Officer Selection


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Date Added: 06 / 27 / 2011
Category: Politics
Words | Pages: 1542 | 7
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Officer Selection Process
      The job of a police officer involves stressful situations and entails interactions with many individuals in the community. It also requires quick decision making and good judgment. Police duties vary from writing reports to maintaining order to responding to criminal situations, all of which require critical thinking skills (Grant & Terry, 2009).   Because of the range of duties, officers should possess certain traits: physically agility, the ability to cope with difficult situations, well-developed writing skills, good communication skills, sound judgment, compassion, strong powers of observation, and the ability to both exert and respect commands of authority.
Minimum Requirements
Every department sets its own standards when considering candidates for police officers, however most departments require a series of minimum standards which perspective applicants must have.   All applicants must be at least 21 years of age and have or be eligible to receive a driver’s license because their primary duty is patrol, and they must be able to drive to respond to incidents.   Police officers must also be able to possess a firearm. In order to qualify to own a firearm, a person must be at least twenty-one years old.   Applicants must also have no Felony convictions.   Convicted felons also are prohibited from possessing a firearm, which thereby bars them from becoming police officers. Individuals with domestic violence convictions are no longer able to possess a firearm, thereby prohibiting them from becoming police officers as well (Grant & Terry, 2009).   Finally many police departments now have educational standards for recruits. Nearly all departments require officers to have at least a high school diploma, and many require at least some college credits.