Arm yourself with hard facts about the
test-which are yours for the asking from
the recruiter, the department's HR
section, or the department website.
Identify your weakest areas on the test
and reinforce your abilities in that area.
Review spelling rules, pick up a 30-days
to improve your vocabulary book at the
library-and a high school level math book
while you're at it. Then find a quiet spot
with no distractions-like the library,
you're already there, right? And study.
If you don't read regularly start doing so
now. Get a newspaper and read it, then
read it out loud, then read it to someone
else-then discuss what you've read and
practice being a comprehensive reader.
Have someone quiz you on articles, ads
that were on the same page, the page
number the article was on, what other
articles are on the same page and
anything else they can think of to test
your memory and understanding.
Teach yourself to be ferociously
observant, yet careful with your
assumptions. Practice observing people,
vehicles and places-memorize
descriptions, then check what you think
you saw for accuracy.
If you haven't gone on a ride along yet,
schedule one today! And when you slide
inside that squad car forget every
daydream or pre-conceived idea you ever
had about police officers and police
work-wipe your mind clean and focus on
every action that officer makes. Your
prime objective is to learn about the
'why' that is the basis for an officer
reactions, actions and decisions. What
observations are important to their
work? Ask questions, take notes-throw
yourself into the experience
wholeheartedly and you'll walk away with
a little piece of a badge attached.
The written test evaluates you on several
areas of common knowledge-that's what
the math, spelling and vocabulary books
were for but there are other areas that
test your range and use of common
sense knowledge. These areas blend
judgment skills, memory and observation
skills and the simple ability to know left
from right into complex questions that
evaluate how you react and why.
And you want to react for the same 'why'
as any police officer-right?
Take a look at the practice questions
below for a taste of the test to come.
Use good judgment and common sense,
as well as the information provided in the
question, to answer the following
1. Officer Bettis has arrived at the scene
of a family disturbance. Two other
officers are in the front yard of the
residence, fighting with family members.
Officer Bettis pulls out his departmentally
approved nightstick and runs up to help
one of the officers. A woman steps up
and swings a broken beer bottle at
Officer Bettis's head. What should he do
A. Try to snatch the beer bottle out of
her hand and hope he doesn't get cut.
B. Strike her in a departmentally
approved target area so she will drop the
C. Immediately call for more backup.
D. Dodge her blows and continue on to
help the officer being attacked.
The correct answer is B. Police officers
are required to subdue combative
suspects as quickly and safely as
possible. If Officer Bettis is in a situation
where the nightstick is an approved
weapon and he or other officers are in
physical danger, he should use his
nightstick. The situation does not change
because the attacker is female. No other
option is safe or feasible.
Officers who use pepper spray to
disperse a crowd should do the following:
1. Warn other officers that pepper spray
is about to be deployed.
2. Order the crowd to disperse.
3. Take a position upwind of the crowd.
4. Direct the spray into the crowd while
continuing to order them to disperse.
5. Provide first aid to anyone who is
overcome by the spray.
2. Officers Brady, Dion, and Rodriguez
are called to the scene of a large fight in
front of Omar's Grill. When they arrive,
they see around 15 adult males bunched
up in the parking lot punching each
other. Officer Dion pulls out his canister
of pepper spray. What should he do
A. Order the crowd to stop fighting.
B. Warn the other two officers that he's
about to spray the crowd.
C. Warn the crowd that he has pepper
D. Stand downwind of the crowd before
The correct answer is B. According to
step 1 in the procedure, the officer
should warn the other officers before he
takes further action. The officer does
want the crowd to stop fighting and will
order them to do so, but choice A is step
2. Choice C is not listed as a step, and
choice D is not a good answer because
the officer will always want to be upwind
of pepper spray, not downwind.
3. Officers Perez and Navarro arrive at
City Hall to find a mob rocking Mayor
Dickson's car back and forth in the
street. Officer Navarro shouts to Officer
Perez that he is going to use his pepper
spray. What should he do next?
A. Stand downwind of the crowd.
B. Shout to the crowd to disperse.
C. Warn the crowd that pepper spray is
about to be deployed.
D. Stand upwind of the crowd before
using the spray.
The correct answer is B. The officer has
already taken step 1, having warned his
partner that he is about to use the
spray. Step 2 is to order the crowd to
So, how did you do? Did any of the
answers surprise you? Did you learn
Practice questions are extremely useful in
your preparation for the written test, not
only for becoming accustomed to a police
mind set, but also for becoming
accustomed to reading a situation
carefully and completely in order to make
the best decision for action.
What you face in the written test is an
evaluation of your approach to life and
your ability to repeatedly and consistently
handle critical incidents within highly
regulated parameters. You are being
evaluated on dependability of effort and
thought, adaptability of action, reliability
of reaction and durability of
decision-making. You are being tested to
find out if you possess the unique
combination of components that will allow
you not only to withstand the rigors of
police work, but to thrive and excel as a
Take a stand for your dream. Make a
pledge to succeed. Arm yourself for
This is about your life. This is about your
decision to make your dream a reality.
You can win through this challenge
because you are well-prepared, primed
for pursuit and your sights are firmly
fixed on your target-the top of the
eligibility list and first shot at the door to
|Police Officer Jobs
How To Get Hired Faster
|Sergeant George Godoy (Ret.) is a 22
year police veteran. During his police
career, Sergeant Godoy served for 5
years as a police recruitment specialist
where he personally tested over 1,000
potential police recruits.
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|Copyright © 2016 Barry M. Baker
When you made your decision to become
a police officer, you made a decision to
change your life. And when you turned in
your application, you took your first step
in a grueling process towards achieving
Next in the gauntlet: the police written
The first hurtle. The first cold sweat in a
long line of cold sweats. Now's the time
to untie the knot in your stomach and
re-tighten your guts to prepare for the
first punch of reality-you're actually on
your way to becoming a police officer.
Whether you hate tests or you ace tests
to draw a bead on living your life behind a
badge, you need to turn your mind into a
diamond-dust whet stone and hone your
wits razor-sharp. Your goal in the written
test, your first step towards your badge,
is simple and single-minded: get the
highest scores possible for the highest
ranking possible on the eligibility list. You
don't just want to get on the list, you
want to be in the top five-better yet, you
want to be the first name on the list.
How can you do this?
Like we said, simply and single-mindedly.
Prepare yourself by informing yourself.