You are here:

Careers: Police/Post Certificate, Misc.


Hi, Jack!

I am 50 and still wonder about working in some/any aspect of law enforcement. I have several friends who do and my father had a long career, which sparked my interest, initially. I am driven by a desire to make a bigger difference, do something more important.

My background is B.S. Finance and Paralegal Certificate, with many years working as a Paralegal, with my specialty being Licensing (contracts, negotiation).

My initial intent was to inquire about the best/fastest/easiest way to obtain Post Certificate? I also would love your input on whether or not you feel, at my age, if there is any merit in pursuing any type of career in law enforcement? I have seen job postings for various positions for nearby police departments, Sheriff Offices, Highway Patrol, etc., and the underlying requirement seems to be having a Post Certificate.

I feel young, but I could see how 50 might not be what folks are looking for. Any insight you could provide will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your time and for your service!

Sincerely, Dana


I had to google POST to figure out what it was.  That term is not used in my state or in any state near me.

It appears that a POST certificate is a piece of paper that allows someone to be certified to work as a police officer.  But my question is how do you get that certificate?

In my area of the country a person applies for employment on a police department.  Then there is a process that may take as long as a year which includes an apptitude test, a physical exam, oral interviews, a long background check, more interviews, and a polygraph test.  It might take a year. Assuming that the person makes it all the way through that process then there is a possibility that they could be hired by the department that is doing the investigating.

If the person is hired then they are sent to the police academy and upon graduation they are sworn in as a police officer and allowed to work in that state, town, city, county, etc.

I am guessing that this is close to what you are talking about?

Police departments are prohibited by law from discriminating because of age.  Having said that are you ready to pass a physical that will include running, climbing, pushups, pullups, and/or lifting?  Is your background squeaky clean including your credit rating?

Remember that for the most part you will be competing with kids in their early 20's.  

Lets say that you are hired.  Are you prepared to work shift work?  By that I mean working day work for two weeks, then midnights (all night long), and then the evening shift?

Candidly I will tell you that there are very, very few 50 year old patrol officers.  Especially 50 year old women.  If you are five year veteran you would be 55 years old.  Injuries are easy to come by.  I cannot imagine myself being 50 years old and working the street.  There is no way that I could do that.

Having said all of that let me assure you that I am not trying to talk you out of your goal.  I just wanted to tell you the reality of what you are tying to accomplish.

Careers: Police

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Jack Toomey


If you are an author I will be happy to help you however I do expect a reasonable donation using the PayPal icon. U.S.: I am an expert in this category for the purpose of giving young people an idea what the hiring process involves for the position of police officer. I am getting a flood of questions from young people who are being influenced by unrealistic television shows. I'd ask you to consider that when you watch police shows on television that they are NOT realistic and most of what you see does not happen in real life. Please do not ask me about potential jail sentences that you, your friends, or family might receive in court. There is no way for me to know that. I am NOT a probation officer so I cannot answer questions about probation and parole matters. I am a retired police officer with 26 years experience.I worked in a variety of assignments including investigations, homicide, sex crimes, runaway investigations, missing persons, and fraud.I also dealt with the general public during that time giving a wide range of advice on matters such as domestic disputes, problem solving, teenage problems, civil/criminal matters, and dealing with the mentally ill. I am available to give sound and reasonable advice which can solve most problems. Please do not ask me to do homework questions or online interviews. Young people should not rely on the Internet for interviews. Local police officers are normally very agreeable to assist students with interviews and surveys.


Worked as a police officer/detective for 26 years.

Graduate of the University of Maryland.B.S. in Law Enforcement.Attended numerous schools and training courses involving investigations, interviewing, interrogations, crime detection, domestic violence, and others. Recognized in court as an expert witness.

Received numerous awards during my police career for expert investigations. Handled the most sensitive and confidential investigations. In 1999 I won an award for my work with high school students while working in my new career in a large suburban high school.

B.S from the University of Maryland.

©2016 All rights reserved.