Do Police Officers Have Job Growth Opportunities?


Quick Answer

The main ways for police officers to advance their careers are through a promotion, through a transfer to a new work assignment or through a pay raise by advancing within their existing work assignment. All police officers begin as patrol officers before any advancement can take place. They must work as a patrol officer for 2 to 3 years.

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Full Answer

After that time period it is possible to transfer to a new work assignment. Examples of this include the bomb squad, motorcycle unit, mounted patrol, special weapons and tactics., a K-9 unit and the dive team. There is an application and selection process for each of these roles, and the criteria for selection varies.

In many cases police officers can advance their careers by taking on extra responsibilities within their existing rank. This is typically associated withgetting a pay raise. An example is moving from a detective I to a detective II position, or a police officer I to a police officer II position.

Finally, it is also possible to move up in terms of rank. The step up from patrol officer is typically to corporal or detective. This advancement is based on experience with the police officer needing to complete four years as a patrol officer before becoming eligible forthe promotion. After detective and corporal comes sergeant, followed by lieutenant and then commander.

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