The first step in becoming a police officer is the same step as with any job- one must apply. Next the applicant must complete a Personal Qualifications Essay (PQT), which consists of essay questions related to judgment and behavioral flexibility. Written communication is an important aspect of this portion of the process. The Physical Abilities Test (PAT) is separated into two parts. The first portion measures strength, agility, and endurance. The second portion measures aerobic capacity.
An applicant must pass this portion in order to undertake academic training. After successfully completing the previous portions, an applicant will be subjected to a thorough background check. The investigation consists of checks of employment, police, financial, education, and military records and interviews with family members, neighbors, supervisors, co-workers, and friends. The Polygraph, the culmination of the background, examination is conducted to confirm information obtained during the selection process is accurate. The applicant will then be interviewed by the department he/she is seeking employment with. The interview will be conducted by a panel to assess applicant’s personal accomplishments, job motivation, instrumentality, interpersonal skills, continuous learning orientation, and oral communication skills. Also, the medical examination is imperative to ensure that the applicant is in the best physical and mental health possible. Any discrepancies may affect the applicant’s ability to safely complete police work. Once the applicant has successfully passed all previous requirements, he/she will be certified and appointed to a police academy. Field experience is important to every training police officer because it gives them hands on experience to prepare them for what they will face on the streets. Officers can only learn so much from books and in class trainings. Field experience allows them to test what they have learned in class and trainings.
Peak, K. J. (2010). Justice administration: Police, courts, and corrections management (6th ed.) Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.