Best Reasons to Become a Cop: The demand for Law Enforcement professionals far outweighs the current workforce. The number of applicants for law enforcement jobs is down more than 90 percent in some cities. Police departments may soon post more signs saying “Help Wanted” instead of “Most Wanted.” Record-low unemployment has also made it harder for most industries to fill vacancies.
But a career in Law enforcement provides many opportunities. It’s a respected job that provides multiple paths for growth that are seldom considered. If you love serving our community, helping those in need, and building a rewarding career with many benefits, then it’s time to consider joining your local Police Department.
Best Reasons to Become a Cop
Here are just a few of the best reasons to become a cop:
Job Benefits for Law Enforcement
Public service and government jobs are often best known for their generous health benefits, even if salaries aren’t always equal to equivalent private sector jobs. This most often means affordable health insurance for police officers and their families.
In law enforcement careers, though, another and often even bigger benefit comes at the end of your career, in retirement. Due to the stresses and rigors of the job, police officers are often allowed to retire earlier than most, at either 20 or 25 years of service, and at a higher accrual rate than most careers offer. This translates to better benefits sooner.
Law Enforcement Salaries
While most cops will tell you they don’t get compensated enough for their work, the fact is that most departments offer competitive salaries, especially in larger cities. Police officers typically start making between $45,000 and $70,000 annually (according to ZipRecruiter), with many agencies offering additives for differing shifts, length of service, and additional training or expertise.
Opportunities for Advancement
Law enforcement organizations provide tremendous opportunities to promote and advance through the ranks. It even provides you with different paths to take depending on your interests.
Rank structures in law enforcement agencies often resemble those of the armed forces. As positions become available, they are typically filled from the lower ranks. While departments sometimes promote someone from outside the department, more often than not, there is an objective promotional process.
Ongoing Career Development in Law Enforcement
The learning never stops in law enforcement. Because you’ll be working in a diverse and dynamic environment, you’ll necessarily be learning new tactics and techniques throughout your career.
Besides the mandatory retraining that most POST and standards and training commissions impose on officers, training opportunities exist for an almost immeasurable number of topics that can help you excel in your career. Topics include languages, advanced defensive tactics, physical fitness, and beyond. Virtually any training you can think of that can aid your career is often made available at no cost to the individual officer.
It Might Actually Be Fun…
It’s not a secret law enforcement officers like to reveal too often, but the truth is that the job can be a lot of fun.
While working as a police officer, it’s not uncommon to hear someone utter the phrase, “I can’t believe I’m getting paid to do this!” Sometimes, you may have to drive fast. Sometimes, you may have to chase people on foot. Working crime scenes, guarding perimeters, tracking suspects, and the like can be so exciting and intriguing that it often doesn’t feel like work. Many police activities bring an adrenaline rush that can keep you excited and enthusiastic about the job far after the incident itself wanes.
A decent salary, job security, great benefits, constant opportunities to learn new things, and ongoing chances for promotion make a career in Law Enforcement a great choice. With waning recruit numbers, our cities and communities need great people to fill critical jobs. The career may be trying at times, but more often than not, it’s rewarding. These are just a few of the best reasons to become a cop.
Learn more about the American Police Officers Alliance.