How To Become a Police Officer in Ohio

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Learning how to become a police officer in Ohio can give you the skills and knowledge to protect and serve your community. As a career based on enforcing and upholding your community’s laws and regulations, there’s no doubt it will be rewarding. However, there are multiple steps that all aspiring officers must prepare for, as we explore in this guide.

What’s It Like To Be a Police Officer in Ohio?

As with any police department, there are multiple avenues that the law enforcement system is involved in. At its core, you’ll be responsible for maintaining order throughout your community as well as protecting its citizens.

You can expect your career to be challenging and demanding, especially with the many tasks you’re assigned to do. Let’s look at a few of the most common tasks of police officers in Ohio:

Patrolling

Patrolling encompasses an assortment of activities, whether it be checking residential or commercial properties. You could also be responsible for responding to neighborhood complaints, ensuring situations are resolved peacefully.

Community Education

It’s commonly believed that an entire police officer’s job is to uphold the law and arrest those conducting unlawful acts. However, much of a law enforcement officer’s job is participating in community education. With the help of your colleagues and the department, you will need to keep the public informed of current and developing events.

Traffic Duties

With the high number of drivers in Ohio, some of your responsibilities will revolve around traffic. You could be assigned with assisting citizens with maneuvering through accidents, issuing speeding tickets, or responding to disruptive drivers.

Administrative Duties

Another huge part of being a police officer is completing administrative reports on incidents and crimes. Every time you report an incident, you’ll have to take thorough notes and complete a statement afterward. This process helps ensure there’s sufficient documentation when responding to a call.

Testifying in Court

If you encounter an incident where you’ve responded on duty to provide assistance, you could be required to testify in court. Sometimes, appearing in court could be for something as small as a speeding ticket. In other instances, you will have to provide your testimony to assist with criminal cases.

Basic Requirements for Police Training in Ohio

When learning how to become a cop in Ohio, you must become aware of the basic requirements. There are seven fundamentals that every applicant needs to meet before being accepted into the academy. Let’s take a look at these tenets in further detail.

1. Minimum Eligibility Requirements

Before becoming a police officer in Ohio and applying to the police academy, you must first meet prerequisites. Applicants must be at least 21 years old, possess a high school diploma (or equivalent), and have no felony convictions.

Aspiring officers must also pass hearing and vision tests and have a valid driver’s license missing no more than five points. There are three additional Ohio police officer requirements applicants will need to consider, which are:

  • Must be a citizen of the United States
  • Must be a resident of Ohio
  • Applicants must enter an Academy Class before their 35th birthday

2. Submit Your Application

Once you meet the requirements above, you can submit your application to the police department of your choice. During the application process, you’ll likely have to provide different types of documentation, including:

  • A copy of your birth certificate
  • A copy of your most recent credit report
  • Personal history statement
  • Completed background questionnaire

Individuals who submit their application and receive approval can then proceed to the next step, appearing for their Civil Service Test.

3. Civil Service Test

One of the most crucial steps to becoming a police officer is to complete your Civil Service Test. This test ensures that every officer understands the essential skills to be a law enforcement officer. In Ohio, there are many components to the Civil Service Test:

  • Multiple Choice/Written Element
  • Writing Sample and Oral Board Examination

4. Physical Exams

The physical test police officers face is one of the most important examinations. Every peace officer in the state must meet minimum requirements before continuing with their career in law enforcement. These basic requirements are dependent on gender and age, as outlined below.

Males (Up to 29 Years of Age)

  • 40 sit-ups completed in one minute
  • 33 push-ups completed in one minute
  • 5-mile run completed in 11:58

Females (Up to 29 years of age)

  • 35 sit-ups completed in one minute
  • 18 push-ups completed in one minute
  • 5-mile run completed in 14:15

Males (30-39 years of age)

  • 36 sit-ups completed in one minute
  • 27 push-ups completed in one minute
  • 5-mile run completed in 12:25

Females (30-39 years of age)

  • 27 sit-ups completed in one minute
  • 14 push-ups completed in one minute
  • 5-mile run completed in 15:14

Males (50-59 years of age)

  • 26 sit-ups completed in one minute
  • 15 push-ups completed in one minute
  • 5-mile run completed in 14:33

Females (50-59 years of age)

  • 17 sit-ups completed in one minute
  • 13 modified push-ups completed in one minute
  • 5-mile run completed in 18:05

Males (60+ years of age)

  • 20 sit-ups completed in one minute
  • 15 push-ups completed in one minute
  • 5-mile run completed in 16:19

Females (60+ years of age)

  • 8 sit-ups completed in one minute
  • 8 modified push-ups completed in one minute
  • 5-mile run completed in 20:08

5. Background Check

With your extensive background investigation, your entire history will be collected and cross-referenced with files from the Department of Justice. You will provide your fingerprints, photographs, and other information that better describes your past.

If there’s any questionable activity in your background check, your application could be denied. It’s also important to note that, during this step, a background investigator will probe your references, employment history, and criminal record.

It’s common for officers in Ohio to expect an at-home visit from the background investigator to talk to your family, including your spouse. All-in-all, any background interviews can range from two to three hours in length.

6. Polygraph Test

Polygraph tests are often administered to help determine your truthfulness. During this process, you’ll be asked an assortment of questions about the information you’ve provided in your application.

7. Medical Examination

Every police officer must be in their best shape before entering the academy. With the medical examination, you’ll have cardiovascular and respiratory tests administered. Doctors will consider your hearing and eyesight as well. In Ohio, police officers can’t be colorblind nor have an uncorrectable vision.

8. Psychological Examination

The final physical examination you’ll go through is a psychological examination, especially with the stresses of being a police officer. Maintaining your mental well-being is one of the most critical facets of this career. With a psychological examination, a trained professional will analyze whether you can cope with the stress of being a police officer.

What Is Training Like for Police in Ohio?

Aspiring law enforcement officers who have passed their training and entrance examinations can apply for the police academy. It’s required you enroll in an accredited Ohio Peace Training Academy program, which can last up to six months.

On average, candidates will have to complete a minimum of 579 hours of training. Also referred to as basic police academy training, it covers multiple topics and subjects.

The primary objective of any training program is to ensure that all graduates are as prepared as possible for their new roles. By combining academic and field training, you’ll have the necessary skills to be a well-rounded officer.

With that said, as a law enforcement officer, you will always acquire additional training. Extra training can help you stay up to date with renewed regulations while holding a police officer position.

During your time at an Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy, you’ll explore these fundamentals:

  • Self-Defense: Every officer must know how to defend themselves in life-threatening situations to subdue their attacker lawfully. You will learn self-defense maneuvers to protect yourself while in the training academy.
  • Firearm Use: Since you’ll be responsible for carrying a weapon at all times while on duty, firearm use is a significant component of police academy training.
  • Report Writing: Another important aspect of civil service is knowing how to clearly and thoroughly create reports for future and current reference.
  • Evidence Gathering: Every officer must have thorough training on working a crime scene.
  • Laws and Ethics: Showing proficiency in laws and ethics is essential for every officer to discharge their duties faithfully.
  • Physical Training: Undoubtedly, you will participate in extensive physical training to help prepare your body for on-the-job physical demands.

How Much Money Do Police Officers Make in Ohio?

With all of the Ohio police officer requirements, it’s important to consider whether the career will be profitable for your future. There’s no doubt that becoming a police officer in Ohio is challenging, and the benefits are pretty extensive.

Outside of your salary, there are several fantastic incentives that law enforcement agencies offer, including:

  • Paid vacation
  • Paid sick leave
  • Tuition assistance
  • Clothing allowances
  • Physical fitness test pay and compensatory time
  • Ammunition allowance
  • Overtime for court and special events
  • Longevity pay
  • Holiday pay
  • Shift-differential pay

On average, the starting salary for police officers in the state is approximately $39,000 annually. With more on-the-job experience, you can earn up to $65,256.49 per year. Overall, taking the time to learn how to become a cop in Ohio can be well worth the time investment it requires.

How to Become a Police Officer in Ohio

Learning how to become a police officer in Ohio is a fabulous way to get your hands on a profitable and rewarding career. By giving your all to keep your community safe, you can finally have a job to take pride in. Although it requires a lot of time and effort, the results are well worth it and can change your life for the better.

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