Become a Cop >> Browse Articles >> 10 Steps to Joining the Force


Step 8: Take the Oath

Step 8: Take the Oath


Getting sworn in is a major accomplishment and signifies that you have met all of your agency’s high standards to become an officer. This is probably the culmination of a life long dream of serving one’s community. Here is some information read about and reflect upon now that you have become a sworn officer:

• Law Enforcement Oath of Honor

• Rank Structures

Law Enforcement Oath of Honor

On my honor, I will never betray my badge, my integrity, my character, or the public trust.

I will always have the courage to hold myself and others accountable for our actions. I will always uphold the Constitution, the community and the agency I serve, so help me God.

Developed by the International Association of Chiefs of Police Committee on Police Ethics

Rank Structures

Each department is free to setup its own rank structure, however, the basic structure for a typical police department is as follows:

Police Officer / Deputy Sheriff

Police Officer First Class / Deputy First Class





Major / Chief Deputy

Chief / Sheriff

In federal investigative agencies, the rank structure would be similar to:

Special Agent

Supervisory Special Agent

Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC)

Special Agent in Charge (SAC)

Deputy Director


Previous Step: Get Ready for the Academy

Next Step: Field Training

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.