Police officer training is designed to prepare you for the different roles and assignment available as a police officer. A police officer is employed by government law enforcement agencies to protect the citizens from crime, meet the needs of their community in times of disaster or emergency and to solve crimes. The role of police officer is an interesting one and it opens up a range of career options and advancement opportunities.
There are three types of police officer training: post-secondary education, police academy training, and continuing education. In order to qualify to attend this training, you must be a United States citizen, at least 20 years old, no criminal convictions and have a high school diploma. In addition to these basic requirements, all candidates must be able to complete a written and physical fitness examination.
Post-secondary education is mandatory for all federal and state law enforcement positions. There are two educational options: diploma or degree. A two-year associate diploma in law enforcement is available from a wide range of community and career colleges. The four-year bachelor program in criminal justice is offered by selected universities. These programs are very popular and often have both physical and academic aptitude and performance requirements to gain acceptance.
Once you have secured a position in law enforcement, you will attend police academy. This program offers a 12 to 14 week specialized police officer training program. This is a combination of theoretical and practical training. Theoretical training includes constitutional law, state and federal laws, local ordinances and bylaws and the basics of accident investigations. The practical training includes traffic control, firearms, self-defense, and first aid.
Police academy is a very tightly compressed program that demands a high degree of mental and physical skill. The wide range of responsibilities of a police officer demands a higher level of physical fitness, mental acuity, and critical thinking. To prepare for the police officer training program, it is best to maintain peak physical conditioning, follow a healthy diet, and learn stress reduction and management techniques. If this is your career choice, participate in active sports to improve your strength, conditioning and self control.
After working as a police officer for several years, many officers take advantage of continuing education opportunities. Courses are often funded by the local department and cover specialized certification and advanced degrees. Further education is often a requirement of promotional job opportunities. Police officer training is the most challenging part of becoming a police officer.