Getting Started As A Connecticut Police Officer
It is clear that becoming a police officer is no easy feat. However, this rewarding career is worth the investment of both your time and effort. The Chief of the Fairfield Police Department stated, Law Enforcement agencies are becoming ever increasingly competitive. This is a job in high demand.
Properly equipping yourself is the number one way you can stand out in this competitive job market. You can start preparing yourself for this career by pursuing a criminal justice or law enforcement education at Goodwin University. Now is the time to become a police officer and become a hero to your community.
If you are ready to start your journey towards a Criminal Justice degree, reach out to Goodwin University today! For more information call 1-800-889-3282 or visit us online.
Faq: Do You Need A Degree To Be A Cop
Being a police officer is a worthwhile and impactful job that serves the community. Experience and skills are key to a role as a police officer. They undergo specialized academy training and pass exams to gain employment, though often no formal education is required. In this article, we explore the career of a police officer, including their duties, experience, skills and how to become one to help you decide if this is the right career for you.
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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Phds In Criminal Justice
Getting a Ph.D. in criminal justice would put you in rare company, especially if you want to work at an agency. Although 29% of chiefs and sheriffs have a bachelors and 32% have a masters, only 3% have a doctoral degree.
Yet a Ph.D. in criminal justice opens several possibilities. If you want to teach at a university or conduct research, its essential. Even if academia isnt your thing, you could work to create or change policy.
Ph.D. programs are, by nature, individualized. Your main output is a dissertation, which is written after conducting original research. By the end of the program, you will be an expert in a small sliver of the criminal justice field. But what sliver? Depending on the program, you could, for example, bone up on budgetary procedures and strategic planning, both of which are necessary to run a department, or you could explore the social determinants of a specific type of crime in a specific area.
A Ph.D. in criminal justice will likely include the following courses:
Weve written about doctoral degrees in criminal justice at length, including about the different types of criminal justice doctorates. Specifically, check out our interview with a criminal justice program director to see if a Ph.D. is worth it for you.
Do You Have What It Takes
- Must be a citizen of the United States and be at least 20 years old by date of application, once applications become available.
- Must not have reached their 30th birthday by the date of application, once applications become available. The maximum age may be extended one year for each year of full-time active military duty – up to a maximum of 7 years.
- Have a high school graduate or equivalency diploma, at time of application.
Example of proper form for push up in down position.
Example of proper form for push up in up position.
Example of proper form for push up in down position.
Example of proper form for push up in up position.
Example of proper form for sit up in down position.
Example of proper form for sit up in up position.
The Application Process For Police Officer Candidates
It isnt easy becoming a police officer. Potential candidates need to go through a stringent application process designed to weed out those who dont have what it takes to become outstanding police officers.
Police officers help maintain peace and order and ensure that members of the community stay safe. This job comes with immense responsibility. The application process itself is not for everyone.
Canadian police agencies generally follow the same process which involves a series of tests, checks and interviews, including:
- A written exam
- A polygraph exam
- A background investigation
Some of these tests require detailed paperwork but minimal preparation. For some tests, like the physical tests, you would be best prepared if you did a fitness training program, prior to, depending on your fitness level. Other tests, like the polygraph exam, require no preparation at all.
Applicants can be declined at any point in the stages listed above and even if a candidate passes every stage, an offer of employment is not guaranteed.
Once you have completed all assessments, your entire application package is reviewed and measured against other applicants to determine the most suitable candidates for the role as a police officer.
If you are recruited, you can expect a conditional offer of employment that allows you to advance to the final step before you become a police officer: cadet training.
The Chance To Be Active
While working as a police officer does come with administrative requirements, including the need to fill out paperwork promptly, the job provides many opportunities to be up and about and physically active. Examples include patrolling a neighborhood, pursuing a suspected criminal, or simply making the rounds while offering security at a public event.
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Get The Right Police Education & Training
There was a time when becoming a police officer was as simple as graduating high school or earning your GED, then attending a short training academy before diving into on-the-job training. And though those opportunities do still exist, especially in smaller departments, most departments have raised their standards of education to at least two years of post-secondary work. This means pursing an associate degree in law enforcement or a related field, such as criminal justice, criminology, or police science should be the first option to consider. The associate degree can then serve as a stepping stone to the bachelors degree, which then leads to graduate degree options.
However, other routes to the profession do exist. In addition to the on-the-job training after completing academy training, there is also the military option. Those who work as military police or in a similar capacity while serving their country can be perfectly suited to move into a police force after their military time is up. Lets take a look at the options.
Associate Degree in Law Enforcement
Bestfor? Those who want to stand outagainst the competition, or need a basic college degree to apply fora particular job opening.
Bachelors Degree in Law Enforcement
Best for? Those who have the time and financial resources to earn a four-year degree, want to work in federal law enforcement, or anticipate future professional advancement.
Masters Degree in Law Enforcement
Military experience in lieu of a degree
Bachelors Degree In Law Enforcement
A law enforcement degree at the bachelors level typically takes four years to complete and can include many different topics or subjects. There are prototypical degrees such as criminal justice, criminology and law enforcement studies. But there are other majors that can hold police officers in good stead. For example, graduates with a degree in accounting are excellent candidates for a career in white collar crime investigations, while computer science majors can have an advantage if theyre interested in pursuing a career in computer forensics or cyber crimes.
Those in a bachelors degree program in a law-related field can expect to find courses like these:
Psychology For A Better Bond
While not a high school requirement, students must meet specified numbers of elective units prior to graduation. Psychology not only full-fills elective requirements, it can help police officers better understand how people think, how perceptions and beliefs affect actions and what underlying forces may motivate criminal behavior, including mental illness or previous trauma. This knowledge can help police officers interact with community members more compassionately.
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 $245.00 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.
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Acquire A Degree Or Academy Training
The requirements for this step will vary substantially depending on the state in which you plan on becoming a police officer. Some states do not require their officers to be college-educated, even if they may prefer it. Other states, like Minnesota, an Associates degree or equivalent training is one of the requirements to become a police officer.
Generally speaking, the training process for aspiring police officers follows two routes:
- Completing training by earning a two- or four-year degree in Criminal Justice or similar field from a Peace Officer Standings and Training -certified college or university, or
- Completing training through a government-approved police academy or training program.
Since police officer requirements differ, youll want to be sure to check with the agency that sets the standards for law enforcement training and licensure in your area. Some also have arrangements for military reciprocity, allowing candidates who served in the military to follow a different process in acknowledgement of the training they already have.
Whichever path you take, your training will include classroom instruction in state and local laws, covering topics like constitutional law, civil rights and police ethics. Recruits also receive training and supervised experience in areas such as patrol, traffic control, firearm use, self-defense, first aid and emergency response.
Picking The Right Program
Once you know which program level you want to pursue, its time to figure out which one best suits your needs. When researching the schools that make it onto your all-important shortlist, keep the following questions in mind:
- Is the school regionally accredited?
- Can you afford the tuition?
- Does the timeline fit with your future goals?
- Does the program have a high success rate?
- Does the program provide POST exam prep?
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How Much Does A Police Officer Make
If you are going to pursue a career in law enforcement, starting with the position of a police officer, you need to be motivated by more than money. To be certain, police officers can earn a strong salary , but finances wont be motivation enough to put on the uniform and patrol the streets every day. That said, its worth looking into the expected salaries of a police officer to understand their earning potential.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2018 the median salary for police officers and detectives was $63,380. Detectives and criminal investigators had the strongest salaries in this category, earning a median over $81,000. Transit and railroad police earned a median of $74,030, while patrol officers earned a median salary of $61,380.
The best salaries appear to come from the federal government, where law enforcement officers enjoyed a median salary over $87,000.
Salary depends largely on location. For sheriffs and patrol officers, the best salaries appear to come from California , Alaska , and New Jersey .
So while it may not be a path to riches, working in law enforcement can bring a strong income.
Pass The Medical Exam And Psychological Evaluation
A crucial step in the process is proving that you are healthy enough to do the jobboth physically and mentally. Police work can be hard on the body as well as the mind, and applicants need to be in good health in order to handle the stress that comes with the job.
In the examinations, youll be assessed for any possible reason why you might not be able to perform the job safely and properly. These evaluations are conducted by licensed physicians and/or the psychologists employed by the policing agencys hiring department.
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Lauriers Online Bachelor Of Criminology And Policing Degree
Our online Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Policing prepares you for a career in criminology and justice. Focusing on practical techniques and real-world experience, it delivers an engaging curriculum designed to improve your critical thinking and analytical skills. The fully online and asynchronous criminology courses provide you with a broader view of public safety through a combined focus on criminology and policing. This degree can help enhance the career and earning potential of an individual who wants to pursue a career in criminology and policing.
Now is the time to kick-start your career as a police officer in Toronto. Learn more about the Bachelor of Arts in Policing or Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Policing today:
- for details on curriculum, tuition and more
What Are The Steps To Become A Police Officer In California
If you meet the minimum requirements as set out by POST or the individual department to which you are applying, you can start the process of applying to become a police officer.
As with the minimum requirements, most police departments follow the states POST guidelines, but some have their own unique requirements. It is always best to look at the recruitment information for the specific police department you are hoping to work for, but generally speaking, the steps to becoming a Police Officer are:
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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.
Police Officer Titles And Career Concentrations
Police officers go by many names and titles, including law enforcement officer, patrol officer, peace officer, public safety officer, state trooper, and uniform patrol police officer.
These are generic names for the same occupation. You can get more specific by incorporating rank. Officers, troopers, deputies, and corporals are all names for lower-ranking officers in different types of agencies. Sergeants, lieutenants, captains, and so on up to chief, commissioner, or sheriff are titles for higher-ranking officers in different jurisdictions.
These ranks are separate from police officer concentrations, which are numerous. Here are 11:
Technology And Finance Degree Options For Police Officers
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.
Is A Degree In Criminal Justice Worth The Effort
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!
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