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  • Becoming an Officer

    I'm 18 and i just graduated high school a few months ago. I want to pursue a career as a Law Enforcement Officer, what kind of schooling is required? Do i need a bachelors degree and can it be in anything. should i take criminal justice? Do i need to apply as an officer first or after school?

    thank you

  • #2
    You do not NEED a degree, unless the agencies specify otherwise. You can apply to be an officer whenever you are ready. I would, if you want to go to school, wait, OR become a Reserve Officer/Deputy, or Cadet.
    The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, cannot and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheepdog who intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed.

    I Am the Sheepdog.


    "And maybe just remind the few, if ill of us they speak,
    that we are all that stands between
    the monsters and the weak." - Michael Marks


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    • #3
      First, decide what type of law enforcement you are interested in doing: Federal, State, County, City, Township, etc.

      Second, research the agency you have an interest in: Almost every agency has a web page these days. Read their requirements for qualification.

      Third, get as much education and life experience as possible. The military is a good start or college.

      Fourth, when you are twenty years and six months old, begin your application process.

      Fifth, do not expect overnight success. Everything takes time.

      Sixth, from now until then, keep your life managed. Do not abuse alcohol, drugs, unlawful substances. Do not post idiotic stuff on "My Space" or any other website that may turn back and bite your behind.

      Seventh, manage your personal finances and stay as debt free as possible. If you use credit, keep your payments current and do not allow a default.

      Eighth, do what you can to learn all about the LE job you are interested in pursuing and set personal goals that are attainable.

      Good luck, study and work hard; and, don't give up your dream!
      Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence!

      [George Washington (1732 - 1799)]

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      • #4
        So Ill go to my community college. Take criminal justice and all my basic classes (math, science, and such....) and work. Then when I am a little over 20 years old ill start applying at the place i want, the village of skokie police department.

        is that a good idea? We have a Citizens Police Academy, i could go to that.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by JamieI View Post
          So Ill go to my community college. Take criminal justice and all my basic classes (math, science, and such....) and work. Then when I am a little over 20 years old ill start applying at the place i want, the village of skokie police department.

          is that a good idea? We have a Citizens Police Academy, i could go to that.
          Everything sounds good except the criminal justice classes are not necessary. Just go to college and take english, math, and whatever interests you.

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          • #6
            You should go to the military I wish I would have it eaiser to get a job if you do
            In God we trust all others we run through NCIC

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            • #7
              On my towns website. It says that you have to have 60 credits to become an officer. Its not like that everywhere right?

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              • #8
                I would HIGHLY recommend you going to the military also first, it will help you in MOST cases, and also, you will get very valuable professional and life experiences. Just keep your nose clean and do your best and you'll get just what you want.
                Ignored: Towncop, Pulicords, TacoMac, Ten08

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                • #9
                  I would join the military and then go to college since the military will give you the GI bill to pay for it.

                  Its a great life experience and it proves to yourself you can do something difficult.

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                  • #10
                    It depends where you live/work. I would highly suggest a degree if you want to advance in the ranks. But I agree with the rest of these guys, head to the military and get some experience and then let them pay for your degree. As far as what subject area to get it in, I got mine in business management mainly because it was easy. Honestly from what I have seen you can get hired anywhere if you have a bachelors degree and it can be in anything. Also I would advise you to not get a degree in criminal justice because if it turns out that police work is not for you, your going to be limited in the careers you qualify for with your educational background. GO TO THE MILITARY

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                    • #11
                      Ok lots of good info given here, remember though YOU must make your own decision. I see that there is a lean to the military herer. Not to knock it as I served 11 years total, but it is not a requirement. It does look good in the history and it will make yo ua better person.

                      My advice, if I could go back and do it all over again, would be to pursue a 4 year college degree. I would take the necessary courses to get an AS in Criminal Justice Administration or similar. This will help you through the basics of police work, Constitutional law, search and seizure etc. I would agree that the BS should be in a field that intereste you. CJ is not too bad to get other careers, corprorate protection, asset protection management and the like. ( I have a BS in CJA and have been offered a few good corporate protection asset protection management positions-but I love my career too much to leave) BTW I got my degree in CJA as I had been in LE for 13 years and knew I was here to stay.

                      Get your college degree and then look at the wonderful world of law enforcement.....

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