In every major town in the country, police have always been relied on for many years to ensure law and order is maintained at all times. This is whether there is regardless of whether there is relative tranquility in these areas as one cannot tell when incidents requiring police assistance would arise. Wesley G. Skogan, (1997) says that the police are always seen as the people who are at the forefront of upholding order and can be trusted by all citizens to be as fair as they can in their execution of their duties. This therefore requires that the recruiting of new police officers be a rigorous process which seeks to enroll only the morally fit people into the force.
In New York, the first step before becoming a police office is to sit for a written Civil Service examination. These exams are administered by the Department of Citywide Administration Services (DCAS). This is the department that would then shortlist those who pass the exam for consideration by the Application Processing Division. This division would ensure that they select the most qualified police officers and traffic enforcement agents in the New York Police Department (NYPD). It is at this stage that the history of each candidate is thoroughly scrutinized so as to establish if they are fit to serve the public in those capacities.
The application comes together with a written test, physical fitness/agility test, oral interview and a drug test. A medical examination as well as a background interview is also carried out. If a candidate does well in all this in NYPD, then they greatly increase their chances of being hired.
In Chicago, Illinois, the first step to join the employment process is a written exam as well. It is similarly administered by the DCAS just like for the NYPD. The recruiting officers also emphasize on physical fitness as well as drug test and a medical examination. The physical tests are meant to test the applicant's endurance, flexibity as well as balance. They could include short sprints, push-ups, sit-ups as well as bench presses.
The drug test would give an indication of the kind of lifestyle the applicant has been leading prior to joining the force as drug takers have often been related to crime. The rest would just be a check-up to establish if the applicant has any pre-existing condition that could hinder them in the work that they are carrying out. However, it should be noted that eligibity is not a guarantee for being hired into the police force. Color vision, peripheral vision, and depth perception are also usually supposed to be normal.
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According to Dennis Stevens(2008), most of the benchmarks that are used to recruit police officers can be seen as being fair as it gives the hiring bodies to choose the people who are best suited for the kind of life a police officer would face in the streets of this country. Furthermore, even more is expected from the officers in areas where crime is rife as well as adolescent delinquency. An example of this is good physical fitness which comes in very handy when one is expected to go after criminals that are running away.
They also have to have high aptitude scores which imply that they can make the right decisions when faced with the many scenarios in their course of duty. At the same time, one can consider some requirements as discriminative as they could lock out very good and competitive candidates out of police jobs. An example is that of the tendency to recruit only people of a certain height in some Police Departments.
Therefore in general, police should be hired based on competency as regards to the problems that are facing the world today as crime keeps on evolving which each day. An example is cyber crime where people can commit various felonies on the internet.
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