The role of a police officer is not an easy one. Officers must be able to remain calm and collected in high-stress situations, while also being observant and quick-thinking when needed. It’s a job that requires officers to be well-spoken, have good reading comprehension skills, and above all, possess excellent communication skills. The ability to effectively speak with members of the public is one of the most important skills a police officer can have. So why are cops called “5 O”? Because they focus so much on communication, these officers are frequently referred to as “5 O” or “five ohhh”—both shortened versions of the word “linguist.”
Why Are Police Called “5 O”?
1. They’re short for Police Officers
Some of the most popular nicknames for police officers are also the most obvious. It should go without saying that “cops” and “pigs” are derogatory terms that have been around since the ‘60s and ‘70s, respectively. Cops, pigs, pigs, and other variations of those words are meant to suggest that police officers are uncivilized or unhygienic. In general, though, the term “police officer” is a much more respectable and accurate way to refer to the men and women who protect and serve.
2. To show their fast response time
“911” is a call made to the police to report an emergency. It is short for “emergency services” and the numbers “911” have been used since the 1960s as a standardized way to call for help. The number “911” are used in most countries around the world. The number “911” are easily remembered and will put you in touch with the Police, Fire, and Ambulance services.
3. Because they carry a gun and are capable of using it
The word “shoot” comes from the Old English word “scythe,” which means “arrow.” “Gun” is a shortened version of “cannon” (another word for “gun”). There’s a reason “gun” is used to describe a police officer’s weapon—it’s because the police officer has the capability to shoot you with it, just as a cannon would shoot an arrow. Clearing a room is one example of when a police officer would use a gun.
4. Police cars have 5-0 written on the side
Many people think that the “5-0” written on the side of police cars means “stop,” but that’s not the case. “5-0” is actually short for “five-oh,” which is Hawaiian for “police.” The number “0” in this sense doesn’t have anything to do with being stopped, but instead is being used as a placeholder. In Hawaii, “5-oh” is what police officers call themselves. The “5-0” is supposed to be a visual reminder that the people inside the car are there to help.
5. It’s used as a deterrent to criminals
The “100” in “100 percent” is a visual representation of perfection. “100” is also a percentage of something, and in this case, it’s the percentage of police officers who will do what it takes to put you away.
What Does It Mean to Be a Police Officer?
- Police officers are responsible for maintaining the safety of citizens and their communities.
- They’re sworn to uphold the law, and their everyday duties may include responding to emergency calls, investigating incidents, writing reports, testifying in court, and more.
- To be a police officer, you must be at least 21 years old, possess a valid driver’s license, and pass a thorough background check.
- After you’re hired as an officer, you’ll need to attend a police academy for anywhere from six to 12 weeks. After that, you’ll be assigned to a precinct and start making a difference in your community.
What Skills Are Required of a Police Officer?
- When you consider the fact that police officers have one of the most dangerous jobs in the country, it’s clear that they must possess a number of important skills.
- In order to become a police officer, you’ll need to have excellent observation skills, strong critical thinking skills, excellent reading comprehension skills, and a strong ability to communicate effectively.
- Along with those skills, officers also have to have a valid driver’s license and be at least 21 years old. Beyond that, you’ll also need to pass a thorough background check, successfully complete a police academy, and be willing to work long hours, including weekends and holidays.
How Can You Become a Police Officer?
Go to college
One of the most obvious ways to become a police officer is to go to college. This way, you’ll be able to meet the minimum requirements for education and experience that most local police departments have. If you do decide to go to college to become a police officer, you should major in criminal justice or a similar field. This way, you’ll be able to learn all about law, justice, and other important policy topics. Be sure to check with your local police department about the specific education requirements you’ll need to meet. Also, be sure to check out the Education and Training section below for more education and training requirements you might need
Participate in an internship program
Another great way to become a police officer is to participate in an internship program. In most cases, you’ll apply to an internship program through your local police department. Once you’re accepted, you’ll go through a sort of “on-the-job training” where you’ll learn about the ins and outs of being a police officer. You might even get to accompany real police officers on their daily patrols. This type of internship program is a great way to get your foot in the door and make important connections with people who can help you get hired in the future.
Check your local requirements
Before you start looking for a college program to join or an internship to apply for, it’s important that you do some research and find out exactly what your local police department requires. Every police department has its own specific education and training requirements. So, you’ll need to make sure that you meet them before you apply to become a police officer. Some of the education and training requirements you might need include: – Having a high school diploma or GED. – Showing proof of your ability to speak and understand English. – Taking a physical exam. – Showing proof of your good health (including a clean bill of mental health). – Holding a valid driver’s license. – Passing a psychological evaluation. – Being between the ages of 18 and 37. – Having no criminal record or pending criminal charges. – Having a valid passport and social security card. – Having a clean credit rating. – Doing a background check. – Having good references. – Having at least 2 years of experience working in law enforcement or public safety.
Join the military
Another great way to meet the education and experience requirements for becoming a police officer is to join the military. Many people don’t realize this, but the military offers a lot of great job opportunities for people who want to become police officers. In fact, there are many benefits of joining the military if you want to become a police officer. One of the biggest is that you’ll have the chance to take part in the military police officer program. This is a special type of training that teaches you all about being a police officer. If you become a military police officer, you’ll get a ton of experience working as a police officer while being paid. This experience is invaluable when you apply to become a police officer later.
Become a certified first responder
Another great way to meet the education and experience requirements for becoming a police officer is to become a certified first responder. This is a special type of training that teaches you how to handle first-response situations. It’s primarily geared toward emergency medical situations, but it can also help you learn how to handle other types of first-response situations. Some examples include car accidents, fires, and other types of emergencies. You can also become certified in first response by working as a paramedic or EMT.
As explained above, police officers who specialize in professional communications are referred to as “MPOs.” An MPO is recognizable by the “5 O” badge they wear on their uniform. This badge design is meant to signify that the wearer has achieved a high level of proficiency with communications—a designation that sets them apart from other officers on the force. The badge is an important symbol of an officer’s role in the community. The 5 O badge is designed to inspire feelings of trust, order, and confidence. It also suggests that the wearer is dedicated, dependable, and professional.