Become a Police Officer In Utah
When a person truly thinks about becoming a police officer, one has to wonder why would a person choose to do that job. That is a job that is fundamentally dangerous, where people choose to run to danger instead of run away from it. Every time a police officer prepares for work and puts their bulletproof vest on, they realize and know, they may not go home that evening. They know they may not go home that evening and still choose to do the job, but the question is why?
Now in some part, movies and television have something to do with people becoming police officers, because of the way that they make the job look appealing. However in essence, the main reason people become police officers is because they are tired of the way the world is, and they want to make a difference. They want to help those who cannot help themselves, and they want to help their communities and neighborhoods. Thank goodness for people who want to make a difference.
So if you are thinking about becoming a police officer in Utah, you are probably wondering what the future looks like for growth of police departments in Utah. Well the good news is that growth is expected to be on the increase at 19% and there will be about 270 new jobs opening a year. Now that is awesome because that means there will be opportunity available. The other good news is that police officers in Utah make good money, nothing that will make them rich but they do well. The average salary for police officers is about $46,000 per year, and that is not counting overtime. However overtime is a very real part of the job, and as police officers, you can expect to get lots of it.
Minimum requirements And Examinations
Now because of the fact that a lot of people want to be police officers and the departments can not take everyone, there is some minimum requirements that must be met, first before a person can be hired. First you must be at least 21 years old when hired. All candidates must be a United States citizen. All candidates must have a high school diploma or GED, and if you have college credits that will separate you from the rest. There can be no felony convictions. If you are ex-military, you can not have a dishonorable discharge.
Now all candidates must also go through a very intensive background investigation. Now the background is designed to make sure there is no criminal history. Now they will talk to ex-employers, neighbors, relatives,and references. The key element is they want to know as much as possible about potential hires. Now if a candidate makes it through all of this, then they will need to go to a police academy.
Now when a recruit walks into the police academy, they will more then likely have a deer in the headlights look. As soon as they walk in the doors they will realize the police academy is no joke and is serious business. The drill instructors at the police academy will make people think of the military drill instructors. They will break the recruits all the way down to build them back up. The whole academy is very intense, and the recruits will be taught in a short amount of time.
Now one of the first things the instructors will teach you and train you on everyday, is physical training. Be prepared to do the most push ups, sit ups, jumping jacks, mountain climbers, and leg lifts you have ever done, and more running and more running. The instructors understand the importance of officers being in good shape. It is also important to understand that all suspects will not co-operate and they will run and fight, and officers must be in shape to chase them and fight back.
Now one of the other training sessions will be patrol functions. Patrol functions deals with the things police officers do on a daily basis. Part of the training will include radio communications, proper way to search buildings, handcuffing techniques, how to handle domestic disturbances, how to search a suspect for drugs and weapons, the right way to write a police report, and even courtroom testimony. Now courtroom testimony and report writing is very important, because an officer will get a reputation for being sloppy or good based on their reports and testimony.
Now one of the more exciting courses is defensive driving. A police officer drives their patrol vehicle on a daily basis, but driving at a high rate of speed is different. People have to be trained on how to operate their patrol vehicles, especially at a high rate of speed, so they will practice on a obstacle course. They will also be taught how to park their vehicles on a traffic stop for cover. They will be instructed on when to pursue a vehicle and when not too. All of this sounds fun but is extremely important, because of the liability when an officer engages in a pursuit.
Now all of the training courses can not always be exciting, but they are always important. One of the most needed courses is the criminal code and traffic codes. Now the codes describe the elements of the crime, so officers will know what charges to place on the suspects. Now all recruits will be taught the codes for Utah, but they will also teach you the federal codes.
Now the last known training course that will be highlighted, is firearms training. All officers carry a firearm, but before they can they have to be taught firearm safety. They will also teach you how to clean their firearm. All recruits will be taught how to take apart the gun and put the gun back together. Recruits will be taught combat shooting and marksmanship. Most important all recruits will be taught when to shoot and when not to shoot.
There will be other courses taught, however this is just a sampling of what one can expect. Now a recruit will have to also still take a written exam to be certified as a police officer, but once they graduate and take the exam and pass then they will go to their police departments and work as an officer. All recruits who graduate should be extremely proud of what they have accomplished, because many do not apply and many do not graduate.
Now once a recruit graduates then they will go through a field training program, with a certified field training officer. The field training officer wil, teach the recruit how to apply what they learned in the academy to the streets. A field training officer will also teach a recruit the polices and procedures for their specific department. Now once a recruit gets off field training and starts to work on their own, that is when they can show their skills. As they grow they can begin to move up the rank structure if they choose to. Not only can they move up in rank, they can also apply to work in the specialized units. What are specialized units; for example they would be criminal investigations, homicide, traffic, accident, hostage negotiation, narcotics, internal affairs, community policing, and even school resource officer.
All of those opportunities, rank structure, and good pay compensation are all good reasons, that show, now is the perfect time to become a police officer in Utah.