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  • How to start becoming a police officer?

    Okay so I am in college going for a bachelors degree in business (Probably in accounting or finance.) So far, I am almost done getting my associates in business. So here are my top 5 questions I have on becoming a police officer.

    1.) Should I apply to departments right now? Or after I get my associates? Or after my bachelors or what?

    2.) What do you recommend for me to do in order to have a better chance of getting hired? Besides of course getting a bachelors degree. (Aka volunteer programs, ride alongs with police officers, recommendations from teachers etc)

    3.) Will joining volunteer programs like a emergency management department give me an edge when applying? There is one by my house but you really have to devote your time for it and I work and go to school and really don't have time for something like that. But would it be worth doing? Does it really give you that extra edge?

    4.) How exactly does it work when "applying" to become a police officer? You send a request to a department you wish to join or what? Or must you find an academy first or what exactly?

    5.) Last but not least, what exactly is a internship and how do I go about getting one? I have an idea of what it is but still a little confused on what it is and what it can do for you.

    I really appreciate any answers to my questions. Thanks for your time!

  • #2
    The first thing you need to do in order to become a cop, is to learn how to be aware of your surroundings.

    Like for example - how this forum is "General Law Enforcement Topics", and NOT "Ask a Cop" ... which is about 3 forums down from this one on the main page.....

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by craftspace234 View Post
      Okay so I am in college going for a bachelors degree in business (Probably in accounting or finance.) So far, I am almost done getting my associates in business. So here are my top 5 questions I have on becoming a police officer.

      1.) Should I apply to departments right now? Or after I get my associates? Or after my bachelors or what?

      2.) What do you recommend for me to do in order to have a better chance of getting hired? Besides of course getting a bachelors degree. (Aka volunteer programs, ride alongs with police officers, recommendations from teachers etc)

      3.) Will joining volunteer programs like a emergency management department give me an edge when applying? There is one by my house but you really have to devote your time for it and I work and go to school and really don't have time for something like that. But would it be worth doing? Does it really give you that extra edge?

      4.) How exactly does it work when "applying" to become a police officer? You send a request to a department you wish to join or what? Or must you find an academy first or what exactly?

      5.) Last but not least, what exactly is a internship and how do I go about getting one? I have an idea of what it is but still a little confused on what it is and what it can do for you.

      I really appreciate any answers to my questions. Thanks for your time!





      Most police hiring processes begin with a written exam. This exam measures basic skills in Math, Reading Comprehension, Reasoning and Cognition. The exam is not rocket science, but never should be taken lightly. A very high percentage of would be applicants are eliminated in the written exam. While a grade of 70% is generally passing, as a practical matter, and to emerge as a competitive applicant, you'll need to score at a minimum, in the mid to high nineties.

      Most agencies maintain websites, and these will often list the requirements for appointment to that agency. You'll need to complete an application in order to move forward in the process.

      The "activities" you mentioned in your post often can be helpful, but if you don't meet the agency's requirements, or should you fail any portion of the hiring process, they will be meaningless.

      Internships are the province of individual departments. Some have internship programs, others don't. The requirements for entry/acceptance to an internship program vary from agency to agency, so you'll need to research any agency which interests you.

      Bottom line. Your success or failure in entering this profession will depend largely upon how well you test.

      Comment


      • #4
        I would suggest, in the future, putting this in "Ask-A-Cop" section, where unsworn people (like myself) cannot answer. Anyways, I will give you some of the information that I have gleaned from around the forum, but everything I say should be taken alongside the fact that I am NOT sworn.

        Originally posted by craftspace234 View Post
        Okay so I am in college going for a bachelors degree in business (Probably in accounting or finance.) So far, I am almost done getting my associates in business. So here are my top 5 questions I have on becoming a police officer.

        1.) Should I apply to departments right now? Or after I get my associates? Or after my bachelors or what?

        2.) What do you recommend for me to do in order to have a better chance of getting hired? Besides of course getting a bachelors degree. (Aka volunteer programs, ride alongs with police officers, recommendations from teachers etc)

        3.) Will joining volunteer programs like a emergency management department give me an edge when applying? There is one by my house but you really have to devote your time for it and I work and go to school and really don't have time for something like that. But would it be worth doing? Does it really give you that extra edge?

        4.) How exactly does it work when "applying" to become a police officer? You send a request to a department you wish to join or what? Or must you find an academy first or what exactly?

        5.) Last but not least, what exactly is a internship and how do I go about getting one? I have an idea of what it is but still a little confused on what it is and what it can do for you.

        I really appreciate any answers to my questions. Thanks for your time!
        1) Apply when you are ready to start work, or slightly before. I believe that there was a thread recently where this topic came up, and the consensus was that a dept. would not wait for you to finish your education.

        2) I am going through this myself. Time permitting, I plan on joining an explorer program, as well as (when 18) becoming a volunteer for my local dept. Other than that, KEEP YOUR NOSE CLEAN. No peanut butter. No hiring prostitutes 9 times. No check fraud.

        3) One thing that I have heard that gives a great edge is learning another language. USEFUL language. Spanish would be a good example. As for your emergency management, I choose not to comment, mainly because I don't know, but I (also when I turn 18) want to take a Community Emergency Planning course, held by my local fire department, if for no other reason than being a responsible citizen.

        4) I choose not to comment becuase I am not 100% on the process, and I would most likely confuse you. I will say that, in response to your mention of the Academy - you have 2 options; self sponsored or paid. By self-sponsoring (the less desirable option IMO), you pay your own way into the academy, then graduate, THEN find a job. Otherwise, you get hired, pass all your tests, background, etc., THEN go to the Academy, and FTO. In some cases, using the latter option, you can be paid to attend the academy, and accrue some savings this way.

        5) An internship means that you work unpaid for a dept., doing bottom tier work, just to make yourself known/ingratiated/comfortable. It puts you ahead with the dept. becuase it shows commitment, and a familiarity with the day to day working of the "office" part.

        Again - take all information above with the advisement that I AM NOT A LEO. But good luck
        REINSTATE THE TRIG
        Originally posted by Iowa #1603
        Your logic defies logic
        Originally posted by Rudy8116
        Blah blah blah, cops don't need camo, something something something, why do police need armored vehicles, angry rant angry rant angry rant let's take them all away, angry masturbation.
        Originally posted by Michigan
        Arresting someone is fun, but playing with my pecker is still more fun.
        Originally posted by TheTick
        A pallet of Cheetos and pictures of my cock are inbound.
        Originally posted by TheTick
        This gangsta *** mother ****er was twisting trees with dank nuggs while in his crib.
        Originally posted by 02paul09
        Being a cop these days in an officer safety issue

        Comment


        • #5
          craftspace;
          PhilipCal is an extremely experienced & wise officer, and it would behoove you to pay heed to his advice. Iowa #1603 is another. You might want to do searches of their posts for threads where they've responded to questions posed by LE hopefuls. It would save you a lot of time finding answers (as well as save their time answering already answered questions that are searchable.

          My only advice is to expand a little on what PhilipCal said about not taking the written test lightly. This means not only not thinking that the test is a breeze, but taking the time to actually read the questions. It's real easy to give an incorrect answer by not taking the time to make sure you understand what is being asked. Haste can easily waste that test for you.

          Good luck!
          This Space For Rent

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Pogue Mahone View Post
            craftspace;
            PhilipCal is an extremely experienced & wise officer, and it would behoove you to pay heed to his advice. Iowa #1603 is another. You might want to do searches of their posts for threads where they've responded to questions posed by LE hopefuls. It would save you a lot of time finding answers (as well as save their time answering already answered questions that are searchable.

            My only advice is to expand a little on what PhilipCal said about not taking the written test lightly. This means not only not thinking that the test is a breeze, but taking the time to actually read the questions. It's real easy to give an incorrect answer by not taking the time to make sure you understand what is being asked. Haste can easily waste that test for you.

            Good luck!
            Good advice right here ^^
            REINSTATE THE TRIG
            Originally posted by Iowa #1603
            Your logic defies logic
            Originally posted by Rudy8116
            Blah blah blah, cops don't need camo, something something something, why do police need armored vehicles, angry rant angry rant angry rant let's take them all away, angry masturbation.
            Originally posted by Michigan
            Arresting someone is fun, but playing with my pecker is still more fun.
            Originally posted by TheTick
            A pallet of Cheetos and pictures of my cock are inbound.
            Originally posted by TheTick
            This gangsta *** mother ****er was twisting trees with dank nuggs while in his crib.
            Originally posted by 02paul09
            Being a cop these days in an officer safety issue

            Comment


            • #7
              FIRST thing to do is look around and see who is hiring, who is testing and follow directions given in the notices for those positions.

              From reading your questions-----------------------you might as well take a few "practice" tries. If you happen to accidentally get hired you can always finish your degree later.

              If you are actually the norm---------it will take between 2-5 yrs to get hired once you start applying
              Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

              My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

              Comment


              • #8
                1. Most departments won't care too much about your degree. It's uncommon for departments tow require an associates and really uncommon to require a bachelors. Most departments have a hard enough time finding quality candidates that they don't give college too much weight. There are obvious exceptions. The FBI would probably love your accounting degree.

                2. To get hired, you need to make it through the testing process. The written tests and oral boards are supposed to be set up so that people without experience or law enforcement knowledge can do well; generally, that's not actually the case. For example, if you don't know anything about firearms or use of force, then saying that you would shoot somebody in the leg may seem reasonable to you, because you have no clue what you are talking about. I believe the key to success on these isn't just good judgement, but having the base level of knowledge about law enforcement to use your judgement is important. Read these forums, buy law enforcement testing and oral board books, and see if you can get some ride-along time with law enforcement.

                3. I am assuming that you are young. Generally, from what I've seen, it's somewhat uncommon for people under age 23 to be hired. And a lot of 23 year old hires have maturity issues. When you apply, you will likely have to overcome a bias about your age. Showing that you spend your time doing responsible things instead of going out to bars and partying will help greatly.

                4. The law enforcement application process is vastly different in different parts of the country. You will likely need to talk to people locally to learn more. If you don't care about relocating, it will be a LOT easier to get hired if you are willing to apply for agencies away from where you are living now.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Just to elaborate on the degree, there's only a handful of agencies that require a degree or military. For example University Of Michigan p.d. requires a bachelor's degree, Dallas PD, and Coral Springs PD in SouthFl. Tampa PD, HCSO also in FL require an associate's or military. Just some food for thought. However depending on the agency you go to I have seen many of my friends that have been hired all had degrees and or military, and they were told that both made their decision for hire.
                  USMC-6322 Comm/Nav Tech
                  Oorah!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Get a gym membership and use it religiously. Stay out of trouble. Get a job and keep it.

                    IMHO - start applying after you obtain your associate's degree and when you can easily pass the fitness tests. Each department has their own fitness standards - find the hardest one and train to pass that one.

                    ETA: Go on a few ride alongs with different departments on different shifts to see what the job actually is - the good AND the bad. Ask LOTS of questions about things YOU want to know - not just questions that you think they want you to ask.
                    Last edited by Aerohead; 01-23-2015, 08:40 AM.
                    Originally posted by RSGSRT
                    We've reached a point where natural selection doesn't have a chance in hell of keeping up with the procreation of imbeciles.
                    Why is it acceptable for you to be an idiot, but not acceptable for me to point it out?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Iowa #1603 View Post
                      FIRST thing to do is look around and see who is hiring, who is testing and follow directions given in the notices for those positions.

                      From reading your questions-----------------------you might as well take a few "practice" tries. If you happen to accidentally get hired you can always finish your degree later.

                      If you are actually the norm---------it will take between 2-5 yrs to get hired once you start applying
                      Reread this. There is your answer. No one can give you that "special leg up on everyone else" or special insider info on getting hired quickly. It all depends on your level of desire and commitment to becoming a police officer, along with keeping your nose clean and avoiding trouble in it's many forms.
                      US Army Veteran
                      The opinions expressed above are not those of any official capacity or agency. Fix yourself.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The testing process can takes anywhere from 6 months to a year if not longer depending on the agency's needs. Put in your application as soon you have an idea of where you want to work. To start the process, you need to submit an application with the hiring departments. They, in turn, will give you a date to show up for you physical and written tests though sometimes they're done on different days. If you pass, you get to proceed to the next testing phase.

                        As for internship, you have to major in Criminal Justice in order to be an intern as a police officer though I could be wrong. As an intern, you get to see the daily duties of a police officer from the inside out, see how the actual agency operates for 3-4 months or however long the internship lasts. This is beneficial because it's involves the entire operation and not just ride along where you only see the streets. To start the internship process, you need your professor's approval first and then the agency needs to have an open slot to take interns. Some agencies only take a few during a semester and some only take them during the Summer. You have to call around and check. Been there, done all the above. Any questions?
                        Last edited by Iowaninersfan; 01-23-2015, 10:41 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Iowaninersfan View Post
                          The testing process can takes anywhere from 6 months to a year of not longer depending on the agency's needs. Put in your application as soon you have an idea of where you want to work and who's. To start the process, you need to put in an application with the hiring department. They, in turn, will give you a date to show up for you physical and written tests though sometimes they're done on different days. If you pass, you get to proceed to the next testing phase.

                          As for internship, you have to major in Criminal Justice in order to be an intern as a police officer though I could be wrong. As an intern, you get to see the daily duties of a police officer from the inside out, see how the actual agency operates for 3-4 months or however long the internship lasts. This is beneficial because it's involves the entire operation and not just ride along where you only see the streets. To start the internship process, you need your professor's approval first and then the agency needs to have an open slot to take interns. Some agencies only take a few during a semester and some only take them during the Summer. You have to call around and check. Been there, done all the above. Any questions?
                          I would suggest NOT changing to CJ just to get an internship, though (if they tell you that you need to be a CJ major). Stick with your business degree.
                          Originally posted by RSGSRT
                          We've reached a point where natural selection doesn't have a chance in hell of keeping up with the procreation of imbeciles.
                          Why is it acceptable for you to be an idiot, but not acceptable for me to point it out?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I'm on the hiring board for my department. Finish your degree. The bachelors. Not only for the education but for the life experience. Keep your job. Don't be a tool and keep your nose clean. Get in shape.

                            There is no magic recipe. You either have the knowledge and ability, and sometimes the personality, for a department or you don't. You have to be in an academy or already graduated to apply for my department and almost all within the county. Look at the websites for the departments you want to work at. They will have the hiring requirements posted or a number to contact someone who can answer those questions.

                            But before that... finish your degree, get into shape, and keep your nose clean. Also, use the search function.
                            I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man's reasoning powers are not above the monkey's.
                            - Mark Twain

                            Comment

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