How to Prepare Physically and Mentally to Become a Police Officer

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There are many reasons why you might want to become a police officer. It could be the excitement of never living the same work day twice, or the rewarding feeling of helping people. You may think it’s a good idea to study laws and procedures, and it is. However, becoming a police officer requires more than high exam scores. It requires both physical and mental strength.

Before researching an online criminal justice degree, you probably realized that a police academy will test you on your knowledge of the field. What you may not know is that you’ll also have your physical and mental fitness tested. Unlike knowledge-based tests, physical tests are performed before and after academy training. Mental batteries are given before you can enter the academy.

Preparing Physically and Mentally to Become a Police Officer

The academy does give officers physical training, but to be most effective, you should begin working out well before you turn in an application. Running is a staple exercise. The faster you can run, the better off you are in the field. Make sure to work on both distance running as well as sprinting because you will be doing both. You might see police officers in your town pulling people over, driving, or sitting in their cars. Indeed, there is time spent sitting down, but a police officer’s job is unpredictable. You can go from sitting behind the wheel to running after a perpetrator within seconds.

Weight Lifting
Lifting weights can give you the power to wrestle yourself away from a threat, or to keep control of a weapon. Exercises with free weights are best because they will help you with balance and coordination in addition to strength. CrossFit training programs are also an excellent supplement to anyone who pursues an online criminal justice degree.

How to Prepare Physically and Mentally to Become a Police Officer

Martial Arts
The best way to prepare your body for police work is to study a martial art. Police academies teach their students basic judo, but because of the wide availability of martial arts training for civilians, it’s best to go beyond the basics. A bonus is that most martial arts also teach students to focus and strengthen their minds.

Mental Conditioning
Probably the last thing you thought about when researching an online criminal justice degree was whether or not you would be mentally fit for the job. This is the hardest preparation to make because you’re ultimately preparing yourself to witness sickness, death, and violent attacks on innocents. You may have to take a life yourself. How do you prepare?

Violent altercations can cause both depression and anxiety. Learning positive coping skills can make the difference between weeks of sadness and months or years of grief. Many bookstores carry self-help books and CDs that teach these skills.  Another way to prepare your mind is to sign up for a ride-along with a police officer. You can ask about what kinds of trouble they deal with all day, how they prepared for their job, and what they think the toughest parts of the job are. Ask them how they cope with it. You’ll learn a lot.

In the police world, knowledge will help you catch criminals, but your mind and body will keep you alive and functioning. So don’t stop at an online criminal justice degree; take the next step in preparation by conditioning your body and your mind.


I’m Adam. Content is king, so the saying goes. Do you want to check out some more wonderful piece of writings like this, then check out this internet security blog and you’ll find many more security articles that will make your day.

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