Why Would Anyone Want to Become a Police Officer?

Jun 4, 2014


A desire for a career in Law Enforcement often starts early in life. How many young boys or girls have been fascinated by police cars and police officers? As they get older, though, many of those young boys get interested in other career fields. There are those people, however, who never lose their desire to get a job in law enforcement. For most people who pursue this type of career, it will mean starting as a uniformed police officer for a state, city or county agency. Working for a local agency is a great way for someone to pursue their dream job in law enforcement. For others, they might start off by pursuing a law enforcement career with a federal agency, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation or the Drug Enforcement Agency.

What are some of the benefits of having a law enforcement career? First of all, this type of career can be very satisfying and rewarding. Most police officers, when asked why they pursued their career, testify to a desire to help people. Day in, day out, police officers probably do more good in society than they will ever get credit for. From diffusing a domestic dispute, to informally counseling a troubled juvenile, to arresting a drunk driver before they have the opportunity to kill themselves or someone else, police officers are having an impact in their community.

A second benefit of having a career in law enforcement is that there is generally a certain amount of job security. Even though it occasionally happens, layoffs are rare in this line of work. Crime ensures the constant need for police officers. Most citizens, when it gets right down to it, will vote for a tax increase or a cut in other services before they will see their local police department lay off police officers.

Good pay is a third benefit to pursuing a career in law enforcement. Closely related to this one is the fact that in most cases, the police department offers a good benefits package as well. While no one is going to get rich working in law enforcement, most people can live a very comfortable life. As an example, the nationwide average salary in the United States for an entry level police officer is around $50,000. This will fluctuate depending on what part of the country that you are in but that provides an idea of what someone can expect to make. When the health insurance, paid vacation, and other benefits are included, it becomes clear that one can make a good living as a police officer.

One last benefit that will be examined is that a career in law enforcement often provides an opportunity to try different things. This is especially true in a bigger police department. As an officer gets more experience, they might have the opportunity to become a detective, join the SWAT team, or join some other type of specialized unit. There are also opportunities for promotion, which leads to an increase in pay and responsibility. A career in law enforcement can be very rewarding and fulfilling!

After I retired from a long and rewarding career in law enforcement, my wife, Annie, and I moved to Curitiba, Brazil to work with a couple of small churches here. We are part of the pastoral team and are helping develop leaders so that we can plant more churches. Would you consider joining our support team? Even a one-time gift would be a huge blessing. Just click here. Obrigado!


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