How to Become a Police Officer in Bucks, Pennsylvania

Police officers in Bucks County must complete Act 120 training.
Police officers in Bucks County must complete Act 120 training. (Image: Siri Stafford/Lifesize/Getty Images)

Police officers take an oath to protect the life and property of the jurisdictions they patrol. Investigating complaints and disturbances and preventing violation of local ordinances and laws are among the many other duties they perform. Before being hired as a police officer in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, candidates must meet a number of requirements. The basic requirements for employment as a police officer for any one of the 55 townships and boroughs within the county are essentially the same.

Earn a minimum of a high school diploma or pass the GED high school equivalency exam. Police officers must have the ability to effectively communicate verbally and in writing. You must be able to understand and carry out both written and oral instructions.

Reach the age of 21 at the time of appointment. Police departments in Bucks County look for officer trainees who have attended college. When rating a job applicant's qualifications, level of education and prior related experience or military service are taken into account.

Possess a valid Pennsylvania driver’s license and show proof of U.S. citizenship. The employing police department normally asks you to show your Social Security card, an original or certified copy of your birth certificate, or your U.S. passport.

Submit to criminal background and reference checks, in addition to drug and alcohol testing. An applicant’s previous employment record and credit history also come under scrutiny. Job applicants who want to become a police officer in Bucks County must agree to take the required psychological and polygraph tests. You must also pass the physical agility test and written examination.

Demonstrate knowledge of police practices and methods in addition to state and federal laws. You must have knowledge of the laws enforced within the township or borough that you serve. A police officer must also show that he can safely handle and use firearms.

Complete Pennsylvania Act 120 training to receive certification. The Municipal Police Officers’ Education and Training Commission sets the training and certification standards for police officers hired in the state of Pennsylvania. Act 120 sets the procedures for determining a trainee’s eligibility for certification as a police officer.

Reside within a 15-mile radius of the township limits within six months after completing the probationary period. By living in the communities they serve, police officers can help improve the relationship between the police and the community.

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