Is Being A Police Officer Worth It? Duties, Salary, Pros & Cons

A police officer is one who serves the community by ensuring the safety of its citizens and upholding justice. It is a position of honor that show significant achievement, but is being a police officer worth it?

In most cases, the answer is yes.

Far too often, however, police officers put themselves in danger in order to do the right thing.

The rewards are completely worth it, as can be seen by the examples of bravery and heroism that are so commonplace among law enforcement professionals.

Well, in this article, I will talk about police officers, what they do, the challenges they face, and why being one is worth it.

Let’s get started.

Who is a police officer?

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A police officer is a warranted law enforcement officer whose main objective is to protect lives and properties. This is done through the enforcement of laws and regulations.

Their major qualities include humanity, integrity, professionalism, and courage. They are usually viewed as heroes in the community because they put their lives on the line for others.

What do police officers do?

The duties of police officers are mostly administrative. Below is a list of the duties or responsibilities of a police officer.

1. Enforcing the law

All police officers are tasked with the duty of enforcing the law in their jurisdiction. They do this by staying in touch with the community and monitoring activities.

Police officers also enforce the law by acting as a deterrent to crime or by investigating and arresting lawbreakers.

2. Responding to crime

Another major duty police officers are tasked to do is responding to crime. This is to assure the public that no matter what happens, officers are always readily available to fight injustice.

3. Write reports

Police officers are expected to interview suspects, victims, and witnesses in order to get a better understanding of what happened. Afterward, they are expected to write and submit an official report on what happened.

4. Provide support service

Police officers are also tasked with providing support services in the community. Mostly, this includes organizing a gun buyback program, where they buy guns to get them off the streets.

5. Patrol designated areas

Every police officer has a particular area or jurisdiction he is in charge of. It is his or her duty to patrol these areas occasionally to ensure the safety of people or property in their jurisdiction.

SEE: Difference Between A Detective And A Police Officer

Reasons being a police officer is worth it

1. Best place to start your criminal justice career

Many people dream of working in special forces, FBI, CIA, etc., but they do not have the chance to. Being a police officer is the first step if you dream of attaining a higher level as a law enforcement agent.

Once you become a police officer, you can work your way up the hierarchy. From becoming a police officer to becoming an investigator and other positions at state or local levels.

2. Good pay

Talented police officers are in high demand, and this is according to the Bureau for Labor Statistics. They further stated that the average salary for police officers or sheriffs is around $57,000 a year.

You should also know that salary in this field increases based on seniority. The more experience and levels you reach, the more you earn yearly.

SEE: Business Ideas for Police Officers

3. You get the opportunity to save lives

Police officers are normally the first responders to accidents, fires, robberies, brawls, or emergencies of any kind.

As a police officer, you must be able to administer first aid, offer CPR, or save a victim from drowning. In general, you get to offer assistance to people who need them, in that way, you are a hero to them.

You save lives in countless other ways as a police officer. In fact, just your presence in the community reduces the risk of fighting, robbery, or any act of violence.

4. It earns you respect in your community

As a police officer, not only do you get paid for enforcing the law, but you also get respected. While there are a few people who misjudge officers, a majority of them know just how important they are to the community.

These people give officers the maximum respect they can as it is not quite easy putting your life on the line daily.

5. It offers an opportunity to give back to the society

Everyone has a role to play in the community, even law enforcement agents. As a police officer, your duty is to ensure that the community is safe to live in. When this is done, not only are you serving the community, but you are also serving your country.

SEE: Deputy Sheriff vs Police Officer – Differences and Similarities

What are the challenges police officers face?

Some of the major challenges facing police officers include;

1. It requires adequate commitment

Many police officers take on this job without knowing the full extent of the job. As police officers, you must learn to be prepared to handle every situation with complete focus.

It is not like games or movies you see, its real life situations now. You hold the key to someone’s liberty or freedom, and in some cases even their lives. So it is important you commit to it and give it your all, so you don’t make mistakes.

2. Requires effective communication skills

Many people think police officers generally stop crime by fighting or fending off bad guys. While this is true, it is not entirely correct, and this is because many situations require communication rather than action.

As a law enforcement officer, you must understand that communicating is sometimes better. Communication can stop some unnecessary violence that may endanger the lives of others around.

SEE: Why Is It Important to Have Good Communication Skills?

FAQs

Do you need a degree to apply to be a police officer?

No, but you will need a minimum Level 3 qualification, such as an A-Level.

However, some forces have different requirements which you will find on their website before you apply.

Is being a police officer dangerous?

There are a few risks asserted to this career path; however, with the right training and skills, you can minimize the danger.

Conclusion: Is being a police officer worth it?

Although it may be an uneasy path with challenges, being a police officer can be rewarding. You will work with some of the best people in the world and help protect innocent people from harm.

You will also have the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives. If you are willing to do the hard work, then becoming a police officer is definitely worth it. It’s an opportunity to give back to your country while saving lives and properties in the process.

I hope you enjoyed this article. If you did, you should read about lateral police officers and how much they earn.

Thanks for reading.