If you wish to enter into a career that will allow you to make a difference in the lives of others, you should consider becoming a police officer. As an officer, you will be tasked with reducing crime and reducing the fear of crime amongst the citizens that you serve. You will be able to support people in a variety of ways, including helping victims and taking down criminals. So if this sounds like the best career path for you, keep reading for a short guide on how to make that dream a reality.
You’ll Need to Meet the Minimum Requirements
Getting a university degree is optional when it comes to becoming a police officer, but you will need to pass some written tests in order to start training. However, be aware that going to university certainly won’t hurt either, as there are a lot of law enforcement agencies that might prefer or even require that an applicant has at least an associate’s degree or a specific number of college credits. After all, being a police officer is about more than being physically fit and knowing how to use the right gear, which includes guns, vests, and products you would purchase at a boots superstore.
In addition to your education, you also need to meet the minimum requirements to become a police officer. You have to be a United Kingdom citizen, or a citizen of the EU or Commonwealth, and you need to be at least 18 years old, though some departments require that you be 21. You should also have a clean criminal record.
Receive the Right Job Training
Once you have met the minimum requirements for education and physical fitness, you will need to go through a training period that will be quite extensive. Police recruits are typically trained at a local police academy, and the training takes about three months.
This training will include basic classroom instruction on everything from legal processes and city and state laws, to crime investigation and accident investigation. Recruits will also get hands-on training in areas that include first aid, the use of weapons, emergency response, and traffic control.
Pass the Appropriate Exams
Once you have received your training, it is time to prove that you know what it takes to be a successful police officer. You will do this by taking physical and written exams at the training academy, and you will need to pass these in order to be eligible to work.
Expect your written exam to be comprehensive and designed in a way to help employers determine how well you have truly understood their curriculum. Scoring above the other job candidates will increase your odds of being hired, so do your very best.