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
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.
Law Enforcement Written Exam
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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,
Your goal should be to make your
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
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.
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
enforcement job in the US, you have to decide where and how far you
are willing to go.
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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