Research & Facts
Job Title: Police officer for the state of Florida
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The occupation in question may or may not need specific qualifications. The minimum requirement for a successful applicant is as follows: the candidate should be a high school graduate or the candidate should have a GED Certificate. However, a successful candidate should preferably have a college degree (for example, a two or four-year college degree). A successful candidate should also have a valid driving license. Applicants should also preferably have military service experience. Apart from this, applicants should pass the Civil Service Exam, Criminal Justice Basic Abilities Test, Physical Agility Test, Polygraph Examination, medical examination, psychological exam. Applicants should also have an oral interview.
Personal & Professional Skills
Police officers should have specific traits of character, such as commitment, responsibility, and fortitude. Police officers should also be intelligent, responsive, honest, diligent. They should be able to work in teams, and at the same time than should possess some leadership skills. Police officers should be keen to self-develop and to help the community develop.
Duties & Nature of Work
Police officers take part in criminal investigations, respond to emergencies, patrol areas, maintain public safety, respond to traffic accidents, arrest and question suspects, collect evidence, interview victims and witnesses, etc. Police officers are supervised by sergeants and inspectors. A novice police officer is supervised by a more experienced police officer. Notably, there is also psychological support available for police officers.
Working Conditions & Environment
Police officers have to work in quite a stressful environment. The pace is fast and dead-line oriented as all emergencies should be responded to immediately. Sometimes the work of police officers involves travel (though these cases are rather rare). All expenses are paid by the state. It is also necessary to note that the environment is highly structured where subordination is crucial.
However, the atmosphere in the police departments is friendly as police officers are supportive and cooperative as these qualities are extremely important in solving numerous cases and emergencies. Police officers are guided by the following motto: Courage, Pride, and Commitment. For many police departments, these words are more than just a motto as police officers are committed to guarding the order in the community.
Salaries range from $40,000 up to $72,000. The salary depends on the experience, education incentives, longevity. Police officers can obtain promotion to higher ranks depending on their longevity and their professional achievements. The benefits include health and life insurance, retirement programs, equipment, 12 paid holidays, no state or local income tax, various discounts, etc.
Notably, there will always be a need for police officers or organizations like the police. This entity is a part of contemporary society. Some traits and services provided can change throughout time, but police officers will always remain to fulfill their major tasks: to maintain order.
There are various opportunities to apply for various posts: Criminal Investigations, School Liaison Officer, Intelligence, SWAT, Emergency Response Team, Training, etc.
When the interview started, I obtained permission to record the interview. I also explained the major objectives of the present interview. The name of the interviewee, the police officer is Patricia Stickney. The interview was held on 15 April 2012.
How long have you worked as a police officer?
I’ve been working as a police officer for one year and a half.
Please, describe your typical working day.
At present, I work a day shift which is rather convenient as I may have a standard working day. It’s just I worked night shifts as well and do not like them as I perform worse at night. Anyway, now I patrol my assigned area with my partner. We check if everything OK. We pay special attention to small shops as they can be regarded as centers of criminal activity [laughs]. My assigned area is my neighborhood, so it is quite easy for me to know which places need special attention. For instance, I even know boys who can get into trouble and try to keep them out of any trouble. I am lucky as I rarely find myself in emergencies.
Do you have a supervisor?
Yes, my partner is my supervisor and teacher. I mean, I attended the academy and learned a lot of useful things there. However, my partner has great experience and I think he teaches me to act in various situations when he tells me numerous stories from his professional life. He is my coach.
How did you become a police officer?
Well, I applied for this job after I graduated from Johnson & Wales University. I have an Associates Degree in criminal justice. Of course, I attended the academy.
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But why did you choose this job?
I’ve always wanted to make a difference. I think police officers do make a difference every day. We help people live their lives without being afraid of some criminals. I want to make people’s lives safe and enjoyable.
What do you especially enjoy in your work?
I love interacting with people. When I am patrolling my area I often help people to solve their problems. I also like seeing people’s confidence. I mean, I can feel that people are more confident and feel safer when they see police officers patrolling their streets.
What characteristic features should a police officer have?
I guess police officers should be committed, honest, and confident. If you feel you can inspire, encourage (or make if necessary) others to conduct lawfully, you should apply for this job.
There are certain issues to address in the area. In the majority of cases, police officers are accused of police brutality. For instance, Australian police officers were accused of racism as they assaulted African men (Malkin n.p.). Hunt also reports about police brutality (n.p.). The article reveals the officials’ activity against ‘bad cops’. This has led to low trust as citizens are often unwilling to call the police (Spivak). One of the reasons for quite a high rate of brutality is the fact that police officers are often in stressful situations (Collins and Gibbs 256).
As far as I am concerned, I possess all the necessary qualities and characteristics features to be a good police officer. I am result-oriented, honest, diligent, committed. I fit the requirement (my psychological and physical profiles meet the requirements). I may need to obtain a degree in criminal justice. I think I can succeed in Criminal Investigations or Community Relations. These are the two areas that I find interesting as here I will serve the community.
Collins, Pamela A. and Gibbs, A.C.C. “Stress in Police Officers: A Study of the Origins, Prevalence and Severity of Stress-Related Symptoms within a Country Police Force.” Occupational Medicine 53 (2003): 256-264. Print.
Hunt, Albert R. “To Lower Murder Rate, New Orleans Focuses on Police Force.” The New York Times. 2012. Web.
Malkin, Bonnie. “Dozens of Australian Police Officers under Investigation Over Racist and Pornographic Emails.” The Telegraph. 2010. Web.
Spivak, Cary. “Calling the Cops.” The American Journalism Review. 2012. Web.