By Emmanuel Morales, Career Development Peer, ASU's Career and Professional Development Services; Natalie McIntyre, Career and Industry Specialist, ASU's Career and Professional Development Services
Are you interested in the field of law enforcement? Are you planning on applying to a police officer position? Here are four insights to remember when considering this career path as shared in an informational interview with Mercedes Fortune, Public Information Sergeant of the Phoenix Police Department Public Affairs Bureau.
A common misconception is that that in order to be in law enforcement you need a degree in a criminal justice related area or that special preference is given to this major. However, many degree types will attract the attention of recruiting officers and provide skills that will aid in success for this role. A criminal justice degree can bring valuable insight and showcase your enthusiasm for the field, however other majors can bring a new perspective and valuable skills to the department. Regardless of your major, once you join the academy you will be trained in much of what you need to know to be an officer.
It’s not all about your resume
Recruiting officers do not base their hiring process solely on your resume. Instead, they also pay close attention to your interview and your success on the written test. Developing writing abilities in college is an important skill needed to be successful in the hiring process and on the job. Take time to prepare for the interview and know how to speak to the question, “Why should we hire you?” Recruiters want to know what interests you in the role and what sets you apart as a candidate.
The biggest skill you will need as an officer is the ability to communicate with various types of people. Knowing how to successfully interact with other people is a crucial part of this job, so it's essential to develop oral and written communication skills.
Variety and Growth
In the Phoenix Police Department there are over 80 different specialty jobs that range from animal cruelty, homicide, domestic violence, assaults, narcotics, helicopter pilots, and more. Along with exploring your passions, there are also opportunities for tuition reimbursement to pursue higher education as well as numerous avenues for professional development and growth.
For more information on the Phoenix Police Department, their hiring process, and other frequently asked questions, visit https://www.phoenix.gov/police/joinphxpd.