Why Do People Become Police Officers
A lot of young children have this hope and dream to one day become police officers, and there is nothing wrong with it. Many people often times wonder why do people become police officers?
Probably the most common reason is actually two fold, one, people want to make a difference in their community, two, it is a job you can be proud of. Yes in spite of all the negative press lately, becoming a police officer is a proud profession, and to have the honor and privilege to wear a badge and gun is something that should not be taken lightly.
Requirements To Be A Police Officer In California
Now because of how important the job is of a police officer, not everyone can become an officer.
You have to prove yourself and meet the requirements just to get the opportunity to become a police officer, and lots of times those requirements are not always the easiest. Now the requirements themselves to enter into a police academy in California are, you must be at least 18 years old, you must be a US citizen and you must have a high school diploma or GED. Now if you meet those requirements you can proceed on to the next part, which we will explore, which is the hiring process.
Examinations and Background
Well if you have met the requirements on to step 2, which is where the hard part comes in. You will have to pass certain tests and exams to be offered a job as a police officer, and the test are not for the weak, so you should prepare yourself before the testing. You can plan on taking a written examination, that will test your reading and writing skills. Remember as a police officer you will write a lot of reports so good writing skills are very important.
You will also be administered a physical fitness test. Now the physical test is important and will include things like a run, push-ups, sit-ups and other drills. The reason this test is administered is because police officers have a very physical job so they have to make sure you can make it through the academy, where they will work you. You will also go through a medical examination, and a psychological examination. Now the psychological is so important is because officers will have people’s lives in their hands. They want to make sure potential recruits are going to be able to handle the pressure and stress that comes with the job.
Now if you make it through all of that you can expect an extensive background investigation, which will include a drug screening, criminal check, fingerprinting and past interviews of job employers, neighbors and family. Now if you make it through all of that, you can look forward to a job interview. Now if you make it pass all the exams and test and investigations then you can look forward to the academy, and that is a whole other life then what you have out here.
Now as you enter the police academy, you as a recruit have to understand that their job there is to get you ready for a very tough job. As a police officer you will be dealing with people who break the law, who will run from you and fight you. You will see people at their worst and their weakest so you need to understand that the job you are undertaking is a stressful job. You can expect that your instructors and drill instructors, will weed out the ones they think are weak, and will tear you down to build you back up.
They will teach you the fundamentals on a lot of things that police officers need to know. For example some of the things they will train you on will include handcuffing, and frisking techniques. They will also teach you how to properly do a traffic stop and a felony stop. They will instruct you on how to drive for high speed pursuits, and emergency driving techniques.
You will be taught federal laws, and criminal codes for your state. You will also be trained on how to use your firearm. Now firearm training is very important and everyone knows that will teach you firearms safety, and how to shoot at a target, but what is more important now is that they teach a person when to shoot and when not to shoot. They will also teach you physical ways to protect yourself and also how to take some one down when needed. Your life is about to change, because as a police officer you will be dealing with some of the worst people you could ever hope to meet, and as most instructors will tell you, your most important thing you will do every day is go home safe.
Now if you make it through the academy and meet the certification to be a police officer, the world is there for you. You will start out by having field training where a veteran officer will teach you the road and polices and procedures for your specific department. After you get off field training, you will be on the road, and you will get the chance to prove yourself. As you work, you can move through the different ranks as they become available. There also many specialized divisions so you should have the ability to move around and find positions that you want to do.
Outlook and Compensation
As a person may be thinking about becoming a police officer in California, they may want to know what the outlook is like for future growth and compensation. Well starting with compensation, if you are hired as a police officer in the State of California, your salary will vary depending on the city you are in. However the average salary for police officers in California is around 80,000 a year, so that is not too bad. The projected growth for the state of California is almost 7%, so jobs will be available.
So, if you are thinking of being a police officer in California, now is the perfect time to move forward and live the dream.