A Policeman's Life

Requirements To Become A Police Officer

If you are interested in a policeman’s life and think that you might be interested in the profession, there are some requirements to become a police officer that you should know about. But before we get to that I think that it is important that you understand some of the responsibilities of becoming a cop. Police officers are the first line of defense in our neighborhoods and our communities. They have sworn to protect the public citizens from all sorts of threats and troubles. It is their responsibility to maintain peace and order, no matter what the circumstance. Policemen and women are also expected to live up to the police officer code of ethics which was adopted in 1957 and updated in 1989 by The International Association of Chiefs of Police on Ethics. Some of the primary features of the Code include:

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·        All police officers must live up to the absolute highest standards.

·        Shall uphold the Constitutional Rights of all citizens while performing their jobs.

·        Duties shall be performed without regard to “race, religion, status, sex, political belief or aspiration” of anyone with whom the officer comes in contact. Everyone will be treated politely and with dignity and respect.

·        The officer will not allow personal feelings, beliefs and friendships to interfere with duty.

·        Use of force should be reserved for the last option when negotiation and other efforts have been tried and have failed. Under no circumstances will the officer employ cruel or inhumane treatment.

·        The police officer’s behavior will be above reproach; they will not engage in any illegal activities, and will not condone illegal behavior in others.

·        The police officer’s private life will be conducted in a way that will bring honor and respect. His or her character will always be exemplary.

Requirements for Becoming a Police Officer

Hopefully these examples will help you understand the character that is necessary if you want to enter a law enforcement career. There are many requirements for becoming a police officer that candidates must meet if they want to become a policeman. Education is one of the most important factors when applying. Like most civil servant jobs, you will be required to fill out an application, take a drug test, undergo a physical exam, and of course have an oral interview. However, the requirements to be a cop go much further. Many departments require applicants to be at least 21 years of age. They must undergo a physical fitness exam that is similar to what a military recruits might face. The physical prerequisites include your speed, endurance, agility, and adequate strength to perform the duties of an officer. They could include running time, along with timed push-ups and sit-ups, although it will vary depending on where you are applying. You will be required to pass drug, hearing and vision tests.

You must have a clean history, staying clear of drugs and any felonies. If you are lucky enough to be a new recruit, a thorough background check is required. You will probably have some sort of personality test to take and you might also have to conduct an interview with a psychologist. There will also be a written exam. Check out some sample questions here. Your height does not matter as long as you are able to perform all of the duties that are required of you. While it is not a requirement to be a police officer, prior experience can be helpful to applicants. It might be easier for you to become a police officer if you have been military police, a prison guard, or some other similar job.

If you are selected, you will be required to attend a police academy for six months which will include both classroom learning and physical training. In order for the recruit to achieve permanent status in a police department, you will be required to uphold the highest performance standards during the training and probationary period. You will be required to attend all classes along with passing all of the tests that are required with a satisfactory grade.

Once you have completed the police academy, the next step is to report to a field training officer or (FTO) for several weeks. Each recruit must follow all the orders of the field training officer precisely before being allowed to perform a specific duty as a rookie officer. Being supervised by your (FTO) should be a very beneficial time as you learn from your master mentor. This on the job training is invaluable.

As you can see the requirements for becoming a police officer are very difficult as we only want America’s finest to protect and serve our communities. If you have big ambitions there are many promotions available in this rewarding career. However, moving up in ranks will be easier if you have a college degree in criminal justice. If you want to someday become a police chief, or other high ranking administration position, you should probably extend your education by getting a criminal justice masters degree. We hope this has been helpful as your pursue the knowledge of what it takes to enter the law enforcement field. Thank you for visiting our site. You might also consider a career as a paralegal if you don't want the exitement of becoming a policeman. To do this, you should consider online paralegal programs approved by the aba.