Becoming an officer of the law can lead to many exciting opportunities and a fulfilling career as a public servant. There are many different types of law enforcers, both at the state level and the federal level. No matter what type of officer you want to become, there is a lengthy training period. Designed to separate the best of the best, the training programs at police academies and law enforcement training facilities are highly-selective, physically demanding, and mentally draining. Applicants are subject to intense scrutiny and have their criminal and financial backgrounds scoured for inconsistencies. Once selected, cadets are rigorously tested in fitness evaluations and written tests. In order to properly protect and serve the public, law enforcement officers need to learn the ins and outs of their profession. The process can be long and demanding, but the rewards are great for the officers that make it through.
Law enforcement officers at the state level are police officers, detectives, state troopers, and other types of municipal law enforcers. They are responsible for maintaining the public order, solving crimes, and apprehending criminals. Generally speaking, all law enforcement officers begin their careers at the state level to gain experience with the ground-level procedures of law enforcement. Police officers are responsible for ticketing traffic violations, answering emergency calls, gathering evidence, and educating the public. To become a police officer at the state level, cadets are required to be at least 21 years old, hold a driver’s license, and be a legal U.S. citizen. The training process varies depending on state, but most basic training programs last at least 8-12 weeks. There are different institutions for training different varieties of police officers. For example, state troopers are trained at highway patrol academies. These varieties of police academies do not exist in every state, but most provide several options for training institutions.
To become a law enforcer at the federal level is a more complicated process. Officers at the federal level are responsible for a much greater range of duties. They serve the country on a national scale, and have a wider scope of jurisdiction. For example, police officers can only enforce laws in their county, but F.B.I. agents have authority in any U.S. location. The application process for federal service is much more exclusive and requires many more background screenings. Some possible occupations for federal law enforcers include U.S. Air Marshals, F.B.I. agents, and C.I.A. analysts. These positions handle sensitive, international affairs and only the most elite officers are selected for these duties. Candidates must have top-ranking credentials within several fields of distinction, and the qualifications vary depending on the branch of federal service. Only individuals with extensive military experience, outstanding police service, or otherwise outstanding characteristics are selected to become federal officers.