Q:

What are some interesting facts about police officers and detectives?

A:

Quick Answer

In order to become a police officer, a person must have at least a high school diploma and complete on-the-job training. As of 2012, the median pay for a police officer and detective was $56,980 per year, or $27.40 per hour.

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What are some interesting facts about police officers and detectives?
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Police officers must go through rigorous physical and mental training to prepare them for the dangerous, high-stress situations they often face. Duties include enforcing laws, responding to emergency calls, conducting traffic stops and filling out of paperwork.

In order to become a police officer, a person must possess certain skills not required for other careers. Perceptiveness, leadership skills, good communication, empathy and physical stamina are all parts of what make a good officer.

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of 2012, there were around 780,000 police officers and detectives employed in the U.S. These men and women have some of the highest injury and illness rates of any occupation in the country. Despite the stressful nature of the job, many officers find their careers to be extremely rewarding because they spend most of their time helping others.

There are several different types of police officers and detectives. Local police make up a majority of all officers, but fish and game wardens and transit and railroad police make up a high number of officers and these people may work on a local, state or federal level.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are some requirements to become a police officer?

    A:

    To become a police officer, the candidate must be at least 21 years old, have a high school diploma, be a U.S. citizen, complete police academy training, and pass both written and physical exams administered by the police academy. The exact requirements to become a police officer vary by agency.

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  • Q:

    How does one become a police officer?

    A:

    A high school diploma or its equivalent is the minimal educational requirement for becoming a police officer, although many police departments require some college coursework or a college degree. Police academy training is also required for candidates who meet other basic requirements. U.S. citizenship, a minimum age of 21 and successful completion of physical exams, interviews, and background and drug tests are required of all candidates. Certain pre-existing medical conditions and felony or repeat misdemeanor convictions typically disqualify a candidate.

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  • Q:

    Why are police called cops?

    A:

    Use of the term "cop" to refer to a police officer came about because a "copper" is someone who captures or seizes something in English slang. The word "cop" came to mean apprehension in the mid-19th century, and since police officers often capture or seize criminals, English officers came to be known as "coppers." The tradition spread to the United States, and eventually it was shortened to "cop."

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  • Q:

    What is police discretion?

    A:

    Discretion is a police officer's option to use his judgment to interpret the law as it applies to misdemeanor crimes. The laws that apply to felony crimes, such as murder, are black and white. Laws that apply to misdemeanor crimes can be a gray area for police officers, allowing them to exercise their good judgment and determine whether a crime is serious enough to carry the maximum punishment.

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