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Older teens can work in a police station as a police officer or 911 dispatcher. However, for each of these roles, the applicant must meet specific criteria and must undergo a good deal of training. The following topics are therefore covered in this article:

  • Introduction into Law Enforcement for Teens
  • Career Exploration for Teens
  • Working as a 911 Operator
  • Applying to Work as a Police Officer
  • Attending the Police Academy
  • Pay and Benefits

Introductions into Law Enforcement for Teens

While most people have to apply to the police force and attend a police academy to become an officer, you can become introduced to working in this line of work early. For example, some police agencies offer a teen police academy that is open to teens that are 16 to 18 years of age. This type of training is outlined specifically for high school students and takes place for a period of about five days.

Teens, in this setting, can learn more about building searches, crime scene investigations, SWAT activities, and working with K9s. Teens also get the opportunity to test their driving skills in a marked police vehicle. In addition, participants can also process a mock scene of a crime.

Career Exploration for Teens

However, that being said, not all locations offer this type of career introduction to kids. Nevertheless, you can still investigate police explorer programs. The following descriptions can vary from one police department to the next. The differences may entail the ages of the participants and their specific functions and roles.

Law Enforcement Exploring

This program is designed to permit young women and men, ages 14 to 20, to experience hands-on activities in law enforcement. This is a volunteer-type program.

Police Cadets

This apprenticeship program in law enforcement is designed for 18 to 21-year-olds. Cadets, in this assignment, are paid to work full-time or part-time in a police station. This program is designed to help participants transition to the job of a full-time officer.

Police Reserve Officers

These volunteers go through a comprehensive training program and perform various police functions as well. They typically have the authority to arrest people who violate the law and also are armed. Police reserves officers must be 18 to 21 years of age.

Police Auxiliary

These volunteers perform similar responsibilities as reserve officers. The age requirements vary, depending on the policing authority.

Working as a 911 Operator

Older teens, at least 18 years old, may also apply for emergency or 911 dispatchers. Employees in this role take incoming calls concerning emergencies and route responders to specific locations. However, this job is expected to decline to some degree in the future.

Dispatchers need to be able to communicate well and multi-task while maintaining a calm disposition. Employer training is provided for this communications role. Other responsibilities may include filing reports and providing resource information for non-emergency callers.

The training dispatchers receive includes the technical aspects of broadcasting as well as stress management. This type of training normally takes from three to six months to complete, and requires the completion of a certificate program in emergency communications. A basic prerequisite for the job is a high school diploma. Some police stations require that applicants complete relevant college coursework or have previous experience.

Applying to Work as a Police Officer

If you wish to apply to work as a police officer, you first should check with your local police station about posted job announcements. Employment candidates must pick up an application packet and submit a cover letter and resume.  Because this is a police station and your resume should be top-notch, we recommend that you use a resume builder to help with format things correctly.  They must then take a written test. If they pass this exam, they will participate in an oral board interview. Next a physical agility test is administered, and a background investigation is made. A medical exam is required before the candidate is offered employment.

Attending the Police Academy

If you accept work as a police officer, you must obtain further training by attending a police academy. This training involves completing specific modules. Normally, these modules involve police strategy, weapons training, community collaboration and assistance, and mental toughness.

Recruits must complete certain physical requirements as well. For example, a police agency may require that you complete an obstacle course, a body drag, a chain link fence climb, a wall climb, and perform a 500-yard sprint and 1.5 mile run.

Pay and Benefits

Police officers are paid well and receive shift differential pay for working nights or weekends. They also receive longevity pay for the number of years they serve in the police force. Overtime is allotted for duty that goes beyond an officer’s regular schedule. Allowances are also provided for uniforms and equipment. Besides an above-average salary, a police officer also enjoys a variety of insurance coverage options and retirement packages. In fact, if you begin the job at a young age, you can retire in your forties.

So, what do you think about working in a police station? Would you like to become an officer or would you rather work as a dispatcher?

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