Justice studies major Timothy Terrio had set his mind on joining the police force since high school.
He said he wants to be a police officer because he finds it exciting to be somewhere other than sitting down in an office.
“It’s just something about helping people that would make me feel grateful,” Terrio said. “I want to be someone that people can count on and not be afraid of.”
Those who have dreamed about becoming part of law enforcement are now in luck thanks to the Los Angeles Police Department, who will host an information on Thursday, March 2 at City College.
During this information session, officers will talk about a career with the department, what the hiring process will be like and what life on the job is like.
Christopher Hoffman, an officer for the Los Angeles Police Department, will speak at the seminar.
“You have to be mentally humble. It is a serious place and a dangerous job,” said Hoffman. “You have to be mentally prepared.”
The minimum requirements that candidates must meet to be considered for the academy include being 20 years of age, having a high school or general education diploma, being a U.S. citizen or in the process of being one, having excellent health and physical condition and having a suitable background for employment.
After candidates are admitted to the academy, if needed, they can participate in a free program offered by the department called the Candidate Assistance Program which helps the trainees get into physical condition to reach the satisfactory fitness levels required to pass the Physical Abilities Test. The program runs for 3 hours every Monday through Saturday to prepare trainees for the test’s events, which include sets of pushups, situps, pullups, a 1.5 mile run and a timed obstacle course.
After passing the Physical Abilities Test and written test, trainees must complete 12 months of provision. The provision requires the trainee to ride around with a senior officer to transition them from the academy to real police life.
“If you’re not ready mentally, you’re gonna have a tough time,” Hoffman said. “You’re gonna see things you’ve never seen before. In the end, you just have to be calm.”
Although a college education is not required to join the force, it is highly encouraged. Tuition is also paid for by the department that can be beneficial if officers do decide to maintain an education.
Other benefits include family medical and dental insurance, three weeks paid vacation and 13 paid holidays, paid sick and disability leave, pension plan, flexible schedules and only working three or four days per week. The annual salary ranges from $59,717 to $91,956.
“There’s a huge rewarding feeling inside when helping and inspiring others,” Hoffman said. “There are downsides of the job of course, but I prefer to call that the ‘other side’ of the coin. Maybe working a holiday or two but that’s not negative.”
The information session will be at 3 p.m. on March 2 in the Earth and Biological Sciences Building Room 301. There will also be written exams for people who are interested.