For one to become a cop or police officer in any state within the United States of America, several qualifications must be met. According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics website (2014), the minimum age limit for a candidate is 21 years and the applicant must be a U.S citizen with a minimum of a high school diploma, G.E.D, or equivalent qualification. There is no maximum age limit, but the candidate must be capable of passing the physical examination, where the individual’s eyesight, hearing, strength, and agility are put to the test (Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections, 2014). In addition, a recruit’s personality is taken into consideration to gauge their suitability for the position of a police officer.
In cases where individual wishes to join the police force and have yet to meet the age requirement, they can enroll in the cadet programs until they are of age (Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections, 2014). However, there are certain criteria that expose a recruit to the risk of disqualification. Some of these criteria include a history of drug use, reckless driving, criminal activity as well as a poor credit (City of San Diego, 2015). Once the candidate has met the set qualifications, they join the police academy as a recruit. From here they undergo training in law and civil rights as well as other police-related skills such as self-defense, patrol, first aid and the use of firearms (Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections, 2014). Once the training is complete the recruit graduates and joins the State’s police force.
The recruitment process seeks to get the best-suited individuals to join the police force. The age and citizenship requirements seem to ensure that the recruits are mature enough to make good choices and are patriotic in nature. In addition, the recruitment process is not gendered biased, nor does it offer preferential treatment to either sex. The only requirement is for the candidate to pass the tests. The basic knowledge gained in high school allows recruits to be cable of completing the academic part of their training. Skills acquired in training prepare the trainee to be capable of facing any situation in the real world. However, an individual’s personality may play a role in determining how well they handle themselves in the field.
During training, recruits and cadets are imparted with knowledge pertaining to civil rights, constitutional law and local state laws (Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections, 2014). This knowledge, accompanied with their training, can be said to make them capable of judging a situation and determining whether one is a victim or a perpetrator. The screening of individuals who have a criminal record or a poor credit history can be said to be a measure that reduces the possibility of there being corrupt cops in the police force. From this point of view, police officers can serve the public justly and without bias. In addition, their knowledge of laws makes them the most suitable people to enforce it.
In general the recruitment and training process that they use in molding a police officer is, in my opinion, efficient and effective. The recruitment process removes unsuitable candidates while picking the most likely to succeed. In addition, the process is fair and without bias towards any particular race or gender. The cadet program appears to identify individuals who have more than the average person’s passion for the job. Skills and knowledge acquired during training prepare the recruit in carrying out their duties efficiently and without prejudice.
City of San Diego. (2015). San Diego Police Department. Web.
Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections. (2014). Bureau of Labor Statistics. Web.