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Law Enforcement Jobs

LAW ENFORCEMENT JOBS

 

There is nothing more rewarding than a career in law enforcement.  However, law enforcement jobs can be tricky to come by.  Enforcing our laws requires a certain type of applicant.  If you are interested in a law enforcement career, this page will give you a good idea on how to begin.

First, you must decide what type of law enforcement career interests you.  We recommend that, initially, you apply for all law enforcement jobs you come by.  Getting your foot in the door is an important step to starting your law enforcement career. 

 

You should be scanning the papers for law enforcement job announcements and watching for police recruiting efforts.  Today, many agencies hold recruitment drives in order to attract the best applicants.  Recruiting is an essential part to building a well-trained law enforcement agency.

Again, sign up to take test possible.  Whether it be municipal police, corrections officer, special agent, sheriffs officer, state trooper, highway patrol, state police, or one of the others, start getting your feet wet with the process.  In some states job opportunities don't come around that often, so grab every opportunity you see. 

 

How to Find Law Enforcement Jobs

No matter where you live, the best source of law enforcement jobs in your local newspaper.  Most  agencies issue job announcements through the local press. 

There are also some excellent online services that post law enforcement jobs broken down by geographic region.  They are strongly recommended especially for those seeking law enforcement careers since the job market can be very competitive and you need every edge.  Research the Internet, and sign up for a few to ensure good job prospects.

Finally, there is word of mouth.  Current law enforcement officers and law enforcement applicants are probably the best source of leads for law enforcement jobs.

You have to be very aggressive with your job search.  The more job opportunities you find, the better your chances will be of reaching that first day in the police academy.  And, take every job opportunity you come across.  You can always transfer later in your law enforcement career.

 

The Law Enforcement Written Exam

Preparation, preparation, preparation.

Before taking a law enforcement entrance exam, find out as much as you can about the test being used.  From there, look around your area for a law enforcement test preparation company.  Don't be cheap either.  You are trying to land a good paying, exciting job.  Anything you spend in preparing for a law enforcement test is not an expense, it is an investment.

If there is no available law enforcement test preparation course in your area, take a trip to the book store.  Be careful with this, though.  You don't want to spend fifty dollars on books that aren't going to help you.  Yes, we say don't be cheap, but also don't be wasteful.

If you cannot find a source of preparation for the law enforcement exam you are taking, refer back to what you were able to learn about the exam.  Reading comprehension, vocabulary, math?  Use a book that will help you in these specific areas even if it will not help you for that specific exam.  Again, preparation, preparation, preparation.

 

Law Enforcement Physical Agility Test

Law Enforcement physical agility tests differ from department to department.  As with the written exam, find out as much as you can about the physical agility test so you can prepare. 

Consider yourself in training.  If the actual exam calls for 30 pushups in 30 seconds, you work toward 40 pushups in 30 seconds.  If there is a 75 pound dummy drag, you practice with a 100 pound dummy.  By now you see the point.

There is not much more we can say on the law enforcement physical agility exam.  Preparing is something you will have to do on your own.

 

The Law Enforcement Application

The application phase of the law enforcement hiring process is as important as every other phase.  You see, the application will be your representative to the officers conducting the background investigation.  They will be looking at the application ten times more than they'll be looking at you.  If it requires a photograph, have your picture taken in professional business attire, not jeans.  Again, you will be making an impression on the officers doing your background with your application and photo.

When you receive the application, immediately make several photocopies.  You do this in case you make a mistake.  If you do, you can slip in a fresh, clean page.

Before even touching the application, make sure to thoroughly read the directions.  Most law enforcement job applications will have directions on the front page.  They might say to type or print or don't type, etc. 

 

The Law Enforcement Background Investigation

The time to prepare for a law enforcement background investigation is before it begins.  Mend broken friendships, apologize to that boyfriend/girlfriend you stopped calling, stop in and visit that boss you once walked out on, etc.

Your goal should be to make your background impeccable.

If the officer conducting the background investigation is worth his or her salt, they don't care about the names you list on the application.  They will ask each of them for three more names of people in your life.  Each of them will be asked for three more names, and so on. 

They will reach people that you would never dream of including on your application.  How will they describe you? 

Excel, excel, excel.

If your employer gives performance evaluations, your goal should be to have them rave about what an asset you are to the company. 

If you belong to some organization, you should run for office.

Belong to different groups, clubs, and community entities.  Volunteer.  Help Habitat for Humanity.  Find your niche, and become involved.

Law enforcement agencies like applicants with life experience who are involved and well-rounded.

 

The Law Enforcement Interview

Law Enforcement interviews can range from the quick and casual to the protracted and confrontational. 

Many police departments hold panel interview made up of members of the department.  Sitting in front of them, you will be grilled with questions and scenarios testing how you answer and how you handle the pressure. No matter what you offer as an answer, one of the officers will challenge you. 

Preparation is the key.  Procure a good set of practice interview questions and practice in front of your family, friends, and the mirror.

 

Where You Want to Work

If your intentions are to land a law enforcement job in the US, you have to decide where and how far you are willing to go. 

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho State
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming

In deciding how far you are willing to go, ask yourself a simple question: "If the Delaware State Police or the Miami Police Department called me and told me to get fitted for uniforms tomorrow, would I go?"

That's it for now.  Good luck in your search for your dream law enforcement job!

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