When you become a police officer, people trust you with their property and with their lives. Law enforcement is more than just a job--it's a calling. Is police school calling you?
The job of a police officer
Police officers are responsible for maintaining law and order, collecting evidence and information, and conducting investigations and surveillance. In addition to dealing with issues of politics and ethics and increasingly complex laws, law enforcement officers must be knowledgeable in the current technological advances that play a major role in police science.
Police school is recommended
Though formal higher education may not be required to become a police officer, law enforcement agencies are strongly encouraging applicants to obtain postsecondary police school training in law enforcement-related subjects. In fact, many entry-level applicants for police officer jobs have an associate or bachelor's degree in law enforcement, administration of justice, criminal justice, police science, or public administration, and command a higher salary because of that degree.
Inside police school
At police school, you'll examine the roles, responsibilities, issues, and trends related to contemporary law enforcement organizations. You'll explore evidence and proof, and learn about trial proceedings, constitutional concepts, and criminal case law. You'll get an in-depth look at community policing, policing in foreign countries, stress recognition and management, civil liability, public expectations, police careers, domestic violence, crime scene investigation, defensive tactics, and use of firearms.
Your job in law enforcement
When you complete your police school training, you may qualify for a position within a police department, sheriff's department, public college or university police force, public school district police force, or other law enforcement agency.
Police school for life
The training doesn't end when you become a police officer. Continuing education is mandatory, since law enforcement professionals must stay updated on current legal procedure and cultural sensitivity. Police school instructors provide annual training in communications skills, crowd-control techniques, firearms, self-defense tactics, use-of-force policies, and advances in law enforcement equipment.
Justice is served
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of police officers is expected to increase 9 to 17 percent through 2014. Police officers had median annual earnings of $45,210 in May 2004; the highest 10 percent earned more than $68,880.