Majority of people have always aspired to become police officers for the reason that the job holders are seen to be the public vigor.
After securing this position there is a chance of being absorbed in other sectors of the government with a higher job grade. Police officers who work relatively hard usually receive attractive package starting from $45,000. This is the reason that makes people from diverse culture and orientation post applications in large numbers making the job to be much competitive. Applicants should be aware of what is expected of them while training, a thing that will make them competent law enforcers.
Becoming an officer is not an easy task and several measures should be taken into consideration to have an assurance that the job will be secured.
Taking in mind that there is wide pool of application from individuals who admire the job, it is always important to prepare in advance to avoid disappointments. Other than having all necessary requirements essential to the force, it is also important for the job seeker to present him/herself in a presentable manner that attracts the police force. The bureau of labor statistics earlier released a report on what the hiring agencies usually require from the potential applicants. The report revealed that apart from high school certificate that is normally required by some agencies, college degree retain the best consideration especially by federal policing agencies. The bureau further observed that those who hold police science education or military experience stand a better chance of securing a job of their choice in the force (Bumbak, 2010).
Understanding the policies and conceptualizing the job description of a police officer becomes a basic requirement. Those who know nothing about the expectations and how the force operates may have a hard time in coping with the training conditions.
Police job sometimes tend to be aggravating and very dangerous (Chaurasia, 2003). Police officers have a duty to protect the welfare of individuals and ensure that the set law is observed. They should treat every person fairly regardless of social or economic status. The major task that police officers perform while in line of duty is to record complaints and launching of investigations.
For the potential candidate to become an officer two major steps are involved i.e. application and training.
Some departments of the force require the applicants to hold a valid driving license or a pledge that the same will be acquired before the start of the official duty. The procedures in applying include several sets of tests to ascertain high level of fitness, physically and health wise (Bumbak, 2010). The applicants are engaged in several tasks, such as, running and various body tests before getting the approval from hiring agencies of proceeding to the next level.
Once the potential applicant passes all the tests, he/she is referred to the training academy. The period of training normally take up to six months, which depends on the state or municipality. The trainees are expected to reside in the camp during weekdays while in training. The activities in these camps encompass classroom education, training on human interaction among others. After the recruits undergoing training successfully, they are expected to leave the academy having passed the physical fitness test.
Mostly, the requirements vary with states due to different legal structures in different countries. The police officers are expected to understand all legal aspects and the training academy normally offer training that focuses on issues relating to law and criminal justice. Subjects in civil rights, legal terminology and penal code are obligatory in the police training. Special cadets are also equipped with skills in appropriate treatment and questioning of suspects, maintaining the veracity of evidence, and laws connecting to searching and convulsion. After graduation, the officers may opt to carry on other courses such as provision of legal statements, better way of recording witness evidence and how to adhere to evidentiary procedure (Bumbak, 2010). The municipal police training committee has a duty to equate the police officers with necessary skills so that they perform their duty accordingly. The committee has divided the training in several sub-systems, basic curriculum municipal police training that give 20 weeks training in classrooms to the new municipal police officers and other new recruits, professional development training for full-time municipal police officers that engage on training of patrol officers, detectives, supervisors and chiefs of police, focused professional developing training, the training last for 3 weeks and it is normally given to veteran officers and lastly, intermittent police officers training, the training take about 120 hours and is normally given to reserve and intermittent and is administered by regional police training organizations.
All these trainings assist the police officers to acquire necessary skills, which help them to deal with law breakers and ensure that legal issues are followed (Johnson, 2007). Besides successful training, officers’ health is checked to ensure good health before commencement of any task. The additional requirement that potential officer is expected to produce is certificate of mental health recommended by psychological evaluation.
Police officers’ duties vary with experience, grade and also the area of operation.
This makes it necessary for them to undergo obligatory training. Various police departments set their own requirements of new recruit education. Some city departments prefer minimum of high school education and other college degree.
Those who are college graduates mostly hold criminal justice degree which fit well in their post. The recruits must too pass a written text to establish their abilities (Johnson, 2007). The age limit for applicants mostly range between 20-21 years but varies with countries. People intending to join law enforcer’s team must be sure which level they aspire to venture in before training. Police training mostly prepare someone in future career advancing to local or national level. For a person to secure job at national level, further training is necessary for him/her to get top position in government. If for example a person want to join FBI or homeland security, it is always crucial to be informed of the essential requirements of training in the desired sector. When a person decides to become a police officer, one must choose the line of career he/she want to venture in.
As long as you have completed the school high school or college and above 18 years you can equally apply for the job. The person intending to venture in this field must also have clean records on matters of law; that is, the potential applicant should have a clean criminal record. In police field there are various units as discussed under (Johnson, 2007).
FBI agent require a person with higher level of education, this means the eligible candidate must hold a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree in criminal justice. In addition the person must have 2-3 working experience for him/her to be considered as eligible for the post. Background information is conducted which include; interviewing, employment history review, and presentation of education certificates. After that the potential applicants receive an FBI top secret clearance before pronounced suitable for the post.
There are several sectors in FBI job which the qualified person may work in; they include law, engineering, computer science, accounting or even military (Bumbak, 2010). Upon succession on application, the person is sent to the FBI headquarters where he is subjected to 17 weeks training at the FBI academy. The training is conducted to equip the candidate with several skills, such as, firearm usage, technology ability, and survival tactics.
To be eligible for this post, applicant is required to hold a bachelor’s or master’s degree in homeland security.
The course involve training in subjects relating to anti-terrorism, disaster and incident management, securing facilities and other units as required by law. The main duties of the homeland securities may be to patrol borders, coast guarding, and other secret services. All this depends on the officers’ willingness to perform the duty efficiently, failure to this trainee get dismissed while in the academy for breaching rules and obligations provided by subordinate (Chaurasia, 2003).
According to the provision by legal criminal justice school, the median salary for any police officer should be at least $45000 annually this commensurate with the skills. Newly employed officer usually begin with lesser amount and it keeps on advancing as they secure new positions.
However, some countries pay their police officers more salaries than this and in most cases the job is so competitive in those countries. Police officers may join police union, which sets their salaries and other benefits after retirement. In additional to normal salary, the hard working officers may opt to work overtime and likewise receive additional cash (Chaurasia, 2003). Career wise the outlook of this job is excellent, and the field keeps on demanding new skills.
Duties are accorded to police officers depending on various issues. Where the department is relatively small, all officers have an obligation to perform any set of job allocated to them; these include emergency response, patrols, filling paper, and the most important safeguarding community security. For the larger department the officers specialize on one line of duty. Specialized tasks in these departments include, crime lab operators, data clerks, public relations officers and detectives (Chaurasia, 2003).
All these are duties that should be performed by our officers who are entitled to serve the public in general.
Police officers are law enforcement agencies, thus they have a duty to prevent and detect crime. Due to challenges posed by the crime incidents, it subsequently demands police officers to act accordingly to curb the crime.
Crime rates in different countries have been rising consistently, for example, in India 6, 49,757 cases were reported in 1951 by 1981, the number rose to 13, 85,757, which amount to 113 percent increase. This shows how matters of crime are critical within our set up and the need for crime team to shun down these issues (Chaurasia, 2003). Training also assists the police to solve social crisis especially in countries that have heterogeneous society with a range of different ethnic groups. The officers should be able to solve issues of prostitution, gabling, delinquency, and sometimes dowry issues.
Enforcement of these legislations requires the police personnel to efficiently adopt themselves with this new role. The training is important mode through which this transformation can effectively be brought about.
The policies of government need to be endorsed and this can be attained by ensuring that there is freedom and order on one hand with the task of economic and social justice on the other. Due to high level of democracy, it consequently leads to emergency of issues such as protests, mass actions, rallying, conflict at large scale and the officers have a duty to act responsibly and tactfully in dealing with these problems without violation of human rights (Chaurasia, 2003).
Early reports showed that police officers role included making arrest, preventing the commission of offences and public nuisance, taking charge of unclaimed properties among others (Chaurasia, 2003). The training nowadays has changed some of these roles to current one such as to promote and preserve public order, identification of criminological situations, aid to individuals in danger of physical harms, reduction of opportunities for commission of crime and most importantly traffic regulation and any other duty as provided by law.
For a person to be considered in these attractive police jobs, the potential applicant must uphold to the rules and obligations as provided by law. Correct information should be gathered from various sources to ensure that relevant data is in hand and that policies of different police units are clearly understood. This normally begins at lower level of basic police officers and continues with sequences of training until the target is reached. Excessive learning is required if your dream is to be achieved by pursuing not only bachelor’s degree but also master’s degree depending on where you want to go.
Police officers should also not forget that their work is to maintain orders and protection of the general public. They should not abuse the powers mandated to them by the state through excess enforcement of law without prior reasons. Public must also obey the rule of law and exercise total restrain to law breaking.
Bumbak, A, R. (2010). Dynamic Police Training. New York: CRC Press. Chaurasia, M.
K. (2003). Police Training. Bethesda: Northern Book Centre. Johnson, B. R. (2007).
Crucial Elements of Police Firearms Training. New Orleans: Looseleaf Law Publications.