Serving the Show Me State - Police Officer Potential in Missouri
The ‘Show Me’ state of Missouri is full of natural beauty. The Midwestern location prides itself in their aesthetic and wants the best peace officers to protect it and the residents, alike. Whether it is Missouri Highway Patrol or Springfield Police Department, the state welcomes all and many to add to their communities to retain the quality of life and security at its highest for its citizens.
The minimum requirements are that a candidate must be at least twenty-one years of age and be a citizen of the United States. They should also have received a high school diploma or GED equivalent. Missouri prefers a potential police officer has already completed a POST state basic law enforcement training academy. This requirement goes hand-in-hand with passing the Missouri Officer License exam. Also, there should be no criminal history attached to a potential graduate.
What is Expected in Missouri
The need and growth of communities have made the work of a peace officer sought after and plentiful. Law enforcement jobs in Missouri is growing at over four percent and is continuing its steady growth. The beginning salaries for police officers across the state of Missouri varies by recruit versus veterans of service. The average wage for peace officers between local, county, and state is approximately $45,020.
While preferred, there are some Missouri agencies that will interview and process a recruit until he or she graduates the academy. Within the police academy, a candidate should expect to be certified training in CPR and basic first aide. Thecurriculum for Missouri’s Academy also includes policy and procedure in legal proceedings, report writing, Missouri’s criminal justice system. Hands-on training also includes vehicle training which includes pursuit and maneuvers, firearms training with multiple guns, and self-defense techniques in escalating situations. Missouri also includes social issues in their preparing of a potential peace officer. That includes training in family and domestic violence issues, situations involving juveniles, and basic human psychology insight. The thorough training is so that a future officer can serve the streets of Missouri after up to twenty-five weeks of training.
As an example of the highest standards, the Missouri Highway Patrol requires the full twenty-five-week training. Their requirements are considered the highest of standards within the state. Beyond the basic requirements, Missouri Highway Patrol requires a minimum of thirty college credit hours from an accredited college or university. Or a minimum of two years of active duty military duty with an honorable discharge or current enrollment, or a minimum of two years as a full-time certified peace officer.
Missouri Highway Patrol does not allow their officers to have tattoos, brands, or piercings that are visible. The areas include head, neck, hands, or below the upper six-inch portion of the arm. Applicants should be of sound character with a clean criminal history, including violent misdemeanors.
There are high visions standards for both the safety of the officer and community. An officer must have 20/20 vision with the use of glasses or contacts and 20/40 without the use of corrective lenses. The test is given with both eyes open. The officer candidate must present with good depth perception, color vision, peripheral vision, and overall good eye health. The Missouri Highway Patrol also notes that waivers are granted to those with an uncorrected vision that could provide proof they have obtained glasses or contacts within a year and also in the case of surgery that corrects the vision issues.
For candidates not having went through the Academy to gain certification, Missouri Highway Patrol will provide access to the Academy through them after passing their vigorous steps. The process is laid out in a plain, easy way to follow. Do not become discouraged with the list. Instead, one must look at the what the end result will look like and the achievement of serving Missouri and their residents.
The Missouri Highway Patrol requires a written exam prepared by their agency, a fitness assessment, and drug screening. Along with these basic tests, Missouri Highway Patrol also delivers a polygraph test to determine work ethic and past drug use or issues. The process goes hand-in-hand with both their psychological examination and review. The review is done by an agency-specific mental health professional.
In the same regard for health and safety, a potential peace officer must also have a full medical examination, visual check as there are minimums in Missouri, and hearing exams. During the battery of physical tests, Missouri Highway Patrol will be conducting investigations in the candidate’s background; This includes interviews with family, friends, and ex-employers. They are rigorous and thorough in their checks. After this completion, the potential peace officer is given an interview by a panel of high-ranking officers, and they will also review the background check with the interviewee.
Smaller agencies, such as the Springfield Police Department bear the same standards as the MHP. However, they are also willing to pay their potential officers to attend the academy at their rate of pay minus the cost of the police academy. Where the smaller agencies differ is the community involvement that takes place. Missouri is full of life and growing in diversity while their natural beauty continues to shine through. The priority is to keep their citizens safe while trust and communication are maintained between civilians and departments.
The ‘Show Me’ state wants the best, and the best in Missouri wants to serve.