To Protect And To Serve: Law Enforcement Police Degree

Do you have a deep sense of justice and a desire to serve communities in an impactful way? Does the thought of protecting lies and property while upholding laws sound appealing? Becoming a police officer can be dangerous and stressful, but there are few other jobs that are as rewarding when you make a difference. Modern law enforcement is more complex than ever before, which means that in order to become a police officer it is very beneficial to have a degree in this field.

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Law Enforcement Police Degree Information

A high school diploma or GED is typically the minimum requirements for police officers in terms of formal education. However, applicants with associate’s or bachelor’s degrees are typically preferred by most law enforcement organizations. These degrees can also help those in the field of law enforcement with moving on to more advanced positions.

Associates Degree in Law Enforcement

An associates degree in this field is useful if you want to prepare for entry level careers in law enforcement. In addition to helping you to understand the law, you will also learn more about federal and state statutes, the constitution and other topics that will be relevant to policing. Typical courses include an introduction to criminal justice, criminal law and procedures, juvenile justice as well as practical psychology for law enforcement. This type of degree usually takes about two years to complete, but can be lengthened or shortened when done online.

Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Degree Specialization in Law Enforcement

With a bachelor’s degree in this field you can get a better understanding of law enforcement from an industry-focused perspective. The focus of the course is law enforcement, but other topics, such as humanities and information systems could also be included. Course topics for this type of degree range from applied criminology and patrol operations to juvenile justice and criminal justice ethics.

Bachelor’s in Police Studies

This type of degree can provide you with academic as well as professional preparation for your chosen career field. It is a good choice for those already working in the field of law enforcement as it can be done online and open up more career advancement opportunities upon completion. The curriculum includes topics such as criminal justice research, ethical decisions and police, contemporary police strategies, perspective on crime and delinquency as well as social forces and policing society. Typically it takes about four years to complete this type of program.

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Law Enforcement Police Degree FAQ

Can I Study Law Enforcement Online?

There are a couple of institutions that provide specialized law enforcement degrees that can be completed in an online format. Studying online isn’t just more affordable, but also much more convenient than having to attend classrooms at a campus. In addition to not having to purchase as many books as with a campus based education, you can also save a lot of money in travel costs. You will still benefit from expert instruction as most of your instructors will have had real-world experience.

Many people think that a law enforcement degree cannot be earned online because you cannot be taught how to fire a weapon or handle a dog over the internet, but in reality these activities are typically taught at a police academy. Instead, online courses cover important information, such as policies and police procedures along with judicial systems and the court. Many online courses also include topics like psychology and sociology, which are vital skills for the profession.

Who Is An Ideal Candidate To Study Law Enforcement?

The best candidates to study in this field are those with a strong sense of ethics. You must also have respect and knowledge of laws while acting in accordance with them. Communication skills are very important in this field as you will be in a lot of direct contact with both those who break the law as well as victims. Law enforcement is a physically challenging career, so being fit is not a luxury, but a necessity in this field. The same goes for being mentally fit as it can be a very emotionally demanding job.

What Type of Duties Might I Have When Working In This Field?

In most cases, your primary duties as a police officer will be based around the protection of people as well as property. This can involve being assigned to certain areas, which must be patrolled and responding to calls. Police officers are also required to enforce the law, issue citations and make arrests where required. Occasionally, you might also be called upon to testify in court cases. Other duties can include responding to domestic disturbances or making traffic stops. Because police officers are often first at the scene of a crime or accident you might need to provide first aid to injured parties if paramedics have not yet arrived.

Not all of your duties as a police officer will be dangerous or exciting though. In addition to patrolling, a lot of your time could also be spent on activities such as writing reports or filling out paperwork.

Is There Anything That Could Prevent Me From Working In This Field?

Before studying law enforcement it is important that you know the exact criteria that are required of police officers and whether or not you can fulfill them. These criteria can differ from state to state or even department to department, but typically include vision and hearing requirements. Some pre-existing medical conditions could also disqualify you from becoming a police officer along with felony convictions or repeat misdemeanors. In addition, it is a good idea to start your physical training before the application process to ensure that you are in peak condition.

How Much Can I Potentially Earn In This Career Type?

The type of salary earned by police officers can vary greatly from state to state and, in many cases, even within towns and cities of the same state. According to statistics published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, police and detectives earned about $28.97 per hour during 2015, which is a median pay of $60,270 per year. In addition to geography, other factors such as skills, training and experience can also influence your salary. This is also why getting a degree can be valuable as applicants with with bachelor’s or associate’s degrees usually have a better chance of success when considered for higher levels of management. Law enforcement is also a field where it is not uncommon to work overtime or additional shifts at extra compensation.

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