Why Become A Police Officer In Colorado
Every state needs good police officers, including Colorado. However the true question is why does anyone want to become a police officer, with the way society is? A police officer understands that every time they go out to do their shift, they may not go home that night. It takes a brave person to be willing to put their lives on the line, for total and complete strangers. Now the main reason people become police officers, is because the want to make a difference in their communities and neighborhoods.
Since a person is thinking about becoming a police officer, most people want to know what the future growth looms like for Colorado. The good news is that growth for police departments is estimated to grow by about 9%. Now one thing is for certain and for sure is that police officers in Colorado make pretty good money. The average annual salary for police officers is about $64,000. Now that is pretty good money, but in reality it is not enough for what police officers do on a daily basis. However one other thing to consider is that police officers get a lot of overtime. The nature of the job means there will be a lot of overtime.
Because the pay is extremely good for police officers in Colorado, competition is very high so there are some minimum standards that must be met, before people can be hired. Now first things first you must have a high school diploma or GED, however if you want to set yourself apart from the rest of the pack, if you had an associates degree or bachelors degree, you would be a step up. All candidates need to be 21 years of age or older at the time they are hired.
All candidates must be up to date on CPR and first aid and have the certificates. Obviously you will also have to be a United States citizen. So if all these requirements are met, then you can continue on in the process.
Now if you make it past the minimum requirements, there are certain exams that you will need to pass. The first exam will be your medical exam and that is important because they want to make sure you are physically fit enough to work as an officer and also fit enough to make it through the academy. You will also have to pass a psychological examination to show that you are mentally stable enough to handle the stress of the day to day job as a police officer. Remember police officers deal with different levels of stress every day, and therefore they have to have a person that can handle the stress. Now if you complete those two exams then you can expect to have a background investigation done on you.
Once an applicant clears all those hurdles, the last thing that they will experience before the police academy is a background investigation. Now the background investigation is designed to see if the candidate is a good fit for their department. So what that entails is that they will check everything. They will have the applicant do a drug screening to make sure they are not an addict. They will also have the applicant do fingerprinting to check for criminal history and make sure there is nothing on your record that would damage their police departments integrity. The investigator assigned to do the background will also talk to neighbors, family, ex-employers and usually some references that the applicant provides. Now if the applicant makes it through all of these parts of the process, and gets hired then it is all about the academy and getting certified to work in Colorado.
Once a recruit enters into a police academy, they quickly learn that it is the most intense thing they will ever go through. A lot of people have said that the police academy is like the military, and they are pretty much right. The drill instructors are there to take young recruits and turn them into military personnel. The same is true for the drill instructors in the police academy. Their goal is to take raw recruits and turn them into police officers, and train them in the process.
From the start of the academy there will be a huge emphasis on physical training. Drill instructors understand that police work is physical work, and they know that officers need to be in good shape. A recruit can expect to do a lot of running, jumping jacks, push-ups, sit-ups and other exercises. Recruits can be expected to be pushed to the limits.
Now besides physical training, recruits will be taught criminal and traffic codes for the state of Colorado. Now these codes are important because it helps officers figure out what charges to use based on the elements of the crime. For example if a man hits a person hits a person by accident and kills them, that is criminally negligent homicide. Now if a person does it on purpose, then it will be homicide. All recruits will be taught federal codes as well.
Now another part of training is firearms training. As every-one knows police officers have to carry guns, but a lot of recruits have never used a weapon before so firearms training is crucial. All recruits will be taught how to safely use their weapons. They will also teach how to take the gun apart and put it back together. They will also be taught marksmanship training as well as combat shooting. One of the most important things they will be taught is when to shoot and when not to shoot.
Now another important area of training will be high speed pursuit driving. Police officers have to drive at high rates of speed for all types of reasons, and in Colorado it is nothing different. Now just like firearms training, one of the most important things that they will be taught is when is it safe to drive in a high speed pursuit, and when is it not. They will also have to drive through an obstacle course at high rates of speed, so they can show they can handle the driving. They will also be taught how to position their cars for safety on traffic stops. All of that is fundamental to the safety of police officers and innocent drivers.
Now besides those fun training courses recruits will be taught other important things like radio communications, how to search a building, how to handcuff a suspect, how to search a suspect for drugs and weapons. All of these play a role in the officers safety and doing their job.
Now before a recruit graduates they will take the written examination to show hey retained what they were taught. If they make it through all of that then they can graduate and be certified to work as a police officer in the state of Colorado. Now that they are certified onto the police department.
After a recruit graduates they become a police officer, and they go back to their department. Once in their department they will be trained by a field training officer, who will teach the how to apply what they learned in the academy, to the streets. After they have come off field training, and proved themselves, then they can look at working in special units. Police work has a lot of different career paths, and a lot of different ways that a police officer can move up and into higher ranks. If you are thinking of becoming a police officer there has never been a better time.