Think before you speak. Carefully consider what you want to say and organize your thoughts before you answer. Policing is a physical job that requires strength, endurance, and flexibility, which is why a physical ability test is part of the hiring process. Use the following tips to stay in shape for the physical test:. Make it routine. Repeatedly doing the same workout will quickly grow tiresome, so change it up. Instead of jogging around a track, play soccer or go for a bike ride. Get your cardio up to speed.
Being able to run quickly and run long distances takes time. Incorporate vigorous cardiovascular exercise into your exercise routine. Work out with a friend. You can talk, laugh, and catch up while motivating each other to keep moving. Eat healthful foods. Be sure to eat plenty of lean proteins and vitamin-rich fruits and veggies.
These foods give you the energy you need to work out each day. Drink plenty of water. When you work out, you lose a lot of water through sweat. In addition, water cleanses toxins from your body.
So stay hydrated! Get plenty of rest. You need rest to give your body time to repair itself. Doctors recommend seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Check out the brand new podcast series that makes learning easy with host Eric Martsolf. Cheat Sheet. Tracking the Police Officer Hiring Process After filling out an initial application, candidates vying for a position within a police department can expect to take several qualifying exams.
Elements of the Written Police Officer Exam The written police officer exam is usually the first step in the hiring process, after a candidate fills out an application. The following tips can help you keep your cool during the written exam element of the police officer exam: Carefully read and follow the directions. Applicants must be honest, responsible, and demonstrate integrity.
Types of Questions on the Police Exam
Backgrounds are investigated during the interview process and most applicants are asked to undergo polygraph exams and to submit to drug testing. Prospective police officers should look into the process of the law enforcement agency for which they are applying, but generally, you can expect a process similar to the one below:. Please note that a degree cannot guarantee employment or career advancement. Additional academy training or education may be required for law enforcement jobs. Newly hired police officers go through an extensive training period.
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Recruits are usually trained at a police academy for approximately three months. Police academy training includes classroom instruction on topics such as state and city laws, legal processes, and accident or crime investigation. Police officer recruits also receive hands-on training in traffic control, weapons use, first aid, and emergency response. Aspiring police officers must pass written and physical exams within the training academy before becoming eligible to serve.
Police training programs are physically intensive, and written exams are comprehensive, designed to test how well the candidates have understood the curriculum. Final scores are a major factor in the hiring process.
Police Officer: Career Guide
Although simply passing an exam might be acceptable, scoring above the rest of the cadets is what may make or break your future career as a police officer. After the police training academy, officers are generally assigned to a senior officer for an on-the-job training and mentoring period, during which junior officers will learn how to apply their training in real-life scenarios.
A desire to learn, a willingness to listen and to ask questions, and respect for authority are all important to a successful career as a police officer. In addition, officers must be able to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing, must have empathy toward others, and must possess sound judgment.
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Candidates with previous military or law enforcement experience and those who are bilingual or multilingual often have an advantage when it comes to hiring. Police departments in most major metro areas require officers to gain experience working in patrol before they become eligible for transfer to specialized law enforcement positions.
However, once these experience requirements are met, officers have a wide range of opportunities. These include positions such as detective, mounted officer, SWAT, and other focused units, depending on the size and needs of a given police department. Career police officers may also choose to seek promotion to the supervisory ranks.
Certificate of Achievement
First-line supervisors of police and detectives include sergeants, lieutenants, and captains. These supervisors are responsible for shift scheduling, training staff, and supervising and coordinating investigations while ensuring proper procedures are being followed. In most police departments, officers must meet experience requirements three to five years is common to become eligible to take a competitive promotional exam.
An officer's score on a promotional exam determines, in part, how soon he or she will be promoted; those with higher scores tend to receive promotion first. An oral interview may also be part of the promotion process. This process is repeated for each promotion the candidate seeks: from officer to sergeant, from sergeant to lieutenant, and so on.
After achieving the rank of captain, further promotions are typically based on appointment by department chiefs rather than by examination.
Salaries in law enforcement range significantly, depending on whether a police officer works in a rural area, an urban setting, or in a large city. As seniority and tenure are the primary drivers of wage increases for police officers, higher salaries tend to be earned through experience.
Police officers typically enjoy benefits such as paid vacation, sick leave, medical and life insurance, and uniform allowances. However, this outlook depends heavily on city and state budgets, which have recently been fluctuating. The low rate of growth will create stronger opportunities for police officer applicants who hold a bachelor's degree in criminal justice or a related field. Additionally, prior experience in law enforcement or military experience is also heavily valued, as well as the ability to speak more than one language fluently.
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If you are considering a career as a police officer, research the various pros and cons associated with the job. Those in law enforcement assert that it can be very rewarding, but there are many factors to consider. First, the dangers associated with law enforcement vary throughout the US, depending on location and crime rates. According to the FBI's Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted LEOKA report, in , 46 law enforcement officers around the nation were killed in the line of duty as a result of felony activity; 47 officers were killed as a result of accidents in the line of duty; and 60, officers were assaulted while performing their duties.
To compensate for the dangers that officers face, there are substantial benefits that come with the job. One of the advantages of becoming a police officer is the stability of working for the government.
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Local, state, and federal governments continue to be the biggest employers in the United States. Officers who earn seniority have a measure of job security not often found in the private sector. Additionally, government jobs often offer better benefits than jobs in the private sector, including generous pensions, paid time off, and paid life insurance policies. Though there are many advantages to becoming a police officer, there are also disadvantages, including:.
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