Pros and Cons of Being a Police Officer

Being a police officer is the most rewarding job in the world. You get to help people, solve crimes and even save lives! However, there’s also a lot of risk involved with being a police officer. You could be hurt or killed on duty, or have your reputation destroyed by corruption scandals or public criticism from citizens who don’t understand why you’re doing what you do. But if you’re willing to accept those risks and work hard at training yourself every day so that you can stay safe while doing your job well… then this might just be the career for you!



  • Helping others: The primary function of police officers is to protect members of the community from harm.
  • Sense of purpose: Police officers often feel that they are doing something worthwhile with their lives, since they’re helping others on a daily basis.
  • Job security: At least in theory, it’s very difficult to lose one’s job as a police officer. Police are rarely fired unless there have been serious problems with their work performance or conduct (such as criminal activity). This has led some critics to accuse police forces of having “job security for life,” but this isn’t necessarily bad—police who are worried about losing their jobs can become complacent and lazy about doing good work—and some governments have already begun taking steps toward limiting this arrangement by implementing performance review systems that give officers more incentive to improve themselves over time (or else face demotion or dismissal).
  • Competitive salary: The pay scale for most law enforcement positions begins at around $50k per year and increases sharply after several years on the force; these salaries often compare favorably with those offered by other professions requiring similar levels of skill/education/experience (e.g., doctors). Moreover, many jurisdictions provide additional incentives such as overtime pay when there is an emergency situation happening on duty time (e g., if someone needs rescuing), which can increase total wages significantly during busy times like Christmas shopping season!

Helping others

As a police officer, you will be helping other people. That’s pretty much what police officers do: They help people in need. And not just any old “people.” Police officers help people who are in danger, people who are victims of crime, and sometimes even those who have been accused of a crime (and even more often, those with whom they share a common interest). Police work is also very rewarding because it gives meaning to your life by allowing you to make a positive difference in the lives of others. This can take many forms:

  • helping someone out on the road when their car breaks down;
  • rescuing an injured animal from the side of the road or from inside their home;

Sense of purpose

If you’re a cop, your job is to help people. If you’re an accountant, your job is to make money for someone else. If you’re a teacher, your job is to educate children. This can provide a sense of purpose that may not be available at other jobs.

BOTTOM LINE: Having a sense of purpose makes life more meaningful and fulfilling.

Job security

As a police officer, you can count on a stable job with good pay and benefits. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that policing jobs will grow by 8% from 2016 to 2026.

And if you enjoy the work and want to stay in the field for a long time, cops are more likely than other professionals to have job satisfaction: 41% of police officers report being satisfied with their jobs compared to 33% of Americans overall who rate their satisfaction at work as high or very high.

Competitive salary

  • Police officers earn a competitive salary.
  • Your salary is based on your education level, years of experience, and location.
  • It also depends on the type of police department you work for. For example, some larger police departments may not offer benefits like health insurance or retirement plans because they have to pay for these programs themselves by taking money from their operating budget (which means less money for other needs). But smaller departments might not be able to afford such programs without help from local government agencies or private organizations.
  • The type of job you do also affects how much money you make as a police officer: entry-level patrol officers generally start at around $40-$50K per year while detectives can make up to $80-$100K per year depending on where they live (and if they have specialized training).


  • Pension
  • Medical insurance
  • Paid vacation time
  • Retirement plan

Opportunity for advancement

Being a police officer is a great choice for those who want an opportunity to advance in their career. Police officers can move up the ranks and become detectives, supervisors, and even chief of police. There are options for advancement when you’re working as an officer, which means that you can work your way up without having to start at the bottom like most jobs do.

Sense of community

You will enjoy being a police officer because the work has a sense of purpose. You’ll know that you’re helping others, and this feeling can be incredibly rewarding. Your job also offers opportunities for personal growth, as you learn new skills and develop relationships with other officers.

You will also enjoy the sense of community that comes from working in law enforcement. You’ll feel like part of a team when you go to work every day, knowing that your colleagues are there to help you when needed and vice versa. In addition, your coworkers will become like family members over time; when someone’s celebrating important milestones (like their birthday), it’s always great to be able to share those moments together!

Finally—and perhaps most importantly—you’ll love being part of such an incredible network! Police officers have access to many different services through informal networks within their departments; these include opportunities for leadership positions within organizations such as unions or associations affiliated with law enforcement agencies nationwide (such as The Fraternal Order Of Police).

Job diversity

The job of a police officer can be very diverse. Police officers are expected to perform many different tasks and duties, and they often have the opportunity to work in a variety of environments. For example, police officers may work in the field as part of their regular duties or as part of an emergency response team. They also might work inside a police station as detectives, patrol officers and administrative employees. In addition to this variety of roles within one organization there are also numerous opportunities for advancement based on merit alone or by completing special training courses that allow individuals to enter specialized positions such as canine handlers, traffic accident investigators or crime scene investigators (CSIs).

Training provided

As a police officer, you will be trained to handle many situations. You may be required to take classes that cover topics such as use of force and firearms training. This is important because it helps you stay safe and also ensures that your department knows how to protect the public if an incident occurs.

Training also helps officers learn how to communicate more effectively with others in their community, which makes them better problem solvers when dealing with crime issues or other problems that might arise on the job.

As a result of this training, officers are able to develop skills such as conflict management, which enables them to deal with difficult situations without resorting simply using physical force against suspects or other people who are not resisting arrest (or who have already been arrested).

Opportunities for specialized positions

As a police officer, you can get into specialized positions like detective, investigator, bomb squad and SWAT team. These jobs typically require more training and experience than the average officer position. The pay is usually higher than the average salary of an officer as well, so it’s worth it to obtain these skills while you’re still young.

If you want more information on how to get into these positions as early in your career as possible, look up “police academy” or “becoming a police officer” online for more information about what it takes and what kind of certifications are required for each job type.


For example, if there’s a burning building, you’ll likely have to run into it to save lives. If a criminal is trying to attack someone, you’ll have to restrain them. You may be confronted with people who are angry or violent and need to calm them down or even physically remove them from a situation. All these situations can result in injury or death, which is obviously not good for anyone involved.


Helping others: The best part about being a police officer is that you get paid for helping others! The majority of your job will involve interacting with members of the public; whether it’s responding to calls for service or providing information at community events (for example), your job often involves helping people who need assistance one way or another.

Sense of purpose: You know that feeling when you’re doing something meaningful? When everything else falls away and all there is left is what needs doing? That’s what working as an officer feels like every day—except amplified tenfold! Every action has meaning because so much depends on how well each person performs their duties (and yours!).

Training provided: Police training varies depending on jurisdiction but generally takes place during academy/basic training programs provided by local colleges/universities where students learn about everything related

Risk of injury or death

The risk of injury is high, with police officers facing the possibility of being shot at, stabbed, or assaulted on a regular basis. Police officers are also at risk for car accidents, falls from heights and other serious injuries such as broken bones or spinal cord damage.

A number of police officers die in the line of duty each year due to heart attacks caused by stressful situations they experience while working. Police officers can also suffer mental health issues as a result of witnessing traumatic events like shootings or violent encounters with criminals or suspects.

Stressful work environment

The stress level of being a police officer can be high. You are on call 24/7 and expected to be able to handle any situation that comes up. You might be dealing with someone in crisis, someone who is angry or upset, someone who is drunk or high.

Risk of exposure to traumatic events

One of the biggest risks associated with being a police officer is exposure to traumatic events. This may include witnessing or being involved in shootings, experiencing accidents and emergencies, or handling crime scenes and victims. If you’re not prepared for this type of trauma, doing so can cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, suicidal thinking, substance abuse issues, and other health problems down the road. While most officers are able to cope with these stresses by receiving counseling and other support services from their departments or organizations like Blue H.E.L.P., some will not be able to deal with them at all—and this can lead to serious consequences for both themselves and others around them.

Risk of facing public criticism

If you decide to pursue a career as a police officer, you will be held to a higher standard than the general public. Police officers are often the first responders to a situation, and it’s important for them to handle themselves with integrity and professionalism.

However, that doesn’t mean that mistakes won’t happen. In fact, mistakes are inevitable—but how you respond to those mistakes can make all the difference in establishing your reputation with both colleagues and citizens alike.

Risk of long work hours

Long work hours are one of the biggest risks facing law enforcement officers, who often face long shifts and a lack of sleep. The duty of an officer is to protect and serve the community, but this can be difficult when they are exhausted from working long hours, causing them to miss out on family time, social life and exercise. It’s easy for officers to get caught up in their job so much that it takes over all aspects of their life — even eating healthy becomes secondary because eating fast food quickly on your lunch break is easier than making time for yourself.

Risk of facing danger on a regular basis

Police officers are more likely to face danger on a regular basis than people in other occupations. This can include risk of being shot at, assaulted by an armed person, attacked with a weapon, attacked by someone with mental illness, or even bitten by a dog.

Risk of facing legal issues

If you’re thinking about becoming a police officer, it’s important to know that there are risks involved:

  • You might be sued. People who have been arrested can sue the police officers who arrested them for false arrest, false imprisonment or other claims.
  • You could be charged with crimes yourself. Police officers can be charged with crimes like assault and perjury during the course of their work duties.
  • You could face criminal charges for conduct you engage in while performing official duties as a police officer (i.e., shooting someone).

Risk of facing discrimination

There are many risks associated with being a police officer, including the risk of facing discrimination. Discrimination can be based on race, gender, disability, age, religion and other factors. Some forms of discrimination may be overt or subtle; some may be direct or indirect. In any case, it is important for you to know about this potential downside before you decide to pursue this career path.

Risk of facing corruption

Corruption is a major issue in many countries around the world. The police are often the first line of defense against corruption in society, since they have the power to arrest and charge people with corruption. For example, if a police officer takes money from an offender in exchange for not arresting them, he would be guilty of corruption.

The main reason why this is such a problem is because it creates a lot of mistrust between citizens and law enforcement agencies – which means that people will be less likely to cooperate when reporting crimes or other situations that require law enforcement involvement (like domestic violence cases).

Risk of facing burnout

The job can be incredibly stressful. The environment is often extremely stressful, and you must learn how to manage it. It is also easy to become burned out because of the nature of police work. A lot of police officers experience stress, anxiety and depression as a result of their jobs. This can lead to increased alcohol consumption, relationship problems or even suicide in some cases.

If you do not have the right mindset going into this career choice then it may lead down a path that could cause problems for your health later on in life


I hope this article has helped you make a better decision about whether or not becoming a police officer is right for you. Remember that it’s not just about the pros and cons; there are many factors that go into making this decision. If you’re unsure about anything, don’t hesitate to ask questions from experts who can give more insight than I could ever provide!