U.S. Capitol Police Degrees and Careers
Working in federal law enforcement is often a long-term goal for those that go into the field of criminal justice. The United States Capitol Police is one of the most respected agencies in federal law enforcement. As a member of this elite police group, you may protect Congress, the legislative process of the United States, and everyone who visits the United States Capitol.
There are many types of careers in criminal justice that are similar to this role. To learn about your options for a career in criminal justice, contact the schools listed here to learn more!
While many of the job duties of the U.S. Capitol Police are the same as the duties of other police officers, you must follow a strict set of protocols and procedures to protect the U.S. Capitol. On top of protecting the U.S. Capitol, its employees, and visitors, you must also be a good representation of the United States. The police of this organization are often the public face of the United States Capitol, and visitors must feel comfortable going to them for assistance.
Since this job can be very mentally and physically strenuous, you must go through a thorough application and training process before you can begin your career. The application process examines your work experience, your physical fitness, your knowledge of basic academic information, and your background.
Requirements for Becoming a U.S. Capitol Police
The U.S. Capitol Police maintains a thorough list of minimum requirements for those who want to join the U.S. Capitol Police. However, it's important to note that meeting the agency's minimum requirements does not guarantee you a job. To be as highly qualified as possible, consider gaining experience in the area of law enforcement or completing a degree that is relevant to this field.
After submitting a job application, the U.S. Capitol will examine your qualifications. You must pass a thorough background check. Since you're applying for a job with the federal government, the background investigation is very thorough. Any serious crimes or arrests may disqualify you from employment with the government. They will also ensure that you have earned a high school diploma or G.E.D. After they verify that you meet the minimum qualifications, they may put you through three more tests: a polygraph examination, a psychological examination, and the Physical Readiness Test. The polygraph examination is used to discover past drug use or other habits that may disqualify you from employment. The psychological examination looks at your ability to handle the psychological stresses that come with a police job. This employer uses the Physical Readiness Test to ensure that you are physically able to handle the physical nature of this job.
Upon getting hired, you must complete a rigorous training program. For the first 12 weeks, you go to the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Georgia. This training program includes safety and survival, arrest techniques, criminal law, arrest techniques, terrorism, VIP protection, and firearms.
Once you complete this first training session, you go to the Capitol Police Training Academy for 13 more weeks of specialized training. This training period shows you specific techniques for working at the U.S. Capitol. You continue your training with on-the-job experience while working under a field training officer.
Career Outlook and Salary Potential for U.S. Capitol Police
You can anticipate a fairly positive job outlook if you have the necessary qualifications and skills. While the U.S. Capitol Police does not offer specific information on how many officers they have and what their hiring needs are, security is of the utmost importance at the U.S. Capitol. As a result, they may hire more police to ensure that all employees and visitors are kept safe.
The U.S. Capitol Police offers a fairly competitive range of salaries. The level you start at depends on your level of experience and seniority. You may work as a Private, Private with Training, or Private First Class. As of January 2018, starting salaries for these USCP positions are as follows:
- Private: $60,615
- Private with Training: $62,740
- Private First Class: $70,348
They note that they give step and salary increases after 30 months of service.
On top of this salary, you have the potential to earn more. They often have overtime hours, and you can receive additional duty pay for extra hours worked. In addition, you may receive differential pay for working at night, on Sundays, or on holidays.
Working as a U.S. Capitol Police Officer
Working for the U.S. Capitol Police can be an extremely rewarding experience. You can be responsible for protecting some of the most important people in the country and preventing crimes against the United States. You may use technology to screen people as they enter the Capitol Building or monitor the Capitol Building for people that are showing signs of suspicious behavior. Depending on the agency's needs, you may be assigned to a specific area or event to maintain safety and security.
It's important to be able to work with people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities. People come from all over the world to visit the Capitol, and you must be able to communicate effectively and respectfully with them. Not only do you need to communicate with people in order to keep the building safe, you may be expected to answer questions if visitors approach you for help.
In addition, you should be able to keep your focus on your job at all times while on duty. You may even have to investigate crimes related to politics; for example, in May of 2018, U.S. Capitol Police deemed threats made to U.S. Rep. Jason Lewis as credible, and therefore investigating the threats.
Don't wait to learn how you can pursue this career, or similar ones, in the field of criminal justice. Contact the schools in this field today!
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