Why Become A Police Officer In Massachusetts?
As everyone knows, being a police officer is one of the most intense and dangerous jobs a person can have. In today’s society being a police officer is a very hard job to do. Everyone second guesses a police officer, and how they handled a situation. When a person adds in that every-one is worried about the fact that people watch and record everything officers do, why would anyone become a police officer? Well one thing is for certain and for sure, it is not for the money. A person becomes a police officer because they truly care about their town, community and neighborhood. A lot of people talk about making a difference, but people who become police officers truly do their part.
So as a person decides to become a police officer, a smart person will want to know what growth looks like for police departments in Massachusetts over the next couple of years. Growth is expected to be at about 6.5%. Now the good news is that all police officers can expect to make a decent living. The average annual salary for a police officer in this state is about $59,000. Now that salary does not include overtime, and any officer who does a good job will get overtime just because of the fact that they make criminal arrests. Criminal arrests lead to court, and court sometimes takes place on officers days off.
Now because the pay is very good, all recruits can expect there to be a lot of competition, so there is a certain amount of minimum requirements that need to be met. First you have to be a United States citizen. Second, you must be 21 years old or older to be considered for hire. Third you can have no felony convictions. Fourth, you have to be residents of the state and have a valid drivers license. All candidates must pass a physical fitness test. All candidates must pass a physical exam. Now the physical exam is important because all departments want to make sure that the candidates are healthy enough to do the job, and make it through the academy. Now just as important is that all candidates must pass a psychological exam, and that is very important, because of the stress related to the job. There is a lot of mental stress every day that police officers go through, so they want to make sure a candidate can handle the stress mentally and emotionally. Now all recruits must have a high school diploma or GED, however if you have a bachelors degree or associates degree then the recruit will get special consideration. Now if a recruit gets through all of that and gets offered a job, then it’s on to the academy.
Now as a police recruit enters into the academy, his eyes will be wide open like a deer in a headlight look. The police academy is very intense and strong and the staff has a military type attitude. The staff’s whole goal is to make sure that they turn the raw recruits into well trained police officers. Now the recruits will get a whole lot of training, but we will look at some of the major training. All the training is important and vital to the survival of police officers.
First part of the training s the physical training. Physical training is very intense, but rest assured the recruit, will do more push ups, sit ups, jumping jacks, crunches, moutain climbers, and running, and more running. Now physical training is very important, because all suspects will not be arrested easily, and some will even run from the police, who will have to chase them. Now besides physical training there will be other courses that recruits will take which will be just as important.
One of the more important courses is called patrol functions. Patrol functions deals with things police officers do every day. Some of the things that recruits will learn is how to search a building the right way, how to handcuff a suspect properly, how to search a suspect for weapons and drugs, radio communications, how to handle domestics, how to write a police report the right way, and even how to testify in court. These are things all officers have to do every day, so they need to be trained to do it the right way.
All recruits are also trained on the criminal and traffic codes for the state of Massachusetts. The codes are the bible of police work, because they teach what the elements of the crimes are, which teaches officers how to charge their suspects. Now besides the codes for the states, they will also be taught federal codes as well.
Now one of the more fun classes for recruits is firearms training. All police officers carry a firearm, but in some cases a lot of recruits have never handled a gun before, so they need to be taught how to use it. All recruits will be taught firearm safety, how to take their gun apart and put the gun back together. All recruits will be taught marksmanship training and how to properly line up their sight picture. They will also be taught combat shooting, and when to shoot and when not to shoot. With all the shootings going on lately, they may need to be taught better.
One of the most fun courses that recruits like to take is defensive driving. Defensive driving is very important, because police officers have to drive their car every day, but recruits are not used to driving at high rates of speed. Officers drive at high rates of speed just about every day, so they need to be good at driving, under high pressure situations. The driving instructors will teach recruits how to drive under high rates of speed, how to position their vehicle on a traffic stop, and they wil, have the recruits drive through an obstacle course at high speeds.
Now if a recruit makes it through all of these courses and passes a written exam, then they will graduate the academy and go to the department that hired them. If a recruits graduates and makes it through the academy, they deserve to be proud. Very few people make it to the graduation.
After a person graduates the academy and they get to their department, they will be trained by a field training officer. The field training officer will teach the recruit how to apply what they learned in the academy to the streets. Also just as important, there are many different opportunities that will open up for a new officer, like working in a special unit or moving up the rank structure. The choice will be up to the new police officer, but there has never been a better time than now to do it.