Why i Chose the Career in Police
The criminal justice field contains a wide variety of job opportunities. Deciding on a certain job is a little overwhelming. It can also be very stressful, however finding something you love to do will help the process. One of the major jobs in this field is becoming a police officer. There are many reasons to become a police officer. It’s an exciting job, has good pay and benefits, and is very rewarding.
The history of law enforcement in America goes back to colonial times. During the 1600 and 1700’s the police force was part-time employment and privately funded. It was also informal and highly ineffective, as towns depended on a “night watch”which was made up of volunteers, and at times, even served as a form of punishment for people. However, the “night watch” soon failed due to the growth of cities and urbanization. In 1838, Boston created the first publicly funded police force, hiring officers full-time to protect commercial property and monitor shipping ports. The southern states developed their own police force as well, which was used to patrol slaves and enforce segregation. By the late 1880’s, the majority of U.S. cities had police forces, but they were affiliated and controlled by powerful businessmen and politicians. This continued until 1929 when President Hoover launched a nationwide investigation regarding the inefficacy of law enforcement, which freed police from political control. The modernization and advancement of the police force persisted through the 20th century and still continues to improve today (Time.com).
Our writers can help you with any type of essay. For any subjectGet your price
How it works
With the evolution of law enforcement, careers in the police force today are valued and highly respected. However, becoming a police officer is not easy. The process is extensive and takes a long time. First one must meet all the requirements, such as a background check. A bachelor degree is not usually needed but will help in the hiring process and for jobs in the FBI and Wildlife Services. It may also help you get a job easier. Most applicants have to be a US. citizen and have a valid driver’s license. They should be at least 18 to 21 years of age. Some of these things depend on the certain department’s requirements. Before getting into the Police Academy the student must pass the entrance exam. In the academy, the students will experience the most important training as well as a strenuous curriculum. It includes instruction on state laws, local laws, civil rights, and accident investigations. It usually lasts about six months. They will also learn first aid, the use and safety of firearms, traffic control, and responding in emergency situations (criminaljusticeusa.com).
There are a lot of positive reasons to become a police officer. It can be very rewarding, however a person should have certain characteristics such as, a willingness to learn and listen, the ability to ask questions, and respect authority. They should be a good communicator and have empathy and understanding towards others. They should be a hard worker and able to use good judgment. A police officer’s job is also very diverse. They are sworn in to help serve and protect the communities in which they live and work. They enforce laws, obtain warrants, make arrests, hold interviews, protect crime scenes, write reports, fill out extensive forms, testify in court, apply first aid, and many other active duties. They may also work with the K-9 unit and deal with drugs and vicious criminals. Some protol in cars, on horseback, on bicycles, and even motorcycles. One of the hardest things to do as a police officer is help loved ones of the victims (collegequest.com).
As crime continues to be a national issue, the demand for police officers will continue to be consistent. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Employment of police and detectives is projected to grow 7 percent from 2016 to 2026” (bls.gov). The BLS also projects that 53,400 new jobs in the field will be added during this timeframe. Opportunities for employment in local police departments will be most promising for qualified applicants, although job prospects may face competition due to low turnover rates, especially in positions at the state and federal levels. Because of the potential dangers in this career, police officers are afforded a generous salary and benefits. The median annual salary for a police officer is $61,050, however it is dependent upon the state and county they work for, as well as their position or rank (bls.gov). “In addition to offering a competitive salary, most states provide generous medical, dental, and vision coverage, top-notch retirement plans, 2-5 weeks of paid vacation, paid sick leave, holiday bonus pay, yearly uniform allowance, bilingual bonuses, among other perks” (policehow.com). The law enforcement field also offers a multitude of opportunities for advancement and promotion. With rank structures similar to those of the armed forces, open positions are commonly filled by officers from lower ranks (thebalancecareers.com). Additionally, ongoing learning and training opportunities are readily available for an extensive number of subject areas. These are typically free and can help officers excel in their careers. “Topics include languages, advanced defensive tactics, physical fitness and beyond” (thebalancecareers.com).
Although being a police officer has many advantages and can be very rewarding, there are also some negative aspects. A career in the police force can be mentally and physically taxing, as well as extremely stressful. Police officers can be faced with dangerous and life-threatening situations on a daily basis, making the risk of injury or death much high than other occupations. According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, “Police and sheriff’s patrol officers have one of the highest rates of injuries and illnesses of all occupations. They may face physical injuries during conflicts with criminals and other high-risk situations” (bls.gov). To ensure protection at all times, police officers are also obligated to work in shifts, requiring many to work long, irregular hours.
Police officers have the opportunity to serve a variety of different roles within our communities. One of the most influential roles is being a school police liaison officer. Liaison officers work with our public schools to enhance and cultivate relationships between local police and youth, as well as to promote school safety and reduce violence. Looking back, I remember the police liaison officer at my high school and the positive impact he had on the students and community. He not only helped create a safe learning environment, but he developed meaningful and lasting relationships with the students and staff. He was always there to help guide and mentor us through the social stresses and pressures of being a teenager. Above all, he encouraged us to do the right thing, make smart choices, and strive to be good people.
The criminal justice field offers a large variety of careers to choose from. One of the most influential of these jobs is being a police officer. Although this career can be stressful and dangerous, police work can provide a stable salary, great benefits, and numerous opportunities for advancement and growth. Above all, being a police officer can be extremely rewarding. Whether it’s protecting citizens, enforcing the law, or mentoring today’s youth, police officers continue to be an important and essential part of our society.