Police Selection the Selection Process for Aspirant Essay

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Police Selection

The Selection Process for Aspirant State Police Officers

Becoming a police officer at the state level requires dedication, courage and tenacity. Indeed, the process for state officers can often be more streamlined, bureaucratic and selective than that engaged at the municipal or local levels. Therefore, becoming a State Trooper will call for a commitment to the recruitment, preparation, testing, and training processes that are streamlined and specific to each state. As the discussion here shows, there are a number of eligibility requirements, guidelines and expectations which can help the aspirant officer navigate the process.

According to the Law Enforcement Preparation Center (LEPC), the process of being hired into a department as a state level officer can actually take up to 9 months. This is because of the lengthy testing, monitoring and training periods which follow the acceptance of the candidate's application. According to the LEPC, "the requirements to be a police officer differ from agency to agency, but there are some general requirements most departments across the country use to measure a potential prospect." (LEPC, p. 1) Accordingly, the LEPC indicates that basic eligibility for most states calls for U.S. citizenship, a clean criminal record, a clean record on domestic assault, a drive's license which has never been revoked, no past of having been dishonorably discharged from any type of government agency, no unsettled criminal or civil cases pending, proof of being 21 years of age, a health credit history and a high school diploma or GED. (LEPC, p. 1) These requirements constitute the basic conditions which all prospective state officers must first meet in order to proceed to application.

Once this threshold has been met, an application may be submitted to the state agency, which, upon acceptance, will initiate a series of evaluation procedures. A document which specifies the subsequent steps for the state of Indiana demonstrates the traditional sequence of such evaluations. Accordingly, the Indiana State Police (ISP)(2009), indicate that those applying to become officers who are selected for continuation to the next step are invited to take a written examination. According to the ISP, "All candidates who successfully complete the Written Examination will be tested for their ability to comply with the Preliminary Physical Ability Testing. All candidates who successfully complete the Background Investigation will be tested for their ability to comply with the ILEA's Entrance Standards." (ISP, p. 1) The ISP reports that no officer applying is to make any inquiry during the time of pending application consideration and that a failure to pass any of the required evaluations noted here above will result in immediate dismissal from the selection process. In the state of Indiana, this portion of the process is projected to take roughly 7 months to complete. (ISP, p. 1)

The remainder of this duration is occupied by a battery of tests generally designed to test the physical, emotional, ethical and practical capacity of individual applicants to handle life as part of a state police agency. These tests will run the gamut and vary from one state to the next. However, there are a number of procedures which have become largely standardized as best practices in determining the suitability of applicants for the complex pressures of law enforcement. According to the text by the Learning Express Editors (LEE)(2010), across the wide spectrum of possible roles fulfilled by aspirant police officers, a number of entrance procedures have become normative. Among them, the LEE denotes, "in a review of selection procedures published by the Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) in 2003, the most common screening procedures used by municipal police departments were (in their order of use): a background investigation, a personal interview (often conducted by the investigator assigned to do your background investigation, but sometimes a more formal process before a panel comprised of two or three members…

Sources Used in Document:

Works Cited:

Indiana State Police (ISP). (2009). State Troopers. In.gov.

Law Enforcement Preparation Center (LEPC). (2010). How To Become a Police Officer in Your State. Passthepolicetest.com.

Learning Express Editors (LEE). (2010). Becoming a Police Officer: The Selection Process. Education.com.

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