What’s a Police Officer?
When people think of criminal justice, the first thing they probably think of are police officers. Police officers are law enforcement officers. They simply enforce the law. They engage in such functions as:
1. Arresting criminals
2. Investigating crimes
3. Responding in emergency
4. Collecting evidence
5. Maintaining peace
The community will not be peaceful without the fear and respect people have for police officers. You can see them patrolling towns and cities. As they do, they arrest or remove criminal elements.
The police officer's job is challenging. They can be called to perform a variety of duties in their area of jurisdiction. An officer can be called to disarm a drunken assailant. This situation will put the police officer at the risk of losing his/her life.
In emergency situations like fire, police officers must also respond. In this situation, they work in conjunction with firefighters. The officers will help secure the perimeter of the fire from unwanted people or people trying to interfere. This helps firefighters concentrate on fighting the fire.
Police officers have to go to court to testify against people accused of crime. This situation makes them take detailed note of cases they are involved in. People do not realize how much note taking or report writing is involved in police work. It's often joked that some officers ignore some crimes to avoid having to write a report about the crime.
Police Officer Salary:
Police officers work for Federal, State and Local governments. According to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the median salary for each arm of the government is as follows. Latest data is from 2004.
Federal Government: 44,750
State Government: 48,980
Local Government: 45,010
Those in supervisory positions earn more money as can be expected. Their median salary is as follows:
Federal Government: 86,030
State Government: 62,300
Local Government: 63,590
Police Officer School:
Police officers who want to advance to supervisor positions will need years of service. While most police departments due not require college education to hire you, a college education will help fast track you to higher positions. It's just like most professions. The more educated you are, the higher positions you attain, which results in more money in your pocket.
Aspiring police officers or current police officers looking to get an education, should try to major in criminal justice. In the criminal justice major, you will learn the theories and realities of criminal justice. You take classes in criminal justice, criminal justice administration, crime scene investigation, etc.
Criminal Justice Careers