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Criminal Justice Articles

Job expectations and salaries for Police Officers

Police officers have a very important and often difficult job. These brave men and women on the streets of America work hard to protect and serve the citizens in the cities and towns they live in. The job of a police officer can be challenging, but it can also be quite rewarding. For those interested in becoming a police officer, it is important to know what kind of job expectations there are, as well as what salary range the jobs will be in.

There are many prerequisites to becoming a police officer. Tests such as an overall physical and lie detector test are common. Many precincts run a credit check, and all will run a thorough background check. It's important for a police officer to be in top physical shape, as the job requires quite a bit of movement, and running in some situations. The ability to be able to run quickly to catch a suspect is very important in cases where a criminal is trying to flee the scene. A drug test will be performed, as well as psychological and personality tests to determine the prospective officer's compatibility with the job.

Most new police officers range in age between 20 and 35 years old. It's important to be in top physical condition, and most police officers must go through a 'boot camp' type of scenario where they train rigorously for several months. This camp or training requires potential officers to learn how to aim and shoot a gun. Many different types of guns can be used, so the trainee must adapt to each one, and know how to aim it properly. Communication skills are essential, particularly because the officer will be dealing with the public. They must be able to communicate effectively on paper when it comes to writing tickets or summons for the court.

The average salary of a police officer starts in the low to mid range, usually from around $33,000 per year to $45,000 per year. Police captains often have a much higher salary, which varies from about $50,000 per year to $75,000 per year or more, depending on the district and tenure of service. Some police districts require captains to have a bachelor's degree in criminal justice or some other type of college education. Sheriffs can make anywhere from $80,000 per year to over $100,000 per year.

The salary for a police officer varies depending on many different factors including the area of the country in which he or she is serving, and the title of the position. While a college education is not always required, a GED and/or high school diploma usually is. There is rigorous testing involved in order to become a police officer, but for those who are truly dedicated to the cause and to the purpose of serving the public, the rewards are well worth it. It is important that all citizens think about our officers and show them respect, as they put their lives on the line to protect people each and every day.

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