How to Become a Police Officer

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The first thought that comes to mind when one speaks about the police academy as part of a career is that of action and vigilante. Few others think about the job that involves protecting citizens and rescuing them from the perils of society. The truth that needs to be told is that although police work is all these aspects combined, there is also a great deal of unspoken work that is not glamorous and alluring.

Considering the dull and mundane work that needs to be done, the police force is a career option that is not meant for the faint at heart. Besides paperwork, directing traffic and responding to domestic disputes, there are other life threatening situations that the force goes through with their objective of service to the citizens of the nation. This is why working as a police officer requires applicants to be proficient with certain skills that make this force a demanding career option. The number one rule that is taught at the police academy is to be ready to switch into emergency mode at any time as and when required.

Pursuing a career as a law enforcement officer can become a stressful job since officers remain unaware when they will have to face danger in the eye. An officer can be one moment filling out casual reports at a desk and the next moment driving a patrol car on the way to a shootout. Although there may be a little exaggeration in that sentence, the possibility of that occurring is never ruled out. Police officers averagely work 40 to 50 hours a week and have to adjust with morning, night and weekend shifts. Police work is a continuous job profile and requires officers to be on patrol 24×7.

In order to join the police academy, officers should be a citizen of the country. However, this restriction can be waived off for legal residents of the country. The basic guideline that a police academy makes mandatory is that applicants be in a good physical condition and have a good moral character. At a minimum level, applicants should have a high school level education and should pass the written and physical tests set by the academy as part of their entrance examination. Little work experience in the related field of security would be an added advantage. Most local and state police academies do not require collegiate degrees. However, at times they may require the applicant to prove college credit. Higher and Federal Police departments make it mandatory for officers to pursue a degree in law enforcement and criminal justice.

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