Becoming a Cop
If you want to know what becoming a cop is all about, start by asking a cop. If a relative or family friend is a cop, this would be someone you can trust to tell you the good, bad and ugly about the job, and to help you assess if you have “the right stuff” for becoming a police officer.
Even if you do not personally know a cop, you may be able to get to know a number of people in law enforcement by volunteering for community service in a police department. There you’ll get a good picture of what it is like around a police office.
You’ll see that a lot of time is spent working on reports and preparing for investigations. As a volunteer you may be involved in some of the more routine activities of the department, such as delivering subpoenas to witnesses in court cases and answering phones.
Visit officers at various types of police agencies. You may be able to arrange a visit to the county jail to talk with officers in the corrections field. Volunteer for a ride-along with a patrol officer. Set up an appointment with a probation officer to see how that job differs from other fields.
If there are other police specialties you are interested in, check to see if you can do a job shadow through school, or talk with a public information or human resources officer in the agencies of interest. Some of the agencies to investigate include the local or state crime scene investigation lab, the county morgue, a park ranger station, a highway patrol office, or a police dispatch center.
If you are interested in how to become a cop but also in the FBI and you manage to be one of the top students in your criminal justice program, you may be able to apply for an internship at an FBI field office. Interns are not paid, but the experience of working for federal agents is priceless for anyone planning to go into the Federal Bureau of Investigations.
After discussing what it is like to be a cop with real officers, it will be time to assess whether you have “the right stuff.” Ask yourself a series of questions:
Am I willing to study for 2-4 years to learn criminal justice subjects?
Am I physically fit enough to work as a cop?
Can I follow strict rules and procedures?
Am I a stickler for detail and can handle detailed paperwork?
Can I precisely give testimony in court?
Do I have good judgment in stressful situations?
Do I have the mental toughness to be a cop?
Will my family be able to take the pressure of my being in a dangerous position?
If you answer “yes” to these questions you may be ready to apply for the necessary training to complete the preparation that will teach you what you need to know in becoming a cop.
Justice Degree This time is a great investment in your future as a
College Criminal Justice Degree This time is a great investment in your future as a cop.
Becoming a Cop is Hard Work Prepare physically by working on conditioning before taking the entrance exam for three or four months.
Learning How to Become a Cop There are lots of resources available to check in learning how to become a police officer.
Criminal Law degree online There are many programs for both tracks of criminal law degree online and in on-campus programs.