Five Reasons to Become a Police Officer

Some Rewards of a Law Enforcement Career

Policeman crouching
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For all the talk about the rewards of police work, are the careers in law enforcement that great? The short answer is often, "Yes!" For all the inherent dangers – you put your life on the line each time you put on your uniform and strap on your weapon – there are some advantages. Benefits and pay tend to be good and secure, and there's a great deal of personal gratification involved with the job as well.

For those of you who are on the fence about deciding your career, here are five reasons why you might want to consider becoming a police officer.

Police Officers Have an Opportunity to Save Lives Every Day

You'll frequently find yourself in a position to save someone's life. It may be a life-and-death situation involving pulling a victim out of a crashed car or providing first aid and basic life support to a shooting victim before paramedics arrive. But aside from these obvious examples, your mere presence may save countless lives that you'll never know about. Every speeding ticket you write, every fight you break up, and every incident of domestic violence you respond to may have been a fatality in the making before you prevented it.

Police Officers Can Help People Make Better Choices

Police officers often encounter people when they're at their worst. Drug addicts, gang members, thieves, spousal abusers and people who drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs are just a few examples.

Believe it or not, one of the most satisfying aspects of working as a law enforcement officer is the unique opportunity you'll have to show these people a better way. They're usually a captive audience and, if treated kindly and respectfully, they may listen to what you have to say. Although you may not ever know it, how you treat the lowest criminal may play a huge role in whether he makes better choices in the future.

A Police Officer's Job Is Never Routine

Every day has the potential to be completely different from the one before. There's no better environment for those who abhor monotony. Routine can change on a dime.

Not only does each shift have the potential to be different from the last, but the opportunities to diversify your job tasks are usually abundant. Are you tired of patrol? Find out what's involved in transferring into investigations. Bored of investigating traffic crashes? Consider working toward becoming a K-9 officer. Law enforcement allows motivated people to try their hand at a host of unique and interesting skills and jobs.

Police Officers Are Problem Solvers

Yes, you'll occasionally chase people, and you may be called upon to outsmart bad guys, but in the end, police work is all about problem-solving. Officers often work with individuals in conflict to come up with mutually agreeable solutions. With the advent of community-oriented policing, a great deal of police work now involves helping people solve problems to keep them out of the criminal justice system rather than put them in it.

Police Officers Are Proud to Serve Their Communities

It can be immensely satisfying to know that your work serves a greater good. There are many personally rewarding aspects of police work, but the knowledge that what you do will hopefully help scores of people, in the long run, is perhaps the greatest intangible reward.

Most people are social animals, and it's in our DNA to want to help each other. Working as a police officer fulfills this desire while at the same time providing an opportunity to support yourself and your family.

Of course, these are just a few reasons to consider working in law enforcement. There are far more benefits to the job. If you're looking for a solid career opportunity with some great rewards, you can do worse than law enforcement.