There are law enforcement jobs that will accept a high school diploma - these are usually going to be smaller local police agencies. Many police agencies accept military service in lieu of a degree. Federal law enforcement - Special Agents require a 4 year degree. I would start looking at your local police department websites - under the career/employment section they will list educational requirements.
Kimberly recommends the following next steps:
Welcome to CareerVillage!
The way this program works is that students ask questions, and those questions are matched to like-minded professionals. The professionals then provide insight.
For example, a student might ask, " How do you become a police officer?"
And then people with experience in policing, or job placement, would look at it and probably respond by pointing out that, there are many variables. Each state has a licensing agency that sets minimum standards, and each police department within that state can set additional standards. Surprisingly, there are many places where college is NOT an initial requirement, although, that is changing. There are also requirements that can be waived if the applicant has acceptable military service, (such as the minimum age of 21).
If you are interested in law enforcement, the first thing to do is learn what the state standards are, and then look at the agencies you are interested in to see what additional requirements they have set.
In addition to academics, there are also physical standards, pertaining to physical fitness: strength, flexibility, and endurance. And health standards: vision, hearing, etc. Standards pertaining to moral character, criminal history, etc. The background checks are strenuous, and it's not uncommon for them to talk to teachers, employers, ex-girlfriends, etc. Some agencies have requirements about tattoos, so caution is needed when it comes to getting tattoos.
Many agencies have Youth Explorer programs that will give you a glimpse into the life of law enforcement. I suggest you look into that!
Please feel free to come back here with any career/schooling questions you may have!
There are a lot of agencies nation wide that will allow you to start off as a police officer with just a high school diploma, however the larger agencies generally require a bachelors degree or some college to apply to them. Also alot of agencies require you to have some college to a full degree in order to promote or move to another divison. Here is Texas there seems to be more and more agencies moving their minimum standards to having a college degree of some kind to come work for them.