The main duties of police officers are to prevent crime and enforce current laws. Doing both of these things helps to ensure the health and safety of the communities that they are supervising.
The exact tasks that police officers carry out depend on the geographical location that they are employed in as well as the departments that they find employment through. For example, some cops are known as beat cops; these types of officers patrol the same area day after day. Other officers are known as narcotics officers, meaning they serve on a drug task force team. Others are on bomb squads.
With so many different types of police officers, each type has its own set of requirements that a person must fulfill before becoming that type of cop. Good candidates for people wanting to pursue a career as a police officer are those who are in good physical shape as well as those with good communication skills. In addition, police officers cannot have any type of extensive criminal history.
Steps to Becoming a Police Officer
Almost all police departments require that their officers hold a high school diploma. Some even require that an associates or bachelors degree be obtained. For the most part, to become a police officer, a person will have to complete somewhere between two to four years of studies at an accredited college in addition to completing a police academy training program. It is important to note that the more advanced education and training a person has, the more successful he or she will likely be in becoming a police officer.
When applying for a job at a police department, most departments require a person to pass a civil service examination. The administration of this exam is conducted by the police department that a person is seeking employment through. In addition to this test, a person will be required to take part in a physical exam which tests the hearing of a person as well as his or her strength and agility. After passing this test, a person is then required to take part in a lie detector exam, and also a drug test. It is after all of these tests are passed that a person begins his or her training at a police academy.
If a person is seeking a job at a police department that requires him or her to possess a degree in psychology, there are many schools that offer such a degree. For example, the University of Kentucky has a great Associate’s of Psychology degree program that can be completed in as little as 15 months. For people who want to earn their degree online, American InterContinental University has a great online Psychology degree curriculum.
Obtaining a degree in psychology is very advantageous for people wanting to become a police officer because it provides them an in-depth knowledge relating to why criminals act the way they do. It also helps officers know how to effectively deal with criminals.
After Getting a Psychology Degree: Law Enforcement Career Options
After a person obtains a degree in psychology, there are many career options that he or she will have when it comes to becoming a police officer. This type of degree is very advantageous because it helps all types of police officers effectively fulfill their duties. Since people’s drug addictions are largely affected by their psychological mindset, many police officers with a degree in psychology choose to become part of a drug task force team. Their degree helps them to understand the mind of addicts which helps in reducing drug offenses.