Police Interview & How to Become a Police Officer Blog
The police interview is how to become a police officer. The police interview, know as the police oral board, is the path to any law enforcement career. This is because the oral board is the toughest and most subjective portion of any police hiring process. There are proven ways to excel and even easier ways to fail. Learn the secrets, know the strategies, make your law enforcement career a reality.
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People with careers in law enforcement today know they face enforcing myriad laws involving every element of society and nearly every economic endeavor. They become well-schooled in the laws, infractions of the laws, and how justice is administered through the legal system. Because the system is now so complex, it is often frustrating for law enforcement officers and others within the judicial system to wend their ways through the channels.
The American justice system hasn’t always been so complex and regimented. In the years after the Civil War, the western territories of America saw an enormous influx of people seeking new opportunities and different lives. If Hollywood is to be believed, law enforcement in those days and in those places was haphazard, to say the least. Police departments did not exist in most locales. Those who wore the badge of sheriff or marshal were often the only men in town who would take the job. Whether or not they were qualified for the job or even of good repute were frequently secondary issues.
Similarly, judges were usually poorly vetted as well. Take Judge Roy Bean, for example. He is such a legendary figure in Old West history that no two accounts agree on the dates or events of his life. We know he was born Phantly Roy Bean, Jr., in Kentucky in the 1820’s and died in Texas in 1903. No exact date of birth is known and at least two dates of death in March 1903 are cited by sites such as Wikipedia, desertusa.com, and history.com. He left home in his late teens to early twenties to lead a nomadic life across Mexico, California and eventually Texas. His moves were often precipitated by violent disagreements, shootings, or unhappy relationships. At one point, he was nearly hanged after a deadly duel over a woman. It is said he bore the rope scars on his neck for the rest of his life.
Rather late in life, Roy Bean settled into the community of Langtry, Texas. There he opened a saloon, the Jersey Lilly, and dispensed liquor, tall tales, and ultimately judgment in an area west of the Pecos River. Some accounts of his life say that Bean named the town after the British actress Lillie Langtry, whom he adored from afar. Other accounts say the town was named for a Southern Pacific railroad boss, plausible because of the number of towns across the west named for railroaders.
Although not stated, it can be assumed his education was minimal and he never saw the inside of any law school. One account says his only law book was an 1879 edition of Revised Texas Statutes that was his sole source of legal material for twenty or more years. As there was no jail in the area, court cases resulted in fines or threat of hanging. Few people were actually sentenced to hang and most of those escaped with their lives. Jurors were to buy rounds of drinks in Bean’s saloon when court was in recess. While not authorized to grant divorces, Bean charged $10 per divorce and pocketed the money. Is it safe to assume most of the levied fines lined the judge’s pockets? The tales of his “legal” rulings are numerous and largely fictionalized. Where the truth lies is anyone’s guess. Definitely a rough and rowdy period in history.
In today’s society, with its thousands of laws and complex applications, citizens and law enforcement officers alike may secretly long for the days of relatively few laws and lax application of them. There is no going back, however. Hopefully, contemporary members of law enforcement and the judicial system are not only better prepared for the job at hand, but can endeavor to more conscientious application of the law.
The oversight was so easily avoidable. The police interview goes by several different names (police oral board, police oral exam) but the issues candidates have can hamper your performance no matter what it is called. When preparing for the police interview, answers are often overlooked; many focus on knowing the […] read more »
Law enforcement is famous not only for their acronyms, but the abundance of them. Acronyms are simply an abbreviation formed from the initial letters of words, and may be pronounced as a word themselves. Some acronyms are so well known you know them as brand names, while others you would […] read more »
Sep 29 2013
It’s a lot harder than it seems. When you have made the decision to pursue a career in policing, the first hurdle can seem the most daunting. Police hiring cycles can be long, arduous, and require a lot of waiting for applicants. I always stress planning for the entire hiring […] read more »
Aug 16 2013
Career law enforcement officers have experiences that often make great stories. Many are humorous, others often heartbreaking, some harrowing, and a few even heroic. If shared at all, most tales are told to close friends, family and colleagues. What happens to the story and the officer involved when the media […] read more »