Is Maryland A Good Place To Be A Police Officer?
If you are thinking of becoming a police officer in the state of Maryland, Maryland is a good place to do it. Maryland is close to major states like New York, Pennsylvania, and DC. Maryland is growing at a very quick rate, and they have a population of 5.7 million people and growth of 9.52%, so that means there will always be a need for good people who want to be police officers.
There are certain requirements that all people need to meet, in order for a candidate to be considered for the job of police officer in the state of Maryland. First of all, you must be a U.S. citizen, and you also have to be at least 21 years old. All candidates must have a high school diploma or GED. If you meet those minimum requirements then you can move on to the next step, but there is a lot more to go.
Examinations and Background Investigation
Now once you have the minimum requirements met, the process gets a little tougher. For starters you must take the written entrance exam to show that you have good recall, and report writing skills on that test. You will also be tested on observation skills on the same exam. There will also be a physical ability test, that all candidates will be required to pass. Now if you make it through those two tests, then you will be required to take a polygraph test, which is commonly known as a lie detector test.
You will also be required to take a medical examination, drug screening, and a psychological exam. Now after that you will be required to have a background investigation done. As they do the background investigation, they will check with past employers, neighbors, landlords and they will check your credit report.
Now a good thing for police recruits in Maryland is that they get paid while they are in the police academy. Now the salary will vary according to the city that you work at, but the average salary is $29,000, however if you are working in Baltimore the average salary is $59,000. Now the one thing you have to remember is that Baltimore’s the largest city in Maryland and these officers earn all the money they get.
Now as a recruit enters the academy, they have to recognize their life is about to change. The drill instructors will break you all the way down to weed out the bad candidates and move the good candidates forward. The length of the police academy is about six months, so be prepared for that and also understand that everyone you come in the academy with, will not be there when you leave. The reason the academy is so long is because they have a lot to teach the recruits.
First and foremost they will teach recruits about defensive tactics, to take care of themselves and others in combat situations. As we all know every situation is not going to go well and there may be times a police officer has to fight to survive, so defensive tactics is crucial. They will also teach recruits about federal and state laws, as well as traffic laws. They will also go over how to be safe as a first responder, just like officers had to be safe when they responded to 9/11. They will also take officers out onto the skid pad, and teach them how to handle their emergency vehicles. A lot of times officers will have to respond to calls or complaints at a high rate of speed, and in some cases they have to be taught how to drive under those circumstances.
Now the last area I want to address that they have to train the recruits on is firearms training. Now with all the madness that is going on in the world today, firearms are needed but also can be used in the wrong way by certain officers, which make all officers look bad. For some recruits this will be the first time they ever held a gun, so firearms safety is very important. However marksmanship will be taught as well. More then both of those, when to shoot and when not to shoot will have to be taught. A police officer shooting some-one when it is not warranted or needed is something most departments can not afford to have staring them in their face today. Now you can rest assured that while we have highlighted certain areas that recruits will be trained on, there is certainly more, but we do not want overwhelm you with all the training.
Now once the recruit graduates they certainly will have the right to be proud of themselves, because not everyone could make it through the academy let alone graduate from it. Now once the rookie officer is on the streets he will be partnered up with a veteran police officer, known as a Field Training Officer, or FTO for short. The FTO job is to make sure that the rookie learns policy and procedures, and how things are done on the street as opposed to the classroom. Not any officer can be a FTO though, they have to be trained to be a FTO and they also have to be certified because their responsibility is important. They will do day to day reports on how the rookie officer is doing, and when the rookie officer is ready to go on his own.
Once an officer gets off field training and gets on his own, that is when he can prove himself and show what he has. A good officer should be able to move up the rank structure along the way. There are lots of different career paths to take, and it will be up to the department bosses as to what particular areas the officer can go into. For example, they may want them in community policing, violent crimes, narcotics, homicide, or plains clothes. The great thing is a young rookie officer will have opportunities if he proves himself and it will be up to him where he wants to go.