Stricter Requirements To Become a Police Officer

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This is a petition arguing for stricter requirements to become a police officer. This is not a career a person should be able to get into too easily, as they hold a significant position of power. 

Right now, policemen only have to go through academy training of an average 21-22 weeks (only about 5 months!), and within 6 months can be out handling a gun. More education than this is required to become a hairstylist; requirements include an associate's degree in cosmetology and additional training to hold a license.

Police officers have permission to act in a deathly manner with the justification that they "feel threatened", a very vague term that is improperly thrown around. This results in the high number of deaths of unarmed black people at the hands of an officer. In fact, a black person is three times more likely to be killed during an encounter with the police than a white person. Thirty-three percent of the time a black person dies at the hands of an officer, they are unarmed. How can a black person stop a police officer from feeling threatened if it is the color of their skin that portrays them as dangerous?

In order to prevent our law enforcement from displaying any more recklessness, we need proper restrictions and requirements on how one can be qualified to get to this position. This will minimize the amount of unsuitable, prejudiced, even dangerous people from joining law enforcement, which will lessen the number of people killed based on impulsive decisions. 

In Germany, one must go through a three-year course of studies to become a police officer, including theoretical and practical training. Germany is used as a reference because, in the two years of 2011 to 2012, 15 citizens of any race were fatally shot, armed or unarmed. Compare this to the United States where 19 unarmed black men were shot and killed in the first five months of 2015, Germany's training seems to be effective. Lawyers in the United States require at least seven years of education after high school to practice law, meaning police officers should need more than just a few months to enforce it. 

Therefore, the United States' requirements to become a police officer should be raised to at least three years of training with the minimum education of three years in pre-law. Training should incorporate theoretical and practical scenarios, as well as de-escalation training in order to minimize the number of times a gun is drawn in an encounter. In addition to this, policemen should have a license that grants them their position as an officer, just as a doctor has a license to practice. These licenses can then be taken away from officers should they behave unnecessarily violent or in a biased manner, just as doctors can have their licenses taken away for medical malpractice.