Our last discussion focused on the 'why' behind being a LEO. In case you were trapped in a blackhole somewhere and missed that article, click my expert bio and it is listed at the bottom. After having evaluated your reasons behind becoming a LEO, it is crucial you analyze the steps necessary to accomplish such a goal… what exactly will it take to achieve this milestone?
Let's jump right into Lesson #2, shall we? This next step will set the tone from here on out, and that is: you're going to need patience and a strong will to push forward. You must persevere and do as best you can throughout the entire process. I'm not going to sugar coat it for you; the process of becoming a LEO can often be difficult, tedious and time consuming. The days of simply applying, passing a simple background and going through a brief academy are long gone. Various agencies across the nation have very similar hiring requirements (along with the application process) before joining an agency.
Most agencies will require you to pass a written and a physical fitness test before proceeding to the next step-the physical aspect is of high importance, therefore it is necessary to adopt a fitness regime and maintain such. The following step is usually in the form of an extensive background check. Hence, Lesson #3; be honest on your background application. If you "neglect" or "fail" to be upfront, that will usually stop your process dead in its tracks, preventing you from moving forward and hindering your possibilities for future hire. Once your background check is clear, however, you can expect to complete an oral board interview as well as a polygraph test.
We have not yet touched on the topic of the academy and what that all entails (requirements, and what it takes for successful completion), but before we move on, I feel it is only fitting to provide you with a brief insight into my process prior to starting the academy. The reason I say you need patience and a strong will to push forward is the simple fact that you may fail your first time taking an entrance exam (or any part of the process for that matter). As for me, that was the case on the written exam. I had to wait a whole 6 months before I could apply and re-test. However, I did not let that stop me; I continued to stay in shape and prepare as much I could for the exam.