What are the best police officer qualifications and training to get ahead?

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What is the best training for becoming a police officer? What types of ongoing training or certifications are necessary to be an effective police officer?

What do non-traditional career paths look like?

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JG in Vancouver, British Columbia

34 months ago

Criminology diploma or degree, life experience, volunteer work completed with CSC (Correctional Services Canada), and any other experience working in halfway houses, parole etc. Also if you could get volunteer work completed with a police station or community policing, that would also help significantly. All of this will give you an idea on the type of environment you'll be working in. I did this myself and found it wasn't for me. I was more interested in the crime prevention side. Also you can prepare for your physical assessment.

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jack london in Sierra Vista, Arizona

32 months ago

wondering what need to be cop in today police job

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TCB in Apex, North Carolina

32 months ago

Host said: What is the best training for becoming a police officer? What types of ongoing training or certifications are necessary to be an effective police officer?

What do non-traditional career paths look like?

NC COPS - Beginning a successful law enforcement career in North Carolina: A volume of NC COPS - Resources for succeeding in North Carolina law enforcem (Volume 1) [Paperback] This is an excellent book thats selling pretty good on Amazon and other book retailers. Author is a current police officer in NC and a NC training instructor. God Bless

J

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Nono in Saint Paul, Minnesota

31 months ago

Well, my friends not having a degree works in whichever state of the union but in Minnesota (the most restrictive requirements to get certified as a LEO) you cannot go to Skills (practical training by the way at a college facility) if you do not have at least an Associates degree(with 22 credits that are mandatory), only then you will be allowed to take the POST test and you get your licence only when you are hired not before.

If you want to flash your military credentials then the POST board says fine show me you 4 years of active duty as a MP.

I am a Doctoral student(with a BS, and two masters, I was enlisted as a 68W, went BCT, got MOS qualified as a Combat Medic (EMT and First responder by the NREMT), apply and got in OCS, graduated from OCS, have the security clearance, plus the commision as a 2LT, and on tiop of that I speak Spanish as you can see I have an awesome package to be hired by any agency....BUT, because I have the pre-reqs that the MN POST Board asks for I have been "obligated" to take the Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement pre-reqs at a Community College. It sucks but it is the way to do it.

Great thing is that I will get pay for having college degrees (in MN 56K because Master, if i go to WI they pay 62K). Then my point even after I rant is the college degree will pay in the long run.
Bottom line at least here in MN and in the big agencies in other states I have been looking at you will need the 4 year college degree to make the cut.

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smashieash in Palo Alto, California

31 months ago

was just wondering if anyone can think of some ways that having a criminal or drug past, can actually be beneficial to the police department ....basically can having a bad past actually make a good cop? im doing a paper for school so any facts or stats or info and opinions would help. thanks.

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Nono in Saint Paul, Minnesota

31 months ago

smashieash in Palo Alto, California said: was just wondering if anyone can think of some ways that having a criminal or drug past, can actually be beneficial to the police department ....basically can having a bad past actually make a good cop? im doing a paper for school so any facts or stats or info and opinions would help. thanks.

I am not a LEO; but, I work in government and having a bad past basically kills any chance you have to go into the field. Some departments have relaxed their policies about drug use (depending on hard drugs or soft drugs and how long ago they were used by the applicant) but still if I were the person hiring I would not even look at the person with these "skills and or expertise" in their resume. It depends on how "bad" the criminal past and or drug use was. For minor infractions you could get a pass not so much for major stuff.

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bruna in West Orange, New Jersey

30 months ago

Hey al, i saw you said you were doing this before finishing the up the military, which i am going to begin in May. I was wondering, whats your MOS in the military, and besides Criminal Justice, what would be good degrees to go after, considering i plan on becoming a police officer after finishing my military contract. thank youuuuu for the help

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candy in Sooke, British Columbia

30 months ago

My son is thinking about going into law enforcement. he is a grade 10 student and we are currently trying to find options for the best path to follow. Anyone know about the university of Regina BA in police studies?

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Matt in Bolingbrook, Illinois

30 months ago

Hey guys. I had a question I believe you all are qualified to answer. I'm joining the army in June. I have also wanted to work in law enforcement. I wanted to no if I could get a job as an officer. Without a degree. I'm not a very good student and school is very hard for me so I wanted to know if there is a way to achieve my goal without getting a degree. Any help/info would be much appreciated

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Matthew in Middletown, Delaware

29 months ago

Matt in Bolingbrook, Illinois said: Hey guys. I had a question I believe you all are qualified to answer. I'm joining the army in June. I have also wanted to work in law enforcement. I wanted to no if I could get a job as an officer. Without a degree. I'm not a very good student and school is very hard for me so I wanted to know if there is a way to achieve my goal without getting a degree. Any help/info would be much appreciated

Matt, DO NOT join the Army. I just got out of the Army. People who are all Gung-Ho Army are brainwashed. If you have a spine, a brain and ideas of how you want your life to be, the Army is NOT for you. you can ONLY be an officer with a degree. and dont believe the recruiter when he says "go active, let the army pay for your college and then do green-to-gold." You must ASK permission to go to college, and they will only let you take 1 class at a time. THEN, if you aren't kissing ass, you can forget about getting a favorable recommendation from your 1st sergeant and commander. The army only views its people as warm bodies to send to the frontlines. Good luck. College is NOT as hard as you think. I BARELY graduated high school on time, but made the deans list every semester in college. dont drink, dont get all wrapped up in chasing girls. Get your education and forget the military.

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Al in Fresno, California

29 months ago

I cannot speak for the army but the navy is great if you want a free degree so do not forget the military. It will not he easy because your working full time but get your degree and don't make excuses. Dreams aren't easy, they take work but that is why they are called dreams, you have to work to make them reality. I have been in the Navy 4 years. In that time I have seen the world, got married, had a child and soon to be another, boggy a nice house, got my Bachelors degree and I am starting my masters degree. What more can a guy ask for out of a job. By the way I'm only 24. Like I said it isnt easy but even if your out at sea you can do school because they bring teachers with us. Trust me stop wasting time and get your degree as soon as your out of boot camp.

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Al in Fresno, California

29 months ago

I cannot speak for the army but the navy is great if you want a free degree so do not forget the military. It will not he easy because your working full time but get your degree and don't make excuses. Dreams aren't easy, they take work but that is why they are called dreams, you have to work to make them reality. I have been in the Navy 4 years. In that time I have seen the world, got married, had a child and soon to be another, boggy a nice house, got my Bachelors degree and I am starting my masters degree. What more can a guy ask for out of a job. By the way I'm only 24. Like I said it isnt easy but even if your out at sea you can do school because they bring teachers with us. Trust me stop wasting time and get your degree as soon as your out of boot camp.

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SN85 in Portland, Oregon

29 months ago

Hey guys I'm a student right now at community college and I'm about 90% done with my associates of arts degree. I have taken courses in speech, criminal justice, computer classes etc. I'm 21 years old and I'm wondering what degree would give me the best chance to get hired by a police dept. I live in Oregon and I'm looking to move up to Washington eventually. Just looking for tips on what degree would set me up to get hired by a police dept. Thanks!

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Al in San Diego, California

29 months ago

I have a couple questions. I am getting out of the Navy soon and want to be a detective some day with the RHD division of the LAPD. I have a BA in criminal justice from Brandman University which is apart of the Chapman University system. Is this school likely to hurt my chance with the LAPD as it is not a top school or even a heard of school? I want to get my Masters but which program would be better for a wannabe detective, an MPA or a CJ degree?

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deepak in India

29 months ago

sir i want to be a police officer..so plz give me the steps to be a police officers like s.p,d.s.p,a.c.p....

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Al in San Diego, California

29 months ago

bruna in West Orange, New Jersey said: Hey al, i saw you said you were doing this before finishing the up the military, which i am going to begin in May. I was wondering, whats your MOS in the military, and besides Criminal Justice, what would be good degrees to go after, considering i plan on becoming a police officer after finishing my military contract. thank youuuuu for the help

I am an AZ which is aviation administration, so.. absolutely nothing related to law enforcement. I did however volunteer to go to base security part-time so I stand my watches there and I am getting experience around law enforcement and security that way. It isnt probably as good as being an MP or MA but it is better than nothing. I just hope that with my degree and military experience it will be enough to get me on with the LAPD. I would say the best Bachelors is a criminal justice one but it depends on what you want to do. Try looking into some better schools in the country, such as the news week report on top CJ schools in the country, those will look better to employers. My bachelors was through Brandman University which is not a top school, but my Masters will be through Cincinnati University which is top 3 in the country in CJ programs. An MPA is also a good degree for managers but I did not think it was for me because I want to be a detective before a manager.

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Blue Consulting in Forney, Texas

29 months ago

Guys, I served 8 years as a military officer, I serve as a police officer and I have my own company helping members of the military find a career in law enforcement before they separate. There is no magic degree or skill to get you hired on as a police officer. It is a LONG process and there are certain things you can do to increase your odds of being hired. Meet the educational requirements of the PD you want to work for, i.e. H.S. degree or two years of college or a 4 year degree. If you meet that requirement, pass the civil service test and successfully complete the follow on steps.

Police departments are not looking for "angels" they know we are all human and make mistakes and "experiment" with certain things. What they want is for you to have stopped all that nonsense before you apply and be honest about your past. What you did 5 years ago is in your past, but lying about it to your background investigator is now and they will not tolerate that. Have more questions? www.greentoblueconsulting.com I hope some of this helped.

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phuntsok in Woodside, New York

29 months ago

1-does the height matters in law enforecement?
2-when you guys said ASS degree with 60 credit ( is it ok to have business administration degree with 3.7 gpa) i want to use that credit to join in force. is it possible guys??
3-I do smoke but not much, does it matter with this career when taking a health or physical test?
4-what is differences between law enforcement and criminal justice? and where does undercover police falls into? i really need to know this one.
5- if you guys anything else about anything feel free to shoot me here.

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Wendy Seiber in Burkburnett, Texas

29 months ago

1) Height usually doesn't matter, if they have a physical fitness standard test, you just have to be able to pass it.

2) I've only seen some agencies require a degree, and it was usually a Bachelor's. Others do require a certain amount of college credit, but I don't seem to remember if it specified in what area. In texas the AAS degree I have will get me an education achievement award placed on my TCLEOSE record, if I want to pay to have them add it (It doesn't make any difference to any department I've worked for, so I'm not gonna spend money on that).

3)Smoking. Some departments are going to a NO TOBACCO policy. Its mainly due to insurance costs. Some just pass that on to you, if you choose to smoke.

4)Criminal Justice is an overall more term, which pertains to all parts of the criminal justice system: The police, the courts, and corrections are all included. Law enforcement refers more to persons who have the authorization to make an arrest. Undercover is something that you get to do if you are an awesome cop, and they need to infiltrate an organization. They don't usually let many people stay down too long, because of the potential for getting caught up in it themselves.

5) I'd say start applying for departments. Know why you want to get into the field, because they're gonna ask. BTW, make sure you have a good answer, it will mean the difference of getting hired or your application round filed. This job isn't anything like what you see on tv. Its mind numbingly boring most of the time, then butt puckering scary all of the sudden. And you have to bea able to switch gears that fast to deal with it. Oh, and if you don't know how to deal with people, you'll have a hard time in this job. 90% of it is talking with people and getting them to do what you need them to do, when they might not be at thier most receptive. Its a great job, if you're in it for the right reasons. For me, its to be of service.

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phuntsok in Woodside, New York

29 months ago

ok smoking part. i smoke but i am asking if they will ask me do i smoke and wont let me in the force.
2nd part u mentioned about getting bach degree do u think associate degree would be fine right?
3rd part if not undercover cops then how would be detective?
4rd part what are test ( physical) and oral and written looks like?

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Gem may in Melbourne, Australia

28 months ago

what qualifications do you need to become a policemen in australia?

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need2know in Richmond, Virginia

28 months ago

There are different degrees you can get and they wont exactly say police degree. for example to be a lawyer you go to school and get a bachelors in political science. if your really interested in the college way then go to your local cellege and ask, talk to a couselor they are there to help. another way is start off in corrections. work either at a jail or at a sheriffs office. easier to get on, you can start when your 18 in most places and you can get exprience. stay there for 3 years then apply to wherever you want.

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USMCmP

28 months ago

Nono in Saint Paul, Minnesota said: Well, my friends not having a degree works in whichever state of the union but in Minnesota (the most restrictive requirements to get certified as a LEO) you cannot go to Skills (practical training by the way at a college facility) if you do not have at least an Associates degree(with 22 credits that are mandatory), only then you will be allowed to take the POST test and you get your licence only when you are hired not before.

If you want to flash your military credentials then the POST board says fine show me you 4 years of active duty as a MP.

I am a Doctoral student(with a BS, and two masters, I was enlisted as a 68W, went BCT, got MOS qualified as a Combat Medic (EMT and First responder by the NREMT), apply and got in OCS, graduated from OCS, have the security clearance, plus the commision as a 2LT, and on tiop of that I speak Spanish as you can see I have an awesome package to be hired by any agency....BUT, because I have the pre-reqs that the MN POST Board asks for I have been "obligated" to take the Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement pre-reqs at a Community College. It sucks but it is the way to do it.

Great thing is that I will get pay for having college degrees (in MN 56K because Master, if i go to WI they pay 62K). Then my point even after I rant is the college degree will pay in the long run.
Bottom line at least here in MN and in the big agencies in other states I have been looking at you will need the 4 year college degree to make the cut.

I live right across the river in Hudson, but I am currently at MOS school for USMC to become an MP. I have been accepted into the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire but I'm wondering what major would be a good one. I was thinking finance or business administration because all of my civilian and military MP instructors say criminal justice degrees are a dime a dozen and everyone has one. What would you recommend I do?

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nono in Saint Paul, Minnesota

28 months ago

USMCmP said: I live right across the river in Hudson, but I am currently at MOS school for USMC to become an MP. I have been accepted into the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire but I'm wondering what major would be a good one. I was thinking finance or business administration because all of my civilian and military MP instructors say criminal justice degrees are a dime a dozen and everyone has one. What would you recommend I do?

USMCmP, go for something that gives you an edge. Something that will give you an advantage over the average candidate. If I were in your shoes I will take something that will allow you to move among agencies and sectors(just in case that you decide later on you do not want to be a cop but a spook with the FEDS, or to go Federal(FBI, ATF, DEA). The Business Administration degree sounds GREAT to me. Actually that was my major. Now, my advise to you (if I could start all over again) is if you can have business' classes mixed with IT, let's say a MIS (Management of Information Systems) major and/or a minor(you will take a bunch of business classes anyway in this field) you will have a great package because you will have down the required police training in the military plus you will be the guy who can talk to the "geeks" and translate the IT language to your bosses and visceversa listen to your bosses and talk to the geeks and explain to them what are the business requirements in the business side. In addition if you can volunteer (Police reserve, red cross,reserve deputy) OR LEARN ANOTHER Language (Spanish, Arabic, Chinese) you will do great. Best of the luck in the Marine School.

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Lalalala in Nottingham, United Kingdom

27 months ago

I'm 14 and I've always wanted to be a police woman for as long as I can remember. I'm currently working on my GCSE's that I take in June and if I pass my German and history then I get an approved English baccalaureate degree. I w do want to go to college to study law and in the meantime be a special in the policeforce (volunteer work). But the question is would all of this help me at becoming a policewoman against all of the other people applying for the same job as myself? I need answers please.

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Dave in Honolulu, Hawaii

27 months ago

MA_10_4_CO said: i like the way u think! im MA as well for navy reserves! and they look at your military background big time! What is better than to do both? u have college and the military! like having a wet foot in the door!

You guys are both MAs in the reserves????????? NO WAY!!!!!!! Wow, you guys are totally useful and add so much to our maritime defenses!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Tomster in Phoenix, Arizona

27 months ago

Matthew in Middletown, Delaware said: Matt, DO NOT join the Army. I just got out of the Army. People who are all Gung-Ho Army are brainwashed. If you have a spine, a brain and ideas of how you want your life to be, the Army is NOT for you. you can ONLY be an officer with a degree. and dont believe the recruiter when he says "go active, let the army pay for your college and then do green-to-gold." You must ASK permission to go to college, and they will only let you take 1 class at a time. THEN, if you aren't kissing ass, you can forget about getting a favorable recommendation from your 1st sergeant and commander. The army only views its people as warm bodies to send to the frontlines. Good luck. College is NOT as hard as you think. I BARELY graduated high school on time, but made the deans list every semester in college. dont drink, dont get all wrapped up in chasing girls. Get your education and forget the military.

Completely unfounded. Be wary of people who talk down about the military who are "just getting out". They are typically the type that did not do anything with their career due to poor mentor-ship, or just a plain bad attitude. I have been in the Army for 14 years, have my Bachelors Degree AND did it all while on active duty, (part of the time I was deployed!). There is no regulation out there that says that you can ONLY take one class at a time, or that you have to "ask permission". That is completely absurd. Of course you have to take into account your military obligation and attend field exercises, training, etc. Just keep track of your schooling and your training calendar. This isn't a matter of brainwashing. It really just boils down to the type of soldier you are. Matthew in Bolingbrook, join the Army if you wish. It is your drive, and determination that will get you where YOU want to go, not the opinions of a pacifist and nay-sayer.

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UNvrKnw in Indianapolis, Indiana

24 months ago

Well it depends on your area to be honest, Anymore it seems to be more of a politcal game to become a LEO. I have a few years in college but no degree and a Past in the DOC, what i did was set up a meeting between me and the sheriff/ Chief of Police/ Mayor.

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