If you think that fighting crime is your calling, becoming a police officer should be one of your employment options. Working as a police officer will provide you with training and experience for a number of other career options. Here’s how to become a police officer.
Motivation. Be sure that you know the reasons for joining the police. Some people only think of the fringe benefits of a police officer, such as the car and the gun. However, also think of the responsibility and the risks that this line of work will put you in. because you are fighting crime, it is possible to find yourself in life and death situations. This can be very traumatic, and a fair number of police officers have ended their careers because of post-traumatic stress disorder. You should have a clear idea of why you are willing to commit your time and even your life to this career option.
Education. Contrary to popular belief, a lot of police officers have degrees and are college graduates apart from the police training academies where police are trained. There are universities that offer criminology, and which will help you land a job as a police officer much more easily. Apart from criminology, however, you can also study the social sciences and the behavioral sciences to get a better idea of what goes on behind a criminal’s mind. You can even take business courses or computer courses. After all, there are plenty of crimes that occur in the business world, and computers are now tools for carrying out crimes.
Fitness. Next, you need to achieve a certain level of fitness. Keep in mind that police work will keep you on your toes and on your patrol car. You will need to be physically fit in order to endure the long and odd hours, as well as to get the reflexes needed for emergency situations and potential combat. Sports during high school and fitness programs will usually provide you with the physical fitness training needed for police work.
Military service. Police work and the military are tightly inter-related work fields. Spending a couple of years in military service will train you physically and mentally. Often, you will also get an idea of how the police operate by starting with the military. Although the military is seen as stricter, essentially the same discipline is required for both police officers and army soldiers.
Exams. There are a number of tests that you need to pass before you start your work as a police officer. First, you need to take the civil service tests. Next, you will need to pass physical fitness tests that include your strength, agility, and senses. You will also be made to go through the lie detector test and a drug test. Finally, you will be interviewed by a senior police officer to assess your personality and readiness for work as a police officer.
Be sure that you do not have criminal records in the past, which will damage your chances of getting into the police. Even minor offenses during your teenage years, if repeated often enough, can be grounds for revoking your application as a police officer. These steps should guide you on how to become a police officer.