What Subjects Are Needed To Become A Police Officer – One career field that is almost recession proof is law enforcement. With the right education and experience, talented law enforcement officers can rise to a high level. The starting point for many people in this area is the job of a police officer. Police officers gain valuable experience in dealing with criminals and gathering evidence. Many police departments prefer that their officers have a college degree before entering the police academy.
Taking courses in government and law is important to understanding the legal procedures you must follow and your role in the legal system as an officer of the law. Constitutional law classes provide knowledge about people’s rights and protections under the US Constitution. A class such as Introduction to Criminal Law provides background on the American legal system and how the American court system works.
What Subjects Are Needed To Become A Police Officer
Most colleges and universities require a course in English composition as part of the curriculum for almost every major, including criminal justice. Police officers must be able to communicate effectively and professionally in tasks ranging from report writing to public relations to testifying in court.
Bachelor Of Policing And Public Safety
Taking a foreign language course is another option to consider. If you work in a police department that operates in an area with a large immigrant population, learning the language of the immigrant population can help you connect with them. An effective public speaking class provides the skills necessary to speak in front of a crowd, which is useful not only in court, but also if you are called upon to speak in front of citizens or children in .
Taking criminology classes provides you with a background in how police officers do their jobs. The classes teach the proper way to collect and handle evidence and the proper way to process someone you arrest. You can also take classes to learn about types of crimes, such as computer crimes, white collar crimes, domestic violence, and juvenile delinquency.
College programs for law enforcement officers also include classes in psychology. In these classes you will learn how the human mind works and about psychological states and reactions. Knowing how to recognize when people are lying to you or how to defuse a volatile situation can help you maintain control of the situation when dealing with criminals or witnesses to a crime. Behavioral psychology classes give you insight into how a criminal works, which can give you an advantage in trying to catch him.
Carson Barrett began writing professionally in 2009. It has been published on various websites. Barrett currently attends Bucks County Community College, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Sports Management. Police officers serve their communities by protecting property and people. Job responsibilities vary by position and employer, but law enforcement officers typically respond to emergency and non-emergency calls, keeping detailed records of the incident. Daily activities may also include testifying in court, collecting criminal evidence and arresting suspects.
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There are a variety of police officer jobs, including detective and criminal investigator, fish and game warden, and transit and rail police. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects employment of law enforcement officers to grow as fast as other occupations, at a rate of 5% from 2018-2028. Police officers and detectives also earn above-average wages, taking home a median annual salary of $65,170 in 2019, according to the BLS.
Read on to learn more about law enforcement duties, how to become a police officer, police officer training, salary benefits and career outcomes.
Police officers perform a variety of duties, including keeping residents safe, keeping detailed records, and testifying in court against criminal suspects. Common law enforcement duties also include patrolling assigned areas, conducting traffic stops, observing suspect activity, making arrests and preparing cases.
Duties and daily tasks vary by type of police officer. Police officers and sheriff’s patrol officers, the most common types of officers, wear uniforms and conduct regular patrols. They also arrest, search and look for signs of criminal activity in their communities.
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Fish and Game Wardens, on the other hand, educate the public about the laws, patrol hunting and fishing areas, and conduct search and rescue operations. Transit and rail police protect train and rail passengers from crimes such as assaults and robberies. Sometimes called agents or detectives, criminal investigators gather facts and collect evidence of a crime. Detectives usually specialize in a particular type of crime, such as homicide or financial crime.
Unlike other professionals, most police officers carry arrest and defense equipment, such as guns or handcuffs. They regularly work at crime and accident scenes. Specific types of police officers—such as those in the U.S. Secret Service or the FBI—may need to travel or relocate. Border agents and environmental police work outdoors in physically challenging terrain and weather conditions.
Law enforcement careers typically require on-the-job training. After graduating from the training academy, police officers usually spend a probationary period under the supervision of a superior officer. During this probationary period, inexperienced officers learn how to apply techniques in the real world.
After probation, officers are eligible for promotion. To become a corporal, sergeant, lieutenant or captain, applicants must pass a written exam in addition to on-the-job training. In major departments, candidates may qualify for detective positions or specific crime areas, such as homicide or juvenile crime.
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Students can also gain on-the-job training while pursuing a criminal justice degree. Many colleges and universities offer (and sometimes require) internships for law enforcement students. Students can also apply for internships with local police departments, giving students the opportunity to connect with veteran police officers and gain first-hand experience protecting local communities.
Paid internships also exist with the CIA, the FBI, and the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The US Treasury Department also provides internships for students interested in learning about financial crime. These internships can also help degree candidates gain the skills they need and stand out among job candidates as they enter the workforce.
Additional skills, such as physical strength and endurance, can help candidates meet the requirements of a police officer. In order to keep up with the day-to-day demands of the job, apprehending suspects and passing the required physical tests to enter the field, police officers and detectives must maintain good physical shape and demonstrate strength. Employers see previous military or security experience as a plus, as these candidates undergo prior physical and firearms training.
In addition, police officers must possess good written and oral communication skills to effectively provide detailed incident reports and speak to the public during fact-gathering. Law enforcement agencies can also talk to suspects who communicate in other languages. To help diverse communities, officials need to understand many different perspectives and show empathy. Law enforcement agencies must also exercise good judgment in determining the most effective way to address problems.
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Officers holding higher positions, such as detectives and fish and game wardens, may need critical thinking skills and perception to determine in advance why suspects are acting in certain ways. As the public seeks help from officers in emergency situations, these professionals become highly visible members of the community. In their public roles, officials often serve as role models and must possess leadership skills.
Police officer salaries vary based on many factors, including job type, location, and additional compensation and benefits. Some police departments even offer higher salaries for officers with higher education and who speak multiple languages.
According to the BLS, the lowest paid police officers earned less than $37,710, while the highest paid police officers earned an annual salary exceeding $109,620 as of 2019. Police officers often earn extra pay through overtime and special assignments.
In this field, individuals can increase their wages through education and work experience. According to the BLS, detectives and federal agents earn the most of all police officers, earning a median annual salary of $83,170 as of 2019. Aspiring federal police officers and detectives usually must possess a college degree and prior work experience.
How To Become A Police Officer Without A Degree
As the need for public safety continues, the BLS projects police employment to grow at the pace of other occupations. The demand for police officers varies by location and by state and local budgets. Due to low job turnover, police applicants may face competition. Candidates with college degrees, law enforcement or military experience, and knowledge of other languages may stand out among job candidates.
The MA in Criminal Psychology focuses on how psychology is applied to criminals and criminal contexts. Master’s programs in criminal psychology provide a foundational knowledge of clinical…
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Are you interested in going to Doctor of Laws? Explore our list of 2021 JD degrees to find great ABA-approved and accredited programs at top law schools. There are about 75 applicants for each police station position, so a college degree can help differentiate one job application from another. Many police officers find college education necessary for future job mobility, as detectives and administrators are required to have a bachelor’s degree. Taking college classes before you turn 21, since most agencies have an age requirement for job applicants, will help you hit the ground running once you join the forces.
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It looks like a basic class, and that’s more or less its purpose. Many criminal justice programs require their students to take English 101 in order to receive
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