Becoming a Police Officer is clearly not for every person. Like any other job it takes a person to have interest in the line of work that Police Officers do.
For the individuals that are kicking the tires looking for information on the benefits of becoming a police officer you have found the right place. This article comes at you from a veteran officer’s career long journey.
In many similar articles you will read that being a police officer is a dangerous job and it is. It cannot be stressed enough that danger awaits you in many different ways. You need to be physically as well as mentally tough and be able to sustain that toughness for 20-35 years.
If you are still reading, great, because we needed to get that out of the way first in order to stay away from sugarcoating this article with the many great benefits.
Some of the benefits in this article you may look at and think they are not benefits but to some people facing danger and fear is something they want to do. Have you ever heard of an airline pilot? Same type of thing, many benefits to the job and for some danger and fear is something that keeps them ticking.
Lets get into the 16 benefits to becoming a police officer.
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1. Sense of Accomplishment
A sense of accomplishment can be felt in different ways along with different stages of your career. The hiring process can be difficult to get through successfully and if you are chosen you will feel a sense of accomplishment.
Police Academies provide you with a large assortment of obstacles to overcome including team building, exams, PT standards testing and more.
A sense of accomplishment can be felt in many stages of the police academy especially on graduation day.
Again a sense of accomplishment will continue to arrive on your doorstep upon graduating from field training, gaining a special assignment or being appointed to a higher rank or division.
The biggest sense of accomplishment may come on the day that you retire.
2. Being a part of a community
Being a Police Officer means that you can be a part of several different communities. If you are going to work in a city or town there is that community.
There is also a law enforcement community where Law Enforcement Officers represent nearly a million sworn wearing the same type of uniform and carrying the same type of equipment as you.
If you work in a large city police officers that you work with can make up a community of over 1,000 people.
If you go to National Police Week in Washington DC you will see a community like no other. The police community celebrates each other, mourns each others losses and ultimately treats you like family.
3. A reason to stay physically fit
Law enforcement can be a dangerous job and being physically fit will help protect you and your coworkers.
You will start out in the police academy where instructors will get you in the best shape of your life.
Many police officers get to enjoy monetary incentives to stay physically fit and if you are one of the lucky ones your police station will have a gym that you can work out at.
4. Uniform of the day is
Police Officers do not need to get up and decide on what outfit they are going to wear to work. If you work in an assignment where you wear a uniform everyday then there is no deciding on what to wear or if clothes match or what shoes go with what outfit.
Many police agencies have a uniform allowance which allows you to go to a uniform supply store or shop online where you will receive your uniforms paid for by your department.
Another benefit is that if you like putting on a suit and tie chances are you will be able to when having to go to court and testify.
5. Learning about the way government works
When you become a Police Officer you will learn day in and day out in the police academy about the executive branch of government which includes constitutional law, criminal law, motor vehicle law as well as state and local laws.
The criminal justice system, including the court system, can be very interesting for people who have not learned about them already.
Policing, the courts and prisons have a very rich history that dates back a few hundred years. If you enjoy history this can be a great part of police work.
6. Everyday can be different
Depending on where you want to work, most police officers can have a large variety of calls that you get sent to. This will depend on the size of the agency and or community that you serve.
No two calls will be the same, at least on a daily basis. Many calls are routine and some are serious or hazardous. This will also depend on what shift you will work.
What many police officers like about police work is that they are not doing the same job over and over unless they are in a special assignment such as records or permitting.
7. Police work is 24 hours a day which equals variety.
Due to most law enforcement agencies having coverage 24 hours a day this allows police officers to shift bid on potentially different shifts. There can be dayshift, evening shift, night shift, impact shift and split shifts.
Different law enforcement agencies have different schedules that they adhere to so if you are looking at where to apply do the research first on what types of shifts different agencies work.
For instance larger police departments have a variety of shifts throughout the day, evening and night where smaller agencies may only have 3 shifts a day which will limit your choice.
8. Cutting edge equipment and gadgetry
Police Officers get to enjoy the newest equipment and gadgetry in the field which if you are into that it can be a big bonus to the job.
From drones to computer software, technology is helping law enforcement do a better job at detecting and catching individuals and groups involved in crime. Your assignment will determine the equipment you will use and there is no shortage of new gadgetry coming into the field.
Companies like COPJOT Police Notebooks and Pens are always finding new ways to make the job easier.
9. Living a good clean life
Due to background checks, certifications and permitting police officers need to live a clean life. There is incentive in having to think about your career when it comes to having risky behavior.
A clean life can be a good life which is absent excessive alcohol and no drugs. This type of lifestyle can lead to better living.
10. Job security
There continues to be a demand for police officers in many communities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistic, policing has a 7% projected growth.
Criminal Justice programs are growing into public high schools and technical high schools which is a great sign. Many police departments still only require a high school diploma for minimum hiring standards.
Many officers consider job security as one of the top benefits of being a police officer. Although towns and cities do run into budget problems from time to time being laid off is unlikely especially as officers gain years of experience and seniority.
11. Opportunities to use problem-solving skills
One of a police officer’s main responsibilities is to solve problems. They think and act quickly to keep themselves and civilians safe.
Many individuals who want to become police officers enjoy the challenge of resolving crimes with the evidence they collect at crime scenes. For example, a police officer may use footage from a body camera and testimonies from witnesses to connect elements of a case.
12. Opportunities to make a difference in people’s lives
A police officer often confronts people who are engaging in criminal activity and protects people from harm. Depending on how a police officer responds, they can make a difference in the lives of individuals whom they serve and protect.
Police Officers can show compassion and empathy while still remaining authoritative. They might also comfort people who are experiencing difficult situations or circumstances.
13. No traveling required
Some individuals may not want to work in a job capacity that requires travel. Most departments are city and local police which means that your only travel time is to and from work.
14. Pay and Benefits
Many aspiring police officers like to look at the fact that police officers are paid on average 15% above the national average. Along with that comes government benefits which extend to law enforcement officers and include:
- Paid for or partially paid for health and dental insurance
- Guaranteed paid time off
- Flexible spending accounts
- Direct deposit
- Deferred compensation plans or 401k’s
- College degree incentives including tuition assistance and stipends after completed degree work in criminal justice and other degree programs.
- Promotional opportunities
- Uniform allowance
15. Government Pension
One of the greatest pros or benefits to becoming a police officer is that you can receive a pension upon attaining retirement age. This age will differ state to state and even agency to agency.
For many officers they work their entire career thinking about receiving a pension check for the rest of their lives.
At retirement age, pension payments are made to employees periodically, usually monthly. The pension payment amount is typically based on the employee’s salary and years of service.
Most police officers get to enjoy the pension perk, however, many privatized police departments only offer 401k’s.
16. Variety of job assignments
Many police departments offer a good number of assignments besides being a patrol officer. The larger departments can have assignments such as traffic, motorcycle unit, mounted unit, mountain bike patrol, community policing, crime scene technician, detective assignments and much more.
Smaller departments do not have the same variety, however, many police officers enjoy a slower paced community and that can be a benefit to them.
Our Police related blog articles are not the only thing we do. We manufacture, customize and personalize Custom Police Notebooks and Notepads for Police Officers and law enforcement agencies worldwide.