Staffing in American Policing

From the course and the reading on American policing, I have come to discover quite a lot of facts about the entire police structure and recruitment. I have also learned about the historical background of the American police and the various transitions that have occurred since the establishment of this institution. There is just too much to be mentioned. This essay shall, however, focus on the recruitment process of police in America. This is one of the areas that caught my attention. I therefore went an extra mile to establish more information concerning the very topic. Below is the narration of the police staffing process. In America, the staffing of police is conducted differently in various states. Nonetheless, I learned that these states normally have agencies that are responsible for carrying the entire process. The agencies always subject the candidates to thorough scrutiny before they eventually accept their candidature. As said, each state has its own standards called the Police Officer Standards and Training. I had always thought police recruitment is the duty of the central government. I had not imagined that such a function could be devolved. This was a big discovery and a lesson well learnt.

The step in police staffing involves the application by the candidates. When an individual applies for the post, he or she is provided with a questionnaire to prove his or her interest and eligibility. This is because the state government would not employ jokers for police. The questionnaires are then reviewed by the agencies. The successful candidates are then invited for an exam.

The second stage, I learnt, is the taking of examination by the invited candidates. The exam can either be written or in video form. It was quite a relief to learn that these exams are not very academic. They are not of specific courses. The aim of the test is to evaluate the general aptitude of the candidates. The tests include reading skills, problem-solving, writing skills and memory test.  In video examination, a candidate is allowed to watch a scenario in video and give his or her feedback. The feedback is the evaluated appropriately.

When one passes these tests, he or she subjected to another series of tests. These include physical fitness, background information, drug test, polygraph and general medical test. The physical fitness is to ascertain the condition of the body. Policing involves a lot of physical duties. Therefore, a candidate should not have any form of disability. The background information helps the agency to trace the criminal records. This was a very wise step taken in the recruitment. It ensures that no enemy of the state is admitted into the system. The background information is also helpful in understanding the culture and needs of a police officer. Drug test ensures that no candidate is abusing drugs. Abuse of drugs in the service will compromise the state security. Medical test involve urine test, weight, vision test, chest X-ray, measurement of blood pressure and all other necessary tests as recommended the agency physician. These tests are to ensure one is in good health before get the job. A sick police officer cannot be effective in the service. These were some of the aspects of American Policing I discovered from Larry and Gaines.

Work Cited

Larry, K, Gaines and Victor, E. Policing in America. Anderson Publishing Co. 2004. Print

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