Question on process of becoming a police officer?

Ok, So I'm currently a junior attending a 4 year university in the Los Angeles area. After I graduate I'm thinking of becoming a police officer and so I've looked up several departments around the area but am confused on the process of becoming a police officer. So once I get my Bachelor's... show more Ok, So I'm currently a junior attending a 4 year university in the Los Angeles area. After I graduate I'm thinking of becoming a police officer and so I've looked up several departments around the area but am confused on the process of becoming a police officer.

So once I get my Bachelor's degree:

1. Do I apply directly to a local department or do I have to go through an academy like the LAPD academy program to get my qualification?
2. I noticed that some colleges offer academy programs that provide POST qualifications.. but what's the difference between something like this and say something like the LAPD academy?
3. I'd personally want to work in the department near my house in the orange county area but say if I apply for the LAPD academy and get in, is it basically an automatic position i I make it through?

Sorry, lots of questions but i'm so confused on the process and online sources don't really seem to clarify.
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