- You will often be asked about community volunteer work, but even better is experience with a law enforcement agency as an Explorer, reserve, volunteer or intern. That way you will know what you are getting into. A term with the agency you are applying is preferred.
- A maximum total of three points for this question--two if you have completed some work in one of the categories mentioned above, plus one more if the work was with the agency where you are applying.
- If you cannot read, write and use a computer effectively, you will not make it. Even if you pass the entry tests you will fail in the academy or FTO process.
- A maximum total of five points for this question if you possess the listed skills. Subtract 50 points if not.
- Even if you pass the agility test, if you are not in shape you will fail in the academy or FTO process. Worse, you may fail in a real confrontation and get yourself or fellow officers killed. The purpose of the academy is not to get you in shape. It is to take people who are already fit and make them effective law enforcement officers. Fitness also does not stop the day you complete probation. You also need to practice the agility test. There are techniques to getting over a wall or dragging a dummy.
- A maximum total of five points for this question.
- If you get hired on your first try, you are the exception to the rule. It took me three agencies to get my first job offer. Keep trying.
- If you meet the above requirements and are willing to keep trying; five points.
- 48 and above: You can likely pick and choose where you want to work, assuming you meet their minimum requirements. Do your homework and choose wisely.
- 40 or above: You look real good.
- 35-39: Looks promising, but you might take a while to get a job offer. You might have to start with an agency that wasn’t your first choice. Keep trying.
- 30-34: Maybe. You should give an extra effort to get your score higher.
- Below 30: Before you start applying, take a hard look and plot out a strategy based on your work and time constraints. Read books and magazines on law enforcement, and research the Internet. Go on ride-alongs. You should consider taking a few college classes in criminal justice or in any other subject area that requires a lot of reading, critical thinking, and writing reports and papers.
This test is subjective, as a person with three years of dispatch experience who speaks broken Spanish is certainly a more viable candidate than someone that did a one week internship. With that said, this test should give you a good basis for self-examination and reflection on where you are, and where you need to go. While having a good background of education, military service, or experience is the number one point-getter, based on my scoring and experience in oral boards, a person with no applicable experience whatsoever can get hired. The oral exam is often the key. I once helped hire a butcher with no relevant experience who did well on the oral and made an excellent cop. I failed many cops seeking a lateral transfer from another agency. On my first oral I would have scored 15 points on background, but I failed the oral. However, based on rule #10, I was hired 3 agencies and testing processes later.