How to Get a Job as a Patrol Officer
Maj. Mark Brown, chief training officer for the Florida Highway Patrol, said in a 2011 email that the FHP looks for "a solid work history, a desire to help others, a willingness to work through a difficult academy and the ability to work anywhere in the state." Police organizations generally put candidates through a thorough vetting process. Brown said applicants to the FHP can expect "a rigorous background check, polygraph examination, psychological test, physical ability test, a written test, and they will be screened by a physician (including a drug screen)."
Interview Questions Submitted by Real Patrol Officers
"You're off duty....see a male and female arguing. What would you do?" - Allen Police Department Police Officer Candidate (Allen, TX)
"Tell us what you know about the department." - Novato Police Department Police Officer Candidate (Novato, CA)
"How would you do your job as a police officer in case of emergency?" - New York Police Department Police Officer Candidate (New York, NY)
What is the Job Like?
As in other professions, the more experienced a patrol officer, the more opportunity he or she gets—and the more responsibility. Seniority dictates work schedules, so junior officers can expect to work nights, weekends, and holidays. There are more promotional opportunities in large agencies or precincts, where there is room to specialize. Advancement is usually a function of performance and personal merit. “No one is in law enforcement for the money, shift work, or great working conditions,” says Corinne Geller, spokesperson for the Virginia State Police. “It’s that dedication to public service, and the self satisfaction of knowing that you made a difference through helping and protecting others that keep our men and women coming back to work each day.”
Real Reviews From Patrol Officers
+ "Side jobs are endlessly available if you want to make some extra money." - Chicago Police Department Police Officer (Location Unknown)
+ "I am comfortable and confident in most my co-workers abilities in high stress situations due to the training they have received." - Cobb County Police Department Police Officer (Location Unknown)
- "Very political, promoted on how well you did on a test and who you know." - City of Tampa Police Officer (Tampa, FL)
- "The administration does not support the police. No take home vehicles and the equipment need improving." - Hialeah Police Department Police Officer (Hialeah, FL)
Review information and interview questions supplied by Glassdoor.