Why Become A Police Officer In Illinois
What in the world would possess some-one to put their lives on the line every day for some-one they don’t know? If you think about it, that is what police officers do every day, they put their lives on the line for complete strangers. So why would people do that? Well for people to do that, they truly must believe that they can make a difference in their communities and the world. People are tired of crime and criminals getting the upper hand, and people want to make a difference, and that is what police departments need, people with honor and integrity.
So if you are thinking of becoming a police officer, you probably what the job outlook looks like for the future in Illinois. Well for starters officers in Illinois can expect to make good money. The average salary for police officers in that state is about 57,000 which is not too shabby by any stretch of the imagination. Now it is projected that in Illinois there will be over 1,000 jobs that open up every year. Now if you are working in Chicago you can expect that your salary would be over $70,000. Now that is just their annual salary, not counting the overtime that all police officers will get because of the nature of their job. It is not enough for what they do, but it is decent.
Now in Illinois, because police officers make good money, all open positions are very competitive. Now there are certain minimum requirements that must be met in order to continue on in the process. First of all, you must be a United States citizen. Second, you must be 21 years old or older. Third, you must have a valid drivers license. Fourth, you must have a high school diploma or GED. Now if your to increase your odds, then it would not hurt to have an associates or bachelors degree.
Now there are certain examinations all applicants must pass. All candidates will have to pass a medical examination, to show they are healthy enough to be a police officer. All candidates will also have to go through a drug examination. No police department can afford to have a person addicted to drugs as a police officer. If they pass these two examinations, they will also have to pass a physical fitness test. The physical fitness test is designed to weed out those who can not handle the physical part of the job. Now besides the physical fitness test, they will also have to pass a written examination to see about applicants reading and writing skills.
Now if an applicant makes it this far, then they can be prepared to be the center of a background investigation. This is crucial for all new officers, to make sure they are a good fit for the police department. They will check your fingerprints to run you for criminal history. They will also check your driving record. They will contact past employers, neighbors, family and references. Now during the background all candidates should be prepared to have to through a polygraph examination. If you make it through all of this, then you will have to go through an oral board. If you get past all of that, then it is on to the police academy.
A police academy is designed to take a raw recruit and turn them into capable rookie police officers. Now the instructors know that police work is not for everyone, and their job is to push out the ones that will not make it, and train those who do. One of the ways they find out which recruits have the heart to do this job is by physical training. Physical training in the academy, is not lie gym in high school. The PT instructors will push you hard and harder to see if you quit or will you fight through. Remember police workman a very physically demanding job. Now physical training is only a small part of the academy there are other things that you will be taught.
Every police officer needs to know their criminal code and traffic code for their state. The code will teach the officers what the elements are that makes each charge. Now they will only teach you the state code, they will also teach you the federal code. Police officers can not do their job without knowing their code.
Now all recruits will get the opportunity to do some firearms training. All officers on the street carry their firearm, but there are certain things all recruits need to be taught. Range instructors will teach recruits how to take their gun apart and put the gun back together. Range instructors will also teach all candidates how to clean their weapon, and what to do if their gun jams. Now recruits will be taught proper marksmanship procedure, and combat shooting. Now just as important as of all of that, range instructors will teach you when to shoot and when not too shoot.
Now just as important as firearms training is defensive driving. All police officers will do a lot of driving through Illinois, but driving at high rates of speed is not something everyone is comfortable with, so driving will be a very important part of training. All candidates will be taught how to position their vehicle on traffic stops to use as cover. A lot of times recruits will also have to drive through an obstacle course to make sure they are ready to drive a patrol unit.
Now besides all of the training we have talked about here, a recruit will be taught what is called patrol functions. This will include how to handle domestic calls, how to properly handcuff a suspect, how to search a suspect for weapons and drugs, radio communications, how to properly search a building and other things, but as one can see recruits are taught well and they earn the right to graduate.
Once a recruit graduates the academy, they will have every right to be proud. If a person graduates the academy, they have done something not everyone can do. As they go back to their department, they will be a rookie police officer. In most cases rookies will, be partnered up with a field training officer. The field training officer will teach the rookie how to apply what they learned in the academy and also policy and procedures for that department.
Now once a rookie comes off field training, then the rookie will have a chance to show what they can do. As the rookie shows progresses they will have the opportunity to work in specialized units. Some of the specialized units include, criminal investigations, homicide, traffic, narcotics,community policing and others as well.
The other thing officers can look forward to is their opportunity to move up through the different ranks. As one can see their is plenty of opportunities for rookie officers as the grow in their career, and now is the perfect time to become a police officer.