Home » How to Become a Police Officer

How to Become a Police Officer

Making the decision to become a police officer is something that can be made both at a young or an old age. However, no matter when you make the decision to become a police officer you are going to have to undergo a process. So, it is best to start as soon as you possibly can. This type of career is going to be rewarding but it is also going to be diverse and challenging as any of the other public service careers are. Not to mention the fact that in the law enforcement field you are going to have a ton of options ranging from urban officers to rural sheriffs.


The first step to becoming a police officer is education. Obviously, you are going to have to have your basic high school education but it is also recommended that you have an associate or bachelor degree as well. Not to mention the fact that there are more than a few colleges that have a criminal justice program available for those who have an interest in becoming a police officer. These programs have been created to education potential future police officers on human behavior, legal issues, computer systems and other relevant fields. This is because the more education and relevant training you have the better chance you will have when you are applying for a police officer job. Not to mention the fact that training will help you in your career as well.

Police officers have to be fit both physically as well as morally. Participating in sports will help your body stay conditioned and will look good on your application as well. Additionally, you will also have to have a clear background to avoid having your application rejected. Not to mention the fact that you will also be required to use your common sense and stay away from illegal and dangerous situations.

Once you are ready to apply at one of the police departments you are going to be required to sit for a civil service exam. This will be given to you by the police department. However, there are study guides available to assist you with getting the highest score possible. You will be able to take the exam when the department has openings.

In addition to the civil service examination you are also going to have to take a physical exam that will cover agility, strength, vision, and even hearing. If you pass you will then take a drug and lie detector test before undergoing multiple interviews. The next step in the process is to go to the police academy which will last from three months to a year. The academy prepares you for a job as a police officer.

Throughout your career as a police officer you are going to be expected to continue furthering your education and attend annually seminars as well as workshops. They enable you to be able to adapt to the forever changing needs of the community as well as stay up to date with the current legal procedures and cultural sensitivity. Furthermore, advance training helps officers serve communities better and keep their edge as law enforcement professionals.

Some states require you to be affiliated with a police department before attending the police academy. However, if you have no clue as to what area you want to work you may be able to go to the academy first and then once you finish apply to the department of your choice where you will then be even more of a possible candidate due to the fact that you have already completed all of the required training to become a police officer. Since the population is constantly growing there is an increased demand for law enforcement personnel’s. This means that people who have an interest in getting into the law enforcement field have a good chance. Overall, the process may be a little long to get your feet in the door but it is well worth the wait.