I've got a better idea. Find a job that pays well. One that doesn't involve shift work, holidays, or weekends. Otherwise- Prepare yourself for the reality that you'll be nothing more than a glorified garbageman. Understand that within the first few months you'll be jaded, and cynical. You'll have to rely on a very dark sense of humor to get past the bleak outlook you'll undoubtedly develop.
Come to terms with the fact that you're not going to be wanted by just about anyone you are called to "help". You'll deal with 10% of the population 90% of the time. And believe me, it's not the upper ten percent either. You're split-second actions will be scrutinized and analyzed over and over; often times in a court of law. Very often (most of the time in fact) the split second-decision you make with be perceived as having a negative impact by those who are effected (even if you're doing what's best for them). Know that a majority of the time, those who need help the most will do whatever they can to avoid it.
You're going to be micro-managed. There's a seemingly unending threat of budget cuts. The vest you'll where under you're shield will leave you with heat rash all summer long. Oh, and did I mention that there's always the small chance you'll need to take a bullet?
But if you can get past those minor details you'll find that few jobs are more personally satisfying or self-gratifying. You'll be left with only the strongest of ties to those of a like mind and personal pride in their civil duties. You'll be left with some of the greatest stories, those that can only be appreciated or even understood by someone who has been there before.
There really aren't too many things you can do on this earth to replicate the feeling you get rolling up on a hot call knowing that you are the person EVERYONE there is at to restore order and save the day. There's a bit of inner piece that only a sheepdog can have in understanding that while everyone else is running away, it is you who runs towards the gun fire. It is you who embraces the chaos. It is you willing to protect the flock when the wolf is at the door.
Law enforcement ins't a job. It's a profession, and a calling.
As far as academy goes. It varies by state. In Minnesota we have to go to college first and receive at minimum a two-year Associated of Applied Science Degree in Law Enforcement. There's always the ability to go for additional years and get Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice, etc. After successful completion of a Professional Peace Officers Education program we need to take a state board exam (similar to a Doctor or Liar... I mean Lawyer). We have to complete the state exam to be license by the POST (Peace Officer's Standard's and Training) board.
Once we're POST certified we can be hired by any agency in the state. From there we go into whatever specific training the agency has set up. Some agencies are nothing more than a few hours riding around with a partner. Most medium size or larger departments have a FTO (Field Training Officer) period that can last anywhere from a few weeks to six months or more. Really just depends on where you wind up and what their policies are.
Best of luck, hotrod.