Police Officers need to uphold the law and ensure safety of the citizens and property. It is a very demanding profession that can test people physically and emotionally and aspirants have to undergo strict selection criteria.
Police is one of the fundamental pillars of the modern civilized society. Police officers are required to uphold the laws of the country, state and community and ensure the safety of citizens and property. It is a very demanding profession and requires a great passion to serve the society by even putting one’s life at risk. You may need to put in long hours of work and have the ability to make quick decisions. If you aspire to become a police officer you would need to meet certain basic requirements. Here let us take a brief look at police officer training requirements in the United States.
- Citizenship & Location – Most agencies would require you to be a US citizen. However there are some exceptions where permanent resident aliens who have already applied for citizenship are allowed to join this service. Agencies may also need you to reside within their own jurisdictions but this isn’t mandatory.
- Age – The minimum age requirement to be a police officer is 18 years of age while some agencies would require you to attain the age of 21 by academy graduation date. Some agencies do not have any maximum age bar and hence you can give it a try irrespective of your age.
- Educational Qualification – The minimum educational qualification to be a police officer is high school diploma or equivalent. However some agencies may also require you to possess a bachelor’s degree or a certain number of college credit hours. High educational qualification helps in career progression and can also earn you additional pay. Degrees in sociology, psychology, and social work add to your advantage during policing,
- Driving License – Young police officers start out on a patrol and hence you would need to have a valid driver’s license. Your driving history would be reviewed and too many violations can jeopardize your prospects of making the cut.
- Physical Fitness – It goes without saying that you would need to be physically fit to be a police officer. However the parameters of fitness levels vary with each agency. It would be good to get your body into shape and develop stamina before you appear for the tests.
These are some of the minimum requirements that one would need to have to become a police officer. However there are a few things that can red flag your prospects of becoming a police officer and some of these include –
- Adult or juvenile felony conviction
- Illegal use of drugs
- DUI/DWI conviction