How to Become a Police Officer

by Shenron on September 9, 2009

Without law and regulation the streets would run wild. Thankfully, devoted individuals, probably ones like yourself, decided they wanted to protect your fellow citizens by taking the steps to become a police officer. By no means is it easy and all of the cops out there that seem to pull you over for no good reason aren’t just regular old people. They worked hard to get where they are and always have your safety in mind. Assuming you already graduated high school, there are only a few more steps to get that badge and uniform.

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High School Isn’t the End: While a basic high school education can sometimes get you by with a few jobs here and there, being a police officer requires much more. Criminal justice degrees are offered at almost all accredited universities and while not mandatory, the vast majority of officers have gotten one. You can major in anything you think will help your future police skills but criminal justice gives you a well rounded education. If you already finished university you can either try to go back and take courses to get a criminal justice degree or you can continue pursuing the your goals without it. It’s entirely up to you.

Fitness Level: Obviously as a cop you have to be somewhat fit and physically ready. If you have a background in sports or can show on your resume that sports were always a big part of your life, you’ll have a better chance at being accepted.

Criminal History: While it may be fairly obvious to most, it bears reiterating. It is very difficult to get into the police academy with a long list of criminal violations on your record. You can of course plead your case and show how you’ve changed but those with only a parking ticket are going to take precedence over those that have had greater criminal infractions against them.

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Tests: The next step in the process is to take some government tests. They’re called civil service exams. Luckily, they’re not like the tests you’re used to and aren’t impossible. They cover things like basic math and grammar rules just to make sure you’re ready for basic tasks that come your way. Also, after completing the civil service exams you’ll be required to take a physical test in which they’ll measure your physical fitness and aptitude for physical activities. The physical tests also cover your body condition and how well you can react, see, and hear things around you. Consider it a more advanced physical (like when you go to the doctor).

Police Academy: Lastly, you’ll be enrolled in the police academy. Assuming you pass the tests put forth by the state, you’re ready for police academy. They’ll send you off to a boot camp type setting where you’ll learn all of the ins and outs of being a police officer over a few month period. Once you successfully complete the academy, you’ll be awarded a badge and a uniform. You’re finally a police officer!

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