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What do I have to do to get a Criminal-Justice or Law-Enforcement

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Hi I would like to do Law enforcement, what do I need to do to get into it.
#law-enforcement

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Danny’s Answer

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Hi Michal,

Here in Southern California, currently a degree is desirable but not many agencies I am aware of require one anymore just to get your foot in the door. A degree does; however, look good on your application. If it comes down to an applicant with a degree getting hired vs. one without a degree? Degree gets it every time! It will also help you promote through the Department. 

A much BIGGER attraction is military service! Even Reserves looks good on paper. It shows you have commitment and discipline and demonstrates honor and integrity, key components to a successful law enforcement career. Degree vs. military service? Military service gets hired every time. 

Lastly, most agencies have a police reserve program. I highly suggest this route for two reasons. You get a taste of law enforcement to see if it really is for you and and No. 2, having been a reserve is VERY attractive to a police Department recruiter, especially the agency where you were a Reserve.

I hope my answers have helped and good luck. Not an easy career choice but a very rewarding one!

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Jacqueline’s Answer

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Hi Michal,

To start in Law enforcement/Criminal Justice, you will need to have a degree. Most agencies require either a minimum number of college credit hours or a Bachelor's. More advanced positions in Law Enforcement also required more advanced degrees. I would recommend you start looking at colleges/universities that have criminal justice degree programs. Also call your local law enforcement agency and see if they have a citizen's academy or any intern programs that you could join to see if you have an interest in it.


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