The role of police officers has drastically changed throughout the years. Back then, law enforcement was carried out by volunteer groups and officers who were funded by the local community members. Now, numerous law enforcement agencies are employed to ensure public safety and address community problems.
Why Become a Police Officer?
Just like any other profession, being a police officer is both a demanding and rewarding job. If you love challenges and working under pressure, most importantly helping people in difficult situations, then being a police officer is a great way to live a meaningful and impactful life.
Police officers are primarily responsible for protecting and serving their respective communities. Their duties include helping people in times of need, identifying and correcting problematic behaviors, and establishing trust with the community.
How to Become a Police in the USA?
With the decreasing level of confidence and trust among law enforcers, police departments now want to ensure that the police officers that they hire are truly committed to their role as protectors of the community – that they are entering the force for the benefit of the people. So, how do you become a police officer in the USA?
1. Reflect if being a Police Officer is Right for you
Do you have what it takes to protect the community? Do you have the physical strength to restrain misbehaviors in the community or save innocent individuals? Can you easily read people’s emotions and feelings and make good decisions on what to do and how to deal with people in times of crisis?
To become a police officer, you have to first determine if this career path is really right for you. Knowing the demands, it is not only important to consider the career in general but reflect on the other requirements needed for the intensity of the job.
2. Know the minimum requirements
While the application standards for police officer candidates could vary – even the federal government has no uniform rules – generally, those who are preparing to become police officers in the US should meet the following qualifications:
· US citizens, or in some cases, permanent residents who have applied for citizenship
· at least 21 years of age (some agencies accept as young as 18 years old as cadets)
· High School Diploma or GED (other agencies would require a bachelor’s degree or a minimum number of college credit hours)
· have valid U.S. Driver’s License
· physically fit and strong
· pass all rigorous background investigation and urinalysis
· pass a medical examination to ensure that no medical conditions will prevent from completing the required duties
· pass the written examination which includes problem-solving, analytical, and practical skills
3. Pass Police Fitness Test
Police officers should be physically fit and strong for their line of work. Therefore, to become a police officer, you have to pass the police academy physical fitness test – which aims to prepare officers mentally and physically. While every police department runs its version of physical tests, all tests are directed to test the endurance, body strength, agility, and mental determination of the candidate.
To better prepare you, we have created a FREE workout guide here, which will help you, not only pass the fitness test but even exceed the expectations.
Are you Ready to Become a Police Officer?
The application process to become a police officer can be lengthy and strenuous to some. But as a sworn public servant, part of the job is to complete the necessary requirements and go through all the process to ensure that you are really ready to protect the community and harness good relationships through training and tools that can make you better understand how the community works in the achievement of a better and safer environment.