Group Forums >> Police Explorers >> Why is it that you have to be 21 to be a cop?

+1

Why is it that you have to be 21 to be a cop?

1,249 Views
52 Replies Flag as inappropriate

-4 posts

back to top

Posted about 6 years ago

 

Why is it that in most states you have to be 21 to be a cop? Also, if anyone knows of a state that hires cops at 18, please tell me

-31 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted about 6 years ago

 

Insurance reasons

Badge_max50

193 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted about 6 years ago

 

Hey Jack! Montana law stipulates that a person only needs to be 18 to be a cop. That being said, many departments want people with a little more life experience... However, in small towns where hiring prospects are limited, people are often hired right out of high school.


Oh for crying out loud!

-8 posts

back to top
+1

Rated +1 | Posted about 6 years ago

 

I say a 21 year old is not mature enough for arrest powers much less an 18 year old.  That's my opinion and I know there are exceptions.


Georgia allows 18 y.o. to have arrest powers, however most agencies will not allow you to be on patrol until you are 21.

Cot_max50

3423 posts

back to top
+1

Rated +1 | Posted about 6 years ago

 

not sure of the exact reason why you have to be 21 to become a law enforcement officer, but IN MY OPINION, 21 is still entirely too young.  not sure what age i would like to see it raised to, possibly 25, but i still believe that 21 is too young. 


MODERATOR #7

Cot_max50

3423 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted about 6 years ago

 

18 to have arrest powers but is it still 21 to carry a handgun?


MODERATOR #7

Badge_max50

193 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted about 6 years ago

 

hcgale says ...



18 to have arrest powers but is it still 21 to carry a handgun?



Not in Montana. We play fast and loose with our weapons here


Oh for crying out loud!

-8 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted about 6 years ago

 

Hold on let me do some research to verify myself Gale.  I believe in Georgia you only have to 21 to purchase a handgun but 18 to carry. 

Deputy_20card_max50

134 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted about 6 years ago

 

 


I don’t see how insurance or liability would apply. Anyone over the age of 18, and in some limited cases under that age can be bonded and held personally responsible for torts and civil liability, though in most cases the department would cover the employee if it was in the line and scope of duty.
 
In the states I am aware of; it applies primarily to the firearms laws thereof. Being that you must be 21 to own/carry a firearm outside of the military and other statutory exemptions such as target shooting and hunting when accompanied by someone over 21.
 
Though this is not universal, I was 20 and a sworn Some states have provisions for working in Corrections but not LE above 18, though some states differ.
 
In my honest opinion 21 is still a bit young, coming from personal experience. Granted there are some exemplary 19 year old MP’s and the like, but not wanting to get into that tirade that will surely follow, I will skip it.
 
If I were King, it would be 25. At that stage of life, most; though not all potential candidates have lived a little, have had a chance to get some college level education and maybe served in the military. When I was a young Buck with a badge, I was inexperienced in the nuances of life. Can you imagine me at a DV call, telling a 42 year old couple how to behave, when my bicycle was still hanging in my parent’s garage.
 
As an 18 year old, don’t be in a rush to get on the job. Live a bit, see the world, get some school in. A lot of what I did as a cop came from “life experience” and how I approached things. As a young officer you will face the difficulty of not having been there or seen that. Not to say that you don’t have the right stuff, but it takes time.
 
There are other options to get a foot in the door, such as internships, reserves, work study and the like. Take advantage of those options as you develop yourself.
 
 
 
 

Cot_max50

3423 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted about 6 years ago

 

very well stated greenstein


MODERATOR #7

Badge_max50

193 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted about 6 years ago

 

hcgale says ...



not sure of the exact reason why you have to be 21 to become a law enforcement officer, but IN MY OPINION, 21 is still entirely too young.  not sure what age i would like to see it raised to, possibly 25, but i still believe that 21 is too young. 



I disagree that a person should have to be 25 to be an officer, but, then again, I haven't reached that magic age yet. I've been with my department for two years and will turn 25 in January. And while I understand the maturity issue, I think that I am more mature than some of the 35 yoa applicants that I tested with. I think it very must depends on the person. Of course, that's just my opinion.


Oh for crying out loud!

Cot_max50

3423 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted about 6 years ago

 

abrooke0124 says ...



hcgale says ...



18 to have arrest powers but is it still 21 to carry a handgun?



Not in Montana. We play fast and loose with our weapons here



ahhhhh the right to bare arms....gotta love it


MODERATOR #7

Badge_max50

193 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted about 6 years ago

 

hcgale says ...



abrooke0124 says ...



hcgale says ...



18 to have arrest powers but is it still 21 to carry a handgun?



Not in Montana. We play fast and loose with our weapons here



ahhhhh the right to bare arms....gotta love it



We are the last of the wild, wild west...


Oh for crying out loud!

1979_max50

3273 posts

back to top
+1

Rated +1 | Posted about 6 years ago

 

There are a number of reasons. One is that in many states you must be 21 to possess a firearm. Another very important reason is that 99% of 18 yr olds do not have the maturity to make life or death decisions. I do not want to hear anyone talk about those that are in the military as those individuals are under the supervision of a NCO and are closely watched and in a combat mode which is definitely different than a LEO. Like many of the others I firmly believe that one should be 25 yrs old to be a police officer assigned to patrol without very close supervision and a high degree of training. Many of the better LEO's are those that have gone to collage for a few years and then entered the military. You would be surprised at the difference in your maturity after that. With all that said, there are many States and agencies that do allow 18 yr old to become LEO's, Florida is one of them. Without putting down Florida LEO's my wife and I shortly after moving here observed a Deputy at a HS football game acting in his capacity as a LEO. He was combing his hair and the HS girls were all around him. (he was a nice looking guy). I broke out laughing and when my wife asked what was wrong I asked her to picture this Deputy working my old beat in SC at the west-end and Depot area. (it was a very rough ghetto area with a high crime rate). She also started laughing at that time saying no way! My thoughts were that the local thugs there would have taken his patrol unit, parked it in the middle of the main road with lights and sirens going, stripped the deputy down to his underwear and handcuffed him to the blue lights! No way could a young buck, no matter how tough or mature he thought he was handle these type of dirtbags.

-27 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted about 6 years ago

 

hcgale says ...



not sure of the exact reason why you have to be 21 to become a law enforcement officer, but IN MY OPINION, 21 is still entirely too young.  not sure what age i would like to see it raised to, possibly 25, but i still believe that 21 is too young. 



Im with you Brother!!

-8 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted about 6 years ago

 

Georgia law


§ 16-11-132.  Possession of pistol or revolver by person under the age of 18 years



   (a)(1) For the purposes of this Code section, the term "pistol" or "revolver" means a firearm of any description, loaded or unloaded, from which any shot, bullet, or other missile can be discharged where the length of the barrel, not including any revolving, detachable, or magazine breech, does not exceed 12 inches; provided, however, that the term pistol or revolver shall not include a gun which discharges shot of .46 centimeters or less in diameter.


   (2) For the purposes of this Code section, a pistol or revolver is considered loaded if:


      (A) There is a cartridge in the chamber or cylinder of the pistol or revolver;


      (B) The person is carrying on his or her body or attached to his or her clothing the pistol or revolver and the ammunition for such pistol or revolver; or


      (C) The pistol or revolver and the ammunition for such pistol or revolver are in such close proximity to such person that such person could readily gain access to the pistol or revolver and the ammunition and load the pistol or revolver.

(b) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this part and except as otherwise provided in this Code section, it shall be unlawful for any person under the age of 18 years to possess or have under such person's control a pistol or revolver. A person convicted of a first violation of this subsection shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine not to exceed $1,000.00 or by imprisonment for not more than 12 months, or both. A person convicted of a second or subsequent violation of this subsection shall be guilty of a felony and shall be punished by a fine of $5,000.00 or by imprisonment for a period of three years, or both.


(c) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (d) of this Code section, the provisions of subsection (b) of this Code section shall not apply to:


   (1) Any person under the age of 18 years who is:


      (A) Attending a hunter education course or a firearms safety course;


      (B) Engaging in practice in the use of a firearm or target shooting at an established range authorized by the governing body of the jurisdiction where such range is located;


      (C) Engaging in an organized competition involving the use of a firearm or participating in or practicing for a performance by an organized group under 26 U.S.C. Section 501(c)(3) which uses firearms as a part of such performance;


      (D) Hunting or fishing pursuant to a valid license if such person has in his or her possession such a valid hunting or fishing license if required; is engaged in legal hunting or fishing; has permission of the owner of the land on which the activities are being conducted; and the pistol or revolver, whenever loaded, is carried only in an open and fully exposed manner; or


      (E) Traveling to or from any activity described in subparagraphs (A) through (D) of this paragraph if the pistol or revolver in such person's possession is not loaded;


   (2) Any person under the age of 18 years who is on real property under the control of such person's parent, legal guardian, or grandparent and who has the permission of such person's parent or legal guardian to possess a pistol or revolver; or


   (3) Any person under the age of 18 years who is at such person's residence and who, with the permission of such person's parent or legal guardian, possesses a pistol or revolver for the purpose of exercising the rights authorized in Code Section 16-3-21 or 16-3-23.


(d) Subsection (c) of this Code section shall not apply to any person under the age of 18 years who has been convicted of a forcible felony or forcible misdemeanor, as defined in Code Section 16-1-3, or who has been adjudicated delinquent under the provisions of Article 1 of Chapter 11 of Title 15 for an offense which would constitute a forcible felony or forcible misdemeanor, as defined in Code Section 16-1-3, if such person were an adult.

 

Cot_max50

3423 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted about 6 years ago

 

abrooke0124 says ...



hcgale says ...



not sure of the exact reason why you have to be 21 to become a law enforcement officer, but IN MY OPINION, 21 is still entirely too young.  not sure what age i would like to see it raised to, possibly 25, but i still believe that 21 is too young. 



I disagree that a person should have to be 25 to be an officer, but, then again, I haven't reached that magic age yet. I've been with my department for two years and will turn 25 in January. And while I understand the maturity issue, I think that I am more mature than some of the 35 yoa applicants that I tested with. I think it very must depends on the person. Of course, that's just my opinion.



yeah i just threw 25 out there.  no doubt it always depends on the maturity of the person and i agree that i have met some that are 35 and above that still shouldnt be officers.  21 is just still at the age of learning and getting into trouble.  you still have your friends and you hit the legal drinking age.  just alot to take on at a young age.  there is no way i could have done it, but thats just me.  it all boils down to the individual but 21 is just too young in my opinion to be out on the road and making the decisions that we do. 


MODERATOR #7

1979_max50

3273 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted about 6 years ago

 

abrooke0124 says ...



hcgale says ...



not sure of the exact reason why you have to be 21 to become a law enforcement officer, but IN MY OPINION, 21 is still entirely too young.  not sure what age i would like to see it raised to, possibly 25, but i still believe that 21 is too young. 



I disagree that a person should have to be 25 to be an officer, but, then again, I haven't reached that magic age yet. I've been with my department for two years and will turn 25 in January. And while I understand the maturity issue, I think that I am more mature than some of the 35 yoa applicants that I tested with. I think it very must depends on the person. Of course, that's just my opinion.



As Howard said, there are many exceptions but also remember that you are close to 25!

-8 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted about 6 years ago

 

officerstu says ...



hcgale says ...



not sure of the exact reason why you have to be 21 to become a law enforcement officer, but IN MY OPINION, 21 is still entirely too young.  not sure what age i would like to see it raised to, possibly 25, but i still believe that 21 is too young. 



Im with you Brother!!



I agree with y'all whole heartedly.  I was 25 when I went through mandate school and went onto patrol.

Dapd2_0_max50

738 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted about 6 years ago

 

Age and maturity don't always go hand in hand. I've known some 18 years old that seemed to be more mature than a 21 year old or 35 year old.


But to the question of as why some states require one to be 21 years old to become a Law Enforcement Officer.


Well as it has been stated, insurance and liability, certainly come into play as does the maturity issue. While one at 21 would hopefully be more mature than the one at 18 it seems to be naturally assumed that the 21 year old is more mature and much more wiser than the 18 year old. (However most of us know and understand that it is not always the case.)


With your question you might as well ask, "Why does one have to be 18 to vote?". Again may or may not have to do with life experience and/or maturity (or lack thereof) but it is a written and accepted rule or law. So with those same ideas or ideals the requirements for the age factor are set in place for one to become a Law Enforcement Officer is some states.


"Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't live long enough to make them all yourself." - Eleanor Roosevelt

Explorer_mourning_badge_max50

159 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted about 6 years ago

 

I wish it was 18 so i could get started, however, i understand that is too young. I'm glad its only 21 so i can get started at least then and it gives me a couple years to go to college and get some more education for it.  21 in all honesty is probably too young for the things seen but you never truely know if that what you want to do for the rest of your life until you do it. if not at least you are young enough to get back out and find something else


 


"Live every day like its a good stopping point"
_WNP '89-05

0803081040_1__max50

35 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted about 6 years ago

 

Look guys, before i continue i do want to make something very clear here, I am not an LEO... yet. I am in the military and we come up with all kinds of why this age instead of this age arguements all the time... for instance Why are we old enough to die  for our country but not old enough to drink... it all comes down to Trial and Error. I believe at one time many agencies allowed 18 year olds but after finding that many if not most of them lacked the life experiences needed to be a police officer they upped the age. 25 i believe would be unfair for the people who have served in the military and want to start a carreer in Law Enforcement.. Now for a few other common sense reasons. As a LEO, you have to handle controlled substances such as alcohol... and i know that in most states minors are not allowed to even handle alcohol and if they are caught where is the proof theat they were not intending to take a sip... i know you are on duty as a LEO but still. Another thing is the 18-21 age range could also be used to prove that you have the skills needed to be a police officer like driving safely, making good life decisions, dealing with people the right way, etc...


Like i said before, i am not a LEO yet but this is just from my stand point and also what i have been taught from my Advisors when i was in the LE Explorers. A good word of advice, take the time from 18-21 to do a few ride alongs, get to know what it is like, meet the officers and use that experience to really decide if that is what you want to do and also use that time to get the assiciates degree or bachelors degree that most agencies look for.

-4 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted about 6 years ago

 

Anyways, I'm mature enough and i know what i wanna do(read my profile). The point is is that im trying to go into the f.b.i as soon as i can because that has always been a long life dream of mine, but i also wann get the police and military experience in before hand. I really know a lot of military tactics and things like that, so the military is not a priorty. But police is and if i can aviod going into the service to be a cop, thats something im willing to do. Now what about transportaion cops, do they hire at 18?

-85 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted about 6 years ago

 

hcgale says ...



not sure of the exact reason why you have to be 21 to become a law enforcement officer, but IN MY OPINION, 21 is still entirely too young.  not sure what age i would like to see it raised to, possibly 25, but i still believe that 21 is too young. 



Well I turn 25 December 19th and I'm very mature so..............


Cot_max50

3423 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted about 6 years ago

 

JackBauer says ...



Anyways, I'm mature enough and i know what i wanna do(read my profile). The point is is that im trying to go into the f.b.i as soon as i can because that has always been a long life dream of mine, but i also wann get the police and military experience in before hand. I really know a lot of military tactics and things like that, so the military is not a priorty. But police is and if i can aviod going into the service to be a cop, thats something im willing to do. Now what about transportaion cops, do they hire at 18?



ok now i read your profile and your "about me" section and honestly it confused the hell out of me.......


Im a former police explorer for the pell city police department out fo pell city alabama and currently a police exploer for the cobb county georgia. I just recently changed post again and im now a police explorer now. When i grow up i m going to either stay at the cobb county or go up north to the massachuttes state p.d or to work for the boston police or the cinncinatti police department in ohio(i love you guys on the show cops!!!!). My goals in life are to go into the pre enlist or just enlist in the military after high school and become airbourn , then army ranger and hopfully the 1st special forces operational detachment delta, also known as delta force for 8 years, then im gonna become a policemen for 10 years working patrol and S.W.A.T,maybe some detective work for 10 years before becoming an special agent for the F.B.I working counter terriousm mainly and street crimes until i retire around my 50s. After or before i join or retire from the F.B.I im going to run for president as the republican party aganist the noah mccullough, a 13 year old who is really going towards being president and i am now to, as his main rival at age 16 right now, if i dont win then i will go f.b.i or return to law enforcement and do some patrol maybe before i return to detective work until i get so old i cant work anymore. Than ill do school resources work. Im also an actor now so if i make it big time i will give up the f.b.i (unless theyll accept me anyways) and just be a policeman. I'll be the first celeberty to be a cop, i think


you seem to have an alot on your plate.  good luck!


 


MODERATOR #7

Cot_max50

3423 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted about 6 years ago

 

officer1983 says ...



hcgale says ...



not sure of the exact reason why you have to be 21 to become a law enforcement officer, but IN MY OPINION, 21 is still entirely too young.  not sure what age i would like to see it raised to, possibly 25, but i still believe that 21 is too young. 



Well I turn 25 December 19th and I'm very mature so..............




NICE!


25 was just a number i threw out there.  maturity has alot to do with it and what you have done and accomplished so far in life.  i went to the academy with a guy who was 24 years old and he couldnt even put the brass on his shirt.  he actually was bleeding on his shirt from pricking his fingers.  yeah...i laughed hard at him.  i asked him who did his uniforms at home before he went to work and he said his mother did.    but also, i have seen officers who have been on the job for years who have come to work with their collar brass on upside down. 


MODERATOR #7

Ben_1_resized_2_max50

294 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted about 6 years ago

 

WE HAVE AN OFFICER THT WE DISOATCH FOR THAT IS ONLY 20 YEARS OLD

Cot_max50

3423 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted about 6 years ago

 

DISPATCH is one thing for a 20 year old.  no doubt its a good way to get your foot in the door and get an idea about calls, personnel, and procedures.  but no way is is a 20 year old even close to being ready for the road. 


MODERATOR #7

Avatar_wild_max50

5501 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted about 6 years ago

 

trace1 says ...



Age and maturity don't always go hand in hand. I've known some 18 years old that seemed to be more mature than a 21 year old or 35 year old.





True, but in general, a 35 yoa is going to have more life experience and more maturity then a 21 yoa. IN GENERAL. Of course there are going to be exceptions. We've all been to calls where some idiot 40 yoa is still living with mommy and doesn't cook, clean, or do anything for himself.


Part of the maturity thing that a dept is looking for, in new hires, is not only the maturity to deal with tense and stressful situations that officers find themselves in, but also able to relate to people through life experiences. A police officer must deal with a variety of different stresses, from driving fast, talking to strangers, and being ever vigilant (seems pretty straightforward, but trust me, its a lot to think about and deal with), to extreme stresses, such as facing off with armed suspects, dealing with the parents of a girl who was just crushed by a school bus, to being the first on scene of a suicide where a male blew off his head with a shotgun. The extreme gambit usually comes right after, and right before, hours of boredom and mundane calls. A police officer has to have enough tact and compassion to deal with a neighbor dispute that's been brewing for 10 years, to dealing with the problem kids that haven't properly been parented because the parents can't deal with them, to a volatile domestic.


When I was 21 yoa, there is no way I was ready for this job. Could I have done the job at that age....maybe. Could I have done it as well as I do it now? No.


Heroes Live Forever!

Me_max50

86 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted about 6 years ago

 

We just picked a kid up who's 19 and looks very young. I hope things work out for him

Next Page >