How would I go about becoming a police officer in the US?

I live in Canada.

I would like to move to the South (Georgia.) and become a police officer there. I would like to move there after University. I'm 19 now and starting University (here in Canada) this September.

Can I even do that?

I would have to become a citizen first, right? How long does that take?

Is it possible? What are the steps I would have to take?

Thank you.

5 Answers

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    I would have to become a citizen first, right?


    In the US the control of such things is up to each state as you apparently know.

    BUT even if the state allows the individual departments within those states may not. For example by law Washington State and West Virginia would allow but no department within the state allows.

    So from the list below of states that allow you have to check specific departments within those states.











    There are basically 2 ways of becoming a police officer in the US. What method to use, such as the oft cited “go to a police academy”, depends on the state you wish to become a cop in and the specific department.

    First the simplest. In many states you must be hired by a department first. They then send you to, at least, a basic police academy. You graduate, take and pass the state certification test and you are a cop working for the department that hired you. No matter what state they are in larger municipal departments like to do things that way.

    In other states you can “self sponsor”. That means you find a police academy, those states publish a list of approved schools, you apply, pay them, go through a basic academy, pass the state test, get certified and go out trying to find a job. Not until hired by a department are you a cop.

    Most of the larger or better paying departments require at least 60 semester hours of college. None care what you major in. They only care that the school is fully accredited and that all course of the 60 hours were at college level.

    Right now there are thousands of self sponsor graduates pounding the pavement looking for work. In most states if they are not hired within a year of certification they have to attend a full academy again.

    As far as education goes. No state requires more than a GED or HS diploma. Most better departments do require between 30-60 semester hours from an accredited college.

    None, not one that I can find in my extensive research and experience, cares if your major was in English Lit. or in botany.

    I feel that criminal justice is way to limited in scope for a future cop. Cops need wide ranging education and experience to be effective.

    When you attend a police academy you get the current criminal justice classes you need to be a cop.

    So you have to check the recruitment web sites for some departments you may wish to join to see what their requirements are and if they hire first when a test will be given

  • J.W.
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    Requirements to become a police officer vary and how you become a police officer varies depending on the department. Visit the websites of the police departments that you might be interested in working for. Police department websites often provide information about their applicant requirements, about how to apply, and about their hiring process. Some relatively common minimum requirements include having at least a high school diploma or ged, being a citizen, being at least 21 years old, having a valid driver's license, and having no felony convictions. Some relatively common steps in hiring processes include application, written test, physical fitness test, interview, drug test, medical examination, and background investigation. Most police departments in the U.S. require applicants to be U.S. You would have a better chance of getting hired if you are a U.S. citizen. However, some police departments in other states will hire non-citizens if they are permanent residents that are eligible for and have applied for citizenship. You have to be a U.S. citizen to become a police officer in Georgia. It is great that you are continuing your education. Getting a degree from a college or university is one of the best things that you can do. Many police departments require or prefer applicants to have college. Having a degree could help you get hired with some departments. Some departments pay their officers more if they have a degree. Having a degree could also help you get promoted during your career. Getting police officer jobs is becoming more and more competitive. Do whatever you can to make yourself the best candidate that you can. For example, don't do anything illegal, maintain a good reputation, keep a good driving record, don't get bad credit, improve all of your communication skills as much as possible, and become as physically fit as you can. Best of luck!

  • knh959
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    There are police in Canada too. You're a Canadian. The RCMP is a world renown police force. Depending where in Canada you live there are any number of highly trained and professional city and or provincial police departments you could apply for.

    Why would you want to be a cop in Georgia of all places.

  • 8 years ago

    well you're a woman so it would be harder for Georgia police would let you join the force, yes the world still works that way (especially down south) Also everyone hates female cops so it wouldn't be a glamorous job at all.

    Source(s): Lived in GA
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  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    Have your brain removed and take a course in brutality and how to commit perjury.

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