Why Become A Police Officer In Tennessee
So you are thinking about making a difference in your community, but you are not sure what you want to do. Well becoming a police officer is certainly a way to make an impact. Police officers are very important as far as first responders are concerned. They respond to a lot of different situations where people will look to the police officer to get the situation under control, and restore peace and order. People will look up to police officers and some will even consider them role models. In today’s society we need good police officers now more then ever with all the negative press circulating about police officers.
In Tennessee, growth is expected to grow well over the next couple of years. It is estimated that there will be 490 new jobs every year, and growth at almost 11%. Now the great news is the annual salary for a police officer in Tennessee is about $42,000. It is not enough to make anyone rich, but it is good enough for people to live comfortable lives. Now of course that does not include overtime and pay duty jobs. Pay duty jobs is when an officer works special assignments their days off. Police officers do well.
Requirements To Be A Police Officer
Now in order to get hired as a police officer in Tennessee, there are certain requirements all candidates must meet. First of all, they must be at least 18 years old. Secondly, they must be a United States citizen. Third, they must have a high school diploma, or GED. Fourth, they can not have any felony convictions at all. If they were in the military, they can not have a dishonorable discharge. They also have to pass a physical and mental evaluation. Also in the process they will run your fingerprints to see f you have any criminal history. They also want all police officers to have honor and integrity. All departments want to make sure their candidates have good moral character. Now a lot of times a lot of that is uncovered in the background investigation. Remember, police departments are going to trust new police officers to represent their departments in the community, so they want to make sure you are a good fit.
Now if a candidate makes it through of all the minimum requirements and tests, then they enter into the police academy. The job of the police academy is to train would be recruits into the world of police work. A recruit will enter and if they graduate and pass the final exam, then they would be certified as a police officer in the state of Tennessee. Now the question is, what can you expect when you enter the academy?
Now the first thing you can expect is to be pushed physically. Every day you will have physical training, and sometimes twice a day. Now there is two reasons why you are pushed so hard. First, because the job is very physically demanding. Secondly, because the drill instructors push you so hard, mentally you will become tougher. Once you realize that you can make it through what they put you through, you will be able to make it as an officer. P.T. training is also designed to weed out those who can not handle the tough part of the training, then they can not handle the tough part of the job.
Now besides the physical training, you will also spend a lot of time in the classroom. You will be taught the criminal and traffic code for your state. Now the reason you need to know the codes, is because that is how you will know what charges to put on the person you are arresting. Now the instructors will also go over federal codes as well.
Besides the codes, you will be taught specifics, like radio communications, report writing, how to handcuff a suspect, how to pat down a suspect for drugs and weapons, how to handle domestic complaints, and even how to,handle courtroom testimony. Now ther are other courses that a potential candidate will be taught, but it is a very intense period.
Now one of the more fun training exercises that police recruits love, and that is the defensive driving training. Patrol driving is something all police officers have to do, but they drive in all types of situations. High speed driving is something officers do every day. Most people are not trained on how to drive at a high rate of speed, so instructors will put recruits through their paces to make sure recruits are ready. They will also teach you how to position your vehicle on a traffic stop for your safety. All recruits will also be required to drive through an obstacle course as well, to show they can handle the vehicle under high stress.
Now another favorite part of training, is firearms. Firearms training is something that is vitally important, because firearm safety is a must. A recruit will be taught how to take you firearm apart, and put it back together. Now besides doing that, your range instructor will work with you on your target practice, how to pull your trigger, combat shooting, and when it is okay to shoot and when not. Now along with firearms training at the range, they will also teach you about gun retention. A recruit had to remember that when you go to arrest some-one, sometimes they will fight you, and when they fight back, they will try to take your gun. A recruit can not afford to let them get their gun, ever.
Now if a recruit gets through the academy and graduates the police academy, they have every right to be proud of themselves. Not every-one can become a police officer, or even graduate the academy.
Now after a person graduates then they go to their police department, and learn the policies and procedures for that department. Now the good thing is that once you have been on the road for awhile, you can test for higher rank. As a young officer as you progress you will have the opportunity to work for specialized units for your department. Now what are the specialized units? Well they can be traffic unit, homicide unit, criminal investigation units, community policing, narcotics, and even school resource officer to name a few. All in all, police work is a great career and it is something you can do to make an impact in your community.