8 Things To Know Before Becoming A Police Officer

If you are interested in becoming a police officer, you are probably aware of how tough it is to get the job. You have to go through rigorous mental and physical screening and training, and for good reason. Police work is a noble career, but it can also be a difficult life. Find out what to expect should you be invited to join the force:

1. You have to be fit. To become a police officer, you must pass a fitness test, and you will be required to accomplish various fitness challenges at the police academy.

2. Police Academy it is not. With the notable exception of Bubba Smith's character, most of the characters in Police Academy would not have made it through the door. The training, which lasts around 12 weeks, is difficult and exhausting.

3. No shooting for shooting's sake. Movies and television would lead you to believe that police officers can start firing away at perps. However, you will learn to be a good shot, and you will learn when it is and is not appropriate to use your weapon.

4. Some desk work is required. It's not all action all the time. You will need to write reports of what happened, and those reports must be accurate and detailed because they can be used as evidence in court.

5. You will work long, irregular hours. Crime won't stop when you're off duty. You may be called upon to assist with a situation at any time. However, these extra hours often come with overtime pay.

6. The stress level is high. The community's safety is in your hands, and your work will not always be respected. You have to be able to tolerate people not trusting you because of the actions of other police officers, and you may find yourself rebuilding trust on a regular basis.

7. People skills are a must. Not only will you work on a daily basis with your partner, but you must also represent the police to the community. Your every action will be under scrutiny, either by your supervisor, your peers or the public at large.

8. You can enjoy many benefits. By this point, you might be wondering if a law enforcement career is too difficult for you. However, there's a payoff. Police officers enjoy job stability, overtime pay and a pension, which is more than many other careers can offer.

After reading this list, you may be surprised to discover that police work is more boring than you expected. However, for someone who likes change on the job, likes interacting with others and likes learning something new all the time, police work is a good choice.

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The requirements to become a police officer reflect the high standards of departments across the nation. Since police officers must uphold the law and set a good example, they need to be physically fit, intelligent and ethical.

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