What is a Peace Officer & the requirements to be one?
Any person that’s in the profession of maintaining the public peace can be classified as a peace officer. The professions that carry this title vary a slightly from state to state. Most common are those professions that are vested with the power to enforce the law in the state. The most common we found from most states are:
1. Police Officers
2. Correctional Officers
3. Sheriffs and their Deputies
4. Probation Officers
5. Parole Officers
6. Marshals and their Deputies
8. State Highway Patrol Officers
9. Custom Officers
Some states, like New York, also classify court officers as peace officers. These peace officers are given limited power; for example, they are not allowed to carry firearms without license.
How to Become a Peace Officer:
To become a peace officer, most states require that you go through the Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST). This is to make sure every peace officer in the state has the same basic standard and training.
To be accepted into POST, one must have a minimum of high school diploma or GED. Additional requirements are:
a. No felony Convictions
b. Must be 18 Years of Age
c. Must be US Citizen or Permanent Resident
d. Must Pass Fingerprint Check
e. Must Pass Criminal Background Check
f. Must Pass Medical and Psychological Check
It is important to note that passing POST does not guarantee that you can become a law enforcement officer. Some law enforcement agencies may have additional requirements you must meet before they can hire you.
For example, some police departments may require you go through their academy. Also, a lot of law enforcement agencies today require that you have at least an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in law enforcement, policing, or criminal justice before they can consider you for employment.
Peace Officer Salary:
Peace officers make a starting salary of $39,000 per year. This salary will continue to increase as you gain more experience and years of service. With the array of professions peace officers can get into, don’t be surprised to see the highly experienced officers making as much as $85,000 per year.