Lots of kids in Indiana grow up dreaming about police work. The career seems exciting, and there are lots of shows on television that make the job appear glamorous. Because careers as a police officer or corrections officer have grown in popularity in recent years, the industry is more competitive than ever before. That doesn’t mean that you can’t make it in law enforcement, if you meet the minimum requirements. Well-qualified officers are always in demand.
There are big cities and small, rural areas in Indiana, and both locations provide challenging police work. Big cities such as Indianapolis (IMPD) and Fort Wayne have traffic control issues, while small communities have drugs and the challenges of police work in rural areas. Sheriff’s deputies have all of the challenges of working highway patrol in the State of Indiana.
To work in any of these great departments you have to meet the same minimum requirements. These requirements are largely universal to the entire State of Indiana, but there are others that depend specifically on the department for which you intend to work. Sometimes you go to police academy first and then you find a job in law enforcement in the state. Other times you receive a job offer from a police department in the state and then they send you to training.
The second method is more common and perhaps preferred by applicants. Usually finding the job first is more cost-effective for the applicant, and it comes with the peace of mind of knowing that there is employment waiting for you upon graduation.
The minimum requirements that you have to meet in order to become a law enforcement officer include United States citizenship. You have to be at least twenty-one years old, which is older than in some other states. You have to have graduated high school or possess a GED. You need to have a valid driver’s license and you must have a very good driving record.
From there, it’s up to the individual department to decide what additional qualifications they want to impose. There is often an upper age limit so that officers can meet physical requirements and so that the state can receive many years of return investment in the officer’s training. You also need to have good eyesight. For most departments, this means you either have to have great vision naturally, or you have to correct it to at least 20/50.
Once you get through the physical hurdles, you have to show your moral fitness. With law enforcement officers in the news more and more for questionable behavior, the State of Indiana and its law enforcement departments are taking this requirement more and more seriously in recent years.
Most of the time, you can get away with a few minor convictions, but a felony is a disqualifying offense. If you’ve been in the military, don’t expect to get away with a dishonorable discharge, either. They even check your credit, so now is a good time to pay off those remaining debts before you apply.
The State of Indiana also imposes physical fitness demands on new applicants, since police work is an inherently physical job. You have to do twenty-four sit ups in a minute. Your vertical leap must be at least 13.5 inches and you have to be able to do twenty-one push ups. You have just under nineteen minutes to run a mile and a half and there’s a sprinting test, too.
Once you meet these requirements, you can likely enter a police training academy in Indiana. The next step is knowing what to do when you get there. Police training can be exhausting. You have to know the laws and know how to apply them in a way that doesn’t violate anyone else’s constitutional rights. You have to learn how to handle conflict. You have to know appropriate ways for taking down information and making arrests. You have to treat victims with concern and sensitivity.
Fortunately, there is a way to get started. Prepare For The Police Academy is an insider’s guide to everything that happens in police academy training in Indiana. You learn what to do when you arrive at a crime scene and you learn how to conduct investigations. Learn the basics of laws and study up on the code of ethics. You can find this great book at www.PrepareForThePoliceAcademy.com. When you study it, you can be the first to raise your hand during training. Impress your trainers and even score a great job in law enforcement if you haven’t already.
County Sheriff Agencies in Indiana: