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Do Police Officers Need A College Degree

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What Are The Benefits Of Getting An Education In Law Enforcement

3News Investigates: Should police officers be required to earn college degrees?

There are numerous benefits to completing a law enforcement program before going into a law enforcement career. Although its possible to pursue such a career without a college education, this typically isnt in your best interest. Heres what a law enforcement degree can help you do:

Gain Access to More Career Options

Law enforcement professionals with a college degree are typically the employees that get opportunities and promotions that arent available to individuals without a college-level education. A criminal justice program provides academic credentials and career skills that help applicants stand out from others who may be vying for the same position or promotion. It allows you to select from a wider variety of career paths and enables you to transfer knowledge and skills across a wide range of organizations and industries.

This means that law enforcement college students have more to choose from when applying for jobs after graduation. Theyre not being forced to settle for a position they are less passionate about or left with few to no options to progress their careers because nothing else is available. College-educated individuals generally enjoy lower unemployment rates than those with only a high school diploma or equivalent and/or on-the-job training.

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Presidents Commission On Law Enforcement 1967

In the wake of social change and the resulting civil unrest stemming from the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s, President Lyndon B. Johnson created a commission to address crime and other concerns facing cities across the country. In an effort to help reduce crime and quell tensions, the President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice focused heavily on recommendations to help police better serve the communities they were tasked with policing. The commission argues in several ways that a basic education is pivotal to being able to effectively execute the job responsibilities of a law enforcement officer and any other worthwhile career for that matter. Ultimately the Commission makes the recommendation that all police department personnel that are tasked with enforcing the laws and giving arrest powers should have a college degree.

It’s important to note that the Commission acknowledged that this was a very steep ask of all police departments and that it would take several years to implement such stringent recruitment requirements. They did take it step further and recommend that all supervisor and executive level positions begin to require a college degree.

Do You Need A College Degree To Be A Cop

You may or may not need a degree to become a cop or police officer. This depends on the city and department in which you apply to work. Every area has its own requirements. However, an individual with a bachelors degree in criminal justice or law enforcement will generally see better job opportunities. One might want to compare different cities with different populations to see their requirements.

Chicago, Illinois This city, with a population of 2.71 million, requires that candidates at least one of these educational requirements.

  • Completed at least 60 semester hours from an accredited college
  • Completed 30 semester hours plus one year of active duty
  • Complete three years of active duty

Minneapolis, Minnesota This city, with a population of 420,324, requires that candidates have at least one of these educational requirements.

  • At least an associate degree
  • At least five years of continuous military experience
  • At least five years of continuous law enforcement work

This city, with a population of 18,222, requires their candidates have a high school degree. In some areas, an associate degree may be required. Candidates who wish to work in a division like forensics or cyber-crimes may require an associate degree plus certification in those areas. Individuals who want to work in government positions may need a bachelors degree.

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Preparing For The Police Force

Becoming a police officer is a competitive feat. Its easy to see why.Officers across the United States earn an average, annual salary of $67,290. Police in Connecticut can expect even more, with an average salary of $75,590 per year. On top of this, police officers can expect exceptional benefits like comprehensive medical coverage, extensive paid time off, state pension and other retirement aid, as well as tuition reimbursement for those who pursue a college degree.In fact, more and more police officers are now seeking out a college education, as employers seek more qualified candidates for this job. This is increasing the competition and the standards for police officers today. If you wish to stand out and to become a great police officer, a college degree can get you there.Not only will a college degree equip you with the police officer qualities and skills needed to succeed, but it will also increase your marketability after the police force. Even more, it can prepare you to have a greater voice in your role. A criminal justice degree program can provide you with knowledge of:

Contemporary, ethical perspectives

Current ethical and legal issues facing law enforcement

Criminology, criminal procedures, and criminal law

Communications courses that can carry through to public speaking, report writing, and more

In addition to a police officer career, the Criminal Justice degree at Goodwin can also help students prepare for other, related careers in areas such as:

You Need To Pass Background Checks And Physical Exams

Engineering Education Degree: What Degree Do You Need To Be A Police ...

In order to qualify for a position as a police officer, you must pass the background check. This check is very important, as it ensures that you have the moral strength and the aptitude to possess a gun and a police badge. The recruiting officers may obtain transcripts from your school and interview your teachers and professors to find out more about your study habits and demeanor. They will reach out to your friends and family and look at your criminal records to ensure you dont hide anything.

In addition to background checks, you need to pass a physical examination. Here, the recruitment officers will check to see if you have a good sense of hearing and sight and verify your level of strength, dexterity, stamina and overall agility. Some states may require you to pass a psychiatric evaluation.

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How To Become A Police Officer: 4 Steps To The Best Job Outlook

Its hard to image our society without police officers.

Under-appreciated even in the most appreciative communities, police officers are the stewards of justice, peace, and safety all over the country. They may not be perfect, and their public images may not be flawless, but police officers and other law enforcement officials are vital to this county.

You can be one of the proud police officers who protect the peace and safety of our communities, but it takes the right attitude, fortitude, and education to make it a reality.

To make the right decision for your future, you probably have a lot of questions. This article walks you through each of the 4 steps needed to become a police officer, so you can make the right choice and hit the ground running in your new career.


Police Training Academies In Kentucky

All law enforcement recruits in Kentucky must complete a training program at an approved police academy in order to become certified as a police officer and to work for a department or sheriffs office. To attend an academy, new recruits must first be offered employment. There are three academies in the state:

  • Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice Richmond, KY
  • Kentucky State Police Training Academy Frankfort, KY
  • Louisville Police Department Academy Louisville, KY
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    How Long Does It Take To Become A Police Officer In New Jersey

    First, you have to complete a 2-year long Associates degree or a 4-year long Bachelors degree. Those who possess an Associates degree will have to complete two years of work experience. Then you will have to apply for the police officer position. In order to succeed, you will have to pass a physical and written test, background check,an interview, and medical and psychological exams. You will also have to complete a training program at the Police Academy.

    Policy And Legislation On The Teacher Educator Profession

    Do You Need College To Be A Police Officer?

    While schools and school teachers are often in the news and in political debate, research shows that the teacher educator profession is largely absent from such public discussions and from policy discourse in Education which often focuses exclusively on teachers and school leaders.

    Some research suggests that, while most countries have policies, and legislation, in place concerning the teaching profession, few countries have a clear policy or strategy on the teacher educator profession. Caena found that some of the consequences of this situation can include a teacher educator profession that is poorly organised, has low status or low formal recognition, has few regulations, professional standards or even minimum qualifications, and no coherent approach to the selection, induction, or continuing professional development of Teacher Educators.

    In India, the National Council of Teacher Education released the ‘National Curricular Framework for Teacher Education, 2010 , which aims to remedy many of the ills of teacher training in India. It calls for preparing a ‘humane and reflective practitioner’ and for fostering the agency and autonomy of the teacher, who can interpret the curriculum meaningfully to the contextual needs of the learners, than merely focus on ‘teaching the text book’.

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    What Gcses Do You Need To Become A Police Officer

    In order to become a Police Officer, you will need a minimum of 5 GCSEs at pass grades and above. These should include English Language, Maths, and Science as a baseline. However, you may find it useful to have GCSEs in a Modern Foreign Language or P.E., as these could contribute to the skillset that you will need as a Police Officer.

    Emphasize Related Work Experience

    Explaining how your work history has prepared you for police work is very important. Talking about your military service can give you an edge over civilians who are applying. Employers value the skills that veterans bring to the police force such as mental strength, sense of duty and unwavering courage. Other directly related experiences include full-time or volunteer fire fighting, driving an armored car, sleuthing as a private detective or working as a security guard. If you are at least 20 years old, consider volunteering for the police reserves, in which you will receive introductory law enforcement training. Joining the army reserves is an excellent way of acquiring skills and standing-out in the application process.

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    Associate Degrees In Criminal Justice

    An associate degree is a two-year program that requires at least 60 semester credits . Most criminal justice programs are actually in the 64- to 66-credit range. Of those credits, around 40% are general education requirements such as English, math, science, humanities, and other topics. Another 20% of credits are elective courses. The actual major is around 40%, or eight classes.

    Because most associate degrees are meant to build into bachelors programs, the classes are, by definition, lower-level. They cover introductory material meant to be explored more in-depth in the final two years of undergraduate study.

    Those classes might include the following:

    • Introduction to criminal justice: You will learn who the different actors are from police officers to lawyers to judges and legislators and how they work together to form the criminal justice system.
    • Communication: Learn the building blocks for writing a police report, interviewing suspects and witnesses, and deescalating tense situations.
    • Judicial system: Explore the layers of the federal, state, and/or local court systems and which cases go where.
    • Corrections: Examine how jails and prisons function and explore concepts such as rehabilitation and punishment.
    • Research: Learn to analyze data to understand what different criminal statistics actually mean.

    Technology And Finance Degree Options For Police Officers

    Criminal Justice, BS

    Depending on your area of interest, you may benefit from choosing a major such as computer science or business. Having a background in computer science, information technology or a similar subject may help prepare you for work investigating cybercrime, or crimes committed digitally, via a computer. If youre more interested in insider trading, embezzlement and white-collar crimes, a major in accounting or finance may be exactly the background you need to focus your career on this type of crime.

    A background in accounting or finance may also help you investigate crimes like money laundering which often occur in relation to serious crimes like terrorism and drug or weapons trafficking.

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    Sociology And Anthropology Degrees

    Sociology and anthropology will help police officers understand more about the communities they serve. Every community has its own culture, history, baggage, and even language. The study of cultures, how they form, and how they react given a variety of circumstances and experiences can be invaluable to police officers seeking to work closely with the community.

    In the sociology program at ASU students study the most important contemporary social issues, and their historical and political roots. Students will learn to utilize research methods and statistics to critically analyze information about social groups in any given cultural context.

    Tuition: $14,400

    Sociology students at FHSU will have the ability to create a sociology program that fits their specific needs. Thus students pursuing a career in law enforcement can focus their studies on aspects of sociology that will help them serve and protect their communities.

    Tuition: $12,821

    Individuals working as police officers may notice what they believe to be trends in their local communities. Police officers also have access to vast quantities of data. The sociology degree from the University of Wisconsin trains students to conduct research and interpret statistics with the goal of identifying problems and proposing solutions.

    Tuition: $15,151

    Tuition: $12,195

    Oregon Trooper Or Highway Patrol Requirements

    The troopers of the Oregon State Police are dedicated to serving the residents of Oregon and supporting local communities throughout the state. New troopers have the opportunity to work toward special positions within the OSP including arson investigator, narcotics detective, or fish and wildlife trooper. New recruits must meet state standards and:

    • Be a US citizen or able to obtain citizenship within 18 months of hire
    • Have a valid drivers license
    • Have good moral character

    In addition to meeting these minimum requirements, hopeful new troopers must go through a rigorous selection process that includes a written test, a physical fitness test, a background check, a drug screening, and an interview. Oregon state troopers are paid a starting salary of $4,729 per month with regular increases up to the fifth anniversary of hire, at which time the salary is $6,337 per month.1

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    What Do Related Occupations Make

    If you’re interested in how to become a police officer, you might also be interested in related professions. Working as a correctional officer, EMT or paramedic, firefighter, probation officer, security guard, gaming surveillance officer, game warden or firefighter might be on your radar. If that’s the case, you can peruse the list of related occupations below, which includes average salaries:

    What you earn depends on where you live, including the region, state or city. To help determine what you can expect to make in your particular area, our handy salary comparison tool can help.

    Is Experience As Beneficial As Education

    NJ law enforcement experts cite research supporting higher education for cops

    Somestudies have pointed out that the desirable characteristics of acollege-educated officer are also found in the experienced officer of 11 years.Experience and education, it has been concluded, have a similar effect onpolice behavior, but experience takes longer to accumulate, and mistakes may bemade along the way.

    Irrespectiveof experience, college is going to give you bang for the buck right out of thegate, Terrill said. By having an education, youre actually speeding up theprocess of experience and youre getting the effect of better policing in theform of less force.

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    Do States Require A Degree To Become A Police Officer

    There isnt a national standard for educational requirements for police officers. Its up to each individual law enforcement agency to set hiring qualifications.

    Most local and state police departments require only a high school diploma to start out as a police officer but will offer incentives such as pay increases or tuition reimbursements for officers to earn an associate or bachelors degree. You can easily check the requirements of each police organization youre interested in on its website.

    Some departments require a certain number of college credit hours, military service, or previous experience as a police officer.

    Associate Degree In Law Enforcement

    An associate degree in law enforcement prepares graduates for police careers by providing the information necessary to pass police academy entrance exams. The associate degree usually takes two years to complete, is a well-rounded degree with general education courses mixed in, and serves as a stepping stone to the bachelor’s degree. Because each associate degree program will be tailored to the requirements of the local and regional law enforcement departments, curriculums will vary. However, some of the classes incoming students can expect include:

    Crime Types

    • Utilizing crime reconstructions methods

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    Training Institutions For Police Officers

    Now that you know what options there are for becoming a police officer, its important to know where they are offered. There are many schools that exist to help you move into the law enforcement career of your choice. Here are the options:

    Vocational/trade schools

    These post-high school institutions focus their programs and curriculums on skill-oriented or hands-on training. This training can come in the form of what effectively amounts to an in-house police academy. Vocational and trade schools can provide the fastest way to obtain the training necessary to become a police officer and allow students to receive police academy training without attending the official police academy. Its also fairly affordable compared to earning a college degree. Keep in mind that graduation doesnt guarantee a job in law enforcement and may not result in an academic credential that provides opportunities for professional advancement.

    Best for? Those confident in obtaining a job offer after graduation and want to serve as a police officer as quickly as possible.

    Community colleges

    Best for? Students who would like to earn a college degree along with their law enforcement training.


    Best for? Those who love serving their country or community will benefit from the rewarding experience that can come from military service.

    Four-year schools

    Best for? Aspiring police officers who want an extra way to stand out from the pack of applicants, as well as those looking for federal work.

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