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Top 7 Reasons to Become a Police Officer

August 15th, 2019 reasons to become a police officer

Why Become a Police Officer?

Thinking about becoming a police officer but aren’t quite sure? You’re not alone. In fact, there are many thousands of aspiring officers reading this week after week, month after month. There are more reasons to become a police officer than you might think. Here, we review the key reasons you need to know.

True, cops meet danger – often lots of it! But that’s not a reason not to become a police officer. Instead, you must think about your own skills. Do you believe you have the skills to become a qualified law enforcement officer? If not, perhaps that’s the line you need to draw.

If you think you do have the skills, though, read on. In summary, here are the top 7 reasons:

  • Ability to Save Innocent Lives
  • There’s Never a Dull Day
  • Pay and Conditions are Great
  • Giving Back to Your Community
  • Act as a Pillar of Moral Responsibility
  • Network of Likeminded Professionals
  • Become a Highly Skilled Professional

Without wasting time then, let’s get straight to it – the top 7 reasons for you to become a police officer in the United States.

First, we start with one of the most obvious reasons – your newfound ability to save innocent lives.

1 – Ability to Save Innocent Lives

Cops come with a lot of responsibility.

Cops face innumerable situations – some simple, others more complex – but almost invariably involve the need to save innocent lives. After all, those innocent lives may just be about to be snatched by an unforgiving, gruesome felon or perhaps by a burning vehicle on the corner of the freeway.

It is your responsibility to act accordingly, and as trained, to save that person’s life. The psychological reward that comes with such a responsibility cannot ever be put into words.

Of course, saving lives is not just down to the most dramatic events. The mere presence of a police officer is often enough to deter crime, including the most egregious crimes. Whether it’s penciling through a speeding ticket or breaking up what could have been a fatal fight, the responsibilities of a law enforcement officer are great enough to offer this rare, unique and career satisfying reward.

2 – There’s Never a Dull Day

Many people hate their jobs, often because of how routine that job becomes. The same things, day-in, and day-out can become soul-destroying, energy-sapping jobs that make you bang your head at the end of the day.

The same cannot be said for police officers, though.

No two days are the same. There’s always something new and exhilarating about each day. Taking a step back, the same is also true about the career. If you become a tad tired of patrolling the city, you can always opt for another strand of the career. There are many options up for grabs – whether it’s training to become a K-9 officer, or whether you intend to pursue a career in police investigations.

The novelty that the career brings is one of the most interesting reasons to become a police officer today.

3 – Pay and Conditions are Great

With great responsibility comes great pay and conditions.

Not always, perhaps – but in the case of cops, that appears to be the case.

Of course, pay depends on a state-by-state basis. Generally, though, police officers can safely expect to earn an average of $60,000 per annum. That’s not bad at all, and that’s without considering the benefits that come with it. The more service and experience you gain, the more you can expect to earn.

Compared to many other professions, law enforcement officers can expect to enjoy handsome health and pension benefits. Furthermore, the skill set needed and the experience you offer are highly transferable. If you – and perhaps your family – intend to move to another state which perhaps enjoys a higher average wage, you have that flexibility.

4 – Giving Back to Your Community

Though you can expect to earn handsomely, one of the greatest reasons to become a police officer is the ability to give something back.

During our interview with Officer Nathan Spies, he identified this reason as one of the core reasons why he chose to become an officer and, perhaps more importantly, why he continues to enjoy being an officer, presently in Oregon.

You are not only serving yourself but more widely the local community. You may have lived in this community your entire life. There is nothing more rewarding than going out – day-to-day – to guarantee the security of your community for the wider good.

Very few professions afford this type of opportunity. It’s a form of pride that police officers grasp with both hands.

5 – Act as a Pillar of Moral Responsibility

One of the most transformative reasons to become a cop is how your actions, words, and behavior can influence other people.

As a cop, you encounter all kinds of social situations – often difficult and challenging ones. You may encounter drug or alcohol addicts, the homeless, or those who are long-time members of a gang. You’d be surprised what influence you can have.

A quiet word, some solemn and sincere advice, and some recommendations of where they can go to find the help they need is often all that’s required. Of course, it isn’t always that easy. There will always be cases where individuals do not listen.

But that’s not always the case.

Police officers can, then, act as a pillar of moral responsibility that can transform other people’s lives. Officers often have a more direct association with people, their lives and circumstances, compared to many others in the community.

That’s where the social value of officers comes in, and why it should account for one of your key reasons to become a police officer.

6 – Network of Likeminded Professionals

One of the unique aspects of being a police officer is the bond you have with others in this proud profession.

Remember, officers often face the most challenging situations in society – life or death situations in which you may not see their co-worker again. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to hear of stories in which the strongest bonds are formed one day, only to be snatched by the most random crime the next.

That’s why a career in law enforcement is one in which everyone has each other’s back.

You become a member of a network of like-minded professionals who uniquely understand what it’s like to face the front line of community defense each day.

7 – Becoming a Highly-Skilled Professional

One of the most overlooked reasons to become a police officer is how highly skilled the profession has become.

When you are training to become an officer and taking the police test, for example, you must have a thorough knowledge of logic, math, reading comprehension, critical thinking skills, high fitness standards, and a personal profile that matches the professional needs of this highly competitive career.

As a qualified police officer, you are exposed to yet more skills:

  • Optimum and most effective driving skills when chasing suspects
  • Critical thinking skills when dealing with highly complex situations
  • Interview techniques that isolate the details you need to know
  • Further investigative knowledge about how to work problems out
  • Physical knowledge of how to detain suspects safely and effectively
  • Social skills to deal with a wide variety of contexts and circumstances
  • Skills with police equipment: guns and tasers, for example

In other words, a career in law enforcement is an incredibly diverse one that opens enormous opportunities. It gives candidates the chance to develop a wide range of skills – from the cognitive to the physical to the investigative – that means you can progress through your career in the aspects you find most interesting.

Final Thoughts

And that is it! The top reasons to become a police officer.

If, when reading, you resonated with each reason and felt that this was the career for you, now is the time to schedule your police officer exam and get the ball rolling! Becoming a police officer in the United States is one of the greatest, most respected roles in the land.

Getting there requires effort, often lots of it, but with conviction and drive and self-belief, there is no reason why you cannot overcome the competition and make it into the police academy and beyond.  

Police Test Study Guide is the leading online resource to help candidates pass the police test. Check back to our police blog soon for more great articles on some of the top reasons to become a police officer and how best to prepare for the career in the time ahead! If you’re thinking of becoming a police officer, register with us today!

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