So how do you know if, and when, a police
department is hiring?
Just go to the Internet.
Begin by typing in www.USACOPS.com. This is a
great site and tool when applying for a law
enforcement position. When you arrive on the home
page of this site you will see an interactive map of
the United States. Just click on the state in which
you live. You will now be taken to a map of your
state -- broken down into counties.
Your goal is to compile a list of about 10-20 police
department's in your area. First click on the county
where you live. You will be shown a list of police
agencies. Write down the names of each police
department as it appears, nothing more. All you
want are names right now.
Next, click on each surrounding county where you
live, and write down the name of each police agency
listed. Continue clicking on all the surrounding
counties in your area writing down each
department's name. You should easily have 10-20
by following this exercise. The only exception is if
you live in a rural area, in this case you may have a
Once you have your list, go back to the Internet. I
estimate that 99.9% of all police agencies have a
Now, go to Google and type in the name of the first
department on your list. As an example: "Denver
Once you are on their web site look for links that
say, "Employment, Careers, Jobs, Join our Team,
Recruitment", etc. Click on that link and you'll be
taken to the department's employment page.
Here is where you will answer your first question:
"Are they hiring?"
Police department's make it very clear if they are
hiring. They will list their selection process... dates
and deadlines in a timely manner. Some
department's may state they are not currently
hiring at this time... but that's OK, because you
need to know the hiring status of each particular
Once you know if a police department is hiring you
need to answer the second question: "What are
their minimum qualifications?"
This is easy, just look for the position
announcement. What you will be looking for here is,
what are their college requirements, do they require
you have already completed a police academy, age,
sight requirements, prior traffic violations, etc.
You MUST meet these requirements, otherwise
don't bother to apply because you will be wasting
your valuable time. If you don't meet a
department's minimum qualifications you will be
immediately disqualified, so make it a point to
examine Minimum Qualifications thoroughly before
Lastly, you must answer the third question: "How
do I apply?"
Most police department's will have an application
right on their web site that you can download and
print. Some will have you apply directly online. It is
critical that you complete the application neatly and
correctly. Spelling counts, so does grammar, and
above all -- BE HONEST!
Continue this process until you have applied to as
many department's on your list as possible.
*** Did you know that one third of all police
candidates will be disqualified at the application
stage, and 70% of all candidates will fail the written
test? These are staggering numbers. Police
departments are geared to eliminate police
applicants as early in the selection process as
Why? Because the selection process is a very time
consuming process, and very expensive. The
sooner a police agency can disqualify a candidate,
If you follow the steps I've outlined here you will
soon become involved in several hiring processes
simultaneously. The more department's you apply
to -- the sooner you will be hired.
It's that simple.
This is not the time to be picky.
Remember the competition is fierce.
Go with the first department that will hire you. Be
committed to that department 110%. Give that
organization a few good years of your BEST. Gain
all the experience you can (don't worry it will be
handed to you on a silver platter), and if you want
to lateral to another department later, know that
you will be an officer with prior experience, and YOU
will be considered an asset to that organization. An
advantage worth its weight in gold!
Become A Police Officer
Becoming a police officer has become increasingly
difficult today. Not only do the majority of police
department's require two years of college, (at a
minimum), but numerous department's expect
police officer candidates to have put themselves
through a certified police academy at their own
expense. In addition to this, the competition for
each open police position can produce hundreds of
So, how do you get your foot in the door? Simple
... Just Do Your Homework.
Firstly, there are three questions you must answer
prior to applying to any police department:
Number One: Is the police department hiring?
Number Two: What are their minimum qualifications?
Number Three: How do I apply?
It is imperative to answer these three questions
before moving forward in any police selection
Now, lets break this down. Many Police and Sheriff
department's hire new officers at given times
throughout the year. Others hire only when
|Sergeant George Godoy (Ret.) is a 22 year police
veteran. During his police career, Sergeant Godoy
served for 5 years as a police recruitment specialist
where he personally tested over 1,000 potential
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