They say Policing is not a profession, rather a “Lifestyle”.
I had the privilege of working alongside both those who chose this career, and those striving to join the ranks. Many of my coworkers at Paladin have taken on this challenge and are now serving the public with various Law Enforcement agencies. Below are tips about how to boost your policing applications with the skills that recruiters are looking for.
Considering a career in Policing typically results in asking yourself: “What does it take to become a Police Officer?”. In my experience, there are three common traits shared among people who have successfully applied to careers in Policing and other areas of law enforcement:
Volunteering within local communities
Experience from the Private Security field
Read more resume tips at paladinsecurity.com/law-enforcement
While the importance of volunteering and post-secondary education is self-explanatory, working as a security guard offers undeniable experience with scenarios and interactions common to the role of a Police Officer. These scenarios, which range from conflicts between individuals, to thefts and disturbances at a site, prepares a candidate for a career in Law Enforcement. New Security Officers quickly learn how conflict resolution is of the utmost importance to yield the best outcome in a situation.
These qualities are further emphasized when dealing with concerns particular to certain sites, such as mental health issues in hospitals or substance abuse in downtown buildings. A Security Officer quickly learns how simple verbal commands do not usually work. Instead, successful resolutions are found by using empathy and tactical communication. The real-world value of these experiences can significantly boost an application for a Law Enforcement position.
Read more about healthcare security as a stepping stone to law enforcement here.
How does being a Security Guard help your Policing Application?
Individuals who perform well under stress are quick to be recognized and promoted to leadership roles. Often these top performers receive written commendations and references from their Managers, who may be ex-Police Officers themselves. When these Security Officers decide to become Law Enforcement applicants, they are now a more confident candidate with tangible experience behind them. Police recruiters can remove the guesswork when assessing their real-life conflict resolution skills and performance under stress, which cannot be re-created in other roles listed on a common resume.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, the valuable experience gained as a Security Officer gives an exact preview of Police work. This experience will help an individual make an informed decision about the fit of a career in Policing. You might confirm this is the right path for you, or discover you have different areas of interest. Working as a Security Officer will provide you with this insight without a lengthy application and training process.
When asking yourself, “How do I become a Police Officer?” there are a number of checklist items, such as post-secondary education and volunteer experience. However, real-life experience gained from security guard positions can elevate your resume with skills highly regarded by police recruiters and law enforcement agencies:
Demonstrated ability to perform under stress
Advanced communication and interpersonal skills
Proven conflict resolution abilities
I encourage everyone who wants to pursue a career in law enforcement, to explore the role of a Security Officer and apply for one of our many rewarding and challenging positions!
Hear stories from former Paladin employees who have moved into careers in law enforcement on our Testimonials page.
About the Author
Written by Nenad Stojkovic, Talent Acquisition Coordinator at Paladin Security. Nenad carries over twenty years of Security, Law Enforcement, and Military experience which he applies to finding and helping people grow successful careers in security and beyond. By sharing what he has learned, both the successes and the missed opportunities, he helps others to gain perspective of what working with Paladin Security entails and can provide as a career path.