelors degree can be a prudent decision: it can increase the chances of getting hired and promoted.
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How Long Does It Take To Become A Police Officer
The process of becoming a police officer requires a significant investment of your time. The duration varies and depends on how quickly and accurately an individual completes the forms and assessments. This also depends on the police agency you apply at.
The CPS states that their process takes between 3-6 months to complete. The RCMP doesnt provide a set duration for the entire process their cadet training takes 26 weeks. At the VPD, the recruit training alone takes up to 44 weeks in total.
Generally, you can expect to set aside 6 months for your application process. We recommend that you contact the police agency that youre interested in to find out how long their process takes from start to finish.
Excessive Stress Can Be A Problem
Being a police officer can also be quite stressful.
Since you will never know what you have to deal with next, your body and your brain will always be exposed to some level of tension during your shift.
In the long run, this can lead to serious health issues since constant stress is just not good for us.
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You Can Climb The Police Ladder Soon If You Are Ambitious
There are also plenty of career opportunities you can pursue as a police officer.
If you do your job well and if you are really ambitious and do what it takes, you can pursue a demanding career and many doors will open to you.
Of course, to succeed in this regard, you also have to build a strong network over time.
Networks are crucial for promotions, not only as a police officer but also in the corporate world.
If you dont get any support from the right influential people, your chances of making it to the top will be almost zero.
Thus, if you have those ambitions, make sure that you connect to the right people and do your job extraordinarily well.
Police Officers Can Earn A Decent Salary
Depending on the state you live in and your educational level, you can also earn pretty decent money from being a police officer.
While you will not get rich in most cases, you will still be able to provide a decent life for you and your family.
However, before you decide for a police officer career due to the salary, make sure to inform yourself about what the salary of a policeman in your area really looks like since it greatly differs across states.
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Should I Become A Police Officer
A career in law enforcement can seem exciting, rewarding and fun. It’s true that there are many good reasons to become a police officer, but before you take the leap and decide on this as a career, there are a few things you probably should know.
The Hiring Process– Long gone are the days of getting hired on the spot. You’re not going to walk into your local police station, hand in a job application, and be patrolling the streets the next day. The hiring process is now often quite long, taking four to twelve months or even longer.
Background Checks– Background checks for police employment are very detailed and thorough. Typically, they include a criminal history check, a credit check, and a look at your previous employment. Questions will also be asked about any past drug use. There may also be a polygraph exam, a medical physical exam, and a fitness test. All of this is just to see if the department should consider giving you an interview.
Academy Training– Training to be a police officer is hard. Some will succeed academically, but find the physical fitness gruelling. Some will be physically strong but have trouble passing the academic qualifications. Candidates will have to qualify with a firearm, or demonstrate proficiency in defensive tactics, first aid, and driving. Many recruits and cadets wash out of their academy classes due to injuries sustained during training.
What Does Police Do And How To Become One
Police officers are professionals who enforce the law. They protect the public and their property, preventing crime and improving the quality of life for all citizens. Understanding the duties and responsibilities of a police officer can help you determine if this career suits your personality and skills. In this article, we discuss what do police do, how much they earn, what their work environment is like and how to become one.
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Compensation And Benefits Are Good
Working as a police officer comes with salary and benefits packages that few other careers can match. The Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the median salary for officers at $62,960 in 2017, up from $61,600 a year earlier. Half of all officers earned more than this, and half earned less.
Pay raises are typical as officers put in more and more years of service. Retirement benefits and health benefits are superior to those offered by many other professions.
And you can live and work anywhere. You’d be hard pressed to find a city, town, county, or state that doesn’t employ some type of law enforcement personnel.
Of course, these are just a few reasons to consider working in law enforcement. If you’re looking for a solid career opportunity with some significant rewards, you could do worse than this field.
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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Police Officers Enjoy A High Reputation In Society
One important advantage of being a police officer is that cops have a pretty high reputation in society.
Yes, there are people who simply dont like them.
However, the majority of the general public is still thankful for the help and security police officers ensure on our streets. Imagine a world without police.
Chances are that there would be many more robberies and other unpleasant things.
Consequently, we should thank police officers for what they are doing for us so that they feel the appreciation they deserve.
The Law Enforcement Bond
Few careers offer the kind of solidarity with coworkers and peers that exists within most police departments. Officers don’t just protect and serve society. They have each other’s backs as well in a way that’s not required in other professions, often in life-or-death moments.
Even in the current climate with anti-police sentiments receiving a lot of press, police officers enjoy certain public respect for putting their lives on the line every day.
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The Pros And Cons Of Being A Police Officer
Despite the negative impacts of law enforcement, the love for the job is abundant
Law enforcement is ever-evolving, and so is the person occupying the uniform.
Some exposures to police work change us for the better and others for the worse. What are five negative and five positive personality adaptations cops undergo after experience on the job?
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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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.
Pass Law Enforcement Examination
It may be necessary to pass a law enforcement examination before being admitted into a police training academy. Before you apply to take the law enforcement examination, make sure you have never had any criminal charges filed against you. Also, make sure your driving record is clear of tickets or other offences. It’s also important to complete physical conditioning before the exam to meet all the physical requirements of the training. Both weight training and endurance running can help prepare your body for the police academy.
There are a variety of law enforcement exams depending on the jurisdiction and the police academy you have chosen. These exams usually have the following sections:
This section may include a combination of short-essay, true-false and multiple-choice questions that assess your knowledge of the job. Many questions test your mathematical, reading comprehension and grammar skills. These questions may also evaluate your decision-making and logical skills in job-relevant scenarios.
This portion requires you to write a long-form essay about a topic or prompt. This exam focuses on your ability to express your ideas and thoughts clearly and use logic. It also evaluates your ability to provide evidence and reasoning to support your claims.
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