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Careers: Police/too old to start in law enforcement?


Matthew wrote at 2010-11-30 20:46:55

       I have been( still active) in the Law enforcement field for over 20 years(NYPD) starting when I was 18 years old. There are many departments across the country, that do not have an age requirement. To the best of my knowledge, Nevada is one. At one time their were certain federal police like the U.S. Mint Police, that did not have an age requirement(not sure now). I say if that is you dream, please check each state for age requirements and fitness standards. As for an investigator, or in NYPD we call them detectives. That is done when you have time on patrol and you actually know the job basics(patrol functions, laws, paperwork,tactics). Being Crime scene certified did not happen for me until I had over ten years on patrol. And you will or should notice a time limit to when you can advance in rank. This is done so that you are aware of the basic patrol functions, laws, tactics, etc. My final advice I can give you as an old patrol cop, is to take any training that your new department offers you. This makes you more valuable and you more aware of your job itself. Good luck and the very best. As us cops say be safe, always watch the hands, not the eyes, since the hands kill.

Ken wrote at 2014-04-12 00:19:05
Yes it is very possible to have a law enforcement career well past forty.  I did not enter the academy until 53.  In fact I was class leader and graduated with the Chief's Award. I am currently in my third year and actively work road patrol along side Deputies thirty years younger.  You do have to be in reasonable shape and have to train harder.  The advantage is life experience that allows you to deal with difficult situations, such as domestics, in ways that produces better outcomes in most situations. Look for larger agencies, mine has 1600 Deputies.  It will allow for future movement to units that will allow you to work well into your sixties if not longer.

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Michael N. Becar


I am the Executive Director of Peace Officer Standards and Training where I am responsible for the training and certification of all peace officers in the state of Idaho. I can give advice on law enforcement training, minimum standards for employment, reciprocity, and peace officer certification.


I have been involved with training and standards for Idaho Peace Officer Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.) for over twenty years, the last six as Executive Director. Prior to that I was a Law Enforcement Officer for twelve years.

President of the International Association of Directors of Law Enforecement Standards and Training (IADLEST), president of the Idaho Peace Officer's Memorial, member of the Criminal Justice Advisory Council for Boise State University, member of the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy Advisory Committee for Idaho, member of the Executive Coordinating Committee of the Western Regional Institute of Community Oriented Public Safety and serve on the Board of Directors for Special Olympics Idaho.

Graduate from the University of Idaho with a B.S. in Education, Trade and Technology, Graduate of the FBI National Academy and the FBI Intermountain Command College.

Awards and Honors
Member of Phi Kappa Phi, honor society of Boise State University. Elected Department of Law Enforcement employee of the year in 1990 in the professional category.

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