What experience do you need to become a law enforcement officer
February 28, 2012
For those who are contemplating police careers, you may be wondering what experience is necessary to become a law enforcement officer. What follows will help to clarify that question.
To become a law enforcement officer at the entry level with a local police department, you don’t need to have any experience in police work. Most people who enter a law enforcement academy as a recruit haven’t don’t have any work history in this area. Many of them have had some advanced coursework in criminal justice, which definitely helps in getting hired with a police force at the entry level. Some departments even require a certificate or associate’s degree in criminal justice from police recruits, because this shows that they’re serious about a career in law enforcement. It also gives them a leg up when it comes to completing the course work required in police academy. The bottom line is that if you want to become a law enforcement officer, higher education experience of any kind, but particularly in the field of criminal justice, will help you pursue this career choice.
Military experience will also help you to become a law enforcement officer because it shows potential employers that you have the grit and perseverance to take on a significant challenge, both on the physical and mental level. Recruiters know that you’ve already obtained some of the skills necessary for police work, such as discipline, chain of command, following protocols, weapons training and obeying orders and this will put you at the top of the list over other recruit candidates. Police academy training can be compared to military base camp, so if you’ve served in the armed forces, you’ll have a huge advantage over other recruits who haven’t. Perhaps more than any other type of work experience, military service will help you to become a law enforcement officer.
If you’ve worked as a police cadet, this will help you become a law enforcement officer. Cadet programs are specifically set up for people who want to work in police careers, so this is a great asset to getting a job with a police force. Any other work experience in law enforcement will also help you gain entry into a career in police work.
Any work experience that you have that exemplifies your competence and abilities will help you when it comes to achieving your goal to become a law enforcement officer. Police agencies want people who are self-disciplined, task oriented, motivated, ethical and hardworking, so whatever experience you have that demonstrates those qualities will help you when it comes to becoming a law enforcement officer.