Become a Cop >> Browse Articles >> Career Resources


Getting Serious About Joining the Force

Richard Weinblatt

It’s a New Year and you want to fulfill your dream of landing that cop job. Now that the initial flurry of silly New Year’s Resolutions have fallen by the wayside, let’s get serious. In order to help you on that quest, this Cop Career Counselor column is geared towards helping you shape your New Year’s resolutions towards that goal.

Around 80% of Police Departments and Sheriff’s Offices across the country are experiencing a crisis in recruiting. Some departments have altered their standards in response. The Dallas Police Department just revamped their prior drug usage history for applicants (A one-time, experimental usage of a harder drug such as cocaine is now okay with a ten year or older window).

Be that as it may, the standards are still high in most agencies. Only the most determined of applicants will make it in. The time to alter habits is today (if not years ago). Here are some useful New Year’s Resolutions to replace the initial silly ones.

Have a fitness program- This is an age-old New Year’s resolution. Health club memberships skyrocket this time of year reflective of many people’s desire to better their physique. Be wise. Do your research and start the program under the guidance of medical and fitness professionals.

Toss the Tobacco- Some agencies have enacted tobacco-free policies. As cities in particular have been squeezed by soaring health insurance costs, administrators see the requirement of police applicants to have been tobacco free for a year as a move towards lowered costs.

Clean up the Credit- Do as the financial gurus advise and take stock of your money situation. If you have outstanding bills, contact those creditors and set up a payment plan. Put those high interest credit cards at the top of your list.

Slow Down on the Driving- Police chiefs and sheriffs recognize the high liability they have from their law enforcers driving 6,000 pound weapons. A ticket-laden pre-hire driving record will make any on-duty crash situations into a negligent hiring lawsuit against the employing agency. Try to put some distance between your application and your tickets.

Get New Friends- Don’t be the guy who gets caught on surveillance cameras bailing out bad guys from the county jail. Prospective law enforcers are judged in part by their choice in friends and associates.

Quit Clubbin’- Hanging out at downtown clubs and other places of adult distractions are not conducive to a healthy police career. You don’t want to be the person who ends up being in the wrong place at the wrong time and gets caught in the net. Your explanations as to why you are on the police report will be lost to a background investigator who is wondering why you were in such a place to begin with.

Bag the Baggy Pants- In order to be perceived positively as a future professional law enforcer, you need to dress the part all the time. Putting on the suit and tie when you go to the oral board is not enough. Donning baggy pants for your stroll in the mall will not go over well when you run into the local captain or major doing some shopping with the family. Present yourself professionally at all times as you do not know who will bump into around town.

The time to live the clean police lifestyle is not when you pin on the badge. The answer is actually to the contrary. The time to conduct yourself at the higher standard is now (and really yesterday). Much like the motto “dress for success,” you have “behave better for success” as a police applicant.

  • Pit_bull_max50


    about 7 years ago


    very informative, and full of excellent advice.

  • Photo_user_banned_big


    over 7 years ago


    When you grow up and live a constructive become comfortable in that reedom of style..but when you are faced with derelicts and told to fogive thy can not or should not be held to be less than..for the criminals are everywhere and sharp and cunning and don't care..they dress like us, they work like us, and look for victims who give trust as taught..The enemy is not having the awareness of the criminal birds who fly around to catch the innocent...What one believes must be in depth of their life...but we are taught to not push aside...We are taught on men have a right...does not mean we agree..But to this one has to be familiar with the unapprehended offender today..for many are wearing the white collar..and many are lawyers and doctors..they just mingle in the hussle and bussel and no one is the wiseer unless you have antennas...I am a Warrior, and have gotten close to the best and seen the audacity to test...I have seen the theives in action, not knowing their evils to quest..for I am use to being in an environment that duty and proactive involvment is the way..but in society their is still much grey...its better to go to the moutains and live within thyself, and become intuned with the correctness to which we seek to awareness of the corruption is getting closer to someone who is more aware of you...Buddies are in the system to protect each other from unmention....its an old "hat" with new "cats" and in place for lesser yet...Apache

  • Jovanni_max50


    over 7 years ago


    I appreciate your time to input valuable information to help out others and myself towards a better future:)thank you once again.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 7 years ago


    This article was very informative, and full of excellent advice.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 7 years ago


    good tips. Also, you might want to add that if your eyes are bad (ie almost in bifocals or legally blind) then you may want to get the LASIK eye surgery ASAP. Most agencies require 3-6 months before they will hire you once the procedure is done.

  • Me_new_haircut_bw_max50


    over 7 years ago


    great artical and good advice.

  • 03-29-08_2152_1__max50


    over 7 years ago


    all my life since i was a child, i always wanted to be a police officer, i was over weight, but did not let my weight stop me or discourage, i believe if you want to over come some problem, you have to face it head on, be hopeful, be honest with yourself and others than you will be a winner in your law enforcement future.

  • 33892268_max50


    over 7 years ago


    Great article full of very good advice.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 7 years ago

    Thank you BLUELINE! I know so many idiots trying to be police officers and theyre nothing but thugs. One guy brags about being in a gang and says he wants to be a cop..yeah right.

  • Image008_max50


    over 7 years ago


    nice artical

  • 1_ass_to_risk_max50


    over 7 years ago


    Too many people want to be coppers, yet they act like thugs not realizing the impact it will have on them being hired. We are the best, and we should never accept anything less.

  • Larbn_max600_max50


    over 7 years ago


    hey roger that. good artical.

  • 602390_395291373861198_407944800_a-1_max50


    over 7 years ago



PoliceLink School Finder

Save time in your search for a degree program. Use PoliceLink's School Finder to locate schools online and in your area.

* In the event that we cannot find a program from one of our partner schools that matches your specific area of interest, we may show schools with similar or unrelated programs.

Recent Activity

MarlyB posted in: "It's So Trivial..........", 6 minutes ago.
bsears gave a thumbs down to The Topic "Off. David J Nelson; Bakersfield PD, CA; EOW: 06-26-15", 19 minutes ago.
bsears gave a thumbs down to The Topic "Sgt Korby Kennedy; San Angelo PD, TX; EOW: 06-25-15", 19 minutes ago.