7 Steps for Women to Become a Police Officer

Women comprise a substantial part of the US police ranks...
(Courtesy photo)

Unlike in the past, women now make up a substantial percentage of the police force in America. The same can be said for many countries around the world. Learning how to become a police officer can be a bit confusing and a little scary at first. There aren't many free essays in the essay database about how to be a police officer, after all! And could it be different because you're a woman? Or will you be treated just the same as one of the guys? The steps to becoming a cop aren't as challenging as you might think and won't change much because of your gender.

Educate Yourself First

The first step down any really important road is to do some research on your own. In order to be the best officer you can be, you have to know if you're prepared for this. Look into what it's like being a police officer. There are resources available everywhere, particularly online. You can also do your research away from the computer. Many police forces allow for ride-alongs, which will give you a good idea of how a patrol will go. You can also go and talk to the officers. Make sure you contact a few female officers since they'll know more about the experience you can expect.

The Job Search

A job search for a law enforcement job will go very much like any other. You may not have any luck nearby at first, meaning you either have to wait, expand your search area or move away altogether. Or, you might find that your local force is completely understaffed and is in the need of immediate help. Whatever the case, you can look as you would for any other job:  Internet ads, government job sites or even job fairs. You can also call or visit the station to pick up an application; many smaller towns still have them in print!

Background Checks

If you're lucky enough to get picked for a job of any kind, you can expect to have at least one, if not multiple, background checks done. During these, they pick apart your entire life to find out if you're a person of integrity who has been telling the truth. This, of course, means that you shouldn't lie. Any arrests, convictions or other things might show up. They aren't necessarily immediately disqualifying, but you should be prepared to explain what happened. They'll likely search for your social media, as well, so make sure your pages are scrubbed clean.

A Degree...

This is where the paths converge. If you have a degree related to the criminal justice field, this is likely the path that you'll take. This is the real deal:  An actual diploma, usually at least a bachelor's, is what you need here. Academic dishonesty can spell disaster for your career ambitions. Instead, just work hard and earn it.

Plagiarism while you're in school, so be careful not to get caught if you use sites such as https://phdessay.com/online-plagiarism-checker/. There are many powerful online plagiarism checker tools, so you probably won't get away with it easily. Even if you used someone else’s ideas, make sure you rewrite the paper so that the paper is original.

...Or the Academy

This is a place where the whole “check essay for plagiarism” thing probably won't happen. That doesn't mean that you won't learn a lot here, or that it won't be a difficult, yet rewarding experience. The Academy, as it's usually referred to, is where future officers without college degrees go to learn everything that they need to be a good cop. This is a mixture of the legal and intellectual along with the physical aspects. You're going to spend a great amount of your time learning in a high-pressure environment. Certainly not easy, but great for your career path.

The Licensing Board

Once you've either gotten your degree or completed the Academy, you get to move on to the final step in the learning process:  Taking the licensing test. All law enforcement officers have to be licensed in what they do, so you're guaranteed to have to take it. This exam will show that you know enough about the law to adequately protect and serve your community in that capacity. If you've studied hard, you'll likely have no problems. Otherwise, there is a chance that you'll fail this close to the finish line. So always work hard!

Evaluation Time!

The last step in the hiring process is a test that you can't study for. Law enforcement agents are almost universally given a psychological evaluation before letting them officially join the force. This stops those with serious mental illness or personality disorders from being allowed into one of the most high-pressure jobs out there. Minor mental illnesses such as depression or anxiety usually won't matter much; it's the more dangerous mental illnesses that they're keeping an eye out for. Don't try to trick the person doing the evaluation; they'll probably know.

The steps that women have to take to join law enforcement aren't really that different from man's. Sure, it's still mostly an “old boy's club”, but that doesn't mean that women aren't joining up. With these steps, you'll see how you can go from just wanting to be a cop to actually becoming one.

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