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How Do I Get Law Enforcement Certification?

A minimum amount of law enforcement experience is required before taking the exam, such as working under the supervision of a certified security guard.
A police car.
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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 30 September 2014
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There are three steps required to get law enforcement certification: security training program, law enforcement experience, and successful completion of the certification examination. Law enforcement is a general term used to describe a broad range of security and protection activities. Security officers or guards are typically required to complete law enforcement certification programs, while police officers are required to complete law enforcement post-secondary training programs.

People who want to get law enforcement certification have usually been working in the security sector for several years or want to explore a career in security. Law enforcement certification is granted by a range of institutions and organizations. Some small cities have developed their own law enforcement certificate program to provide a consistent level of training to everyone working in the law enforcement sector.

The first step toward getting a law enforcement certification is to complete a post-secondary training program. These programs are available from a wide range of community and career colleges. They are typically 12 to 18 months in length and focus on job readiness. Look for programs that prepare you to take the local certification examination.

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There is a minimum amount of law enforcement experience required before you are eligible to write the examination. This must be verifiable experience, completed under the supervision of a certified security guard or other law enforcement professional. Most candidates complete this experience requirement in two phases. The first phase is through a job placement, arranged by the training school. The second phase is after graduation, when they have obtained their first job as a security guard.

The law enforcement certification examination varies in length, but is typically two to three hours long. The questions are a combination of multiple choice and essay style questions. Many companies offer examination preparation classes. Take a look at the material covered in the examination and make an honest evaluation of your preparedness. Review any programs carefully, to ensure that they are preparing you for the correct exam.

Upon successful completion of the law enforcement certification, candidates are able to apply for positions with large companies, such as property management firms, night clubs, and event planners. Many large employers will not hire candidates until they have obtained their certification. The certification will not result in a higher salary necessarily, but will open the door to working in a large company. Large property management or security firms typically promote from within, and usually offer training programs to help people reach their goals.

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anon341090
Post 4

We must have annual performance testing and certification of law enforcement officers. Just look at the cops -- no emotion attitude standing in the background that tells the story of why we need this annual certification.

croydon
Post 2

A few years ago my university started offering law enforcement training courses, which were for a police training program. They doubled as practical courses for criminology students and I think one which dealt with abnormal psychology as well.

I found it really interesting and I wanted to complete one of the more basic criminology courses, but I didn't have enough psychology points to do so.

I think it is a really good idea to train the police up as much as possible though, and I met so many decent people who were aiming to work as officers I found it really encouraging.

browncoat
Post 1

If you are interested in security, you should try to find a place where they will offer you free training as a job incentive.

Good security officers are considered to be a valuable asset to the right company and they will put money into you if you have the right qualities and you are willing to stay with them for the long haul.

I would look for a job even before I finished my certification course, as the more experience you get, the more likely you will land a good one.

And in this field, as in most others, success comes from making contacts, as well as working hard.

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