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Educational Resources for Aspiring Police Officers

  • +31

    Answers to the "Do You Know Your 10-Codes?" Quiz

    Answers to the "Do You Know Your 10-Codes?" Quiz
    PoliceLink created the quiz Do You Know Your 10-Codes? to test your knowledge about popular 10-Codes as provided by the Association of Public Communications Officers (APCO). Find out which you got wrong or right by checking out the correct answers on the following pages. Don't cheat! If you haven't tested yourself first, go take the quiz! See answers on the next ...
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  • +8

    College and Cops: Springboard Your Success in Law Enforcement

    College and Cops: Springboard Your Success in Law Enforcement
    When I decided to become a cop, I was dismayed to learn that most of the departments I was interested in required me to be twenty one years old to even apply. I was thirteen at the time, so waiting eight more years to realize my dream seemed almost inconceivable. After graduating high school at 18, I decided that if I ...
    Rated +8
  • +27

    How Much Will I Get Paid…Really

    How Much Will I Get Paid…Really
    When I finally procured my criminal justice employment, where I would eventually spend the majority of my law enforcement career, I was so thrilled to receive that letter of appointment that I didn’t bother to find out how much money I’d be taking home each week. I’d been involved in the testing process for months, I was 21, single, still in ...
    Rated +27
  • +113

    Paying Your Dues in Police Work

    Paying Your Dues in Police Work
    I had been a field training sergeant for several years when we hired a new recruit who sat down with my boss and told him that she really didn’t have the time or the inclination to go through all that silly police academy and patrol officer stuff. She asked to be immediately assigned to our Investigations Division as a detective, and ...
    Rated +113
  • +19

    Why Grades Really Do Matter to Recruiters

    Why Grades Really Do Matter to Recruiters
    My mom was a school teacher and both my parents were college-educated so I spent most of my childhood enduring frequent lectures about the importance of academics. Grades were not a problem for me until I entered middle school; then there were just too many other interesting things to do besides study and my grades slipped a bit. This did not ...
    Rated +19
  • +35

    Surviving the Police Background Investigation

    Surviving the Police Background Investigation
    Once you’ve passed the written test, the oral interview, the physical agility test, and you’ve successfully jumped through a few other hoops, you’re probably ready for the background investigation. How ironic that part of the process to become a crime fighter is to be investigated by one! In this competitive job market, the background investigation is becoming even more important to ...
    Rated +35
  • +12

    Getting in Touch with the Forensic Side of Law Enforcement

    Getting in Touch with the Forensic Side of Law Enforcement
    These days, a career in law enforcement doesn’t mean you have to patrol the mean streets of an urban jungle or walk the cell block of the state prison. One of the most popular areas of police work today is forensics. But the term “forensic science” means so much more than what you see on Wednesday’s episode of “CSI.” Simply put, ...
    Rated +12
  • +22

    Criminal Justice Ethics for Everyone

    Criminal Justice Ethics for Everyone
    In the general orders or in the personnel manual of virtually every police organization there is language about "ethics" and "integrity." But what exactly does than mean? Ethics is an easy word to throw around and yet very hard to define. Police officers are held to a higher standard than the general public, both on and off duty, but do we ...
    Rated +22
  • +23

    Helping Friends and Family Understand Your Desire to Serve

    Helping Friends and Family Understand Your Desire to Serve
    I’ll never forget when I told my mom I wanted to be a cop. It was about 1973, very early in the history of women in patrol work, so when I said “I want to study law enforcement” she said “You want to be a lawyer?” “No Mom, I want to be a cop.” She looked at me sideways and replied ...
    Rated +23
  • +37

    Top 5 Things to Study for the Police Exam

    Top 5 Things to Study for the Police Exam
    Wouldn't it be great if there was one and _only one_ police entrance exam for every department in the nation? However, as many of you know, that's just not the case. Every police agency has different requirements and different attributes they are looking for in an employee, which means you could take a dozen police entrance exams and none of them ...
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  • +63

    A Rookie’s Guide to Failing Field Training

    A Rookie’s Guide to Failing Field Training
    *“Forget everything you learned in the academy”* At least one veteran officer is going to say this to you as you begin your FTO program. And you know what? They’re probably right! All those weeks you spent in your criminal justice degree program learning about tactics, law, procedure, ethics, human behavior, report writing, firearms and traffic stop procedures from that dedicated ...
    Rated +63
  • +15

    From Student to Trainer: Evolution of Police Learning

    From Student to Trainer: Evolution of Police Learning
    *Start with some one-on-one time* One of the best training sessions I ever attended was one-on-one with a fellow officer who taught me (yes, this will totally show my age) how to “word process” on something called a “personal computer.” I was a new sergeant who had been told I’d better learn how to how to use a PC; he was ...
    Rated +15
  • +17

    The Civilian Side of Fighting Crime

    The Civilian Side of Fighting Crime
    Do you love the idea of being involved in crimefighting but are not sure you’re ready, willing or able to strap on a gun, a badge, and a TASER? Fortunately for you, there are literally hundreds of opportunities to work in law enforcement without being a sworn officer. In fact, your most difficult decision may be which position to go after, ...
    Rated +17
  • +22

    The Importance of Continuing Education for Cops

    The Importance of Continuing Education for Cops
    When I became a cop in 1980 many of the veteran officers made fun of the new recruits who had college degrees. We heard things like “What are you going to do in that bar fight, Rookie, hit ‘em with your diploma?!” And to be honest, at the time I really didn’t see how my four year degree in “Law Enforcement ...
    Rated +22
  • +29

    The Importance of In Service Training... Even for the Chief

    The Importance of In Service Training... Even for the Chief
    You’re out of the academy, done with field training and out on your own. You may be just off probation, ten years into the job, a detective, a supervisor, a manager; you may even be the chief, but chances are, you’re hoping to _never_ have to sit in a classroom again. After all, isn’t most of what we learn in law ...
    Rated +29
  • +36

    It's Not What You Say, It's How You Say It

    It's Not What You Say, It's How You Say It
    One of the most popular workshops we teach is titled “What Did You Just Say?!” We call it that because if we called it “Organizational Communication for Professional Police Agencies” no one would hire us. Attending classes on how to communicate with each other is right up there with sexual harassment prevention, cultural diversity training, and learning CPR; its stuff we ...
    Rated +36
  • +10

    Plotting Your Path to Promotion

    Plotting Your Path to Promotion
    The very last thing on my mind the day I was hired by my police department was getting promoted. Oh sure, I had a fleeting fantasy that “some day” I’d be the agency’s first female chief. But I was mostly concerned with getting through the academy and then on to field training; in other words, I desperately wanted to be a ...
    Rated +10
  • +36

    Avoiding the Us vs. Them Mentality

    Avoiding the Us vs. Them Mentality
    Most of us start the academy with a servant’s heart. Remember the old LAPD motto “To Serve and Protect?” That’s all of us, that’s supposed to be what cops are all about, but pretty quickly into your law enforcement career, it becomes less about “them” and more about “us.” We separate ourselves from the rest of society, even from our family ...
    Rated +36
  • +11

    Getting an Early Start on Your Law Enforcement Career

    Getting an Early Start on Your Law Enforcement Career
    Teenagers get a bad rap. Many adults think that teens today are nothing but a lazy, drug-crazed, sexually obsessed, over-privileged, video-game-addicted drain on society…all the same things that adults thought about my generation, except for the video game part. In reality, this current generation of teens may be the next “Greatest Generation;” many have an excellent work ethic, a deep sense ...
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  • +33

    Real Cop or TV Cop: Which Do You Want to Be?

    Real Cop or TV Cop: Which Do You Want to Be?
    People always ask me, “Why did you become a cop?” I’d love to have a great philosophical answer like, “I wanted to have the opportunity to give back to my community” or a really cool answer like “I wanted to drive fast cars, shoot big guns and put evil men behind bars” or even the standard oral board interview answer everyone ...
    Rated +33