Officer Selection Process 2 Abstract This paper will discuss the major components of the state police. It will focus on the selection process which determines if a candidate is suitable to work in law enforcement. In addition, the following will be discussed, the training process and career development programs that are available for officers. Many different kinds of government agencies have a great deal of responsibility for enforcing the law and striving for protection.
To become employed with a state police law enforcement agency, one must go through an extensive process which includes the passing of a written exam, an in-depth background check, oral interview, and pass a psychology test. Once the application has been submitted, the written exam begins the first phase of the selection process. Typically these exams are given by the civil service department. The exam evaluates the applicants’ basic knowledge such as: reading, writing, and comprehension skills. The scores are ranked, and whoever amongst the candidates pass the percentage amount will advance to the next phase.
The purpose of a background check is to determine if the applicant is in good moral standing. In doing so, the applicant cannot be convicted of any felonies or have any serious misdemeanors. Not only should the candidate be deterred from all criminal convictions, but also should not elicit the use of drugs, violent activity, the excessive use of alcohol, or portray any racial or prejudicial attitudes of any kind. The person who is responsible for administering the background investigation should be professional and unjudgemental and should focus on characteristics the agency is looking for.
Officer Selection Process 3 The oral interview can be orchestrated as structured, unstructured, or both. In a structured interview the applicant is asked a series of questions in regards to their abilities that may be fit for their job. For example, a direct question may be, “have you tried marijuana”? An unstructured interview question may consist of, “how much marijuana do you smoke daily”? Structured interviews allow for a better complex comparison between applicants. Unstructured questions are open ended questions and are most likely to contribute more information.
The applicants must pass all their selection phases. The applicants score is based on their answers and compared to other applicants on the selection of the criteria. “The purpose of the psychological screening process is to measure intelligence and to identify personality characteristics and any mental disorders that may lead to problematic behavior in the future” (Grant & Terry, 2008). Some police departments use psychological test. “Approximately sixty-one percent of United States police use a polygraph,” (Grant & Terry, 2008).
A polygraph is a lie detector examination that is held in the selection process. The polygraph examination is eighty-five to ninety –five percent accurate. It is used to determine if the candidate is being illusive. It works by documenting unintended physiological changes in the body that transpire when a person in contributing in conscious deception. “One of the most important changes in police training in the past thirty years has been the development of state laws requiring preservice training for all officers,”(Walker & Katz, 2008).
The effect on state authorized training has been the greatest among smaller police departments who may not be able to afford or operate their own training academies. It is said in most states; new officers in small departments are trained at a state training academy or a program certified Officer Selection Process 4 by the state. In some cases, programs are operated through community colleges. The minimum state training requirements are sometimes minor, due to the number of hours of training, than the programs ran by the larger city police academies.
The training process for state police officers has changed throughout the years. It has become engaged in more physical activity. The training period is longer and covers more subjects. It also is a mandatory requirement by state law. The police academy experience serves several different functions. These functions include: Formal training, executing recruits who are not qualified for the job and recruits that are socialized into police subculture. Subculture includes a strong character of identification with the profession, the department, and fellow officers.
To enhance classroom academy training, most departments conduct field training programs. “These programs involve practical experience in police work under the supervision of an experienced field training officer,” (Walker & Katz, 2008). Field Training Officer Programs also diverge in superiority. In one department, a sex discrimination suit was filed by a group of female officers. The female officers stated that the field training officers were being biased towards them.
During the investigation of the suit, it proved that the Field Training Officer Program had no curriculum, no performance evaluation system based on actual tasks, and no training for the field training officers. As a result of the suit, a new and improved Field Training Officer Program was designed. Once completing preservice training, a recruit is sworn in and allocated to regular duty. The officer is then put on a probationary period that last up to six to two years, depending on the department. Officer Selection Process 5
Employment at a law enforcement agency is a career. It begins with the recruitment process and continues throughout retirement. Many retired officers pursue second careers, where they use their experience and training through counseling and education. Career development programs are conducted by federal, state, and local levels. Most of the community programs are managed by local police departments, under the direction of sheriff’s, chief of police, and state police. Attendances of the career programs, officers develop self-confidence, and how to become stress free.
In conclusion, the reader has an understanding of how the selection process of becoming a police officer administered. Also the reader has the knowledge of the major components that are directed under the selection process. In addition the training process that officers undergo and career development programs that officer partakes in were explained in full detail. Works Cited Walker, S. , & Katz, C. M. (2008). The Police in America (6th ed. ). : McGraw-Hill. Grant, H. B. , & Terry, K. J. (2008). Law Enforcement in the 21st Century (2nd ed. ). : Allyn & Bacon.