The Application Process For Police Officer Candidates
It isnt easy becoming a police officer. Potential candidates need to go through a stringent application process designed to weed out those who dont have what it takes to become outstanding police officers.
Police officers help maintain peace and order and ensure that members of the community stay safe. This job comes with immense responsibility. The application process itself is not for everyone.
Canadian police agencies generally follow the same process which involves a series of tests, checks and interviews, including:
- A written exam
- A polygraph exam
- A background investigation
Some of these tests require detailed paperwork but minimal preparation. For some tests, like the physical tests, you would be best prepared if you did a fitness training program, prior to, depending on your fitness level. Other tests, like the polygraph exam, require no preparation at all.
Applicants can be declined at any point in the stages listed above and even if a candidate passes every stage, an offer of employment is not guaranteed.
Once you have completed all assessments, your entire application package is reviewed and measured against other applicants to determine the most suitable candidates for the role as a police officer.
If you are recruited, you can expect a conditional offer of employment that allows you to advance to the final step before you become a police officer: cadet training.
How Are Police Officers Trained In The Us
In developing its professional staff, the United States Capitol Police empowers individuals to reach their full potential, ensuring professional growth and career opportunities within the Department. The United States Capitol Police
The United States boasts having one of the most trained and professional police forces in the world. Becoming a police officer involves years of rigorous training. Even then, there is no assurance that you would fully qualify to become a full pledged police officer.
Becoming a police officer is more of a passion than a means of employment for many people. They find satisfaction knowing that they are contributing to keeping their country safe and peaceful. Police officers are often chosen not for what they have done, but rather what they could do to serve the country.
This is why most states do not require applicants to have any bachelor degrees. A high school degree is already sufficient when applying for officership. Nevertheless, the training they undergo assures that they are well equipped when facing real life scenarios.
From Rookie To Chief Make Your Way Through The Ranks
While there are many great reasons to choose to work in law enforcement, one reason is the potential for good officers to make their way up the chain. Command structures are an important element of efficient police forces, and officers with the right skills can advance through the ranks. Not every police career path is the same, but a general timeline provides a good idea of what new officers can expect.
Don’t Miss: Am I Being Investigated By The Police
Education Requirements For Police Officers
Aspiring police officers have the possibility to choose whether to start their career right after high school, provided the agency they want to work for allows it, or to proceed with their education and get a degree prior to joining the law enforcement forces. The education requirements for becoming a police officer vary by state and by department generally, agencies require a high school diploma or an equivalent for entry-level positions but as of lately, most departments include in their requirements an associates or bachelors degree. In addition to that, if you have the desire to grow in your career and move to a federal law enforcement agency at some point, it is better to first invest some time in education and then apply for a law enforcement position.
Police officers who want to work in more specialized divisions or are looking forward to advancing in their career, should be able to offer at least a bachelors degree in a law enforcement-related discipline and possibly a masters degree. The level of education also can affect the salary an officer receives. The good news is that you can start your career as a police officer and then proceed with getting a degree either as a part-time student or online.
Regardless of the approach you are going to choose, here is roughly how much time you need to get a law enforcement degree that can help you with your career:
Why Police Training Must Be Reformed
On February 9, David Joseph, an unarmed African American teen, was killed by a police officer in Austin, Texas. Joseph, a student at Premier High School, had plans to further his education in college this coming fall. Joseph is just another victim of a larger national trend that needs to be reversed. In 2015, 224 unarmed Americans lost their lives at the hands of police, of which 57 percent were African American or Latino. While it is important to recognize that police officers have a dangerous job, it is also important to realize that they take an oath to serve and protect their community. Killing unarmed citizens is a violation of that oath. Police departments across the nation are currently reforming their policies to reduce excessive use of force by reforming their training to focus more on de-escalation tactics. Whether this will successfully change the perception of police officers from one of warriors to one of guardians has yet to be known.
African Americans arent the only demographic with a historic distrust of the police. The racial context of a city is extremely important for how citizens, black and white, evaluate the police. Police in majority-black cities are held more accountable by white residents than the police departments in majority-white cities. Community-police relations tend to be worse in majority-black cities because white residents gave the police department lower marks.
Image Credit: katesheets/Flickr
Read Also: How To Look Up Old Police Reports
Who Do I Contact To Become Employed As A Police Officer In Massachusetts
The Municipal Police Training Committee sets the standards for basic police training for candidates hired by individual police departments throughout the Commonwealth. Those police departments submit applications their employee to our authorized recruit academies. Hiring practices vary by departments and certain departments, operating by Civil Service, must follow a selection process set forth by statute while those departments not covered by civil service are free to design their own testing and selection process.We suggest that you contact Civil Service or your local police department to discuss the hiring process within that community.
Education Requirements To Become A Police Officer
Students can begin preparing for the police academy while in high school. Electives such as criminology, legal studies, physical education, sociology and psychology are helpful for aspiring police officers. In addition, police academy admissions officers may look for applicants who have completed college coursework in criminal justice or law enforcement. Some academies prefer candidates who hold an associateâs or bachelorâs degree in one of those fields.
Read Also: How To Place An Anonymous Tip To Police
Potential Disqualifiers For A Policing Career In Canada
When preparing yourself for a policing career, you need to be aware of what will disqualify you from the police application process. As far as the written, physical, and medical exams, the requirements are fairly consistent across all agencies.
Language Disqualifier: You need to be fluent in either English or French including being able to speak, read, and understand one of these languages.
Physical Disqualifier: You cannot be in poor physical condition. Failure to successfully complete the physical examination in the minimum time frame is an automatic disqualification.
Test particulars can vary from one police agency to the next. However, all tests simulate critical incidents that police officers are exposed to. For example. the Physical Abilities Requirement Evaluation , used by the RCMP, consists of three sections:
Psychological Disqualifiers: A candidate can be disqualified if they do not meet the minimum psychological examination requirements.
Work Environment Disqualifiers: Police departments require you to work shift work which includes nights, evenings, weekends, and holidays as policing takes place 24 hours per day. If you are unwilling to accommodate this type of work schedule, you will be disqualified from the process.
Do I Need A License To Carry A Firearm
One of the following courses of action must be taken prior to the firearms segment of the Basic Curriculum:
- The Student Officer must have a Class A License to Carry
- A person with a Class A License to Carry must transport the firearms to and from the range
- The department must make arrangements for the transportation of their firearms to and from the range and place in the safekeeping of an instructor
Also Check: What Do You Have To Become A Police Officer
Update: June Board Meetings
We are happy to announce that the City of Bloomington has graciously allowed ILETSB to use its municipal board room to host our upcoming meetings. Due to the distancing measures still in place, this meeting will be conducted via WebEx and all board members will be a sent an invite link in the upcoming days. A phone number will be made available for members of the public wishing to listen to the proceedings. At this time, we plan to have the Curriculum meeting at 9am on Thursday, June 11th and the Full Quarterly Meeting at 10am that same day. Phone lines will open 30 minutes in advance for each meeting. Anyone seeking to make a public comment is asked to do so in writing to this address: . Any comments received before the meeting will be reviewed by the Chairman and reflected in the record.
While the Open Meetings Act remains in place during this period, the provision requiring a physical quorum has been temporarily suspended. With that, we will proceed as normal and follow all rules and protocols pertinent to the business of the Board. However, we ask that Board members and the public take advantage of the distancing accommodation and participate remotely. Board staff will be available to assist anyone needing assistance in this area and we ask that any technical questions be directed to:
Changes To Instructor Approval Application Process
Please note: The following changes to the instructor approval application process applies only to instructors teaching in the full-time or part-time academy. The process for instructor approval applications for in-service training remains the same.
Effective March 1, 2018, ILETSB will be accepting electronically submitted Approved Academy Instructor Applications as the primary method of submission. This new protocol will reduce staff time, allow for permanent records to be shared by the entire organization, and most importantly, ensure retention of permanent records. The process for receiving, retaining, and responding to those electronic applications are as follows:
You May Like: How To Become A Police Officer San Diego
Annual Firearms Qualification And Use Of Force Training
Part of any law enforcement officers Annual Firearms Training is a review of the agencys Use of Force policy as well as training on use of force guidelines and statutes. For the past few years, the Board has provided a Use of Force brochure which can be found on our website as a PDF form printable by the agency. Just recently, the Board has added an on-line Use of Force training for those agencies utilizing LEDI.
All Law Enforcement Agencies are required to document the Annual Firearms and Use of Force training on their personnel roster either in its paper form or via LEDI. Should an agency wish to access the on-line Use of Force training, the agency MUST be enrolled in LEDI. If youd like to enroll in LEDI, please or contact your Board-assigned Field Rep.
Police Academy And Training
Everyone has to start somewhere, and for police officers, that is the police academy. Expect your police academy training to last approximately six months. During that time, you’ll receive basic law enforcement training to prepare you for the next step in your career: field training.
As grueling as the academy training is, the field training officer program is that much more difficult. The FTO period lasts between 8 and 12 weeks, and you’ll need to put all of your academy training into practice. Everything you do will be evaluated to make sure you really have what it takes to do the job of a police officer. If you make it, you’ll move onto your next step: probationary solo patrol.
Don’t Miss: How Old Can You Be A Police Officer
What Tests Do I Need To Pass To Become A Police Officer
With no federal standards for the minimum requirements for becoming a police officer, each state has its own testing methods to determine eligibility for the job. However, there are some basic criteria for police hiring qualifications such as being at least 21 years old with a high school diploma or GED equivalent and at least two years of higher education.
Here are some of the most common types of tests recruits need to pass to become certified:
Physical fitness tests
Mental Health Screening Standards
The SAFE-T Act requires the Board to establish statewide standards for minimum standards regarding regular mental health screenings for probationary and permanent police officers. The Board recently passed a preliminary version of these standards for public review before revisiting these at the next board meeting. Please click here to review these standards. Comments may be directed to
Read Also: How Many Police Officers In America
Federal Police Force Salary & Benefits
If youre interested in the federal police force, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police offers new hires $53,144/year with an incremental increase to $86,110 within 3 years of employment. Benefits include paid vacation days, an RCMP pension plan, medical, dental and family health plans and group life insurance. The RCMP also offers generous maternity and parental allowances as well as financial support for continuing education and professional development opportunities.
Information On Board Approved Guidelines For In
In September 2016 the Board adopted the following policy:
When determining minimum in-service training requirements that a police officer must satisfactorily complete, only Board Certified courses that comply with Board approved guidelines will be considered.
Board Policy Adopted September 22, 2016
Pursuant to Board Policy adopted in December 2013 all in-service courses shall be delivered and certified through the Mobile Team system unless the course and/or venue is approved by the Board on an individual basis. The Mobile Teams shall have the option of providing all in-service courses. If the Mobile Team declines the delivery of any course within its region for reasons other than duplication, the Board may determine whether the course is otherwise certifiable and/or reimbursable based upon the best interests of law enforcement. Board certificates may be provided to individuals that the Mobile Training unit can identify as having successfully completed a Board-certified course.
Certification shall be reviewed by the Board on an annual basis.
Board Policy Adopted December 12, 2013
The Board Approved guidelines can be found here:
For additional information on having a training certified please contact the Regional Mobile Training Team Unit where the training is to be held.
Recommended Reading: How Can You Check Your Police Record
How Are Police Academies Scheduled
Full-time recruit officer courses are only scheduled to meet anticipated demand. As a result, the Municipal Police Training Committee encourages departments to keep the MPTC informed regarding future hiring plans and recruit officer training needs. If you have questions regarding an MPTC police academy please contact Pat Caggiano at 437-0306 or via . Please contact your area’s full-time police training organization to express interest in attending an authorized police academy.
What Does Police Academy Training Entail
Police academy training involves educating, preparing, and training recruits in many different areas. It is important that the training is diverse in order to properly prepare officers for their day-to-day activities on the job and for the unexpected.
Most police academies have programs that involve both classroom-type settings as well as intense physical training. They also require a strict lifestyle to be adopted, such as abiding by strict rules pertaining to appearance, sleeping and eating schedules.
Physical training for someone in the academy is intense to say the least. Fitness tests are performed regularly in order to evaluate where each potential officer is at and how far they have come since the beginning. Academy training consists of body strengthening and running regimens to ensure that each officer can be ready to move quickly without much notice. There is also firearm training and range time to properly educate and train officers if they need to use their firearm. There may be additional weapons training, including training with tasers and pepper spray.
The classroom setting of police academy training involves educational courses regarding safety, psychology, local and state laws, protocols, and even some light medical knowledge. All of the academic training that takes place helps officers to become more knowledgeable about keeping themselves and their community safe.
Recommended Reading: What’s A Police Officer Salary
Is Military Police A Dangerous Job
MPs have an extremely important and difficult job. All law enforcement careers are dangerous, but military police must deal both with normal dangers associated with policing and those encountered on the battlefield. When not serving on base, they work in harsh environments and live in rough, undesirable conditions.
Police Training Program Requirements
After gaining acceptance into the police academy, recruits participate in classroom and practical instruction. They learn state laws, criminal investigations, patrol procedures, firearms training, traffic control, defensive driving, self-defense, first aid and computer skills. Police academy recruits also undertake physical training and fieldwork that demonstrates their comprehension of classroom instruction. Field exercises include investigating mock criminal scenes, directing traffic, operating police vehicles, arrest techniques, using firearms, fingerprinting and interrogation methods. Police academy training usually takes 22-27 weeks to complete.
Also Check: How Do I Obtain A Copy Of A Police Report