Becoming a police officer gives you an authority to remove all the factors from the society that breaks law and order. While watching a Hollywood movie, there must have been scenes wherein you got an urge to put on the same official uniform that a cop wears, carry a bullet, and handcuff the criminals. If bringing peace and order to the world is your prime duty, you can be a cop in the U.S. and punish the offenders. So, to prepare for a career as a cop, you need to learn the skills of a cop from extensive and specialized training. In these academies you get to learn obstacle courses, shooting ranges and taught all about law reinforcements. To know more about this career and other sub-units of becoming a cop, keep reading this blog.
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Who is a Cop?
Cops are professional individuals who get empowerment by the law of enforcement amongst the public of a country or a region and to protect people and their property. They are the standing force against civil disorder. Cops are no different from the military except that cops protect people from people within the state or region, whereas the military protects the whole nation from other nations.
What Do a Cop Do?
On becoming a cop in the U.S., they get the title of Police Officers. Whereas, in other countries, the term ‘officer’ might denote a person of much higher rank who has more authority and capabilities.
Cops have an eagle’s eye; they look carefully and can easily detect and track down criminals after they commit a crime or were about to.
These professionals, before they find atonement as cops, swear an oath to perform their duties to the best of their abilities, with complete honesty and faithfulness to their country and their people. True enough, they abide and stand by every word sworn in the oath.
What Are the Other Duties of Cops?
Have you ever seen the reality show ‘COPS’ aired on television? I bet you have. Well, one of the cop duties is to patrol streets, as shown on the show.
Alright, alright I agree with you that there might be a little different in ‘what is being aired’ and ‘what really happens to live’. These great men and women keep our streets safe for us all to live in and move about safely.
Day-to-Day Task of a Cop
A cop’s day chalks out on an hourly basis. Apart from patrolling streets they also check alleys, parking lots, banks, and expensive stores with jewelry in it, which needs their special attention. Cops repeat these duties day in and day out without ever thinking that the place is safe, and they do not have to patrol this area again for sometime. They also calls in to protect some people who might need their immediate protection within their shift schedules.
Some cops seek special training to counter-terrorism, which means they will use techniques, methods, and strategies to avoid or act upon any threat by a terrorist. Few of them are put on surveillance duty to look for any abnormal activities, movements, and behaviors of certain people who might cause disruption to the normal flow of life.
Most of them are also put on child protection duties such as sexual and emotional abuse of a child, children neglected by their family or foster homes, a child being physically abused, and a child being psychologically tormented by others.
Whenever needed, cops have to stand witness to certain crimes that happened during their shift duty. They also have to stand on guard duty when protecting a VIP at a hospital or at his residence and office, or if he is a very important official visiting from another country.
More importantly, cops have to protect their own work places (police stations) from all kinds of criminals locked up in their prisons for a period before moving to a secured place.
These men of great honor are always on duty even when they are officially off it. Their instinct as a cop never stops to work when off duty. If a citizen is in trouble they will always intervene and see it as their duty to help. Cops in the U.S retire at the age of 67.
They also work when there are emergency situations like bomb blasts, traffic collisions, search and rescue operations and medical emergencies. In such situations cops brings along their other partners who are as good and hardworking as them when on duty; who are we referring to here? A k9 dogs or are animal cops
Who are Animal Cops?
Animal cops are K9 dogs seek training to work along with their companions (human cops) when on duty. The most common breeds of dogs used as an animal cop are German shepherds and Belgian Malinois.
When an animal cop gets murdered or injured intentionally by criminals, they’ll severely as how if a human cop were to get hurt or killed. These punishments are much worse than the ones you would see being used by animal cruelty organizations.
These great heroes’s are also sworn in like human cops and are given their own personal cop badges when on duty. Also, when an animal cop gets killed in his duty, will be given a full-fledged funeral like a human cop. Isn’t this heart-warming to know that these animal heroes gain respect and treated same as a human hero?
Breed of Dogs Who Gain Duty As a Cop
The reason why many German shepherds and Belgian Malinois become animal cops are because of their most available breeds. There are other breeds also being used such as Rottweiler’s, American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Boxers, Dobermans, Dutch Shepherds, Beagles, and Springer Spaniel.
Animal Cops During Natural Disasters
If there is a bomb blast or a natural calamity (earthquakes, tsunamis, tornados, coastal cyclones etc) then cops use bloodhounds as search and rescue (SAR) dogs to find people and items of importance.
If there is a threat of a bomb or a suspicion that there are people carrying illicit substances on board a flight or any other place then Labrador Retrievers. There are some animal cop dogs called Cadaver (dead body) dogs who sniff out corpses even under running water. Dog’s noses are very sharp in detecting smells and body odors.
Animal cops retire when they are too old or sick, or if they don’t recover completely after an injury, or they become new mamas and need to look after their pups.
How to Become An Animal Cop
Using dogs to carry out tasks for us, humans have been around from the beginning of civilization. Gradually these dogs has to do tasks by us, such as hunting down rabbits, acting as shepherd dogs, and retrieving objects. Slowly they work as guard dogs, eyes for the blind, used to search and rescue humans, detect illegal substances, etc.
To become an animal cop is easy as it all depends on the owner of the dog, who will be training this K9 where its place in society is, which will only make it happier knowing this. A K9 dog needs a lot of exercise and discipline.
A human cop after a couple of years of experience on the field can ask to shift to a K9 dog unit that is in the present police department your working at. Once you move into the unit, choose your k9 partner, and both of you will have lots of field training to do. Then you have to learn to bond and work together.
You have a new responsibility now. Taking care of your animal cop extremely well and keep him fit and healthy because he is going to be helping you around in your day to day work.
How to Become a Cop – The Entire Process
If you choose, this career path means you want to protect humankind from all criminal attackers like murderers, rapists, etc. To become a cop the process is long, and the training is tough, but when you have the will and determination to finish it as soon as possible to serve your people, you can overcome any situation or obstacle. Also, this is the best time to be a cop because there is a huge flow of baby boomers (people born in the 1950s) who will be retiring soon, and there will be a great demand for cops.
What Are the Main Criterias?
Firstly, you need to be at least 21 years of age, have a high school diploma or equivalent (GED), and an associate’s degree in criminal justice. This degree might not be necessary in some police departments; however, no harm in getting one, just in case. Make sure you have no criminal record because there will be a stringent background check done. If they find out you had any drug abuse or other small-time felonies, you will get a rejection on the spot. If you come out clean from the background check, then the next series of steps would be for you to sit for a psychological test, test on mental and physical strength, medical tests, and a test on agility.
These tests will determine if you are to decide whether to send you to a state-level or city level police academy for further training. You’re sure to have a lot of competition; however, you need not work much because many prospective cops drop out during screening or the written tests. Plus, if you have crossed both these barriers, you have to pull along for 12 -14 weeks to pass out from the police academy as a cop.
During these 12-14 weeks of training at the police academy, you will attend classroom instructions on civil rights, government laws, state laws, and investigate a crime scene. You will also seek training in first aid, control of traffic, using firearms, and learn self-defense techniques and how to respond to emergencies.
Sounds tough? Yes, it is, but tough people have to go through a tough regime to get tougher.
Tips on How to Become a Cop in USA
Do Well in School
To become a cop; you need to qualify for the police academy entrance exam. With the massive competition for the police academy every year, you need to maximize your chances of being accepted. This is why, if you are serious about becoming a police officer, you must get good grades while you are still in school.
This will show the people in charge of the applications that you are an ideal candidate for the police academy. By doing well in school, you are maximizing your chances of becoming a police officer.
Be Physically Fit
If you really want to know how to become a cop, you should know how to gain physical fitness too. The job of a police officer requires a lot of physical exertion. From foot patrols, crowd control, chasing down fugitives, taking down criminals as well as defending oneself from attack, you need to have a healthy, strong, and fit body.
This is why; part of the preparation to become a police officer is to train yourself to have a physically fit body. This means exercising and continually training to develop your body into the ideal shape for becoming a police officer. By providing means to do the job, a physically fit body prepares you to meet challenges during the training program.
Know the Law
One of the primary duties of a police officer is to uphold the law. This is why; you need to prepare yourself by mastering all the laws. This will give you an edge during the training as well as when you do the job. Mastering the law is going to make you become an effective cop.
By following these tips on how to become a cop, you will be able to have an easier time during the training as well as when you are actually on the job. These tips will make you become an effective and highly reliable cop.
How Much Does a Cop Earn in the U.S.?
A Cop’s salary varies as per his/her job responsibilities, experience, and where he/she is located. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, cops in the NYPD (N.Y. Police Department) will draw an average salary of $65,170 per year. A cop working for the LAPD (Los Angeles Police Department) will draw an average salary of $69,501 annually. Ones working for the Chicago police department will earn an average salary of $70,493 annually. The cops working for the Las Vegas Police department will earn an average salary of $85,797 annually.