The work of a police officer is noble and requires a lot of dedication. It also requires a lot of preparation. To become a police officer in the United States, there are certain conditions you will have to fulfill.
1. Maintain a clean criminal record
If you plan on pursuing a career in law enforcement at any point in your life, you will have to be careful to stay clear of any criminal activity. Since police officers are usually required to be people of high moral standards, a background check is usually undertaken on anyone who desires to join the force.
Any form of criminal activity detected will surely be a deal breaker.
2. Maintain good credit
Apart from checking for past criminal activity, the police force will also check the state of your credit before recruiting you. This ensures that they don’t recruit people with issues such as a tendency to accumulate debt or gambling.
Therefore, if you plan on joining the police force, it is advisable that you start building good credit as soon as possible.
3. Meet the minimum requirements
In order to even be considered to be a police officer, you will have to satisfy the following requirements:
• Be at least 18 years old. You will have to confirm this age limit with the department you want to join as there are some that require you to be at least 21 years
• Be a resident of the country in which you live and are applying to be a police officer (USA)
• Have a valid driving license
• Have good command of the English language and be physically capable of being a police officer
• Have at least a high school diploma or GED
4. Garner some relevant experience
To be prepared for time in the force, it is advisable to garner some relevant experience. Some people choose to join the military while others look for government jobs that improve their communication skills.
Also, you can decide to get some higher education. Although it is not compulsory to have a college degree to be accepted into the police force, it will help give you a competitive advantage. Courses like criminal justice, law enforcement, and pre-law go a long way in preparing you for the job of a police officer.
5. Attend a police academy
After much preparation, you can then apply for a police academy of your choice. You will then have to go through screening tests. If you pass them, you will be allowed to attend the academy. After you graduate, you can then look for a job as a full-fledged officer of the law.