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Becoming a Police Officer

There’s more to being a police officer than carrying a gun, driving a squad car and handcuffing criminals. It’s an eye-opening experience that’ll give you an inside look at all different walks of life, from different races and beliefs to different societal classes and educational backgrounds.

Don’t be fooled, it’s not all doughnuts and car chases. It’s a demanding job, both physically and emotionally. You’ll witness things you’ve never seen before, scary things. And you may find yourself in life-threatening situations. But if you’re intrigued by the risks and you’d like protect people by enforcing city laws, then policing might be the career for you.

Education

Becoming a cop isn’t just about acing gym class. In fact, the more education you have the better. For policing, you absolutely must have a high school diploma or equivalent. While college isn’t required in every city or county, having an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in a criminal justice field would give you a huge advantage. But keep in mind that most police departments do require some college.

Qualifications

Every city and county has different entrance qualifications, so you should check the website of your local police department for specific details. Here’s some of the requirements you’ll be looking at. You must:

  • Be of legal age
  • A citizen of your country
  • Have no felony convictions
  • Have 20/20 vision
  • Have a valid driver’s license

Then come the tests and investigations. You must pass an:

  • Interview
  • written entrance test
  • physical test
  • polygraph test
  • psychological and medical exam
  • background check

Sounds rigorous, I know. But with great power comes great responsibility.

Visit us again next week to learn about Police Officer training and on-the-job duties.

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