How to become a police officer
Joining law enforcement is not an easy task due to the competitive screening and testing process. Only the best of the best are enrolled to protect lives and property. To become successful, the candidate needs to be well prepared, informed, physically fit, dedicated, able to work under pressure and above all should thoroughly understand the selection process.
Following is a guide to help you move ahead in law enforcement.
1. Basic Qualifications: Though there are exceptions for the age limit, the general requirements to enter the police force is that the candidate should be of 21 years of age, should be a citizen on the United States and should possess a valid driver’s license.
2. Training: Start preparing for the test in the early stages; keep yourself active by participating in sports and other physical activities, the physical agility test can be extremely challenging as it involves running, sit-ups and pushups. Also to pass the “background check” keep your record clean, avoid traffic violations, drug convictions and so forth.
3. Contact your local police department: Take time out and observe their required level of acceptance by spending time with them through cadet programs.
4. Application: Fill out the application and sit for the exam.
So, if you want to become a police officer, start preparing NOW!
Characteristics You Need To Have For a Successfull Career as a Police Officer
When you are being interviewed by a law enforcement agent, they are actually filtering your personality to search for the required traits and characteristics needed to become a successful police officer. Before they judge you, it is better that you judge yourself. BE HONEST!
1. Trustworthiness: To judge yourself answer the following questions, or make a friend answer the following questions for you:
o Can you be relied upon to follow instructions?
o Will you make stories to cover your errors?
o Will you do what you are told even under difficult circumstances?
2. Honesty: Honestly is a well rated factor because a statement from a police officer can even put people in jail for a long time. Answer the following questions about yourself:
o Will you speak the truth even at your loss?
o Will you stand for truth and authority even when it is difficult?
o Will you join a conspiracy because it is hard to lose a friendship?
3. Leadership: Each officer is a leader in law enforcement. Answer the following questions:
o Do you take extra responsibility?
o Do you fear responsibility and decision making?
o Do you fear failure and difficult assignments?
4. Readiness to lend assistance: Answer the following questions about yourself:
o Do you willingly help fellow people in need?
o Do you hesitate to assist people under harsh conditions?
Once the probation of a police officer has ended, he is eligible for a promotion. The promotion may vary according to the size of the department which may enable an officer to become a specialist or a detective. The basis of the promotion is the score on a written examination along with on-the-job performance evaluation.
With time, as agents meet the required knowledge and skills, they are promoted from their current grade. Few competent agents are even able to enter the Senior Executive ranks of the upper management. The key to a promotion is constant training and improvement in job performance. Annual trainings are also conducted by the academy on areas like self-defense tactics, use of force policies, crowd-control technique and so forth.
With every added responsibility comes more money. A police officer can grow from patrolling to a police chief leading to deputy chief, then police captain, police Lieutenant, police sergeant and ultimately police corporal.
Nevertheless, working in law enforcement is exceptionally rewarding with tremendous motivation along with exciting and different job tasks.