We live in a time where there’s a lingering stench of ongoing tension between law enforcement and civilians… everywhere. With what seemed like a constant stream of police-involved shootings and violent incidents involving people of color in the past few years, it might be time to start doing things differently. Although women only make up a small percentage of most police forces, their contribution to excellence in police work cannot be denied.

Women on the force have less excessive force complaints and are seemingly better at community outreach. Could more women in blue help create more peaceful community relations?

Is it possible that having more women in uniform could lead to safer communities?


If you’ve ever considered being a police officer or a career in law enforcement it’s important for you to have a basic understanding of not only what to expect once you’re on the job… but also the process of getting hired.

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Applying

You won’t be able to simply walk into your local police station, ask for a job and get a same day interview. Be on the lookout for communities that are expanding their police force. Many will advertise that they have law enforcement positions available. You also want to get a copy of the application ahead of time. You want to take your time and have it completed thoroughly and thoughtfully.  

Background Checks

The background check performed by the police department will be incredibly detailed… and be prepared that you may have to go through a credit check as well. Some police forces will also subject you to a full medical/physical exam and you may even need to pass a physical fitness test and a polygraph.

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Training

Police academy training is both extensive and intensive. Among other things you will be trained on the proper use of a firearm, how to drive (various vehicles) defensively, CPR and basic first aid training, and mediation skills. For more advanced training, companies like T. T. Williams, Jr., Investigations, Inc. Police Procedures assess situations to explore if brute force or incorrect procedures are followed. It is very important that you have an in-depth understanding of how to effectively communicate, how to handle escalated situations and the most effective response to each individual situation.

Police Academy

If you want to become a good police officer or if you’re considering a different career path, it’s important for you to know and understand the process of the police academy you will be attending. The police academy is much like boot camp. It’s designed to help you transition into full-time law enforcement. It’s about mental, physical and emotional development to sure that you’ll be able to handle the pressures and real-life situations of a police officer.   

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Other things to consider

  • There’s no way to fully prepare for the tragedies and violent situations that you will witness as a police officer. But you do want to make sure that it’s something that you’re up for. Some things you can’t unsee and others will affect you for life… this is the time to honest with yourself.
  • Childcare. Police work is shift work. If you’re a mom be sure that you have a strong support system in place to assist you.
  • Be okay with consistent male interaction. Since women only make up roughly 13% of the police force nationwide… you’re going to want to be comfortable with working with men. If you’re wondering why I included this tip… then it’s probably not for you. But this statement made you pause – take some time to explore how you really feel about that reality.

It’s important for you to be prepared, no matter what career you’re pursuing. Especially in law enforcement where there is always the potential for danger. Although the final decision is yours… talk to your friends and family about your potential career path. They may be able to give you the support you’ll need to navigate your new career choice. 

*contributor written post