What are the Requirements for becoming a Police Officer in West Virginia?
A career in the police can be rewarding, challenging and is a job that commands respect. A police officer has a very important responsibility, that of maintaining law and order and protecting the lives and properties of citizens.
Police officers are responsible for maintenance of the law, solving crimes, and responding to calls from citizens. It is a job that is definitely demanding, but satisfying.
The state of West Virginia has a Law Enforcement Professional Standards (LEPS) program. This program is used to monitor the standards set for the recruitment of police officers and training for law enforcement officers. LEPS sets the standards for the conduct of training at the police academy.
LEPS has identified the minimum requirements to be a police officer in the state of West Virginia.
Requirements to be a police officer
To be a police officer in West Virginia, the following are the minimum eligibility requirements set by LEPS:
- The candidate should take up and clear a medical examination.
- He/she should be physically fit to be able to handle the rigors of the job.
- The candidate should clear a background check, where the criminal record would be verified.
- The basic police training program needs to be completed by the candidate.
These are the minimum requirement of LEPS. Requirements related to age, qualification, citizenship status, criminal record are not defined by LEPS. The enforcement agency like the police department in a city, sheriff’s office, and state highway trooper office would set requirements specific to their work.
Procedure to be a police officer
The basic requirements as set by LEPS would need to be completed. This includes the medical examination and background check. A physical abilities test needs to be cleared. Medical and psychological examinations need to be completed. Finally, police training of 800 hours need to be completed and all assessment requirements completed.
Police departments in West Virginia
In the state of West Virginia, the major cities like Charleston and Huntington have specified requirements other than that set by LEPS. These include:
- Should be between the age of 18 and 40.
- Should have a high school diploma or a GED.
- Should be a citizen of the United States.
- Applicants for Huntington police department would also need a polygraph exam or a lie detector test.
There would be an interview and based on this, the selection is done and the candidate is sent for training. The West Virginia State Police Academy is the only police training academy in the state. After attending basic training, candidates need to pass the assessment with a 75% grade. The average salary for police officers is around $43,000 per year.
West Virginia State Trooper
Troopers work in the state highways ensuring law and order in the highways. Apart from the other requirements, they need to be aged between 21 to 49 years of age, have a driver’s license and have no domestic violence convictions. A trooper can earn around $43,000 per year.
West Virginia Deputy Sheriff
Counties in West Virginia appoint deputy sheriffs who work in the Sheriff’s office. To be a deputy sheriff, in most countries, they have to meet all the requirements as defined by LEPS. Apart from this, they also need to undergo polygraph tests. In Jefferson County, deputies need to be between 18 to 45 years of age, have a driver’s license, be a US citizen, have 20/20 vision, and have no hearing deficiencies. Deputies on an average can earn around $41,000 per year.
A job as a police officer in West Virginia is rewarding. Job growth of 8% is estimated in the police departments and sheriff’s offices. On average there would be annually around 275 openings in the police department.