What Is A Peace Officer And How To Become A Peace Officer & FAQs

Criminal Justice Career Guides Police Department

What Is A Peace Officer And How To Become A Peace Officer & FAQs

A Peace officer is a law enforcement officer whose basic purpose is to maintain peace and order in the community that they serve. A peace officer carries a badge, a firearm, and has the power to arrest. Some Federal law enforcement positions are also recognized as peace officers under state law, which gives the authority to enforce state and local laws. Examples of peace officers include police officers, state troopers, detectives, and sheriffs.

How To Achieve Peace Officer Certification 

Applicants looking to apply for peace officer jobs must pass the Peace Officer Skills Training certification, which also is referred to as the police academy. Specific Requirements may different state by state; however, the basic requirements will be the same. Different states may have different commissions that approve peace officer licensing, e.g., for a Texas peace officer, this is the CTPA (Central Texas Police Academy).

Some states such as California also offer the opportunity to a Reserve Peace Officer

The California Reserve Peace Officer Program (RPOP) consists of individuals who have made the choice to dedicate a portion of their time to their community by working as part-time employees or volunteers with the law enforcement agencies.

These officers work in cooperation with regular full time officers in law enforcement services at the city, county, and even state levels. There Approximately 600 law enforcement agencies in the USA that have in their employ close to 6200 reserve officers.

Job Duties And Responsibilities 

List Of Job Duties And Responsibilities of Reserve peace officers which can be general or specialized this includes:

  • Uniformed patrol
  • Investigation
  • Marine patrol
  • Search and rescue operations
  • Special events
  • Translators
  • Computer specialists

Reserve peace officers are required by to meet the same selection standards, which are listed below as full-time regular officers.

Peace Officer Standards And Training

This process first begins with a background check that includes a polygraph, drug screening, and driving history appraisal. 

Applicants must be:

Candidates are required to take an in-depth psychological assessment to test their judgment in likely situations, overall character, resistance to stress, conflict resolution, and need for power.

Cadets are required to maintain an adequate level of fitness in order to complete the fieldwork required for courses. The curriculum for Peace officer certification courses includes laws in the cadet’s given jurisdiction, police procedure, theory and technique, and emotional and personal management. Other course topics include:

  • Narcotics investigation
  • Cold case homicide
  • Violent suspect control
  • Courtroom testimony
  • Mental illness recognition
  • Sexual assault laws

Individuals applying for a peace officer position must meet the minimum standards for employment. These standards include:

  • No felony convictions
  • A fingerprint and criminal history check
  • Meeting the citizenship requirement
  • A background investigation indicating the individual is of good moral character
  • Minimum age of 18 years
  • Minimum education of United States high school graduation or passage of GED or other approved equivalency test
  • A medical and psychological suitability evaluation
  • An employment interview



How To Become A Peace Officer In Ohio Physical Requirements.

Education Requirements

If you’re interested in becoming a peace officer, one of the first things to consider is what education level is needed. 31.6% of peace officers have a bachelor’s degree. In terms of higher education levels, 7.1% of peace officers have a master’s degrees.

Given the fact that some peace officers have a college degree, it is also possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Experience in other jobs in this field will aid you in becoming a peace officer. In fact, many peace officer jobs actually require experience in roles such as security officers. Meanwhile, many peace officers also have previous career experience in roles such as Correction officers  or police officers.

Upon completion of the Police Academy, the candidate will receive a “POST Certificate of Completion,” which allows them to gain probationary employment with law enforcement agencies. 

Probation periods usually last 1-2 years. However some agencies have a reported 6-month probationary period, Commission regulation requires that all full-time peace officer must serve in a probationary status for 12 months minimum from the date that they are appointed to when they become a full-time peace officer.  Agencies that report a probationary period longer than 12 months require their officers to complete this longer probationary period before they can apply for a Basic POST Certificate.

Individuals are able to apply for a POST Basic certificate if the criteria for is met, and the individual is employed by an agency participating in the POST program at the time Individuals who believe they meet the Basic Certificate criteria,  should request assistance and application forms from their agency.

Differences in requirements of becoming a Peace officer may be present depending on the state in which you live. It is advisable to check the requirements for your specific state before beginning the application process. 

Peace officer vs Police officer Frequently Asked Question 

There is a little difference between a peace officer and a police officer. Under the peace office jobs umbrella, many law enforcement positions range in some states from DEA agents to patrol officers.

Question: Is a peace officer the same as a police officer?

Answer: Yes, A police officer does come under the category of a peace officer.

Question: Do peace officers carry guns?

Answer: A officer is trained to carry a gun and also has the power to arrest

Question: Why are police called peace officers?

Answer: A peace officer is a term used that describes individuals who have law enforcement authority.

Question: Are deputy jailers peace officers?

Answer: Yes, in some states, they are considered Peace officers

Question: Are state correctional officers considered law enforcement?

Answer: Yes, they are law enforcement officers

Question: Can NYS peace officers carry off duty?

Answer: Yes, they are authorized to carry a firearm and make arrests when they are on and off duty.

Question: What is a basic peace officer?

Answer: The POST-certified Regular Basic Course has required training for peace officers

Question: How do I become a peace officer in NYC?

Answer: You must complete All basic course requirements, which include classroom instruction and initial training in firearms and other weapons. Peace Officers are required to complete a minimum of 99 Hour Basic  Training Course.

Question: Can a Texas peace officer carry a gun anywhere?

Answer: Yes, a Texas peace officer is allowed to carry their weapon in public establishments.

Question: How long does it take to become a peace officer in Texas?

Answer:  TCLEOSE requires peace officers to complete 618 hours of training.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *