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  1. #1
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    21 Age Minimum Requirement

    Hello, I had a basic question: Other than the license to possess a handgun, is there any other reason that one must be at least 21 years of age to become a law enforcer?

    Either way, I think that requirement is ridiculous; because, multiple times I have witnessed law enforcers not even abide by the law themselves, so what gives them the right to enforce it? To be held fully responsible you must be 18 years of age (a legal adult), so to be 21 years old seems kind of unnecessary. Feel free to educate me on this matter, as I am very eager to understand.

    In addition, are there civilian/secondary police officer occupations that do not require a specific age minimum (i.e. under 20 years old). Thanks in advance to every reply!

  2. #2
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    Quite simply, most people under 21 years of age don't possess the maturity to be entrusted with the kind of responsibility that a law enforcement officer must hold. Ideas of what's right and wrong, belief systems, and just an individual's personality are still evolving when you're in your late teens. That's often still going on even after 21, but the law has taken a stand on that age regarding issues like drinking, so apparently most law enforcement agencies have followed suit.

    As far as transgressions of law that you've seen LEO's commit "multiple times," keep in mind that most of the things LEO's do are viewed by a public which has very little understanding of why it's being done. There's a legitimate reason behind the vast majority of times an officer is seen driving over the speed limit, for example.
    Last edited by krellum; 11-23-2014 at 17:31. Reason: grammar of a 4-year-old
    "I don't share your greed...the only card I need...is the Ace of Spades, the Ace of Spades..."

  3. #3
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    Thank you for your reply krellum, but I don't think those are any valid cases. Also I did not give enough information...

    Im currently in Texas, where there is a vast majority of our cities that adopt the 'must be +21 years old' requirement, while other states have a 'must be 18' (I've seen some various age requirements actually). So im not sure it has to do with maturity because that varies by individuals and for a government to hold all citizens at the same level of mental welfare is just irrational.

    As far as the public not being able to understand..... I think I understand when a police officer blocks an intersection so an ambulance cannot get by is illegal and very 'bad' (being nice using the word bad), as well as operating their unit car with inadequate lights and/or not driving with a front license plate (required to have in Texas), as well as leaving your unit car to get gas unattended (fire hazards X100 danger, especially to the public).

    Me being just a public citizen currently.... I think I understand law enforcement individuals quite well on a humane scale and when they are not considering the public's safety/best interest.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by This User View Post
    Thank you for your reply krellum, but I don't think those are any valid cases. Also I did not give enough information...

    Im currently in Texas, where there is a vast majority of our cities that adopt the 'must be +21 years old' requirement, while other states have a 'must be 18' (I've seen some various age requirements actually). So im not sure it has to do with maturity because that varies by individuals and for a government to hold all citizens at the same level of mental welfare is just irrational.

    As far as the public not being able to understand..... I think I understand when a police officer blocks an intersection so an ambulance cannot get by is illegal and very 'bad' (being nice using the word bad), as well as operating their unit car with inadequate lights and/or not driving with a front license plate (required to have in Texas), as well as leaving your unit car to get gas unattended (fire hazards X100 danger, especially to the public).

    Me being just a public citizen currently.... I think I understand law enforcement individuals quite well on a humane scale and when they are not considering the public's safety/best interest.
    I appreciate your understanding of law enforcement. With that said, in Texas, you must be 21 to be a Texas Peace Officer, absent I believe an associates degree/etc. This is set by TCLEOSE, not the individual departments. Any "why" or "its not fair" etc questions you need to call your Texas State representative.

    You can be a county jailer at age 18. No age for dispatchers I believe.

    It is what it is.

    Good Luck and Happy Thanksgiving

  5. #5
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    Just make sure you let potential employers KNOW that you have the answers to these questions of law enforcement procedures and practices, and especially what's wrong in their own shop. They're particularly anxious to hear fresh perspectives on those topics. You'll do fine. Good luck!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by This User View Post
    Thank you for your reply krellum, but I don't think those are any valid cases. Also I did not give enough information...

    Im currently in Texas, where there is a vast majority of our cities that adopt the 'must be +21 years old' requirement, while other states have a 'must be 18' (I've seen some various age requirements actually). So im not sure it has to do with maturity because that varies by individuals and for a government to hold all citizens at the same level of mental welfare is just irrational.

    As far as the public not being able to understand..... I think I understand when a police officer blocks an intersection so an ambulance cannot get by is illegal and very 'bad' (being nice using the word bad), as well as operating their unit car with inadequate lights and/or not driving with a front license plate (required to have in Texas), as well as leaving your unit car to get gas unattended (fire hazards X100 danger, especially to the public).

    Me being just a public citizen currently.... I think I understand law enforcement individuals quite well on a humane scale and when they are not considering the public's safety/best interest.
    If none of those reasons are "valid," I'm curious as to why you even asked...?

    "Valid" in your eyes or otherwise, it is what it is: sometimes an officer will need to make decisions that go against the law, that may keep an ambulance from passing, etc. Sometimes he or she may not want someone to see them coming, hence the lack of "adequate lights..." No front license plate...seriously? You do realize that the purpose of having a front plate (in states which require them) is primarily to make identification of the vehicle more readily available for the police, right?

    The fact that I'm having to explain the "whys" behind actions like this is a point for my case in and of itself.

    Like I said, there's almost always a reason behind everything you see a LEO do - whether you understand it or not. While you may certainly possess the intelligence to *think* you understand law enforcement officers and what they do, it's clear that you don't yet possess the wisdom or life experience to realize that there's way too much about them and their jobs that you don't know.
    Last edited by krellum; 11-23-2014 at 18:09.
    "I don't share your greed...the only card I need...is the Ace of Spades, the Ace of Spades..."

  7. #7
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    Well I'm going to discuss with a state rep. about these issues. As far as the reasoning goes, I was just trying to see if there is a secret law for law enforcement auto insurance acceptance, benefit requirements (life insurance), stuff like that why a 21 years old would be required.

    Additionally, the whole "there's almost always a reason behind everything you see a LEO do" is not true. At all. Sure there is a reason for everything, but it doesn't mean it is justified and righteous. The reason requiring license plates is for identification, obviously, but not police only. It is to report individuals. Because we have evolved into a world where we expect individuals (policemen) to provide security and insurance, does not mean they are the only just people allowed to take action. If a police officer is allowed to not drive without license plates, then are they allowed to commit murder just because of their authority as well? There are statistics to prove police officers commit just as many crimes as the common human.

    He or she does not want someone to see them coming because of inadequate lights. Seriously? So they would intently remove one of their headlights so individuals would not see their car at night and be at risk of a accident? The law in Texas states all motored vehicles have two white lights in front of their vehicle, etc etc. Nobody has an exception to that law. Only circumstance I can think of is special special officers, and what I observed this individual was not special. If anything he was risking the public's safety by eating and driving at night as well.

    What is the excuse for an officer to keep an ambulance from passing? To commit indirect murder? So if there are children in the ambulance who are fatally injured, it is okay for a police officer to block their path towards health and the ability to survive?

    I may be young and naive, but wow... My local department's mission statement is to protect the public, not to endanger it.

  8. #8
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    There's no such thing as a secret law. As a starting point to what I am sure will be a long career in law enforcement, perhaps you could learn the actual regulations that apply in your state before arguing against them.

    TCOLE and the State of Texas do not require you to be 21 to be a peace officer. You would also be eligible at 18 if you have an associates degree OR 60 credit hours of college OR an honorable discharge after at least two years of military service. Hard to qualify for any of those at 18 for most people, but not impossible, and certainly doable by 19 or 20.

    More broadly, minimum standards are just that, a minimum. They serve multiple purposes but mostly to try to ensure that officers have the maturity and life experience to learn how to be law enforcement officers. Many people aren't mature enough to work in law enforcement at 18, or 21, or even 30...but states have to set a standard as a starting point. In general, departments find that older candidates are less likely to have issues than younger ones...that isn't just about age, it is also about having work experience and other background to allow for a better background investigation and hiring decisions. Sometimes those things eliminate qualified candidates in the short term, but guess what? If you are such an ideal candidate at 18, you should be even better prepared at 21.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by This User View Post
    Well I'm going to discuss with a state rep. about these issues. As far as the reasoning goes, I was just trying to see if there is a secret law for law enforcement auto insurance acceptance, benefit requirements (life insurance), stuff like that why a 21 years old would be required.

    Additionally, the whole "there's almost always a reason behind everything you see a LEO do" is not true. At all. Sure there is a reason for everything, but it doesn't mean it is justified and righteous. The reason requiring license plates is for identification, obviously, but not police only. It is to report individuals. Because we have evolved into a world where we expect individuals (policemen) to provide security and insurance, does not mean they are the only just people allowed to take action. If a police officer is allowed to not drive without license plates, then are they allowed to commit murder just because of their authority as well? There are statistics to prove police officers commit just as many crimes as the common human.

    He or she does not want someone to see them coming because of inadequate lights. Seriously? So they would intently remove one of their headlights so individuals would not see their car at night and be at risk of a accident? The law in Texas states all motored vehicles have two white lights in front of their vehicle, etc etc. Nobody has an exception to that law. Only circumstance I can think of is special special officers, and what I observed this individual was not special. If anything he was risking the public's safety by eating and driving at night as well.

    What is the excuse for an officer to keep an ambulance from passing? To commit indirect murder? So if there are children in the ambulance who are fatally injured, it is okay for a police officer to block their path towards health and the ability to survive?

    I may be young and naive, but wow... My local department's mission statement is to protect the public, not to endanger it.
    Based on prior threads, namely this one, http://www.911jobforums.com/f55/deal...anxiety-66592/ , I am not sure if you are of sound mind to throw around judgements regarding law enforcement, which you are not part of or have no experience with.

    I might add that the "big bad law enforcement" folks, to include me, offered you advice, from our hearts, in your prior mental health thread. Your above post is indicative of paranoia, to include discussion of murder and police committing crimes.

    MODS: I recommend this user be banned as he is not adding anything to the forum nor using the forum for well-intended/natured learning about LEO careers or hiring.

  10. #10
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    Nov 2014
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    I do apologize if I sounded like I was bashing law enforcement as a whole, I guess I was subconsciously redirecting my local observations to a whole without acknowledging it. I was simply stating what I have witnessed and was seeking appropriate excuses if there were any. I have spoken with several sergeants and they have all told me different things, so it is hard for me to know what is correct and incorrect.

    I do sincerely apologize to krellum and everyone else if I upset anyone. I hold myself accountable for any action deemed appropriate, I was just pushing for answers maybe a little too hastily.

    On topic: I still do believe I am of sound mind when it comes to the above statements; however, I might of seemed too passionate towards the ambulance scenario, but it deeply affects my beliefs.

  11. #11
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    Something worth noting is that the 18 and 21 year old thresholds are cultural and traditional not scientific. Current state of brain science is that the higher function of applying judgement does not develop until about 25. What is amazing in police work is not that a few do something wrong, but that so many human beings, prone to error as we are, perform so brilliantly behind the badge.
    ret.

  12. #12
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    Nov 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by ATF SAC View Post
    Something worth noting is that the 18 and 21 year old thresholds are cultural and traditional not scientific. Current state of brain science is that the higher function of applying judgement does not develop until about 25. What is amazing in police work is not that a few do something wrong, but that so many human beings, prone to error as we are, perform so brilliantly behind the badge.
    True. I did not mean to scold the badge at all, just the individuals. Nevertheless, on the topic of cultural/traditional threshold, (I understand some states require being 18) if one goes out of state to a 18 minimum requirement department, gets their badge and acquires 2 years work experience, do they have to sign up as a completely new employee or do ranks/performance/etc transition with them. Of course work experience does, but does entitlement matter at this point if they go to a 21 year state, or must they wait another year to obtain their badge at this new state?

    I want to understand how departments work together. Additionally, other than ride-alongs, are there any other good alternatives for eager students waiting requirements? I understand for my city you can only enlist for ride-alongs 1-2 times a year, so I would like something more durable and progressive. I am considering enrolling in the fire academy and possibly switching over, but would like all my options. Anybody know of a good path towards the law enforcement career below the requirement stages?

    I don't believe I would be a good fit as a county jailer at this moment in time*

  13. #13
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    Jul 2002
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    Quote Originally Posted by This User View Post
    Well I'm going to discuss with a state rep. about these issues. As far as the reasoning goes, I was just trying to see if there is a secret law for law enforcement auto insurance acceptance, benefit requirements (life insurance), stuff like that why a 21 years old would be required.

    Additionally, the whole "there's almost always a reason behind everything you see a LEO do" is not true. At all. Sure there is a reason for everything, but it doesn't mean it is justified and righteous. The reason requiring license plates is for identification, obviously, but not police only. It is to report individuals. Because we have evolved into a world where we expect individuals (policemen) to provide security and insurance, does not mean they are the only just people allowed to take action. If a police officer is allowed to not drive without license plates, then are they allowed to commit murder just because of their authority as well? There are statistics to prove police officers commit just as many crimes as the common human.

    He or she does not want someone to see them coming because of inadequate lights. Seriously? So they would intently remove one of their headlights so individuals would not see their car at night and be at risk of a accident? The law in Texas states all motored vehicles have two white lights in front of their vehicle, etc etc. Nobody has an exception to that law. Only circumstance I can think of is special special officers, and what I observed this individual was not special. If anything he was risking the public's safety by eating and driving at night as well.

    What is the excuse for an officer to keep an ambulance from passing? To commit indirect murder? So if there are children in the ambulance who are fatally injured, it is okay for a police officer to block their path towards health and the ability to survive?

    I may be young and naive, but wow... My local department's mission statement is to protect the public, not to endanger it.
    These can't be serious. . .where is Ashton Kutcher. . .because folks, this guy is trying to Punk us.

    I've been around a while, this guy is not worth the time or effort to respond to. But, alas, I must.

    So, you see and ambulance trying to get through an intersection, and police officer is stopping him. The first question to ask is WHY? Not because he trying to stop them from getting somewhere. . what if the officer has knowledge of another accident down the road that would impede the Ambulances path, and he needs to re-direct him? Do you think that the officer is unaware that the vehicle is an ambulance?

    The lack of maturity in the statements and the true lack of thought being put into the questions is astounding. Perhaps with some maturity, you might get to a level of understanding, but right now, sit back, get back to class, I'm sure you Geometry teacher wonders where you are.
    That is the law. . . according to the rules.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Time Traveller View Post
    These can't be serious. . .where is Ashton Kutcher. . .because folks, this guy is trying to Punk us.

    I've been around a while, this guy is not worth the time or effort to respond to. But, alas, I must.

    So, you see and ambulance trying to get through an intersection, and police officer is stopping him. The first question to ask is WHY? Not because he trying to stop them from getting somewhere. . what if the officer has knowledge of another accident down the road that would impede the Ambulances path, and he needs to re-direct him? Do you think that the officer is unaware that the vehicle is an ambulance?

    The lack of maturity in the statements and the true lack of thought being put into the questions is astounding. Perhaps with some maturity, you might get to a level of understanding, but right now, sit back, get back to class, I'm sure you Geometry teacher wonders where you are.
    No, I never meant it as the officer stopping the ambulance on purpose. I meant the officer's car blocking the intersection (too much traffic, not waiting at crosswalk on your side) and an ambulance theoretically comes by and is stuck and has to wait 10-20 seconds for the officer or another car to move. I believe this was not properly communicated.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by This User View Post
    No, I never meant it as the officer stopping the ambulance on purpose. I meant the officer's car blocking the intersection (too much traffic, not waiting at crosswalk on your side) and an ambulance theoretically comes by and is stuck and has to wait 10-20 seconds for the officer or another car to move. I believe this was not properly communicated.
    No it was not, as you are now using a "Theoretical" argument, not a real life scenario...so, when you said you have witnessed law enforcement not abiding by the law, and then give the ambulance as an example, you are not stating a theoretical argument, you presented the facts as if it had happened and you had witnessed it, then fail to give the proper information to fill in the rest of the story.

    I'm done
    That is the law. . . according to the rules.


 

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