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Life as a Police Officer - Research Paper Example

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Name: Instructor: Course: Date: Life as a Police Officer Introduction Police officers are an integral part of the criminal justice system as they are the first contact between offenders and the justice system. In addition, police officers are important in investigating crimes and gathering evidence, which is of paramount importance in the adjudication process as they offer key testimonies in courts which eventually lead criminals into corrections and rehabilitation facilities…
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Life as a Police Officer
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"Life as a Police Officer"

Download file to see previous pages This essay will discuss life as a police officer. Qualifications for Police officers Police officers tackle a vast array of issues on a daily basis hence the need for specialized units within the police department. Some of the specialized areas include homicide, traffic, rape, police air wing, special emergency response teams and dog squads, among others. However, police officers are expected to respond to a wide spectrum of situations; even those outside their specialized units, especially in low crime areas as fewer police officer are employed in such areas. In order to qualify as a police officer in the US, one must fulfill a number of requirements, which are based on civil service regulations (DeLattre, p. 27). According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, a potential police officer must be a US citizen, at least 21 years of age, have a clean record (no previous convictions), possess a valid driver’s license and have a minimum high school diploma or equal educational credential. However, independent police departments across the country may require more than these basic prerequisites before admitting one into their police force. For instance, some require applicants to have some college education, as well as a psychological profile. For instance, the Philadelphia police department requires applicants seeking officer 1 status to have at least a college education (Willis, p. 18). In addition, in order to qualify as a police officer, one must undergo a reading test where recruits are required to have the ability to read at least ninth grade level. This test is often administered through the Nelson-Denny Reading Test. Physical fitness is of paramount importance in police officers as it is the end factor as to whether or not criminals are caught when in the field. A physical fitness test is performed to confirm that police recruits are physically fit. Here, recruits are required to run for 300 miles, do bench press-ups and sit-ups (DeLattre, p. 33). Officer Training and actions Once all these requirements are ascertained, recruits undergo psychological evaluation by licensed state psychologists before being admitted to a police training academy where recruits undergo 12 to 14 weeks of training on effective ways of performing police duties such as using firearms, self defense techniques, apprehension techniques, risk assessment and responding to emergencies. At the police academies, recruits also receive basic education on the law. Officer training advocates for among other things, police officer safety, whether a crime is in progress or a civilian becomes a victim; officers’ safety is paramount. Officers’ safety is essential as it enables them to make rational decisions and enhances the performance of their response functions (Levitt, p. 45). When out of the training academies, police officers come to the realization that the principles they learn in academies are quite different from real life experiences in their various allocated departments. Different departments have different sets of policies and customs. However, the universal principles of the police force trump those of individual departments. Police officers often encounter hardships after completing their training programs in ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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