If you would like to know how to join the police, this article is exactly what you’re looking for. This article will go in depth to what the requirements to be a police officer are. In this article you will learn than answer to “what is a police officer?” You will then know the answer to the question of “why become a police officer?” Next you will discover what the requirements to be a cop are. Lastly, you will learn how to join the police.
What is a police officer?
The simplest way to answer the question “What is a police officer?” is to say that a police officer is someone employed by a city, state, or other entity (such as a university for example) who have a responsibility to catch those who have committed a crime. They also have a duty to prevent a crime from happening. Lastly, they are responsible for keeping order.
You may be asking yourself “What is a police officer allowed to do to fulfill the job requirements?” Police officers are given the authority to arrest people. Police officers have the capability to detain a person or persons for limited amounts of time. Usually, they are also granted other privileges and powers to enable them to do their job.
The above answered the question of “what is a police officer, the next section will try to answer the question of “why become a police officer?”
Why become a police officer?
There are a few reasons why someone may wish to become a cop. One of the main reasons people join the police force is because every day brings something new. Unlike most jobs where you get into a rut, the variety of people a police officer has to deal with along with the constantly changing situations they are called into usually prevent a police officer from being in a rut.
If you asked a lot of cops “why become a police officer?” they’d also probably answer that they like to help people. A lot of people who become police officers want to personally make a difference in their community or country. They feel that if they can help catch criminals and prevent crimes they are making a difference.
Another answer to the question, “why become a police officer?” is because there is a lot of room for advancement. Not only can someone move up rank, they can also move laterally into different positions. For example, after being a police officer for a while and moving up in rank someone can become a detective. Another career within the police department that many people strive to reach is the S.W.A.T. Team.
One of the last answers to the question of, “why become a police officer?” is because the pay is good. The work is dangerous; however, the average starting salary for a police officer at the time of this writing is $43,000. Also, as you move up in rank your pay also increases.
What are the requirements to become a police officer?
One of the requirements to become a police officer is a minimum age. The minimum age may vary by state or city that is hiring. Some police departments require a minimum age of 18 years old. Others will require the person to be around 21 years of age.
Another one of the requirements to become a police officer is education. The majority of police departments will require at least a high school diploma or GED. Some departments want a candidate to have higher education as one of the requirements to become a cop.
The departments that have a minimum education requirement usually require 60 credits from an accredited college or university. An Associate’s Degree or Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice or a related field would be most beneficial. Most police departments will allow military service instead of college credits.
Another of the important requirements to become a police officer is nationality. Requirements to be a cop in the United States dictate that you must be a U.S. Citizen. However, you don’t have to be a natural born citizen. As long as you are a naturalized U.S. Citizen you can become a police officer.
Some other requirements to become a police officer are that you have a clean criminal record and have a clean driving record. Some minor offenses may be overlooked; however, major crimes committed will preclude you from becoming a police officer. A clean driving record is important because you will most likely be driving a police vehicle and will be under the police department insurance. If you are a careless driver, you will most likely not be accepted as a police officer.
How to join the police
When a police department is hiring they will post the position in the local newspaper. However, most police departments also have open positions listed on their website. If a local police department isn’t hiring, you may have to look to a neighboring city because they may be hiring. If you fulfill the requirements and are willing to relocate you will have the easiest time of finding a police officer job.
The website of the department you want to join will usually lay out the entire process of how to join the police force of that city or organization. The process can vary. Some departments will require a civil service test be taken. Others will require you to take some online tests.
Most every department will require a background check if you get far enough along in the process. They will interview your neighbors, friends, and family. They will usually also check into your criminal and financial backgrounds.
Most every police department will also require some sort of physical examination. They want to ensure that you are in good enough physical shape to become a cop. The job of a police officer can be very physically demanding so they want to ensure that you can handle the physical stress.
Most police departments will also put you through a physical test. Most of them are a timed obstacle course along with timed physical endurance tests. Again, they want to ensure you can handle the possible physically demanding situations you may find yourself in while pursuing a suspect or criminal.
When you read the requirements listed of how to join the police, most often, they will also require you to have a psychological evaluation. Being a police officer can often lead to being in very stressful calls. They want to ensure that you can mentally be able to handle the situations you will most likely often find yourself in.
At some point within the process you will also most likely be given a formal interview. One of the main functions of a police officer is to be able to effectively communicate with the public, usually the victims of a crime. Also, every interaction a police officer is involved with will require a report to be written. The interview will be used to ensure that you have sufficient communication skills to deal with both the public and the written reports.
If you make it through all the above tests and interviews you will most likely be put through the formal police training. Once you make it through the training, you will probably be put on a probationary period. After you prove yourself in the field with a training officer you will then finally become a police officer of that department.