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I want to be a police officer or a police dispatcher but I have asthma. What one would be better to go into

#police-officer #law #law-enforcement #criminal-justice #police

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Subject: Career question for you

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Walter’s Answer

Depending on how bad your asthma is would be the deciding factor. If your asthma is to a point that it can interfere with you ability to defend yourself or others, then you should be a dispatcher. If you asthma is not at such a point and you can work through it with ease then follow your dream and become an officer.

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Kim’s Answer

Occasionally police depts. will accept applicants with medical conditions, but they have to be well-controlled for a certain period of time. This is to protect all parties involved: fellow officers, you, and the public. I'm sure you can imagine what would happen if you had an asthma attack at an inopportune time!


Also, I don't know how you would do during training, if you have to do the pepper spray exercise.


I Googled "police officer with asthma" and got several hits. I think it will vary by department and severity of the condition.


Dispatching is fun and exciting. As officers, we handled dispatch duties until our dept decided to civilianize dispatch. I think it is worth considering! There are also other civilian positions within the department, such as crime analyst, applicant processing, etc.


Having developed health problems at the age of 38, I understand how discouraging it can be to have limitations placed upon your aspirations. Try to keep a positive focus, and find ways to go around obstacles. It sounds like you are already doing that by thinking about dispatch. Best of luck to you!

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Michael’s Answer

Don't limit yourself to either. Instead, find out what other positions exist within agencies you wish to work for. A new and growing trend is Crime Analysis and Computer Driven Policing. That in itself is going to generate a number of new career opportunities and the trend toward civilianization of specialty positions is going to grow like crazy.

We have a place for you....
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James Constantine’s Answer

Hi Ashlyn,

I'm really excited to hear about your interest in a law enforcement career, either as a police officer or a dispatcher. I understand that you have asthma, and it's important to think about how that might affect your ability to do these jobs.

Being a police officer or a dispatcher can be physically demanding. You might have to chase and catch suspects, respond to emergencies, and work in all kinds of weather. These tasks could be difficult if you have asthma, as they might expose you to things that make your asthma worse. The stress of the job could also make it harder to manage your asthma.

But don't worry, having asthma doesn't mean you can't have a career in law enforcement. There are many police officers and dispatchers with asthma who do their jobs really well. The key is to be honest about your asthma with your potential employers and give them information from your doctor about your condition and what you might need to manage it.

If you're thinking about being a police officer, you might also want to consider being a dispatcher. Dispatchers answer emergency calls and usually work in a place like a dispatch center, where the environment is more controlled. This might be a better fit for you if you have asthma, because it could involve less physical activity and exposure to things that make your asthma worse.

The specific requirements for being a police officer or dispatcher can vary. Usually, you'll need to pass a background check, a physical fitness test, and a medical exam, which would include a review of your asthma.

To help you understand more, I suggest checking out these resources:

1. "Asthma and the Workplace" by the American Lung Association. This gives information on the rights of people with asthma at work and what employers might need to do to help.
2. "Managing Asthma in the Workplace" by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. This offers tips for managing asthma at work.
3. "Police Officer and Dispatcher Physical and Medical Standards" by the International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training. This gives information on the physical and medical requirements for being a police officer or dispatcher, including for people with asthma.

In short, while having asthma might make a law enforcement career more challenging, it's definitely not impossible. With the right help and support, you can have a successful career as a police officer or dispatcher. Just remember to be upfront about your asthma with potential employers and give them information from your doctor about your condition and what you might need to manage it.

Also, consider working with a specialist to manage your asthma better. They can help you figure out what triggers your asthma, like mold or mildew, and how to avoid these triggers.

May you be blessed in abundance,
James Constantine.
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