Applying to a Police Academy

The first step in becoming a policeman or policewoman is to get your application in order. Even before you apply to a police academy, there are some basics you need to have covered. First of all, you need a high school diploma or equivalent. This can be in the form of a GED or other certificate. If you don't already have this basic education, start there. Additionally, some college credit and even an associate's degree or bachelors will help you further along. Many police academy recruits have backgrounds in criminal justice, law enforcement, or a related field. Along with the book smarts, you'll also need people to vouch for you in the form of personal recommendations. It can be hard to find letters from people who will make you look good.

The best strategy is to speak with your teachers and professors and really get to know them before asking for recommendations or listing them as a reference on the interview. You'll need to spend some time getting to know them and they'll need to learn about you and why you wish to pursue a career in law enforcement. It's best not to have all your references come from one place either. If you can get to know some local police officers that's a great way to get your foot in the door. Offer to volunteer at your local police department and see if they offer community ride along. That way you can begin to network and make the connections that will get you into the academy you desire.

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