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What are the steps to become a police Officer?

Hello im Shamario im 17 years old , I am in the 11th grader and would like to know the steps to become a police officer? #policeofficer

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Leah’s Answer

Hello Shamario,

As others have stated, it is really helpful to get your Bachelor’s degree before applying. You have to be 21 upon completion of the Police Academy, so starting college immediately after high school is a great way to get started.

Also, staying in shape. Make sure you’re keeping up with police department fitness standards. Most departments require a timed 1.5 mile run, 1min push-ups, and 1min sit-ups.

Surrounded yourself with positive people and people who share the same values.

If you’re ever interested in becoming a police officer for the military I would highly suggest the Air Force. Most local police departments favor hiring veterans because of their prior experience.

Hope that helps!
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Nick’s Answer

Hello Shamario! As Sue answered above, getting an education after high school is the best option, and will help your law enforcement career down the road. I would recommend studying criminal justice, criminology, psychology, or other social sciences. However, any bachelors or masters degree program will advance your skills.

Many larger law enforcement agencies have their own in-house training programs. But, many smaller police departments rely on applicants who have successfully completed a law enforcement training academy on their own. So, narrow down where you want to work. This will help guide this career path choice.

And as Sue mentioned, a law enforcement explorer program is a great way to “explore” the law enforcement profession. You will see how things work on the inside.

Finally, be sure to associate with good people. Poor choices in high school and college often disqualify many police applicants during a background check. Officers must be of upstanding moral character. Being detained or attested never look favorable during this process.

Nick recommends the following next steps:

https://www.bestvalueschools.org/law-enforcement-degree/
https://www.exploring.org/law-enforcement/
https://www.policemag.com/374037/background-investigations-can-break-you
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Suzanne’s Answer

Hello Shamario S.,

I am the mom of a police officer and here is what I have learned. It is best for you to get a 4 year college degree in a field that would be appropriate for officers such as criminal justice. If you are selected for a police officer training program, this immediately places you in a good position for future promotions. While you are in school, it is essential to stay in very good physical shape as well.

https://westliberty.edu/graduate-programs/7-degrees-police-officers-career-advancement/

After graduation, you can then begin the application process for a police training program. The application process entails an intensive background check so all candidates must have a very clean record which includes being financially responsible. You will also have to pass oral interviews which require good speaking skills.

Here is more information:

https://golawenforcement.com/articles/need-know-police-background-check-common-disqualifiers/

https://agency.governmentjobs.com/bocaratonfl/job_bulletin.cfm?jobID=1561110&sharedWindow=0

There are "cadet" programs in many police departments across the country for high school students. You might be interested in this:

https://mdspolice.com/programs/explorers/

http://agency.governmentjobs.com/bocaratonfl/job_bulletin.cfm?jobID=1561110&sharedWindow=0

Please read through all the links. Being a police officer is an admirable thing to do. It's hard work and most often unappreciated as officers must uphold the law. Not every citizen wants to obey the law!

I hope this information is helpful and you receive more comments from actual police officers.

Best,
Sue, Mom an Officer

Suzanne recommends the following next steps:

Obtain a bachelor's degree
Stay in great shape
Volunteer or enter a cadet program
Take entry preparatory classes offered by local police departments
Thank you comment icon Thank you I really appreciate your answer. Shamario
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