Some people decided that they wanted to get into law enforcement early on in life and some people like me come to the realization that police work was for them later on in life. Either way, there are a number of steps you have to go through in order to become a cop.
I’ve compiled a list of steps that are mandatory if you want to become a police officer. It doesn’t matter where you live, these steps are required in order to get the job.
The steps below are not necessarily in order as different agencies have different way of doing things, but they are dead on as far as what you need to do to get hired.
Step#1 – Education:
If you don’t have a high school diploma, GED, or at least 21 years of age, you might as well forget about it. Some departments (very few for now) require you have at least 60 college credits in order to even apply. The large majority of departments across the country only require a high diploma for now.
Step#2 – Application process:
The application for employment has to be competed correctly in order to move ahead in the hiring process. If you don’t get a call back or an invitation to take the physical assessment test, nine times out of ten it’s because you’ve completed the application incorrectly. The best way to make sure that you’ve competed the application correctly is to have someone else look it over before you submit it. Things like poor grammar and misspellings are really bad. That’s why it is best to let someone proof read it beforehand.
Step# 3- Physical Assessment Test:
This is where things get to be a little exciting. You are invited to the agility test and this is your very first time to impress. The worst thing you can do is show up to the test site overweight and/or out of shape. Its really not that hard to get into shape for the police fitness exam, just a little bit of discipline and motivation will do you wonders.
Normally if you workout three times a week, 45 minutes or less, and follow a police specific workout program that includes a combination of resistance training and cardio, you’ll do fine.
Step#4- Polygraph Test
This is where the agency will examine if you are a person of integrity or not. The key here is to be 100% honest. Don’t lie or make up stuff; just stick to the truth and you’ll be fine.
This test is not designed to penalize candidates who have made bad decisions early on in their life. Not at all. The only way you can fail the polygraph examination is by being untruthful. I don’t care how embarrassed you are about a particular incident just tell the truth, and you’ll be okay. The only people who fail this section of the hiring process is the ones who lie.
Step#5- Police written exam and oral board interview
You’ve completed the application correctly, and you were invited to the fitness test, but now it’s time to tackle the police officer written exam, and the oral board interview. The goal here is to get a top score on both individual exams. Just getting a passing score is not good enough anymore in the police hiring process. You have to out perform the competition and the police oral board interview is where you’ll have the first opportunity to do just that.
If you are lucky enough, you can get a list of the most commonly asked police interview questions from your recruiter in order to prepare. In the event that you can’t get one, I suggest digging for one online until you can find a reputable site that has a good police interview prep guide available.
Step#6 – Psychological Exam
Once you pass all those required steps, all that’s left is the psychological test. The psychological exam is not hard at all. It is designed to filter out the individuals who are mentally unstable. The last thing a department wants to do is hire someone who will shoot someone in the back without due cause.
There you have it, the six steps, if completed without a hitch, will get you on the eligibility list for hire.