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  • Writer's pictureEarn My Badge

The Police Application Process is Too Long! Why?

Hey, it is Lieutenant Skip here with another video for "Earn My Badge." Today, I want to talk to you about the purpose of law enforcement interviewing; the law enforcement hiring process. The biggest mistake that applicants will make is that they think this process is going to be similar to something else they would have applied for. You are very wrong.

The law enforcement process is extremely long. It depends on multiple different facets. Your background, your finances, your psychological, your polygraph exam, talking to people who worked with you before, talking to your supervisors, talking to other departments that you've applied with, in addition to taking the results from your written test and your video test or any of these similar ones that are going to be out there. All of these aspects are screening methods.

For instance, there may be a department that has two openings that they'll send theira recruit to an academy spot. For those two openings, they may have 400 applicants, they may have 500 applicants. It is not feasible for an agency to try to screen that many people right off the bat. They cannot do that many interviews. What they have is if you think of a gold sifter or a flour sifter; you're going to start shaking things and at each level, you're going to have more and more people who get dropped from the process, and then you're going end up with those that you're going to move on.

Typically, the first process that applicants run into is going to be the minimum qualifications. What that is are qualifications to become a police officer based on each state. It's either you meet them or you don't. There's really not much you can do about that, but that's going to be your minimum qualifications. Some of those can be as simple as how old you are. Are you old enough to become a police officer? In most states, it's 21. Do you have a driver's license? Have you ever been suspended? Have you been arrested for certain things? Those are going to be your automatic disqualifiers that are going to eliminate people who don't meet those qualifications and take them out of the process.

After that, there's going to be a version of a written, video test, or police exam. These police exams vary from department to department, state to state. Generally, you're going to have something about reading comprehension, writing, decision-making, and how they do that is going to be dependent on the test. They'll have all the applicants take that, they will set off a cutoff score, and those who do not pass that cutoff score are removed from the process. Now you have a smaller group of people who are going to go to the next step and that may be the physical agility test. Each department will have its own standards for that test. Those who don't make that mark are removed from the process.

Now you see things start to funnel down. The further you go in this application process, the fewer applicants you're going to have in the running. That's how departments start screening applicants. What does that mean for you as an applicant? It means that you have to be aware of what you're coming into. You need to know what steps it is easy to get disqualified for. Many times, it's going to be for something simple, something that you overlooked, a timeline that you didn't meet, a document that you did not provide. These things are in your control. If you missed it, that's on you. Understand that these departments are not going to follow up with you to say, hey, you missed this document, you missed this deadline. You're not going to get an extension. Once that happens, you're removed from the process so it's up to you.

There are a lot of things though, that you can do as an applicant to help yourself out in being prepared for each one of those steps and to make sure that you are one of those people who go through that funnel to the end. Those are some of the things that we talk about here at "Earn My Badge" through the ride-along program, the interview prep, and the written test prep. The thing I need you to recognize and realize is that the competition is going to be tough. The people who want to come into this career are going to be qualified. They're going to want the job as well so you need to make sure you're doing whatever you can to place yourself in the best position to get hired on by the department, to really stand out, because again, the quality of the applicant is going to be different than you would find in a lot of these other industries.

If you want to get ahead of the competition, a great star is our Ride-Along Secrets Course. Be sure to check it out!

Hopefully, this gives you a little understanding of the law enforcement hiring process. If you have any questions, feel free to hit me up on "Earn My Badge," and I'll do my best to do another video or at least message you back with a response to your question there. Good luck and we'll talk to you later.


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