Why Become A Police Officer
In today’s very unstable times, becoming a police officer is much more dangerous then it has ever been, and police officers have come under much more scrutiny. Now more then ever, police departments need people of honor and integrity, which most police officers do have. Now the more important question is why do people choose to become police officers? It is certainly not for the fame and fortune, that people choose to put their lives on the line. In most cases people choose to do this job because they want to make a difference in their community, city, and state and that is a great reason.
Now if you are wondering what the outlook is for growth for Pennsylvania police departments, they project that they will fill over 900 positions a year, which is pretty good. However because it is a stable job, and pay is pretty good, you can expect that there will be a lot of people competing for those jobs. In case you are wondering, the average salary for a police officer in the state of Pennsylvania is about $45,000 which is not too bad. Now that salary listed above is the projected salary, and one can expect there will be pay raises built into a pol
ice officer career. Most police officers also incur overtime because of the nature of the job, so officers can make a decent inquiry.
No matter what state you live in, there are always certain minimum requirements any-one must meet in order to become a police officer. There will also be certain examinations and certain clearances that must be met in order to become a police officer. First and foremost, you must be a United States citizen, second you must have a Pennsylvania drivers license, and you have to be between the ages of 21 and 40 years old. Now in most cases a high school diploma or GED is enough, however to separate yourself from the rest.
Now if you meet the minimum requirements, there are certain examinations that a candidate must pass in order to be considered for hire. For starters, a candidate must pass a written and physical fitness test. Now the physical fitness test is designed to be hard, because physical training in the police academy is hard.
A candidate will also have to through a medical examination that states they are medically equipped and able to function as a police officer. They will also need to go through a psychological examination which states that emotionally and mentally they are able to handle the stress of being a police officer. Remember a police officer deals with stress everyday.
Interviews And Background Investigation
If a candidate makes it pass all the examinations and meets all the requirements, then they will have to go through a background investigation. Now the background investigation will include a drug screening, criminal history checks, and fingerprinting. No police department can afford to have a police recruit who has a felony on his record, because it will violate the integrity of the police department.
Now they will also talk to a candidates neighbors, past employers, relatives and references. Their job is to make sure you are a police recruit with good moral character. Now if the candidate clears the background then the potential candidate will have to go through a face to face interview. If the candidate passes that then they will be offered a job, and then the hard work begins which includes going through a hard intense police academy, and all candidates need to be focused on what they will go through.
Now as a candidate prepares to enter into a police academy, the good news is there are 25 approved police academies in Pennsylvania. Now before a candidate enters the police academy they would be smart to start working out before they get there. The reason for that is that the police academy will include daily physical training that is designed to be hard to push you past your limits. A recruit has to know and understand that a drill instructor wants to make sure the recruit can handle the physical part of the job as much as the mental part of the job. They want to make sure that when recruits graduate the academy they can handle the physical part of the job.
However the physical training is only a small part of what you will be trained on. The academy instructors will also spend a lot of time teaching the recruits about the criminal and traffic code for the state of Pennsylvania. They will also instruct recruits on federal offenses as well. For a police officer, knowing their criminal and traffic code is crucial to them being able to do their job on a day to day basis.
Now besides those two areas of training, recruits will spend a lot of time on what is commonly called patrol functions, which is when recruits will be taught how to communicate on the radio, how to properly handcuff a suspect, how to frisk a suspect for drugs and weapons, how to properly restrain a combative suspect, how to write a police report, how to testify in court, and how to do different interview and interrogation techniques.
There are two more areas of note, one is firearms training. The proper use of a firearm when needed is crucial to the survival of a police officer. Firearms instructors will teach marksmanship, how to clean your weapon, safety in handling your weapon, combat shooting and when to shoot and not shoot. All of these can save a police officers life one day so academies take a lot of time on firearms.
Lastly is how to drive a patrol vehicle. Now most people would think if they had a license they should be able to drive. Now that is a true statement but operating a patrol vehicle when the lights and siren on is a little bit different. Most recruits think everyone will pull over, but they don’t. They also believe that those lights and sirens will keep you safe, and that people will move out of your way and you will be invincible but that never happens. Police recruits will also be taught how to drive the patrol vehicle at high rates of speed, how to drive through an obstacle course, and they will even taught how to park their vehicles on traffic stops for safety.
Of course there will be other things they will be trained on, but when a police recruit graduates the police academy and gets certified to work in the state of Pennsylvania, they will have something to be proud of and something no-one can change or take away.