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--Philip J Reed on behalf of Westwood College

Of all the career paths available to young men and women, few jobs are more rewarding, varied and admirable than that of a police officer. Police officers have many reasons to be proud of their vocation, and there’s a good reason that interest in joining regional or state-level police forces hasn’t waned. Here are just five reasons to become a police officer, and we’d love to hear any others you may have in the comments section below.

  1. Making a Difference Police officers spend their days keeping the streets safe for law-abiding citizens. People who want to work in a job that contributes to the community can make a difference by becoming a police officer. Although the hours can be long and the days can be unpredictable, the knowledge that the community is safer is enough reason for many to embark on a career as a police officer.
  2. Respect Being a police officer means upholding an example of an excellent citizen, and risking personal safety to protect others. Because of these traits, most citizens look up to police officers, giving them the respect that they deserve. Aspiring to these ideals and earning respect can motivate people to become police officers.
  3. Change of Pace Many people decide to become police officers after working in another field and finding that they are not satisfied with the daily routine in an office setting. Working a 9-to-5 job can quickly become predictable and boring, while working as a police officer is exciting and constantly changing.

    There is no way to describe a typical day for a police officer, because no day is typical. One day could be spent making routine traffic stops, while the next can be spent chasing and apprehending a suspect.
  4. Salary and Benefits In cities that hire police officers without a college degree, the salary of a police officer is on the higher end of pay rates for those without a post-secondary education. The average annual salary for a police officer in the United States is slightly above $50,000.

    Medical benefits are typically competitive for police officers. Another benefit that entices people to become a police officer is the pension. Most police departments allow officers to retire after 10 years of service with a pension of half of their salary per year, while putting in 20 years of service allows an officer to retire with a pension of three-quarters of their annual salary.
  5. Job Security Although some cities are cutting down on police force due to budget cuts, none are about to get rid of their force entirely. In fact, many cities are continuously hiring new police officers as older officers retire. There will always be crime that will need to be controlled by the police force, allowing police officers to enjoy job security.

Is it any wonder that so many men and women are researching how to become a police officer? Even if these tough economic times, law enforcement remains a sturdy and respectable career, and that’s something we should all be proud of.

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