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  • +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
  • +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
  • +59

    So You Want to Be a SWAT Operator?

    So You Want to Be a SWAT Operator?
    So you want to be a SWAT Officer, huh? Many individuals can put together an article about theories and research from their respective fields of training and tactical experiences. Many can also quote statements from books that have been written from many of the so called modern day warriors in years past. However, looking at today’s modern times and current threats ...
    Rated +59
  • +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 ...
    Rated +37
  • +35

    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 +35
  • +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
  • +34

    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 +34
  • +32

    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 +32
  • +28

    Ten Tips for the Police Entrance Exam

    Ten Tips for the Police Entrance Exam
    While police entrance processes vary widely from state to state, and even from department to department, most law enforcement applicant screening processes begin with the written exam. By starting with the written exam, most sheriffs and police chiefs (having been one I understand this concept) use the written exam as just that: a screening tool. Written exams are a fairly cheap ...
    Rated +28
  • +28

    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 +28
  • +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
  • +25

    Battling Second Thoughts in the Academy

    Battling Second Thoughts in the Academy
    You’ve filled out the endless applications, taken the tests, sailed through the interviews, rocked the physical agility test, and chosen your police department; now you’re finally in the academy. Whether you find yourself at the local junior college or at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia, there’s no doubt this is going to be tough, and its just going to get ...
    Rated +25
  • +24

    Programs to Make You a Better Police Candidate

    Programs to Make You a Better Police Candidate
    So you’ve decided that law enforcement is the profession for you. Congratulations! As you’ve probably figured out by now, it’s not as simple as choosing your agency, walking in the door, filling out an application and being handed your dream assignment. Law enforcement is a diverse profession with literally thousands of options, specialties, and career paths. That’s the good news. Here’s ...
    Rated +24
  • +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
  • +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
  • +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
  • +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
  • +19

    Interviewing the Interviewer

    Interviewing the Interviewer
    You’ve made it to the interview stage. Now it’s time to come up with all those clever, meaningful responses to the interviewer’s questions. In any good interview, the candidate asks as many questions as the interviewer. Keep in mind that the questions you ask are one of your best opportunities to showcase your knowledge, communication skills and commitment. *Right resources* There ...
    Rated +19
  • +18

    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 +18
  • +15

    Choosing Your Department, and Your Career

    Choosing Your Department, and Your Career
    I’ve been a cop at the same police department for 28 years. That’s more than half my life, longer than any of my romantic relationships and four years more than my oldest kid was on his last birthday. That’s quite a commitment. You’d think that I must have chosen carefully back in 1980 when I took my agency’s police entrance exam. ...
    Rated +15
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