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Wearing The Uniform

South+Mountain+High+School+Resource+Officer+Brandon+Pelke+poses+next+to+his+car.
South Mountain High School Resource Officer Brandon Pelke poses next to his car.

South Mountain High School Resource Officer Brandon Pelke poses next to his car.

Photo by Oscar Nunez

Photo by Oscar Nunez

South Mountain High School Resource Officer Brandon Pelke poses next to his car.

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“You’re always doing something different,” said South Mountain High School Resource Officer, Brandon Pelke. “Something bad can happen at any time and then I’m gonna have to rely on my training and experience to get through that situation.”

Being a police officer can be a very dangerous occupation.

“You just never know what you’re gonna get into,” said Pelke. “Whether its somebody that’s upset and wants
to kill you or just kill somebody, to helping an old lady cross the street. I mean it’s literally that broad of a spectrum.”

To be a police officer you need a high school diploma or equivalent and sometimes a degree from college. The City of Phoenix only requires a high school diploma or equivalent, but Pelke explained that if you do have some type of degree, you get what are called enhancement points, which are used to give you motivation to further your education. Joining the military is also an advantage.

“I strongly recommend joining the military,” said Pelke. “It doesn’t matter what branch. (It) is gonna give a leg up in the academy, because the police department, it’s a paramilitary organization. Plus the military prepares you for stress and this job has a lot of stress. Not saying that somebody who doesn’t go in the military can’t handle it, but that is a pattern that I’ve seen.”

If you are interested in becoming a police officer, you must be at least 21 years or older and must pass a written exam. It’s also helpful if you can speak a foreign language. Then, recruits go through training at a police academy which generally lasts around 12 to 14 weeks. The training includes instruction in state laws, constitu- tional law, civil rights, and accident investigation. Police officers also learn about traffic control, self-defense, first-aid, firearms, and emergency response.

The PUHSD’s Franklin Police and Fire High School teaches students about becoming police officers and firefighters.

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Wearing The Uniform