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
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 few
Once you have your list, go back to the
Internet. I estimate that 99.9% of all
police agencies have a web site.
Now, go to Google and type in the name
of the first department on your list. As
an example: "Denver Police Department."
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
Once you know if a police department is
hiring you need to answer the second
question: "What are their minimum
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
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 applying.
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 possible.
Why? Because the selection process is a
very time consuming process, and very
expensive. The sooner a police agency
can disqualify a candidate, the better.
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 applications.
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
Number One: Is the police department
Number Two: What are their minimum
Number Three: How do I apply?
It is imperative to answer these three
questions before moving forward in any
police selection process.
Now, lets break this down. Many Police
and Sheriff department's hire new
officers at given times throughout the
year. Others hire only when vacancies
|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 police recruits.
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|Copyright © 2021 Barry M. Baker
|Becoming a Police Officer
An Insider's Guide to a Career
in Law Enforcement
|There are Five
for a Successful Police
|Recommended reading for
those of you thinking
about becoming a Police
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