How To Become A Public Safety Officer

How To Become A Public Safety Officer

Public safety officers work for universities, government facilities, and cities in order to provide safety and security to members of the general public. In order to do this, they assess the crime risk of individual situations and take precautions to ensure the safety of individuals whom they're tasked with protecting. They perform these duties under supervision and make arrests when it is absolutely necessary.

Job Requirements

The requirements to become a public safety officer vary. Many employers hire individuals without any experience whatsoever, instead opting to train them on the job for the duties which they will perform.  The majority of employers, however, require that individuals wishing to become public safety officers complete a course of study, usually through a local or regional police academy, which prepares them for the work they'll be doing on behalf of the public. In many situations, such training can be delayed if a prospective employee has a two year or four year criminal justice degree. In general, the more training and applicable education an individual has, the more likely they are to secure employment in the field. [1]

Even when education requirements or experience are not required, individuals must typically be at least eighteen years old and of sound moral character to qualify for a job. Having an arrest or conviction record may prohibit people from pursuing a career as a public safety officer. If one is lucky enough to secure a position that doesn't immediately require attendance to an academy, then they'll typically still be required to undergo training under the supervision of an experienced officer in order to better learn apprehension techniques, laws that commonly apply to law enforcement, and the use of weapons.


A growing trend for many municipalities is to require public safety officers to be cross-trained in multiple fields. Experts believe that this helps officers to better serve the diverse needs of the public, as well as improving their competency to respond to potentially catastrophic events such as natural disasters or terrorist attacks. These officers are usually trained in police work, firefighting, and medical response.  In order to effectively accomplish this, officers must complete a number of different training programs that can take several months to a couple of years to finish. During that time, however, they're generally working under a probationary period for the employer and being supervised by experienced officers under their charge.[2]

Individuals who are dedicated to protecting and serving people in their communities will find a rewarding career as a public safety officer. While the requirements for additional training seem to have grown substantially in recent years, this trend only means that such officers will be given greater responsibilities and duties for ensuring the safety of the general public.



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