So I am graduating from college next year and definitely want to get a job as a police officer, my degree is in law and justice and I am also in the army reserves....
So my question is, what kinds of things can I expect when it comes to applying for the job? I know about the written test and PT test and im fully prepared for that, but what else should I expect and how can I prepare for that?
I cant think of anything I want to do more after college then this.
So Anything helps out,
I know there's a psych test required in TX and you have to score a 90% or above. Before that there's a lie detector test where they ask you questions you have already answered (i.e. 'Have you stolen before?'). Depending on your location and dept, you may have to work in the jail for a yr. (county or city)
If you narrowed your choice down to a couple of agencies, we may be able to assist you better.
A good education, good physical condition, and a desire to continue to serve your country through law enforcement is 99% of the prep work.
The rest should be easy.
I've heard you need to have good credit. Cops with bad credit are more susceptible to taking bribes.
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Okay thanks for the input on everything, as far as lie detector, should be good since have no record or anything like that, also im only 21 and dont have any credit yet so hopefully thats not too big of a deal in the city i wanna work for.
You are on the right track...mostly the fact that you "definetely" want to become a police officer. Not sure what the procedures are in the U.S. but in Canada, in the municipal police forces, there are a few acomplishments you must have and/or pass along the way.
Must be physically fit which will include a full medical report and your families medical history. A degree in Criminolgy or a degree in Law, in your case, gets you noticed over applicants without. Performing volunteer work within the community, preferably with the homeless shelters or helping with troubled teens etc. is great to have on your resume.
Did I mention being physically and mentally fit? Be prepared (which you can never be) for the polygraph testing and psychological evaluations.
Some departments require a minimum 30 character references for yourself, (not including your family). You will be judged at some point, on a variety of situations with other applicants as to how you work with with a team and problem solve. At this point your leadership values are also determined and judged. You will be subjected to numerous tests, exams and interviews. If you can take your practicum at one of the local Police departments, it not only gets you a chance to work with officers, it will also give you an excellent idea as to what you will be doing daily once you get in.
Hopefully some of these steps will help you, ...it helped my son, he is now a constable in training at the Port Moody Police Department, British Columbia.
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Yeah i know im physically ready if the test for pt is anything like the armys, and this summer i am hoping to get more references and do some ride alongs as well as community service like you said.
Hopefully with all that plus my experience in the military and knowledge from school ill standout over the majority of new candidates.
Credit thing is still iffy since i dont have any yet and probably too late to start anything to significant right now.
Thanks for all the info though guys its makin me notice what i need to work on.
Be prepared for many FOADs as well.
There are a lot of factors that go in to deciding who to hire. Just stay cool, calm, collected.
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Tell your friends.
F*** off and Die. Basically a rejection letter that makes you feel like crap.
I have a stack of them I like to look at and laugh at.
Everything you've been told so far is good information, but I guess I'll be the "heavy" and toss out the most obvious advice... Do Not, under any circumstances, commit a Lie of Commission or of Omission! The former is obvious, the latter, is the issue that gets the vast majority of applicants launched out of the hiring process.
What I mean by Lie of Omission is, failing to be completely forthright and honest on the application and Personal History Statement paperwork... essentially leaving out potentially embarrassing or negative information.
I spent several years as a background detective... I and the other backgrounders became very adept at diggin' up the "dirt" on applicants who failed to reveal everything. The shame was, many of the issues we found, wouldn't have prevented the applicant from being hired, it was the dishonesty that killed 'em. Even worse... all police agencies keep the background files and whenever that applicant tried to get hired by another agency, the first thing the department looked at was our files.
I don't say all of this because I believe you'd be untruthful... but it's human nature to avoid discussing issues that we're not particularly proud of. Unfortunately, it can't be avoided when applying for a position in law enforcement.
Best of luck. I can say, without reservation, I wouldn't have traded my career for anything else and if given the opportunity, would do it all over in a second. I feel extremely fortunate to have had a career I loved...
Wow thanks a lot for this great advice, Like you said i wouldn't try to be untruthful of course, but yeah everyone has those things that were not to proud of, ill keep this in mind forsure when i start applying for the job, And im happy to hear so many of you love your jobs i hope i get the chance to feel the same and become part of the LEO team.
Honu speaks the 100% truth.
Many depts will look past certain things.. IF..... you do not LIE or omit them. Rule of thumb, If they ask you about it, they already know about it.
A Law Enforcement career is all about what you make of it. It can be very rewarding or it can just be a pay check. I find it to be one of the best decisions for me and my family I have ever made.
The hiring process will not be fast and it will test your commitment to this career. That is BEFORE getting hired.
If you need any help or have any other questions, we LEO are more then willing to help you out!
Best of luck and kick ass man!
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Here are my thoughts, before you decide to embark on a career as police officer: DO YOUR HOMEWORK, research all particular agencies you intend to apply for! Pay scales, benefits, and overall opportunites vary among agencies! Not all PD's, SO's, or State LEO's may be hiring at the time your planning to apply. Having zero experience, your going to have to attend an "academy" for an extended period of time, if you make it through the "hiring process." The hiring process is mostly likely going to involve: mental evaluation, physical evaluation, civil service exam, physical agility exam, and an extensive background check to include a polygraph, credit check, etc. None of the before mentioned gateways should be a problem for you but it does take time...especially the background part! I am a 17 year veteran, at my agency (Harris County Sheriff's Office-Houston, TX). Depending on your goals, I would also suggest looking into Federal law enforcement, as well. The age requirement (maximum age you can apply) for Federal law enforcement is 35...with mandatory retirement at 55. Most Special Agents have worked local LE for a few years before stepping up to Federal LE but that is not a requirement. I work extensively with various Federal LE because I'm apart of a HIDTA squad and I have DEA creditials, as a Task Force Officer. You can always tell which special agents have prior LE experience, as opposed to the ones, who don't! (IMO special agents with prior local LE are superior with regards to experience and that all important "common sense" factor). I hope this helps and good luck, bro!
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