How to Become a Police Officer

how to become a police officer

So you’ve decided that you would like to take on the brave (and sometimes dangerous) role of a police officer? Great! However, you have to remember that becoming a Police officer doesn’t happen overnight. “Okay” you may be asking, “but surely it can’t be that hard”. Well, it isn’t easy. But what job where you risk your life on a daily basis is easy? Below we will discuss what goes into becoming a man (or woman) of the law.

Best Online Criminal Justice Programs

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1. Kaplan University – BS – Criminal Justice
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3. Post University- B.S. in Criminal Justice
4. Capella University – BS – Criminal Justice
5. Walden University – Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Human Services – Criminal Justice

How to Become a Police Officer. Easy as 1, 2, 3?

So you’ve decided that you would like to take on the brave (and sometimes dangerous) role of a police officer? Great! However, you have to remember that becoming a police officer doesn’t happen overnight. “Okay” you may be asking, “but surely it can’t be that hard”. Well, it isn’t easy. But what job where you risk your life on a daily basis is easy? Below we will discuss what goes into becoming a man (or woman) of the law.

One way to start your journey into law enforcement is by contacting your local police station. Many times you can sign up for ride-alongs where you get to join a police officer on duty. Also, meeting the local officers can help you become friendly with them. They are also an excellent source of knowledge. Remember, they’ve been right where you are!

Education, Education, Education!

Although most programs only require a high school education along with additional training, having an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree is definitely something to set you apart. Set up a meeting with an advisor at your local community college or university to discuss their criminal justice programs. Don’t have time to go to class? That’s okay! There are lots of reputable online only colleges out there. Just be sure to do your research and make sure they are an accredited institution.

Follow Olivia Newton John’s Advice and Get Physical!

Police officers need to have quick reflexes and be ready for just about anything physical at any time. Running in short or long distances is definitely something you’ll need to be proficient in. Strength training is also a must. Remember, you are going to detaining criminals and will need the ability to overcome them physically. You’ll also need to attend and graduate from a police academy. The length of the academy will vary; some lasting as little as 3 months while others may take up to a year. You will also need to pass a civil service exam and be prepared to have a criminal history check run on you. A felony conviction (as an adult), domestic violence convictions, and any hate crime will automatically disqualify you.

Okay. I’ve Done all of the Above. How do I Find a Job?

Check out online job sites, newspapers, career centers, and even your friends and family for information on open positions. Networking is important in any job so if you know somebody in law enforcement already, talk to them. See if they can introduce you to people in the know. Interviewing is just as important as any exams or physical ability. Establishing a good rapport is essential. These people will become your family and, sometimes, their lives will be in your hands. Remember to be professional, courteous, and memorable. Good Luck!