Police Officer 2 Abstract A police officer is sometimes resented, disliked, and disrespected, but is essential to a normal functioning society. It takes a strong person with high values, good morals and tremendous dedication to be a good police officer. Police Officer 3 Becoming a Police Officer Police officers are a rare breed. Whether they crave adventure, excitement, or just want to pursue justice, police officers work hard every day to fight crime. They work even harder to become police officers. Almost every officer I have talked with feels a burning desire to make a difference in people's lives even at the risk of harm or death to themselves.

Jack lean Davis tells why she became a police officer: "I was raped at age ten and the rapist was never caught. At age 17, I dated a police officer, and it was then I decided to become one. I was deathly afraid of guns, but I practiced at the local range until I got accustomed to them." In 1987, Davis became the city of New Orleans' first African American female homicide detective. There are many prerequisites for becoming a police officer: United States citizenship; minimum age of 21 years; high school diploma or its equivalent; and no felony convictions. Some characteristics that are important for anyone considering becoming a police officer include honesty, wanting to help others, being in good physical condition, having the ability to remain calm and collected, as well as having tolerance and not being biased. When a police agency posts a job opening, a potential police officer must pass a competitive written test that is timed.

Thereafter, the highest test scorers compete in a physical fitness test which includes a one to two mile run, an obstacle course where the person is required to carry a large dummy, and testing in push-ups, sit-ups and other physical fitness measures. Once the applicant passes these tests, he or she is invited to take oral board examinations which are usually conducted in front of a panel of judges or peers. Those individuals who pass are sent to see a psychologist who Police Officer 4 does an evaluation for mental soundness. Next is an extensive background check that involves interviews with family, friends, co-workers, neighbors and teachers. It also includes exploring the person's credit information, Department of Motor Vehicle reports, and high school and college records. A complete medical and physical examination is performed by a doctor.

The goal upon passing these tests is for the applicant to receive a job offer from the police agency. Upon acceptance by the police agency, the new police officer is sworn in by the city recorder and then put on probation for eighteen months. During this time, the officer is sent to a police academy for ten to sixteen weeks depending on the agency. At the academy, there are lectures given in the classroom on local and state laws, civil rights, and accident scene investigation. Emphasizing safety, the academy trains all the officers in traffic control situations, driving skills, self-defense tactics, first-aid and emergency response, and the use of fire arms.

Upon completion of tenure at the academy, the officer is released back to his or her police agency. A police officer is expected to protect and serve the community, preserve the peace, take the criminals off the street, and help people who need assistance. The officer is placed with three field training officers each of whom is responsible for six weeks to teach the protocols of police work. The new officer gets to experience real life work situations such as providing security protection at important events, using the police radio, patrolling the streets, giving traffic tickets, and giving Breathalyzer tests to drivers who are suspected of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The field training officer coaches the new officer on how to handle domestic violence situations, respond to Police Officer 5 peoples' complaints, break up fights, rescue people, obtain crime scene information and write thorough and accurate police reports.

The field training officer trains the new officer how to appear in court in Grand Jury or Municipal Court to testify about their arrests or tickets. The field training officer writes weekly reports and grades the officer's performance. The police officer's performance is then reviewed by the Sergeant. A police officer can branch out into many specialty positions after several years on the force.

Special positions include accident or criminal investigators, drug officers, S. W. A. T.

teams and dog handlers in the K 9 units. An officer can also apply for promotions to field training officer or master patrol officer and climb the ladder to corporal, detective, sergeant, lieutenant, deputy chief, and captain or chief. Dan Garcia, before assuming the position of Deputy Chief in Dallas, Texas was a vice detective, firearms instructor, first line supervisor, and liaison to the City Manager's Office. "The bottom line is that I worked hard, worked harder, learned and had great people to learn from," said Garcia. A police officer works very hard to get the job of his or her dreams. Although essential to the protection of the community, he or she does not always get respect, and is not often liked.

However, when individuals are in trouble or in need of help, they are always glad to see those red and blue lights coming. Playing many roles in the community, a police officer risks his or her life on a daily basis. There are very few police officers who do not love their jobs. Police Officer 6 References Allard, H. G. (1995).

How I Did It. Essence; Feb 95, Vol. 25 Issue 10, page 44. Retrieved August 8, 2003 from: httpweb 22 epnetcom. Hispanic Times Magazine (1994). Dallas Police Officer Makes a Difference.

Hispanic Times Magazine; Nov 94, Vol. 15 Issue 5, page 47, 1/2 p, 1 bw. Retrieved August 8, 2003 from: httpweb 22 epnetcom. Mahoney, J.

(2002). PROFILE story by Jane Mahoney. Albuquerque Journal. Retrieved August 8, 2003 from: httpgatewayproquestcom..