Opinion

It takes more training time to become a barber than a police officer

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While covering the recent protests in Charlotte, we met Derrick Jacobs, who said he had to go through more training to become a barber than a police officer does. We wanted to see if that was true. Because every time there’s a controversial police shooting, the question comes up: How much training do officers get? Turns out, Jacobs’ claim is right. And it’s not just in North Carolina. In California, New Mexico and New York, you can get a badge hundreds of hours sooner than you can use a pair of barber shears.

And it’s not just barbering, either. Many trade jobs require more hours of training time to get a license than it takes to get a police badge. (Important caveat, though: Police departments can choose to go beyond their state’s minimum training requirements — and many do.) Here’s a sample of the required hours of training time:

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In North Carolina, It takes 1,528 hours to become a licensed barber. The state’s minimum police training requirement is 620 hours. (Charlotte-Mecklenburg police require another 278 hours of training.)

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To earn a badge in California, you’ll need at least 664 hours of academy training. (The state then requires at least 14 weeks of field training.) If you want to be a licensed cosmetologist, you’ll need more than that: 1,600 hours.

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