Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentLaw Enforcement & Police · 8 years ago

Americans - I'm British; how would I go about getting into a US Sheriff's/Police department?

This is something I really want to do but currently live in the UK. If anyone could give me some information on how I could go about doing this, for example; what I would need to do when I move to the US etc, and also a brief description of anything you say I need to do would be fantastic and I'll give full points. Pleas help.


Clearly I plan on moving to the US.

Update 2:

And I know for a fact you don't have to be American-born to get into the Police there, so don't say I can't.

Update 3:

If you're not going to give suitable answers, don't reply at all.

Update 4:

@ Candy, that's a different issue I'll resolve somehow.

9 Answers

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Who can and cannot become a law enforcement officer (most states official tittle is "peace officer" is controlled by the individual state, not a Federal system like in Canada or like by you the Home Office.

    BUT even if the state allows the individual departments within those states may not. For example by law Washington State and West Virginia would allow but no department within the state allows.

    So from the list below of states that allow you have to check specific departments within those states.











    So now you have gone and figured out what department(s) you wish to join in any number of those states, found if they accept permanent residents (green card holders) gotten you green card, which tales time and usually qualification for a technical job or something like that and you having been given a written promise of employment (no police do that, all the resident aliens I know who later became officers got their status through their spouse who came to US with those special skills and offers of employment).

    Then you start going for the proper certification or being hired by a department

    You see in the US here are basically 2 ways of becoming a police officer. What method to use depends on the state you wish to become a cop in and the specific department. First the simplest. In many states you must be hired by a department first. They then send you to, at least, a basic police academy. You graduate, take and pass the state certification test and you are a cop working for the department that hired you.

    No matter what state they are in larger municipal departments like to do things that way.

    In other states you can “self sponsor”. That means you find a police academy, those states publish a list of approved schools, you apply, pay them, go through a basic academy, pass the state test, get certified and go out trying to find a job.

    Not until hired by a department are you a cop.

    Most of the larger or better paying departments require at least 60 semester hours of college. None care what you major in. They only care that the school is fully accredited and that all course of the 60 hours were at college level. Equivalency with your system is no big deal.

    Right now there are thousands of self sponsor graduates pounding the pavement looking for work. In most states if they are not hired within a year of certification they have to attend a full academy again.

    As far as education goes. No state requires more than a GED or HS diploma. Most better departments do require between 30-60 semester hours from an accredited college.

    None, not one that I can find in my extensive research and experience, cares if your major was in English Lit. or in botany.

    Cops need wide ranging education and experience to be effective.

    When you attend a police academy you get the current criminal justice classes you need to be a cop.

    So you have to check the recruitment web sites for some departments you may wish to join to see what their requirements are and if they hire first when a test will be given.

    If you cannot understand what type of site you posted on and feel "If you're not going to give suitable answers, don't reply at all" is an appropriate response ot idiots who you actually invited to become idiots answering you then you do not have the proper attitude to make it as a cop anywhere, let alone in a US city.

    Source(s): retired US cop, M.Sci-LEA
  • 8 years ago

    Upon arriving in the US try to shoot for your Green Card, you'll have to pass a sort of citizenship test for that.

    Do what you can once you're here to integrate yourself into the American society, nothing specific, maybe try finding some friends or even a girlfriend.

    After that it's really a matter of shoving your way through, I think that there's a Police Academy you must attend in order to join the force so I'll let you research that on your own.

    Really in this biased society if you can speak fluent English you can go anywhere. Remember your credentials, they help a lot.

    Good Luck.

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    Once you move to the US legally you'll need to get a college degree in criminal justice and enroll into a police academy. Pass all kinds of background checks and pass physicals. Also you'll have to be comfortable defending american morals and values. As a british citizen that shouldn't be difficult since our cultures are so similar. You can do it but it will take determination and effort. I see no reason why you couldn't. Good luck.

  • 8 years ago

    Nope not american born but you DO need to have a 4 year degree and be a full citizen.

    Out of interest just how do you plan on being able to move here legally.

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  • 8 years ago

    I really don't think you can get into a sheriff or police department without being a US citizen.

  • 8 years ago

    Well, of course you would need to move to the U.S. I think you may be too dumb to be a cop.

  • 8 years ago

    *** the police ill murk you

  • 8 years ago

    you don't have to be american born but you do have to be a citizen.

  • 8 years ago

    Why would you want to????You must be a criminal/have NO morals.

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