How Much Education Does A Police Officer Need?-Becoming a police officer doesn’t always require formal education but getting formal education will increase your chances of getting a better job position in the police force and also getting promoted.
There are a lot of departments in the police force where you can work if you have a degree tied to your qualifications and getting this educational qualifications will mean that you can tackle a higher level of management as you are exposed to more knowledge, skill and training.
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If you want to become a police officer, there are a lot of educational degrees you can go for depending on how further you want to push your career.
In this article, we are going to look at how you can become a police officer but before we proceed, let’s look at the list of what we will be discussing:
Table Of Content
- Who is a police officer?
- Duties of a police officer
- Degree to have as a police officer
- How to become a police officer
- Final note
Let’s delve into what we have for you…
Who Is A Police Officer?
A police officer is a person that helps to maintain law and order in the society by preventing crime, protecting the members of the public and their properties, reducing the fear of crime and also doing well to make the society a better and comfortable place to live in.
They enforce laws and regulation, proactively patrol assigned areas and also respond to call concerning criminal activities.
Duties Of A Police Officer
A police officer has a wide range of duties and this also depends on your rank or position as a police officer. This information will help you prepare yourself on becoming a police officer.
Some of the duties of a police officer are:
- A police officer protects life and property by enforcing laws
- A police officer conducts preliminary and follow-up criminal and traffic investigations
- A police officer arrests and processes criminals
- A police officer prepares written reports and field notes of investigations and patrol activities
- A police officer can also exercise judgement by determining when to use force and to what extent
- A police officer has the ability to understand legal documents like affidavits, warrants and other documents
- A police officer conducts interviews and responds to calls for police service.
Degrees You Need To Become A Police Officer
You can become a police officer even without a college degree but like we said earlier that having a degree will give you an advantage and it also improves your job prospects.
Some of the degree options for law enforcement are:
- Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice Administration
This is one of the degrees you can go for if you want to have formal education in law enforcement and this will open you up to a lot of opportunities in law enforcement.
With this degree, you could get any job position in local, state or federal level. Through this program, you can learn about criminology, court system, criminal law, forensic science etc.
- Bachelor of Arts in Pre-law studies
This is another degree you can opt for if you want to become a police officer and this program will help you develop critical thinking ability, logical thinking, analytical and verbal skills.
- Bachelor of Public Administration
This is a great degree program if you want to work in the law enforcement agency as you will learn about accounting and budgeting operations and also resource management.
With this degree, there are any job options for you in law enforcement and becoming a police officer will not be difficult. You can also decide to further your education to Master in Public Administration to expand your career opportunities.
- Bachelor of Science in Cyber security
If you want to work in the technology aspect and not really engage in the field work, then you can go for a degree in cyber security to become a police officer. The program will teach you fundamental security skills, basic information technology management principles and other security measures.
With the degree, you have the ability to use technologies and processes to protect systems, networks, devices and data from cyber-attacks. You will certainly be needed in the law enforcement.
You can also decide to focus on computer network defense or digital forensics. They are a lot of job positions in the law enforcement for someone with a degree in cyber-security.
- Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies
It is a more advance degree to the Associate of Science in Paralegal Studies which introduces you to the legal system. The Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies will equip you with investigation skills, knowledge to draft legal documents and also help in trails.
How To Become A Police Officer
Like we mentioned earlier that to become a police officer, you don’t really need a formal education but having it will increase your opportunities in law enforcement. We are going to look at the steps in becoming a police officer.
- Obtain either a high school diploma or bachelor degree
Getting formal education is optional and getting a high school diploma is the least educational requirement you are expected to have to become a police officer. Many law enforcement organizations are not looking for applicants with bachelor’s degree as they are believed to be exposed to knowledge to help them perform better.
- Meet some other requirements
To become a police officer, you should be at least 18 or 21 years of age depending on the country and you will be expected to be medically fit and also have a clean criminal record.
- Pass the law enforcement examination
This is compulsory before you get admitted into a police academy and you must meet the pass score of the entrance examination you will be taking. The entrance exam you will take will depend on the police academy and also the jurisdiction.
- Get into the police academy
In this academy, you will get the most important training that will allow you to serve as a police officer and the training can last for about six months. the training program could cover areas like criminal statutes, traffic laws, search and seizure, driver training and firearms training.
From all we have said so far, you will see that becoming a police officer doesn’t take long provided you follow the right measures and formal education is not really important to become a police officer but it will increase your advantage of getting a wide range of opportunities in the law enforcement.
We have shown you some of the degrees you can go for if you want to become a police officer and if you have a bachelor’s degree in any related field, you can further your education to master’s degree to expand your opportunities in the law enforcement field.