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What is the educational needs required to become a police officer or a criminal investigator/detective?

#police #law #crime #women-in-law #law-practice

Thank you comment icon You will have to go to a 2-year college or if you want to expand-go to a 4-year college in Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement Frank-O M.
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Subject: Career question for you

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John’s Answer

Willa in addition to earning a high school diploma, police officers receive training at a police academy. Police officers are typically employed by state and local law enforcement agencies to enforce the law. They enforce traffic safety laws and investigate suspicious activities within work jurisdictions. Police officers may also work in jails guarding inmates and may testify in court concerning cases in which they have been involved.

STEP 1: APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS
A completed application needs to be submitted to the police department in the applicant's desired work location. After being accepted, applicants are placed into a pool of eligible candidates for future police officer openings. Depending on the hiring situation, applicants might be immediately moved into a training program. Alongside the application, prospective hopefuls must pass tests to become a police officer, including those involved with fitness, drug, and lie detectors; along with a civil service test that ensures that job candidates possess the qualities needed to be a professional in the field. While some departments hire graduates right out of high school, most require potential officers to be at least 21 years old. Thus, students who are hired after high school must work and train until they are 21 in order to become an officer. Other basic prerequisites for police officers include being a U.S. citizen and having a valid driver's license and clean record.

STEP 2: EDUCATIONAL REQUIREMENTS
If you're wondering whether you can be a police officer with a GED, you should know that a high school diploma or a GED is typically the minimum level of education needed to become a police officer. A college degree may appeal to potential employers and may even be required by some law enforcement agencies. Through an associate's or bachelor's degree program in criminology, police science, public administration, or criminal justice, undergraduates can obtain helpful knowledge and skills to apply to a career in law enforcement. Degree-holders also may advance their careers more rapidly than those without a relevant degree. Some departments will even provide tuition assistance to officers who seek degrees in pertinent fields.

STEP 3: POLICE ACADEMY
Large police departments send recruits to their own police academies. Smaller precincts may send new hires to attend larger academies as well. Academy programs typically last 3-4 months and combine classroom and hands-on, physical training. Police academy training prepares prospective police officers for active duty. Therefore, recruits also gain supervised experience in facing real-life situations.

STEP 4: EXAMINATION REQUIREMENTS
In order to gain a position on the police force, candidates are required to pass various examinations to ensure competence. Candidates must pass written exams, which may be administered through a police academy. Most divisions also administer physical tests of strength, vision, hearing, and agility. Some units conduct psychiatric or background interviews to assess a recruit's personal characteristics and overall suitability for a career in law enforcement. Most candidates will need to pass drug and lie detector tests as well.

STEP 5: REQUIREMENTS TO OBTAIN DETECTIVE
After completing the training academy program, graduates can begin work as police officers. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), with the right experience and training, police officers can choose a specialization like narcotics or juvenile enforcement. Promotions available to police officers include captain, lieutenant, detective, and many others. The BLS also notes that police officers can receive new vocational opportunities at the federal level.

CAREER OUTLOOK AND SALARY
The final step is to find a job. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that state and federal police and detective jobs should be quite competitive. However, once a police officer is hired, there is generally very little turnover. The BLS reported that police and detective jobs would grow 5% from 2018-2028, which was as fast as average. The average Police Officer salary in the United Sates is $76,900 as of July 27, 2020, but the range typically falls between $63,500 and $105,000. Salary ranges can vary widely depending on the city and many other important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, the number of years you have spent in your profession.

Hope this was Helpful Willa
Thank you comment icon Thank You Ken. “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth.” — Muhammad Ali John Frick
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Kim’s Answer

Minimum requirements are normally set by the state agencies that oversee the licensing of police officers. In Texas, that agency is TCOLE. But these are only minimums. Each department sets their own additional standards. So you will need to look at the websites of the agencies you want to work for.

Many years ago, college wasn't required. But, that is rapidly changing. Many agencies now want a 2-yr degree. Some agencies will hire you without it, but require you to complete it within a certain amount of time, or, you lose your job. Some "less prestigious" agencies, such as small towns, might hire you without one. Jobs at those departments are often stepping stones to other departments.

Even after college, the law enforcement profession requires continual training to stay current on laws and practices. The department usually provides at least the minimum required training, or sends you to the classes. But you will want to get more than just the minimum to stay competitive for promotions, and, will likely want to improve upon the 2-yr degree and get a full 4 yr degree at some point. Many agencies provide tuition assistance. Therefore, I would start with the 2 yr degree and wait to get hired, so you could take advantage of the tuition assistance program!
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Noemi’s Answer

If you’re interested in social sciences, I would recommend for you to check out Criminal Justice, Psychology, History (with this I know one of our Special Agent graduated with this degree and he’s a good agent), Economics. I recommended this because first, Criminal Justice covered the whole system such as psychology, criminology, victimology, white collar crime, policing, and so on. I recommended psychology just in case you’re interested in behavioral profiling, but CJ covered this, too. History, well obviously. Economics, just in case you love numbers and you didn’t want to take CJ, you’ll benefit with this in investigating fraud, money laundering, etc. So, as long as you aline your courses in social sciences then you’ll be okay. Majority in NCIS for example, they accept Criminal Justice more than any other degree. Also, I have forgotten, if you are interested in Cybersecurity, then take IT classes, Computer Science, and any courses related to this field. But again, CJ does cover all these. I am just giving you an option just in case you’re good in math, or computer. Try also to inquire to your school of preference, but take these classes or degree from an accredited school because this is required in all aspect of this field. I hope this helps.

N.
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John’s Answer

Hi, I actually grew up in Elyria and my grandparents owned a home on Mechanic St in Grafton. Some good answers so far. One thing that I would suggest is that if you want to be a police officer, you may have to be willing to move. Many of the police officer jobs in "depressed" areas are hard to get. You can either apply to a larger city, or move to a rapidly growing city. I know in California they have a hard time finding police officers. I noticed that someone said you may not need a 4 year degree but that is definitely changing (like they said), if you want to move up the ranks in the police department (Det, Sgt, Lt, Capt, Chief) you'll want to be competitive and a four year degree definitely helps.

If you want to become a Special Agent you'll need the four year degree, and it doesn't really matter what degree you have as you can use your skills you learn in college in a number of investigations. For instance, accounting is very a popular degree for the FBI. However, I've known a theater major that worked at the ATF. I think focusing on something you might enjoy academically can't hurt and if law enforcement isn't something you find you like, you can use your degree to move into something else.

If you like solving problems for law enforcement, becoming a criminal analyst is also a great route. You don't get the badge and gun but you have a nice schedule and you're involved with investigations.
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