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Information for a Paper on a Police Officer

By tarahoward25 Apr 14, 2013 509 Words
Education and Degrees Needed To Become A Police Officer

Police officers must have a minimum of a high school education, or its equivalent, and larger departments may require one or two years of college. Federal and State agencies typically require a college degree. Since civil service regulations govern the appointment of police in most jurisdictions, officers must pass a civil service examination. Officers usually undergo a variety of testing including a physical examination, drug testing and a background check, personality test and/or lie detector test. Officers also usually complete approximately 12 to 14 weeks of training in a regional or state police academy.

Take Postsecondary Courses:
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), before becoming a police officer, applicants need to meet the minimum educational requirements, which usually include a high school diploma or its equivalent ( Most law enforcement agencies require that police officer applicants complete some college-level courses prior to entering police academy. Earning an undergraduate degree may also be required for some police officer positions, but that requirement varies by department. Most individuals enroll in criminal justice or police science degree programs. Coursework in criminal justice degree programs includes criminology, evidence gathering, law enforcement strategies and constitutional rights. Police science degree programs require similar coursework, but these programs usually offer more opportunities for students to specialize through various degree concentrations, such as police administration or crime scene investigations. Furthermore, some police science degree programs require students to be simultaneously enrolled in police academy

Attend Police Academy:
Most police officers attend some form of police academy for training. Large police departments send recruits to their own police academies. Smaller precincts may send new hires to attend larger academies as well. Academy programs typically last 3-4 months and combine classroom and hands-on, physical training. Academies include common classroom instruction in: * Civil rights

* State and local laws
* Incident reporting
* Crime investigation
* Constitutional law
* Criminal psych
Police academy training prepares prospective police officers for active duty. Therefore, recruits also gain supervised experience in facing real-life situations. Police academy teaches students common requirements such as: * Patrol, risk assessment and subject apprehension

* Accident and emergency response
* First-aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation
* Firearm use
* Self-defense
* Traffic command

Career Statistics:
The hiring process and training academy can take around 12 to 18 months, all together, though this may vary by agency. After graduating from the academy, you will be a probationary officer, which typically means you will be constantly supervised, have limited responsibilities, and in most cases, are eligible to be relieved of duty easier than if you were not on probation. The length of probation varies by agency. The BLS shows that the average salary for a police officer is $53,540 a year. However, what you earn will depend on several factors, including the agency you work for, location, performance, and amount of experience.

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