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Do You Need College To Become A Police Officer

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Criminal Justice Or Criminology

Do You Need College To Be A Police Officer?

Another common degree specialty for cops is a degree in criminal justice or criminology. While the two fields are related, criminal justice is defined as the study of the system of US law enforcement, including courts and corrections, while criminology is the broader and more theoretical study of the social phenomenon of crime, including its causes and consequences. That said, an education in criminal justice may be best suited for prospective cops, but criminology can certainly be helpful too. Students in criminal justice and criminology programs will learn about the criminal justice system, criminology, courts, and the US correctional system, and coursework may cover research methods and statistics as well. Coursework may include courses such as Policing, Juvenile Justice, Corrections, Courts and Judicial Process, Research Methods in Criminal Justice, and Prisons: Punishment and Rehabilitation in America. Criminal justice and criminology degrees are available at all degree levels, from certificates to graduate degrees.

What Do Police Look For In A Background Check

The background exam is a very thorough investigation of the applicants past. It is common for the hiring parties to speak to colleagues, family members, neighbours, landlords, as well as present and past employers. This helps to determine whether you have a track record of high ethical standards in all areas of your life. You will be required to provide your criminal record, driving record, credit history, and history of alcohol and drug use. Additionally, you will need to pass a polygraph exam that shows whether you have been dishonest or deceitful in answering any of the questions throughout the application process.

When applying to police agencies, you will be disqualified if*:

  • You have matters pending at a criminal court
  • You participated in any indictable offenses. These offenses are the mostserious of criminal activities, which include murder, sexual assault, and terrorist activities.
  • You have a criminal conviction that has not been pardone.
  • You participated in less serious criminal behaviour or activity within one year of applying. These activities are referred to as summary conviction offenses under the Criminal Code. They include illicit drug use, theft, and impaired driving.
  • You have been dishonourably discharged or dismissed from any other law enforcement organization
  • You have a pending or current personal bankruptcy

Successfully Pass A Background Check

You can expect any law enforcement agency youre applying for to conduct a number of checks into your background, including criminal history and even credit history. While this isnt literally the first step to becoming a police officer, it is the first one youll need to consider before you get too invested in the process. If you have concerns about how your background might impact your candidacy, you may want to consult a police academy admissions representative about it.

Your credit history may be analyzed because it gives potential employers an idea of your level of responsibility and potential problems like gambling-related debts. Police departments look into applicants history of criminal activity, employment, residency and academic records as well.

Basically, the police department is going to get deep into your business, says Adam Plantinga, and 17-year veteran sergeant with the San Francisco Police Department. Dont leave anything out on your background packet. If you omit something, even inadvertently, and it comes to light, you will likely be eliminated as a candidate. Departments are looking for responsible people who play by the rules.

Things like felonies and gross misdemeanors could disqualify you from becoming a police officer, but less serious offenses could also be problematicit really depends on the department and its policies.

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How Long Is Police Academy

One of the most important steps, as well as possibly the most challenging, in your path to becoming a police officer is training at a police academy. Each state will have different requirements for the specifics of a police academy, but recruits will typically spend about 800 hours in training before graduation. In general, the academy will take about six months to complete.

Benefits Of Earning A Policing Degree

What subjects do you need to study to become a police officer?

While a policing degree is not required to become a law enforcement official, a policing degree from Laurier helps enhance the career and earning potential of an individual who wants to pursue a career in this field.

Graduates with a bachelors degree in policing will have an advantage when pursuing leadership positions and promotions. In addition to becoming a police officer, some of the top job opportunities for graduates include emergency management specialist, crime analyst and security director.

Additionally, the earning potential is higher for graduates with an online degree in policing. Higher education can translate into higher wages than a high school or college diploma alone. Earning a bachelor’s degree can earn you over 30 percent higher earnings than high school graduates.

In terms of salaries in Canada, a police officer earns an average of $93,000 per year. The average security director salary in Canada is $99,000. And a detective sergeant can earn in excess of $121,000 annually.

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Police Officer Degree Levels

There are many degree options for prospective and current police who are interested in furthering their education. As previously mentioned, a successful policing career does not necessarily require a college degree, but pursuing a degree can benefit your career as a police officer not only by helping you get hired but also by putting you in a better position to be promoted and/or move into a supervisory position. Before we look at the degree majors available for those interested in police education, lets look at the police officer education levels available.

How To Become A Police Officer In Massachusetts

All you need to know about becoming a police officer in a Civil Service department

First, you need to apply for the exam. Next, you will want to be prepared for the written exam. Once you take and pass the exam, your name will be placed on a list to be considered. Registration for the Municipal Police Officer and MBTA Transit Police Officer exam has been closed.

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Why Is A Police Officer Degree Needed

If youre wondering why police officers are more likely to need college degrees than they used to be, thats a good question. Police matters have become more challenging, so it makes sense that law enforcement officers need a greater understanding of the law, legal and investigative procedures, and complex sociological, psychological and cultural issues. Researchers have discovered that police officers who complete a minimum of two years of college study are statistically less likely to use force unnecessarily or to be the subject of misconduct complaints, according to The Hill.

From a purely practical perspective, many officers pursue a degree even when its not mandatory because of incentives that include pay bonuses and salary increases.

Additional Resources

Is A Degree In Criminal Justice Worth The Effort

What its like to be a new police officer | The Recruits

As you consider the merits of obtaining a degree in criminal justice, it will probably occur to you that you can become a police officer more quickly if you forgo the degree and just sign on with a police force, where you will be given basic training in the police academy. However, you won’t just be passing up possible opportunities to earn a higher salary in the future, but also maybe even the opportunity to work in a variety of interesting fields as your career advances.

Some of the jobs holders of criminal justice degrees might also go for are legal assistant, paralegal, detective, criminal investigator, forensic science technician, police supervisor, probation officer, corrections officer, security guard, fraud investigator, FBI agent, CIA agent, U.S. postal inspector, immigration and customs enforcement agent, DEA agent, Secret Service agent, blood splatter analyst, U.S. marshal, and transit and railroad police.

But aside from the great career diversity the criminal justice field offers, a degree in CJ also provides students with a richer background that will help them put their skills to better use once they begin work. Criminal justice instructors generally bring their own varied experiences into the classroom, and can help students develop a deeper understanding of the challenges they will face in the field and the best ways to respond to them.

It could be the Best Decision You Ever Make!

Gainful Employment Information â Criminal Justice – Bachelorâs

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Step : Background Investigation

All Peace Officer candidates must undergo a thorough background investigation which includes a drug test. When directed by the academy staff, Pre-Service Candidates should contact Professional Screening and Information . The current cost for the PSI background investigation for Pre-Service Candidates is $304.00 and is payable online. Contact your academy of choice to obtain the organization code and Chain of Custody form, when applicable, for the drug test. Once completed, the PSI background investigation results will be forwarded to the chosen academy.

How Important Is Accreditation

Accreditation refers to an outside organization reviewing a particular school or program to ensure it meets certain standards of quality. Accreditation is important for police training programs because it serves as a mark of quality graduates who complete their education and training can be confident that what they have earned will be accepted by future employers and peers. The specific entities that offer accreditation will vary depending on the program. For instance, many associate or bachelors degree programs will not be accredited at the program level, but the school offering the degree will be accredited. This will usually be a regional or national accrediting organization recognized by the US Department of Education.

As for the accreditation of police training academies, the most prominent is the Commission on Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies, or CALEA.

Step 3

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Do You Need A Degree To Be A Cop

You do not need a degree to be a police officer in certain states, though it may be helpful to have one. A high school diploma is often the minimum requirement in many states to join a police academy, which is the most necessary step to becoming a police officer.

Within each state, a police agency or department may have various education requirements. While an associate or bachelor’s degree is rarely mandatory, they provide opportunities to earn higher wages or advance in the career. Federal law enforcement positions, like ones within the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives or the Federal Bureau of Investigation , require a four-year degree.

You can pursue a criminal justice degree and join a police force later or be an active law enforcement officer and earn a degree to gain promotions or positions with specialization, like computer forensics or cyber criminology. Other specialized units can include:

  • Homicide detective unit

  • Pass a written, physical and psychological exam and a polygraph test

  • Get medical clearance

As a recruit at the academy, you’ll take classes to learn about state laws, criminal investigations, firearms training, patrol procedures, traffic control, self-defense and first aid. The academy is an intensive learning experience and youâll spend the entire day training, learning or exercising. Each state has its own training parameters and testing methods to graduate from the academy.

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Finish Your Field Training

What Do You Need to be a Police Officer?

The learning doesn’t stop after graduation from the academy. There’s still a field training program to get through.

Field training teaches candidates what it’s really like to work on the street. You take on progressively more responsibility as you are evaluated on every aspect of the job, from your investigative abilities to your observance of officer safety and everything in between. Of course, once you’ve finished field training, the real learning begins, as you get on-the-job training patrolling the streets on your own.

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Meet Other Job Qualifications

Many local and state law enforcement agencies are flexible about a degree provided the applicant meets all other minimal requirements for hire. Typically, applicants must be a U.S. citizen, 21 years old and in top notch physical, mental and medical health. You may be required to pass oral interviews, psychological tests, drug tests, a polygraph and a background check. Reasons for disqualification can include drug use, felony convictions and repeated driving violations. Maintain a healthy lifestyle and make sure you are fit and capable of doing the job before applying to be a police officer.

How Long Does It Take To Become A Police Officer In Toronto

It takes 24 weeks to complete the prescribed police training and become sworn in as a 4th class constable. As cadets-in-training, new recruits attend a three-week orientation at the Toronto Police College followed by a 12-week session at the Ontario Police College. Training concludes with nine weeks of training at the Toronto Police College.

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Police Officer Career Outlook

The continuing need for qualified police officers, especially in larger cities, has police officers very much in demand. Although the need for police officers is there, the number that are actually hired in a certain area depends largely on state and local budgets.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that police officers will see a job growth of five percent between 2019 and 2029. Based on this percentage, approximately 40,600 new police officer jobs will be created by 2029. During that decade, the BLS also predicts there will be more than 59,000 job openings per year.

These job openings are the result of police officers retiring or switching to other occupations. The best job opportunities generally go to these applicants:

  • Individuals who speak more than one language
  • Individuals who have investigative experience
  • Individuals with a bachelors degree
  • Individuals with military or law enforcement experience

The states with the highest number of police officers employed are:

  • California 74,310
$44,980

Impress At Your Police Officer Interview

You don’t need a degree to be a cop in this city

Many hopeful applicants will be offered an interview during the hiring process. This is an opportunity to get to know you on a personal level, and sometimes that can be enough to land you that coveted job. Here are some questions you might encounter during that interview:

  • What would you do if you witnessed another officer commit a crime?
  • If a superior officer told you to do something you knew was against regulations, what would you do?
  • What de-escalation techniques would you use to prevent a physical altercation?
  • Would you be able to arrest a family member if you had to?
  • Describe a time your ethics were tested. How did you handle the situation?
  • This job can be emotionally challenging. How would you reach out for help if needed?
  • Give an example of a time when the right thing contradicted the rules of a certain situation. How did you handle that?
  • What do you consider your greatest strengths in communication? How about your greatest weakness?
  • Lets keep in touch

    Stay up-to-date with the latest education, training, and career trends.

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    Get The Minimum Schooling Requirements

    Usually, this means either your high school diploma or GED. Some states, like Illinois, also require you to have a certain number of college credits.

    Each state has its own specific requirements you can find on their respective police forces website. For example, here is New Yorks, and here is Maines.

    Editors note: An important factor to consider is age. Some states accept anyone aged 18 or older, but some, like California, only accept people aged 21 or older.

    Toronto Police Officer Application Process

    The process outlined below belongs to the Toronto Police Service. Most police agencies in Ontario follow a similar process.

  • Obtain an OACP Certificate of Results from
  • Complete medical exams for hearing and vision tests.
  • Start an ongoing fitness log logs from the most current two-weeks may be requested at any time.
  • Submit a Toronto Police Service online application
  • Pre-Screening
  • Psychological Assessment
  • Conditional Offer of Employment
  • Applicants can be declined at any stage in the application process. The most suitable candidates in the application pool are selected amongst those who pass every stage.

    Once you have been selected, you advance to recruit training. In the Toronto Police Service application process, you are sent to the Ontario Police College for recruit training. Recruits need to pass this program in order to become a police officer.

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    What Qualification Do You Need To Become A Police Officer

    • The PEQF is a new national framework for the professional training and qualifications of police officers.
    • Since 1st of January 2020 there are three ways to enter a police force as a constable: The Police constable degree apprenticeship , the Degree Holder Entry Programme and the Pre-Join Degree .
    • All three PEQF entry routes lead to the same outcome, an officer who is educated to degree level.
    • ULaw are licensed by the College of Policing to deliver the Pre-Join Degree , the BSc in Professional Policing, which is recognised by the police as part of one of the entry routes for the role of police constable.
    • Within five years of their graduation date students can apply to a police force, that is recruiting via the PJD route, should they wish to join. Application and recruitment to a police force are separate and independent from the study on the degree and students need to make sure that they meet all the recruitment criteria for the police service if they want to use their degree to join.

    At The University of Law, we offer a variety of degrees that would help you become a Police Officer. Please see our selection of undergraduate degrees below.

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