Police officers have the responsibility of civic security and well-being on their hands. Policemen do patrol work, direct traffic, arrest lawbreakers, and respond to dispatch. Passing the requisite exams and completing training at a police academy will typically suffice, although certain districts demand relevant college coursework. . . . First, start by researching the state and county you are interested in.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), police officers must have a minimum of a high school education and be 21 years of age in order to work in the field (www.bls.gov). All applicants must pass physical, mental, medical and written exams pertaining to the job. In order to be considered, applicants may not have any felony convictions.
Required education for law enforcement positions can include some college education in criminal justice or related subjects. Policemen who work for local and state department typically need to complete a 12-14 week police academy training program before they can start their first assignments. In addition to classroom education, police academy programs include skills training, such as how to use firearms.
I hope you find this information helpful. Best of luck to you!
Sheila recommends the following next steps:
My first question would be what kind of police do you want to be? Do you want to be a regular street cop, wildlife police, or water? Then I would look into the requirements for your area as to what type you want to be. I will say that if you are looking to be a regular officer or deputy, most of the time there is a police academy nearby that does applicant based training.
Most departments have academies which they send recruits to. Which are very militaristic, as police are para-millitary. But before you get to that pages, study criminal science. Also consider studying the law. To move up in police departments you need to have thorough understanding of the law. Which is why Sargent's or patrol supervisors will travel around advising officers in various stops they do. Some guys go as far as getting their Jurisdoctorates.
After getting a criminal science degree and/or perhaps entering armed forces for Military Police MOS, try applying for State Police academies. Certain states like Michigan I hear train officers very well and they are coveted in many states. As I know not too long ago Arizona was looking for Michigan Police officers for instance.
There are a couple of options on this.
You could get hired by a department, and they would send you to their police academy, paying you while you are in school.
You could attend a police academy on your own, at your own expense. You could do this part-time, while working full-time at a civilian job. Upon completion, you would be licensed, but would not actually "be" a police officer until you are hired, and commissioned, by an agency. Most officers who do this start out working for smaller departments. Smaller departments sometimes can't afford to pay officers while they are in the academy. See this link for San Antonio TX information: https://www.aacog.com/133/Basic-Peace-Officer-Corrections-Officer
If you hope to have a department hire you and send you to school, it is important to know that department's requirements, which, can change over time.
Here are the current requirements for Great Falls PD: note that a degree is "preferred," but not required. The trend is towards requiring at least some college. As you read these, you will notice it is important to be a "good person," to be able to pass the background check. This means being careful what you post on social media, who you have for friends, paying your bills, not getting traffic tickets, etc. They also have a strict tattoo policy. If you are someday thinking of getting tattoos, or piercings, realize this can affect your ability to get a job. You will also need to be in good physical condition, so regular exercise is important. Hope this helps! Best of luck! Kim
18 years of age
Drug screen test
Review by Great Falls Police Commission
Height & weight in proportion
Visual acuity - correctable to 20/20
Able to pass a color vision test
High school diploma or equivalent (college degree preferred)
MT driver's license, or ability to obtain within 60 days
Good moral character
Ability to establish and maintain an effective working relationship with supervisors, co-workers and the public
Interpersonal and problem-solving skills
Willingness to work with community
The following will automatically disqualify a person from becoming a Great Falls Police Officer*:
Any criminal conviction for which imprisonment could have occurred in a federal or state penitentiary
A felony conviction from this state or any other state; or the conviction of an offense from another state which would be a felony if committed in this state
Conviction of any criminal offense involving the use, sale, manufacture, or possession of any controlled substance, to include prescription drugs
Conviction of a DUI within one year prior to the date of application, or two DUI convictions in a lifetime
Conviction of a crime involving domestic violence