How to Become a Police Officer in South Africa
A profession as a cop or police officer can be a great option for those who are interested in protecting and serving their communities and bringing criminals to justice. Cops are important parts of any community, and can do anything from writing tickets to arresting criminals and responding to emergencies. Have you ever wondered, “How do I become a cop?”
So what’s it Like to be a Cop? Many people who are interested in the field of criminal justice ask themselves this same question. But before you decide that you want to be a cop, you should become familiar with what the job is like. Most police offers, on a regular basis, are assigned to a specific area of their department or jurisdiction and work a set shift during the day or night. They receive calls and dispatch requests through a radio throughout the day, which they respond to by arriving on scene and dealing with various situations that can arise. A police officer must be ready to face anything that comes his or her way.
As you can imagine, becoming a cop is not something that can be done overnight and that takes years of education and training to accomplish. For starters, most police departments these days prefer to hire officers who have a Bachelor’s Degree is criminal justice, or a related field. This is not usually a concrete requirement, but it can be.
Educational requirements are just the beginning of the process, however. Candidates looking to become a cop must also go through many screening tests to ensure that they have what it takes to become a cop. For starters, many departments will require physical ability tests and psychological tests before even considering a candidate. This can include anything from passing a polygraph test with detailed questions about the candidate’s past, to having psychiatric evaluations done. Background checks are also run in detail, and it is difficult for anyone with a criminal record to become a cop.
Finally, once all of these requirements are met, a candidate must go through approximately six months of training in what is often referred to as “Academy.” This involves physical training, simulations or potential incidents a cop may get into, and other skills needed on the job.
For those who want to become a cop, they may also be wondering about the types of opportunities out there today and the pay involved. Most officers start out at close to R370,000 per year, though this varies depending on the specific department. Most officers receive promotions each year, and can eventually work their way up the ranks as well.
There will always be job opportunities out there for cops because all communities need some kind of police protection. However, in times of economic crises, some cities have cut their funding to police departments. Still, the prospects for finding a job as a police officer are high, so long as one is willing to go through the intense and rigorous training involved to work as a law enforcement officer. From there, one can enjoy a rewarding and exciting job protecting and serving the people of their community and gaining respect along the way.