As soon as they finish training and put on the uniform, police officers’ main responsibilities include serving their community, protecting the most vulnerable people and, above all else, saving lives.
If you’re thinking about becoming a police officer – or you’re already in the police force – these reasons that civilians decide to become police officers are sure to resonate with you.
1. To Serve The Community
Many police officers join law enforcement with the admirable goal of working alongside their community and being able to see the positive impact they have as they work with the local neighborhoods. In fact, an incredible 68% of law enforcement officers chose their career path to help people and better serve society.
In building a relationship with members of the community, police officers further gain the opportunity to reduce crime rates in the area. Indeed, a current goal that police departments across the world are working towards is community-oriented policing, where law enforcement aims to minimize and prevent crime before it actually occurs.
2. To Be Part of Something Greater
Some people become police officers because they are constantly striving for the greater good in their own personal lives. This can expand into their professional sphere, where they can join like-minded people who share the same passions for public service.
Police officers become members of a team unlike many other workforces, in part due to sometimes finding themselves in life-or-death situations that rely on the trust they and their partners share. Through this, they often develop a ‘kinship bond’ with their fellow officers. This bond is a result of supporting each other through poignant or even traumatic events that may occur over their time working in law enforcement.
If you are loyal, reliable and stand by those closest to you in times of need, becoming a police officer may well be closely aligned to your principles.
3. To Be Like Their Favourite Character
Sometimes, civilians become police officers for more trivial reasons, with quite a significant 26.7% of active officers being influenced by portrayals of law enforcement from popular media. Whether it’s a movie, television series or book, the information people absorb regarding police can be inspirational and relevant in their real lives.
From comedy shows like Brooklyn Nine-Nine, in which a diverse group of officers is always ready to save the day, to more intense psychological motion pictures like Se7en, where officers group together their efforts in an attempt to stop a serial killer, these forms of media are greatly influential in encouraging people to become police officers, no matter their age.
4. To Be A Hero
In other instances – which may or may not be distantly related to what people see in movies – some people want to become real-life heroes. As police officers are often the first responders on the scene of a crime, they save lives every day by having first aid skills, and sometimes they even have to help save their partners.
Police officers might also save lives indirectly, such as when they stop someone from speeding and give them a ticket. A seemingly simple action such as this could not only prevent a fatal car accident on that same day, but also for a lifetime.
In other scenarios, officers have to use their intuition from other situations to assess if something is wrong other than the situation for which they were called. For example, if they recognize signs of domestic abuse in what seems to be a completely unrelated situation, police officers can act quickly to ensure the safety and protection of the innocent victim.
5. Great Benefits
Last but certainly not least, are the countless benefits that come as a result of being a police officer. Not only are officers paid handsome salaries, but they can also be offered early retirement after 25 years of service.
The longer officers spend working in law enforcement, the more pay raises they’ll also receive as they work their way up through the ranks. In 2019, the median annual salary for a police officer was $65,170 – almost double the American median annual salary.
What’s more, police departments exist in every town, city and state, so if you ever feel the urge to relocate, you’re sure to find a job in your new neighbourhood’s police force. What’s more, this will give you a chance to develop a sense of camaraderie with your new partners and community as though you had been there your entire life.
This article was brought to you by Kustom Signals, a world-leading provider of police speed awareness and video equipment.