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The Challenges of a Police Career

Aug 17, 2007
A police career is a challenging and sometimes dangerous choice. It is not just writing out tickets or making traffic stops. Police departments are part of the city and state governments. The main responsibility for police is to keep order.

Depending on the country, the names for police are different. When attending school for a police career, there are many courses that must be taken. Proper training is essential in order to survive. A police officer must maintain the law and order by enforcing the laws of society. Federal, State, and local official create and pass the laws that all must live by.

A police career also involves training sessions on the weapons range. A police trainee must pass the test on the shooting range, and a yearly test after being sworn in as an officer.

A police career may involve the officer walking the streets of his or her district, keeping the peace and arresting lawbreakers. A police officer responds to calls for help and aids those in need of medical attention.

They investigate crime, interrogate potential criminals, and are required to keep detailed notes that will assist in the prosecution of criminals that have been arrested. Keeping detailed reports are very time consuming and some feel is the worst part of their duties.

Choosing a police career involves hours of classroom time, role-playing different scenarios. A police officer must be able to respond to any type of crisis call whether on duty of off. A required course in a police career is psychology.

A police career will also train personnel in disaster situations. They will be taught what to do in case of natural disasters or terrorist attacks. They are taught protocol for every situation.

Police academies throughout the country have federal guidelines in which they have to teach students who choose a police career. This is done not only to have a uniform police force, but also when emergencies arise in different states, police be transported from other states to assist with local enforcement agencies.

The more mundane duties of a police career involve issuing traffic tickets and citations, or transporting an intoxicated person to the police station.

Not everyone will be accepted to a police career. There are a number of factors that are used to determine if the person is both mentally and physically capable of becoming a police officer. There are extensive psychological tests that are given, as well a physically endurance tests. Officials feel that if their officers are carrying weapons, they have to be completely in control.

It is also preferred that the candidate that chooses a police career have some kind of higher education. The course that is preferred is criminal justice.

Often, retired military will seek a police career. They have the discipline and training that is necessary for law enforcement. They are able to pass the rigorous physical fitness courses that police academies require. As police agencies are operated by a chain of command that is similar to the military, there is very little adjustment time. For those who have the proper qualifications, promotions come more quickly. Along with the increase in pay for these promotions, comes a lot of paperwork.

Retired military are always accepted, with the exception of having been discharged for psychological reasons. A police career is one of the few career choices that can carry weapons legally. Although the standard issue is a nine-millimeter handgun, officers may carry shotguns in the trunks of their cruisers for situations that require more than a handgun.

All of those who choose a police career start out in a very low position. They usually are assigned to a specific community and get to know the citizens and businesses. Only after a specific period of time will they be considered for promotion.

When choosing a police career, it must be taken into consideration that there can be dangerous situations. A police officer is often faced with situations that are unpredictable. A simple traffic stop can have a disastrous outcome. They never know just what will happen at any given time.

In past decades, the police have had to deal with unpredictable situations. If they were at the scene of an accident, they would assist and comfort the injured. Today, they are hesitant to even hold the hand of a victim for fear of contracting diseases.

When apprehending a criminal, they need to exercise extreme caution, not only so they do not violate the rights of the criminal, but also because of the dangers of communicable diseases.

The dangers that are associated with a police career can cause stress on the job. In the United States alone, over eighteen thousand officers have died in the line of duty. Some departments require that the street officers wear protective vests to protect them from being injured.

Some protocol of police departments requires that the officer seek help from the department psychologist. This can be helpful in determining if there is a problem with officer.

In today's police career, an officer is allowed to search, seize and arrest a criminal. They are not allowed to search or seize without probable cause. If this occurs, the defense will argue that their rights have been violated. If this can be proven, then the criminal is set free. Special care is taken not to violate the rights of the accused.

With a police career, a police officer is allowed to interrogate a criminal, but cannot abuse or use excessive force in any way. Reading the arrest person their Miranda rights is also a part of the police career. Specific laws that even the police have to follow.

There are some officers that have gone their entire careers without having to draw their guns. Others draw them on a daily basis. It depends on the region. In small rural communities other then an occasional drunk and disorderly charge, there is very little crime. In large cities, it is rampant. More police officers are needed in a big large cities and towns.
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