Schools Training

An Inside Look at What Police Work is Really Like

23 MAY 2012
Career Path : Continuing Education

Let’s admit it: After watching a slew of those police TV dramas, most of us have at some point seriously considered a career change. The high-speed car chases, the drug busts, the intense interrogations. All of it leaves us with an image of police officers as having pretty much the most thrilling job out there.

The only problem is that we don’t live in a TV set, and unlike actors, cops truly put their lives on the line when they go out on duty. Realizing this is what makes everything that TV shows depict as exciting suddenly seem terrifying. The fact that their holsters are holding real guns, and those car chases can lead to real crashes, means that real lives are being put on the line.

But what about the cops with not-so-thrilling responsibilities? If TV shows don’t paint cops as brilliant investigators that unravel the most complicated crime schemes, then they are likely to depict them as overweight doughnut eaters that just sit around and wait to retire. Even though we know better than to believe everything we see on TV, it seems that at least a little part of what we’re watching is reflected from what really goes on in real-life police work. While there is no doubt that these qualities exist, it is impossible that they are a true representation of police forces worldwide. There must be a middle ground somewhere.

A great way to get a better idea of what cops deal with is to enroll in a Police Foundations course. Most Continuing Education colleges that offer Police Foundations will also offer online learning courses, meaning you can spruce up your police smarts from the comfort of your own home. Here are some of the distance education courses offered:

  • Canadian Criminal Justice System
  • Conflict Management
  • Contemporary Social Problems
  • Criminal Code & Federal Statutes
  • Criminology – Police Foundations
  • Forensics 9-1-1
  • Interviewing and Investigation
  • Principles of Ethical Reasoning
  • Traffic Management
  • Youth in Conflict with the Law

From the looks of it, aspiring police officers are required to study a wide range of topics to equip them with the various scenarios that they can find themselves in once they begin working.

Maybe your love for The Wire isn’t reason enough to quit your day job, but taking a course or two is a really great idea for those who wish they could. Being a cop involves serious dedication, to the force and to the community at large, and requires skills that go way beyond doughnut eating.