7 Top Reasons to be a Police Officer (Ultimate Guide)

7 Top Reasons to be a Police Officer (Ultimate Guide)

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Brian Humenuk | Author | COPJOT
By Brian Humenuk, MS|CJA, COPJOT
Updated on September 4, 2023
⏱️ 4-minute read

Becoming a Police Officer is not for everybody. Like any other job, it takes a person that has an interest in law enforcement and the criminal justice field in general.

And law enforcement is one of those fields that is unique in the fact that, like being a professional athlete or an airline pilot, it requires you to work hard and be dedicated. Like those two professions I mentioned you will need to be a leader and live a clean life.

Are you a person that may be kicking the tires, looking for information on whether or not becoming a law enforcement officer is for you? If you are then you have found the right place or should I say the right website.

This article comes at you from a veteran officer's career-long journey that all started with a police encounter and a criminal justice class at a community college. 

Using my experience I am going to give you a lot of information that was never introduced to me until I ended up getting on the job and discovering the benefits myself. Hopefully, this information will help you decide if this wonderful career is in fact for you.

In this article, I am going to deep dive into the top reasons to be a police officer. Be sure to read to the end where I get into the pay and benefits which in many states can be lucrative. 

If you are new to COPJOT and me as an author please check out my other articles here at my blog index.

and... 

Be sure to read the next article where I deep dive into several important PRO TIPS that will help you navigate the sometimes difficult road to becoming a police officer. ⬇️⬇️

 

 

Let's dive in! 

Why become a Police Officer? The Calling!

For some it's very simple. They may have had a parent, relative or family friend that is or once was a law enforcement officer and that career path was inspired for them at an early age. 

For others becoming a cop is a calling and helping others is a general reason.

The rest of this article is packed full of great reasons to become a police officer and there's a change you may not have thought about most of them. 

Why do you want to be a Police Officer

When I was in my late teens I got my calling. I had been dating a girl who's father was a local municipal police officer.

I happened to be at her house when her father, who was working the evening shift, came home for dinner and he brought along with him a new police officer whom he was training.  

This happened several times and many of those nights he had a different officer with him. This sparked my interest in law enforcement and encouraged me to enroll in Intro to Criminal Justice or CJ 101 while I was at junior college.

It was from there that I knew what I wanted to do in life and that was to become a police officer.

Over the next few years as I started to become serious in my quest to answer the calling. A few times I asked myself why it was that I wanted to travel the long and difficult road to becoming a COP. 

The answer to my question changed a few times as I learned more about the job.

My sense of finding the best reason would go from helping others to a career of excitement to the sense of accomplishment or just simply wearing the blue uniform with all the equipment and driving a police vehicle.

I think you get the point.

Let's talk about the different benefits that you would get if you became a police officer. 

And there are many...

Sense of Accomplishment

A sense of accomplishment can be felt in different ways along with different stages of your career. The hiring process can be difficult to get through successfully and if you are chosen you will feel a sense of accomplishment. 

Police Academies provide you with a large assortment of obstacles to overcome including team building, exams, PT standards testing, and more. 

 

A sense of accomplishment can be felt in many stages of the police academy especially on graduation day. 

 

Again a sense of accomplishment will continue to arrive on your doorstep upon graduating from field training, gaining a special assignment, or being appointed to a higher rank or division. 

 

The biggest sense of accomplishment may come on the day that you retire. 

 

Being a part of a community

Being a Police Officer means that you can be a part of several different communities and not just the one that you work in and serve. 

 

There is also a law enforcement community where Law Enforcement Officers represent nearly a million sworn wearing the same type of uniform and carrying the same type of equipment as you.

 

If you work in a large city the police officers that you work with can make up a community of over 1,000 people. 

 

Many police officers, sheriff's deputies, and state troopers are part of a police union or benevolent association which is another community. Not sure what a police union is? Check out my article "Police Unions and Benevolent Associations; (Here's what they are)."

 

If you go to National Police Week in Washington DC you will see a community like no other. The police community celebrates each other, mourns each other's losses and ultimately treats you like family. 


Pros of becoming a Police Officer | COPJOT

A reason to stay physically fit

Law enforcement can be a dangerous job and being physically fit will help protect you and your coworkers.

You will start in the police academy where instructors will get you in the best shape of your life.

Many police officers get to enjoy monetary incentives to stay physically fit and if you are one of the lucky ones your police station will have a gym that you can work out at.

The uniform of the day is

Police Officers do not need to get up and decide on what outfit they are going to wear to work. If you work on an assignment where you wear a uniform every day then there is no deciding on what to wear if clothes match or what shoes go with what outfit.

 

Many police agencies have a uniform allowance which allows you to go to a uniform supply store or shop online where you will receive your uniforms paid for by your department. 

 

Another benefit is that if you like putting on a suit and tie chances are you will be able to when having to go to court and testify


Pros of becoming a Police Officer | COPJOT

Learning about the way government works

When you become a Police Officer you will learn day in and day out in the police academy about the executive branch of government which includes constitutional law, criminal law, motor vehicle law as well as state and local laws. 

 

The criminal justice system, including the court system, can be very interesting for people who have not learned about them already. 

 

Policing, the courts, and prisons have a very rich history that dates back a few hundred years. If you enjoy history this can be a great part of police work. 

 

Every day can be different

Depending on where you want to work, most police officers can have a large variety of calls that you get sent to. This will depend on the size of the agency and or community that you serve.

 

No two calls will be the same, at least daily. Many calls are routine and some are serious or hazardous. This will also depend on what shift you will work. 

 

What many police officers like about police work is that they are not doing the same job over and over unless they are in a special assignment such as records or permitting.


Police work is 24 hours a day which equals variety

Due to most law enforcement agencies having coverage 24 hours a day, this allows police officers to shift bid on potentially different shifts. There can be dayshift, evening shift, night shift, impact shift, and split shifts. 

 

Different law enforcement agencies have different schedules that they adhere to so if you are looking at where to apply do the research first on what types of shifts different agencies work.

 

For instance, larger police departments have a variety of shifts throughout the day, evening, and night whereas smaller agencies may only have 3 shifts a day which will limit your choice. 

 

Because you got this far into my article on top reasons to be a Police Officer I want to share with you a recruitment video that I believe is top notch, motivational and kudos to the Melbourne police department for taking the time and making the effort to create it and share it.

 Now everyday life policing is not this exciting but the important takeaway from this video is that there are opportunities out there in larger police agencies to grow into specialist positions that you saw in this video. 

Cutting-edge equipment and gadgetry

Police Officers get to enjoy the newest equipment and gadgetry in the field which if you are into that can be a big bonus to the job. 

 

Benefits to becoming a Police Officer | COPJOT

 

From drones to computer software, technology is helping law enforcement do a better job of detecting and catching individuals and groups involved in crime. Your assignment will determine the equipment you will use and there is no shortage of new gadgetry coming into the field.

 

Companies like COPJOT Police Notebooks and Pens are always finding new ways to make the job easier.

 

Living a good clean life

Due to background checks, certifications, and permitting police officers need to live a clean life. There is an incentive in having to think about your career when it comes to risky behavior. 

 

A clean life can be a good life that is absent of excessive alcohol and no drugs. This type of lifestyle can lead to better living.

 

Job security

There continues to be a demand for police officers in many communities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, policing has a 7% projected growth. 

 

Criminal Justice programs are growing into public high schools and technical high schools which is a great sign. Many police departments still only require a high school diploma for minimum hiring standards.

 

Many officers consider job security as one of the top benefits of being a police officer. Although towns and cities do run into budget problems from time to time being laid off is unlikely especially as officers gain years of experience and seniority.


Opportunities to use problem-solving skills

One of a police officer's main responsibilities is to solve problems. They think and act quickly to keep themselves and civilians safe. 

 

Many individuals who want to become police officers enjoy the challenge of resolving crimes with the evidence they collect at crime scenes.

 

For example, a police officer may use footage from a body camera and testimonies from witnesses to connect elements of a case.

 

Opportunities to make a difference in people's lives

A police officer often confronts people who are engaging in criminal activity and protects people from harm. Depending on how a police officer responds, they can make a difference in the lives of individuals whom they serve and protect.

 

Police Officers can show compassion and empathy while remaining authoritative. They might also comfort people who are experiencing difficult situations or circumstances.


No traveling required

Some individuals may not want to work in a job capacity that requires travel. Most departments are city and local police which means that your only travel time is to and from work.

 

Pay and Benefits

Many aspiring police officers like to look at the fact that police officers are paid on average 15% above the national average. Along with that comes government benefits which extend to law enforcement officers and include:

 

  • Paid for or partially paid for health and dental insurance 
  • Guaranteed paid time off 
  • Flexible spending accounts 
  • Direct deposit 
  • Deferred compensation plans or 401k's
  • College degree incentives include tuition assistance and stipends after completing degree work in criminal justice and other degree programs.
  • Promotional opportunities
  • Uniform allowance

Government Pension

One of the greatest pros or benefits of becoming a police officer is that you can receive a pension upon attaining retirement age. This age will differ from state to state and even agency to agency.

 

For many officers, they work their entire careers thinking about receiving a pension check for the rest of their lives. 

 

At retirement age, pension payments are made to employees periodically, usually monthly. The pension payment amount is typically based on the employee's salary and years of service.

 

Most police officers get to enjoy the pension perk, however, many privatized police departments only offer 401k's. 

 

Variety of job assignments

Many police departments offer a good number of assignments besides being a patrol officer. The larger departments can have assignments such as traffic, motorcycle unit, mounted unit, mountain bike patrol, community policing, crime scene technician, detective assignments, and much more. 

 

Smaller departments do not have the same variety, however, many police officers enjoy a slower-paced community and that can be a benefit to them.  

 

Taking the next step 

 

Becoming a police officer can be rewarding in many different ways. If you enjoyed this article and are considering taking the next steps I encourage you to gather as much information as you can about the hiring process and the police academy. 

I encourage you to read my related articles that all give you great insight on becoming a police officer.

5 Duties of a police officer that will surprise you

How much money do Cops make an hour?

What is Law Enforcement and it's Purpose?

Transit Police vs Regular Police; Here's the Differences

Like what you are reading? You can find all of my informative blog articles by clicking here.  

About the Author

Brian Humenuk isn't just an entrepreneur in eCommerce, he is also an informed leader whose experience provides followers and visitors with a look into current and past police issues making headlines in the United States.

Brian has earned three degrees in Criminal Justice with the last, a Masters of Science in Criminal Justice Administration.

Brian extends his training, education, and experience to the officers just now getting into the field so that they may become more informed police officers and stay clear of police misconduct and corruption. 

You can find out more about Brian and the COPJOT story on the ABOUT US page.

Affiliate Disclosure

COPJOT is supported by its audience. If you make a purchase through links on this site I may earn a small affiliate commission. Enough to buy myself a small coffee and I want to thank you in advance. 

More Information

Are you a Police Officer, Sheriff or State Trooper, Law Enforcement family member or friend check out our Custom Police Notebooks and Metal Police Uniform Pens here on our main website.

Our Police related blog articles are not the only thing we do. We manufacture, customize and personalize Custom Police Notebooks and Notepads for Police Officers and law enforcement agencies worldwide. 

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