Few police departments in the world are as famous as the LAPD, because few cities in the world are as tough to police as the wild west’s city-on-the-coast, Los Angeles- city of angels and demons alike. But do you think you could do it? Today, we’ll give you a taste of what you might face, on this episode of The Infographics Show, Do You Have What It Takes To Be a LAPD Officer?
Anyone wishing to join the LAPD will face an 8 step application process before ever seeing a day of police academy training.
To even qualify though, you must be 21 years of age, have a high school diploma or GED, and be a US citizen or permanent resident alien who has applied for citizenship- this is Step 1.
Step 2 is a Personal Qualification Essay, designed to determine an individual’s personal qualifications to become an officer; it asks the recruit to explain why they want to be a police officer, among other personal questions.
If your essay passes muster, next you’ll face a physical abilities test- first is a 1.5 mile run completed in a maximum of 21 minutes, accompanied by a 300 meter sprint. If you pass both, you’ll then be scored on the maximum amount of sit-ups and push-ups you can do in 1 minute. This will complete your Physical Fitness Qualifier and earn you a score between 1 and 100.
Next you’ll face a background examination, a polygraph test, a department interview, a complete medical exam, and at last, a psychological evaluation- and this is still just to be selected to attend the Los Angeles Police Academy where you’ll face even more physical and mental tests starting on day one. Out of an estimated 15,000 annual applicants, a whopping 96% of them fail to pass even this initial screening- with an additional 20% never graduating from the Academy.
But say you’ve got what it takes both physically and mentally- are you tough enough for the streets of Los Angeles? In the state of California since 1908, 1,634 police officers have been killed- that’s an average of 15 officers a year. The leading causes of police officer deaths are:
Gunfire- 740 deaths
Automobile Crash – 183 deaths
Motorcycle Crash – 170 deaths
Vehicular Assault – 103 deaths
Vehicle Pursuit – 71 deaths
Los Angeles has been responsible for 334 of those deaths, a disproportionate amount versus any other city in the state.
Meanwhile, nationwide the rate of police officer deaths is 13.5 per 100,000, and the rate of serious injury is 485.8 per 10,000- making being a police officer one of the most dangerous professions in America!
But if you’re still not deterred, don’t worry- all that risk comes with a pretty nice payday. As one of the best-funded departments in the nation, the LAPD offers a base salary of $62,000, and that starts on your very first day in the academy! Upon completing the academy, your salary is automatically bumped up to $65,500.
After a probationary period, typically lasting 6 months to a year maximum, a police officer with no college degree, and no prior law enforcement or military experience, will receive a raise to $70,000, or $73,000 if you do have a degree or previous military/law enforcement experience. After a few years of experience, you can expect an average salary of around $97,000- not to mention health and life insurance, paid time off, and a pension plan.
So, do you think you have what it takes to police one of the most dangerous cities in America? Let us know in the comments! Also, check out our other video, This will happen in the next 60 seconds. Thanks for watching, and, as always, don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe. See you next time!