* Police officers work in partnership with the communities they serve to maintain law and order, protect members of the public and their property, prevent crime, reduce the fear of crime and improve the quality of life for all citizens. They use a wide range of technology to protect individuals, identify the perpetrators of crime and ensure successful prosecutions against those who break the law. Police officers work closely with members of the criminal justice system, social workers, schools, local businesses, health trusts, housing authorities, town planners and community groups to provide advice, education and assistance to those who wish to reduce crime or have been affected by crime. I chose to research this job because I like to help people and the best way I can imagine doing this is becoming a cop.
* Many police departments require that applicants be high school graduates; an increasing number expect some college education. Applicants usually must be at least twenty-one years of age and U.S. citizens. In many communities, applicants must meet minimum requirements for height, weight, eyesight, and hearing. Because most police departments fall under civil service regulations, applicants must pass written tests that measure their analytical skills. Rigorous physical examinations and background checks are also required. New recruits often participate in formal classroom training in police academies. After graduating they continue to train on the job with experienced officers for three to twelve months. In small communities there may be no formal training program. Officers are usually encouraged to continue their education by taking college courses in criminal justice. Police Officers usually wear a uniform while on duty.
Police work can be dangerous and stressful. Officers often deal with violent criminals and may be injured or killed. They must make quick decisions while on duty, yet be tactful and patient with people who are in trouble or have been victims of terrible crimes and abuse. Police protection is provided twenty-four hours a day, so officers may work outdoors in all kinds of weather. Work shifts are usually rotated; however, officers are on call at all times for emergencies. Overtime may be required. Earnings vary, depending on location. In 2004 the median salary for police officers was $45,210 per year. As officers advanced through the ranks, wages increased.
The average minimum salary for police sergeants was $49,895 per year, while the average minimum for lieutenants was $56,115 per year. The following are some of the benefits provided to police officers: Family/Domestic partner health and dental plans for active employees and their eligible dependents. Sick leave disability benefits – Sworn employees receive twelve days of 100 percent paid sick leave, five days at 75 percent, and five days at 50 percent, upon hiring. Employees may accumulate up to 100 days at 100 percent, 75 percent, and 50 percent paid sick leave. Employees are eligible for a service-connected disability retirement from the date of graduation from basic training.
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