Job · November 25, 2022

How To Get A Police Job

How To Get A Police Job – 1 of 2 FILE – In this Dec. 12, 2013, file photo, state and local police officers line up outside an auditorium before an awards ceremony at the Connecticut State Police Training Academy in Meriden, Connecticut. Some police departments are relaxing age-old standards for accepting recruits. The changes are designed to deal with declining interest in a job that offers low pay, rigorous physical demands and the risk of death, all under public scrutiny. There is also a need to attract more minorities. The Connecticut State Police is among the agencies grappling with diversity. (AP Photo/Dave Collins, file)1 of 2 FILE – In this Dec. 12, 2013, file photo, state and local police officers line up outside an auditorium before an awards ceremony at the Connecticut State Police Training Academy in Meriden, Conn. Some police departments are lowering age-old standards to accept recruits. The changes are designed to deal with declining interest in a job that offers low pay, rigorous physical demands and the risk of death, all under public scrutiny. There is also a need to attract more minorities. The Connecticut State Police is among the agencies grappling with diversity. (AP Photo/Dave Collins, File)

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Police departments are relaxing old standards for accepting recruits, from lowering education requirements to forgiving some past drug use, to try to attract more people to their ranks.

How To Get A Police Job

How To Get A Police Job

The changes are designed to deal with declining interest in a job that offers low pay, rigorous physical demands and the possibility of being killed in the line of duty while being under intense public scrutiny. There is also the question of how to encourage more minorities to become police officers.

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“We have a national crisis,” said Eugene O’Donnell, a former New York City police officer and now a lecturer at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. “For the first time in my life, I would say that I could never recommend the job. Who is going to turn on a camera, walk into urban America where people will criticize your every move? You will be demonized.”

There is no national standard for becoming an officer; it is up to each state to set requirements. Generally, past drug use or previous brushes with the law, however minor, have been enough to disqualify someone from becoming an officer. On top of that are physical fitness standards that have long been academic graduation requirements. And even after graduation, recruits often face a background check that may include a credit history.

The physical requirements have hindered the employment of women, while credit history and educational standards have stood in the way of some minorities. Amid the push to diversify, many police departments are questioning whether these longstanding, military standards are the best ways to attract officers who can relate to communities and ease tensions.

Departments changing tests and other requirements that have been found to disqualify minority candidates disproportionately were praised in a report released last month by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

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People from minority communities are more likely to be disqualified from criminal background and credit checks because members of these communities are more likely to have contact with the criminal justice system and have lower credit scores, the report says. Minorities also may have more trouble with written tests that don’t accurately screen people for the skills needed for police jobs, it says.

A 2013 survey by the U.S. Department of Justice found that about 12 percent of the nation’s officers were black and 12 percent were Hispanic. The percentage was higher than three decades earlier, but minorities continue to be underrepresented in many communities, according to the department. About 13 percent of the U.S. population is black and about 18 percent is Hispanic, according to the census.

“Hiring is particularly problematic in this environment we live in,” said Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum. “I’ve been in a room with a large group of police officers … I’ve asked how many of you want your son or daughter to be a police officer, and no one raises their hand.”

How To Get A Police Job

Police officials say they have stepped up efforts to hire officers of color, including holding recruitment events in cities, targeting minority groups on social media and visiting military bases and colleges.

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Blacks and Hispanics make up about a third of applicants and about a quarter of the state’s population, but only 10 percent of the force — the baseline set three decades ago after the agency was sued. Since 2004, nearly 4,500 blacks and 4,200 Hispanics have applied to become Connecticut troopers, but only 28 African-Americans and 38 Hispanics have graduated from the academy, according to data from The Associated Press. During the same period, 15,000 whites applied and 527 graduated from the academy.

State police officials say they have increased efforts to recruit minorities, but many do not make it through the hiring and testing process — including a background check, lie detector and physical agility tests, and a written exam designed to assess logical reasoning, reading skills, communication skills and other personal characteristics. Officials also cited stiff competition; many graduates get jobs in other departments.

“They always say they’re going to make an honest effort to improve the numbers, but I don’t see that happening,” said Fred Abrams, a black retired Connecticut trooper who led the 1982 federal lawsuit that resulted in the department agreeing to hire more minorities. “No one is holding them accountable.”

While many departments won’t hire someone who admits to using marijuana in the past three years, in Baltimore, where riots took place after a black man died after being transported in a police car, the commissioner is trying to change the rules — calling the “No. 1 disqualifier for police applicants.”

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“I don’t want to hire altar boys as police officers, necessarily,” Police Commissioner Kevin Davis told The Baltimore Sun. “I want people of good character, of good moral character, but I want people who have lived a life just like everyone else — a life that is unlike the lives of the people they will interact with every day.”

In Wichita, Kansas, Police Chief Gordon Ramsay is working to loosen some standards, saying it will help officers relate better to people they encounter.

“People who have struggled in life … can relate better to the people we’re dealing with,” Ramsay said. “My experience is that they show more empathy.”

How To Get A Police Job

In Arizona, the state’s Peace Officer Standards and Training Board adopted new guidelines to allow earlier use of Adderall, which is often used to treat attention deficit disorder or as a study aid, if the use was not extensive.

Pros & Cons Of Being A Police Officer

Education requirements changed in Louisville, Kentucky, where police recently dropped a requirement of at least 60 college credit hours after seeing a steady decline in applications. In the last fiscal year, applications for the force dropped to 1,081 from 1,867 the year before, said Sgt. Daniel Elliott, the agency’s director of recruitment and selection.

In just one month since it was scrapped, the agency received so many applications — 667 — that it had to stop accepting them to ensure it had time to properly review them, Elliot said.

Still, while the changes may encourage more people to sign up, some law enforcement experts worry it will lead to unreliable hiring and cause more problems down the road.

“Lowering your standards is an absolute mistake. It’s an absolute nexus of misconduct, corruption and a degradation of the agency,” said Jeff Hynes, a former Phoenix officer who is chair of public safety studies at Glendale Community College. “It’s just a recipe for disaster.”

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Pane reported from Atlanta. She can be followed on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/lisamariepane . Dave Collins can be followed on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/DaveCollinsAP .Non-citizens with legal status can enlist in the US military and risk their lives in combat. But in most states they cannot be employed as police officers. Now, dozens of police chiefs and sheriffs, concerned about the dwindling number of qualified recruits, want to see the longstanding ban lifted.

“I don’t think someone’s citizenship in any way indicates someone’s suitability to be a police officer,” said Tom Manger, police chief in Montgomery County, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, D.C. He is co-chair of a national police task force. officials are lobbying legislatures to change the law in Maryland and elsewhere.

The move is part of a wider recognition that the difficulty of recruiting police is not just a result of low pay and battered morale – the so-called Ferguson effect – but of many obstacles thrown up by politicians or the police themselves.

How To Get A Police Job

A growing number of law enforcement agencies will now accept applicants who admit to prior drug use or have arrest records for low-level crimes, who lack a college degree and who sport tattoos or facial hair.

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But frustrated police officers say they are still handcuffed by arcane state laws and slow-moving state regulatory commissions.

Matthew Starr, an Army veteran who had been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan

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