Law Enforcement Degrees & Training
|The police department I want to work for doesnt require anything more than a high school diploma. However, they prefer recruits to have some legal-related postsecondary college credits before enrolling in the academy.|
|Im working full time as a police officer right now. I know I need to get another degree to increase my chances of getting promoted within my department, but my work schedule is so varied that I dont have the ability to take classes on a set schedule.|
|I dont know exactly where Id like to end up as a police officer, but I do know I want the potential for advancement, to give myself the best chance of being hired and to be eligible for federal law enforcement positions, such as at the DEA or FBI.|
|I hope to someday take a leadership position within law enforcement, even becoming a police captain or police chief.|
|I would like to gain additional knowledge about law enforcement. Many departments I intend to apply to require applicants to have several dozen college credits, if not a full degree.|
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.
Pass The Licensing Exam
The next step to becoming a police officer is to earn a passing score on your states police licensing board exam. Your education and training will prepare you to take the Peace Officer Standards and Training exam.
Each state has its own licensing board, so the tests will also vary. But generally speaking, most POST exams cover topics like: practical application and techniques, civil and criminal law, community policing, victims rights and management and communication. By passing this capstone exam, you are licensed to become a police officer and enforce the law in your jurisdiction. You are now free to seek employment with a police department.
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Police Departments In New York
There are over 500 law enforcement agencies in the state of New York, employing an estimated 46,940 police and sheriffs patrol officers.1 Prospective cops in New York can work in major metros like New York City or Hempstead or in smaller towns like Niagara Falls or Long Beach. While departments may set their own requirements above the state minimums, all will follow the minimum guidelines for certifying police officers in New York.
Beyond Law Enforcement Careers
No matter how much pride you get from patrolling streets, responding to emergencies, and being a first-contact between the police department and the community, you may eventually want to leave your position and go beyond a police officer career.
So what are your options? When it comes to advancement, police officers should consider positions both vertically and horizontally.
If you are most interested in vertical promotions should first focus on being the best police officer possible. Like any career, attitude makes a difference. While you can train for hundreds of hours a year and have decades of experience on your resume, an attitude focused on the positives of policing will be crucial for your success. Good captains, chiefs, and commissioners need a strong attitude that will rub off on the minds of other officers.
Education still matters. While many ground-level police officers are hired without a college degree, higher-ranking police officers are all but required to have a post-secondary academic education. An associates, or better yet a bachelors degree, is a wise choice for anyone who aspires to work in law enforcement leadership.
There are almost no limits to the potential careers beyond a police officer position. From advancing in your local department to taking your skills to the private sectors, police officers have a variety of skills that can apply almost anywhere!
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Police Departments In North Carolina
In 2017 there were about 23,370 sheriff and police patrol officers in North Carolina.4 From the Atlantic Ocean on its east coast to the mountainous terrain of its western border, North Carolina has communities of all sizes from rural to metropolitan that can provide rewarding careers for aspiring police officers. Law enforcement candidates must meet state and local requirements, complete a state-approved training academy, and complete on-the-job field training.
What You Will Do
Police officers may do some or all of the following:
- patrol selected areas on foot or by car
- help people in a wide range of emergencies
- investigate crimes, domestic disturbances, serious crashes and sudden deaths
- interview people and take statements
- search for and arrest suspected criminals
- write reports
- work with schools to provide safety and crime prevention education.
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Applying To Join The Police
You’ll first need to check that you meet the minimum eligibility requirements. These vary between police forces, but in general you should:
- be aged 18 or over
- be a British citizen, a European Community /European Economic Area citizen, or a foreign national with indefinite leave to remain in the UK without restrictions
- have lived in the UK for the last three years
- possess a qualification equivalent to A-level, have been a special constable who has been signed off for independent patrol service in the last two years or have served as a police community support officer for 18 months.
You may not be accepted if you have certain criminal convictions, debt problems, or tattoos that could be deemed offensive. Members of certain extreme political groups are not allowed to apply. A valid driving licence is often essential, and you’ll also have to pass medical, eyesight and fitness tests.
You can’t apply if you’ve made an unsuccessful application to a police force in the last six months.
Visit the recruitment website of the police force you’re interested in joining to confirm their full requirements and determine whether you’re eligible.
The application process involves several stages:
- undergoing medical and fitness tests
- passing background/security checks
- any additional assessment stages, such as a second interview.
The police force you’re applying to will be able to provide more details about their recruitment process.
How Long Does It Take To Become A Police Officer In Ontario
There is no set time period for the hiring process. It varies between police agencies and also depends on the successful completion of all the stages in the application process. You can expect to set aside 6 months for the application process.
If you are not successful in any part of the process, some police agencies may require a one-year waiting period before another application can be submitted.
To find out how long it takes at the police agency of your choice, contact the police agency directly.
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Benefits Of Earning A Policing Degree
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.
Similar Jobs In This Industry
To become a police officer you need to complete the police training course, which involves:
- 16 weeks of training at the Royal New Zealand Police College in Porirua
- two years of supervised police work, which is regularly assessed
- a compulsory 12-week university distance learning course.
To enter police training you must:
- be at least 17 years old
- hold a full driver’s licence
- be a New Zealand or Australian citizen or permanent resident
- be able to speak, read, write and listen in English
- pass psychological, maths and problem-solving tests
- pass physical fitness and eyesight tests
- attend an interview
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S To Become A Police Officer
For the most accurate information, you should research the application process for the specific law enforcement agency you want to join. However, you can expect a process similar to the one below:
Police Officer Salary And Job Growth Expectations
Salaries in law enforcement vary significantly. Your salary will depend on whether you work in a rural area or a large city, whether you have seniority or youre fresh out of the academy, and whether you take overtime or leave at the end of your shift.
That said, the median detective and police officer salary nationwide was $63,380 as of May 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics . Those working for the federal government did especially well, earning an average of $87,130. You should also calculate the value of benefits into the compensation package. Police officers typically enjoy paid vacation, sick leave, medical and life insurance, and uniform allowances. Plus, thanks to pensions, they can often afford to retire at a younger age than most.
As for getting into the field, the BLS projects job growth of 5% nationally for police officers from 2018 to 2028, which is on the low side for such a typically stable occupation. However, this outlook depends heavily on city and state budgets, which can fluctuate. The low rate of growth will create stronger opportunities for police officer applicants who hold a bachelors degree in criminal justice or a related field.
The top 10 states for police and sheriff patrol officer earnings in 2018 were:
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How To Become A Police Officer In New York
From the major metro of New York City to rural upstate communities, the state of New York offers many opportunities for aspiring law enforcement officers. The state depends on 46,940 sworn police and sheriff patrol officers to protect and serve residents.1 The New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services sets minimum qualifications and training criteria for new recruits statewide, though each New York municipality can set additional requirements. This page provides additional information on the qualifications needed to become a New York police officer as well as profiles of some of the top departments for law enforcement careers within the state.
Accommodation At The Academy
It is not compulsory to live-in while training, however, if you live more than 40 km from the Academy and if you choose to do so, you will have dormitory-style accommodation, meals from Monday to Friday, computer access, extensive physical training facilities and an environment conducive to study. Recruits residing within the Academy during their training period will be required to pay a fee which is currently set at $492.80 per fortnight and includes meals and accommodation.
The Academy Smoking Policy provides for a smoke-free environment for all employees at Victoria Police Academy, except for two designated smoking points. This applies to all employees, visitors and contractors while on the Academy premises. Smoking is only be permitted during designated breaks at the nominated smoking points.
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View The Full Video Transcript
Female detective in uniform working on a computer sat at a desk
Female detective talks directly to camera
As a detective you deal with more serious offences, so things like rape, murder, serious violence. Whereas on response you probably deal with lower level crimes.
So Ive got a mentor that kind of assists through my career. Ive got a coach that works me, so if theres anything that I want to work on in my career, you know, anything around my personality style or my leadership style, Ive got a coach that can help me with that to develop me into a better leader.
So I think as an organisation its really good that Ive got people around me, peers that want everyone to do well and motivate you, its a great environment to work in. Its definitely a supportive environment.
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Police Officer Jobs By Jurisdiction
Another aspect of law enforcement to take into consideration is the jurisdiction of the agency you want to work for. Across the U.S., there are city, county, and state levels of law enforcement. City police officers stay within city limits and often patrol the streets or work on citywide investigations. Police detectives usually require a bachelors degree as well as experience in street patrol.
County law enforcement typically consists of a sheriff and several deputies who serve warrants, subpoenas, and respond to rural civil disputes. Bailiffs and constables are under the sheriffs department and often serve the courts.
State law enforcement officers patrol highways, interstates, and county roads the jurisdiction of a state patrol officer is designated to a region of the state and includes those jurisdictions covered by city and county officers. Each law enforcement agency, no matter the size, has specialized units such as narcotics and SWAT, and offer specialized training through the academy for each unit.
Federal agents often travel across the nation or are assigned to various states, which can be a bit unstable if you have a family. For example, working as a federal air marshal requires air travel across the nation to secure domestic and international United States flights. The hours and requirements can be physically and emotionally demanding with little recovery time between assignments.
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How To Become A Police Officer In Toronto
The Toronto Police Service is an elite law enforcement organization dedicated to serving and protecting the people of Toronto. As the Canadian metropolitan area with the most police officers, Toronto has many career opportunities for aspiring and current police officers, but the hiring process can be competitive. A policing degree or a criminology degree can set candidates apart, lead to promotions, and open doors to a broad range of job opportunities.
Lauriers online Bachelor of Arts in Policing and online Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Policing develop analytical and critical thinking skills, foster key competencies required for leadership roles, and give public safety professionals an edge in their overall careers and salary potentialno matter where in Canada they may be studying from.
Federal Police Force Salary & Benefits
If youre interested in the federal police force, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police offers new hires $53,144/year with an incremental increase to $86,110 within 3 years of employment. Benefits include paid vacation days, an RCMP pension plan, medical, dental and family health plans and group life insurance. The RCMP also offers generous maternity and parental allowances as well as financial support for continuing education and professional development opportunities.
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