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How to become a Police Officer?

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Top Answer
Talent.com talent.com
Answered February 09 2021
Career Expert at Talent.com
The requirements to become a Police Officer in the United States will vary from state to state. Generally speaking, the following prerequisites include:  
  • Minimum age of 18 to 21 years old 
  • Apply before and up until their 35th birthday in New York state 
  • Hold US residency with some police forces requiring that candidates live within a defined radius  
  • Hold a high school diploma or GED (some cities mandate that you have a college degree with a fixed number of credits and a minimum GPA) 
  • Hold a valid driver license with a good driving record  
  • No criminal background, including dishonorable discharge from the military  
  • Pass a medical exam  
With all prerequisites met, aspiring Police Officers can continue forward with their training. The training typically includes different exams that can be both written and physical. Due to the nature of the job, Police Officers need to be physically fit and demonstrate that they are psychologically fit for the role. Additionally, candidates will be required to pass drug screening. Police Officer candidates must pay attention to other essential requirements, including first aid training, handling firearms, defense tactics, an understanding of the law, and other policing skills.   
Police Officers are required to pass Police Academies, which take around 13 to 19 weeks on average. Once complete, Police Officers will be sworn in and begin their career on a probation period of approximately six months to two years.  
What can help you become a Police Officer
  • Becoming a Police Officer demands fit physical and mental aptitudes. The application process includes entrance exams that will reveal your attention to detail and memory skills, which require significant studying well in advance of the examinations.   
  • Police Officers do not work regular hours. Depending on your focus, you will be required to work at any time of the day. As a Police Officer, you need to be available 24/7, including on weekends and holidays. The working hours are irregular, and they often include working through your fair share of the night shift. Some shifts can be permanent, but many are rotating, especially at the start of your career.
  • A law enforcement career is not for everyone. Police Officers work in some of the most grueling circumstances and may have to deal with emotionally demanding situations such as crime scenes and vehicular accidents. Police Officers can deal with death, abuse, and other difficult circumstances regularly, so you must be mentally ready for the career.