Becoming a Police Officer

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Becoming a Police Officer

\Protect and serve. These two words may be simple to any regular citizen. However, they are everything to any police officer. The honorable career of law enforcement is not always an easy one to enter. There are requirements in order to be recruited and employed by any policing agency. In addition to the highly competitive and rigorous application process to become selected as an officer of the law, there are training programs, continued education programs, and other requirements necessary to remain in the career. The first process of becoming an officer is not a step to take lightly. Initially, the applicant must determine whether he or she is mentally, emotionally and physically prepared for the rigorous career in law enforcement. The application process itself can help an individual sway one way or the other. “The recruitment process includes three separate elements: (1) the minimum qualifications, (2) the recruitment effort, and (3) the applicant’s decision to apply for a position.” (Walker, Samuel and Katz.M, 2008) Each police department conducts their recruit of officers in different ways. However, there are some standard recruitment techniques. Some of these include passing out flyers in common areas of the community; going to job fairs at universities; advertising in newspaper, radio, or television; and, in larger cities, putting up posters in subways and on billboards (Standberg 1996). The main key to recruiting a quality group of individuals is advertising to a large audience. Once an applicant decides to complete an application, there are minimum requirements or standards to consider. Requirements vary state to state and from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. However, most recruitment standards have provisions for the following characteristics (Grant, Heath B., Terry, Karen J., 2008):

Minimum age: Eighteen at time of first application and 21 at time of hire. Minimum education: High school graduation or G.E.D. equivalency...
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