How To Become a Professional Police Officer

This article will give you steps and tips on how to become a police officer. Police officers are well-respected members of any community.  The job is both rewarding financially and emotionally.  Police officers are well compensated for their time, and compensation often includes overtime pay, and a very strong pension.  While the position can require violence and life threatening activities, being a police offer will offer you’re a feeling of pride unmatched by many other professions.  

Many children grow up wanting to be police officers, while others decide to enter law enforcement much later in their lives.  Regardless of when you decide to become a police officer, having a well balanced education will always be an advantage when applying for the force.  All police departments will require at least a high school education.  Many others will require either an associate’s degree, and some will require a bachelor’s degree.  Most police departments will prefer individuals to have their degrees in either criminal justice or psychology.

After completing your education, the next step you will need to complete is applying for each police department.  Most villages will accept police officer applications at all times, but most won’t actually hire a new police officer unless their budget has been increased or there is a new vacancy.  Finding out if the police department is hiring is pretty easy, but will require you to call each department individually.  In some states, there may be lists which mention each department that is hiring.

After applying for a police officer position, a police department will contact you to continue the hiring and application process.  The first step of the application process is normally a background check.  A background check will make sure you don’t have a criminal record, and often times the department will interview your friends and family.

The next step is normally a physical test.  Since at times you may need to chase criminals, or possibly get into a physical altercation, the police department will test your physical shape.  Normal physical tests include running a couple miles, doing sit ups, and a bench press test.

The final test is a psychological test.  These normally include a polygraph test to confirm everything you wrote on your application.  Since you will be in a position of power and will carry a weapon, a full psychological test is very important to make sure all police officers are mentally stable.

After taking all of the tests, the police officers will normally rank all of the candidates based on the test results.  After ranking, the police department will normally work their way down the list, and offer positions to the highest ranking applicants until all of the open police positions are filled.  You can improve your chances of doing well on the tests by keeping your education current with online continuing education classes in criminal justice.


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