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If having the responsibility of protecting and serving your community sounds appealing, then becoming a police officer might be for you. Becoming a police officer requires dedication and responsibility that is taken very seriously. For those who recently graduated from high school, being accepted into a police academy could be a step in the right direction.
The first step in pursuing a career as a police officer is to extend your education beyond your high school diploma. Although a high school diploma is a basic requirement , it is recommended to have further experience in areas like technology, legalities and even criminal theory. After completing your high school education you will need to look into completing a course of study that police officers often have to complete. Many junior colleges and four-year universities provide courses that will meet these requirements. All of this preparation is a great way to build up credibility before moving on to the next step of being selected to join the academy. Once the courses are complete you will need to fill out an official applcation at the police academy that is affiliated with the department where you are seeking employment.
The next step in becoming a police officer is to make sure that you are prepared to be assessed in several areas. Applying to become a police officer is going to mean a series of intelligence, personality, endurance and background checks. All of these are done to ensure that the candidate is the right choice for the job.
The first area of assessment is referred to as the Civil Service Exam. This is a written exam that covers anything from decisionmaking questions to vocabulary. If this test is passed you will move on to a physical assessment.This measures physical endurance and is done to ensure that the individual applying is physically fit enough to handle the requirements of the job.
Once both of these assessments have been passed, a formal interview will take place. During the interview the candidate will be asked questions that relate to their personality. Some questions may deal with personal opinions and moral issues. Following a cleared background check, drug check and qualifying test scores, the candidate will receive an invitation to join the academy. Joining the academy is a mandatory part of the selection process. Initially joining the academy will most likely mean additional training. Depending upon the department, this training could last anywhere from 12 to 14 weeks up to one year. Throughout the course of training as a police officer, it will be expected that the applicant continue to improve upon their position with further training and education.
Randi McCreary has been writing professionally since 2005. Her work has been featured in "Black Praxis" Second Edition, the NoMoreSilentCries anthology, "Present Magazine," "Riseup Magazine," and "Essence." She is the author of "Sweet.Water.Horizion" and is a tenth year educator with a B.A. in English from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a master's in education from Avila University.