Get In On The Action: Police Departments Hiring
Police work is often accurately depicted on television, video and film often as stress filled and dangerous. Despite this reality, many people continue to be attracted to the career field for a variety of reasons. In May of 2008, according to the U. S. Department of Labor Occupational Handbook, there were approximately 883,600 police and detectives. Police departments hiring entry requirements include a high school diploma to college education, and higher. People with the ability to speak more than one language who have relevant training, or occupational experience in the military, are highly sought. State and federal level employment is very competitive.
Position vacancies are most favorable at the local level. Various positions include game warden, detective and officers. The daily work tasks depend on the position, and whether it is with a state, federal or local agency. Common duties require written communication skill and attention to detail. Report writing and records are critical to court testimony.
Career entry educational requirements depend on the position, but may require a high school diploma or more advanced education such as a college degree or more. The bulk of knowledge for law enforcement is learned on the job in agency training academies. For Federal employment, applicants typically need a bachelor's degree, relevant employment experience, or a combination of education and experience. For people meeting minimum education requirements, they must also pass psychological, personal and physical fitness tests to qualify for positions. Annual median compensation in 2008 for those employed in law enforcement in police or sheriff positions was $51,410.
At the state or local level, officers in uniform perform general duties. These duties may entail patrolling and responding to calls for assistance. Besides call response, primary time is devoted to completing administrative duties such as paperwork. Other tasks include directing traffic at accident scenes, investigating burglaries, and giving first responder assistance to victims.
Officers employed by large agencies are typically paired with a partner. They are assigned a patrol area to maintain law and order. Suspicious activities or public safety hazards are observed or investigated. Identifying, pursuing, and arresting criminal suspects, resolving community problems and enforcing traffic regulations are common duties.
At the county level, sheriffs and their deputies enforce county laws. Sheriffs, who are elected officials, are the counterparts of law enforcement chiefs. Compared to other law enforcement agencies, sheriff departments are smaller, typically with less than 50 officers. State troopers and highway patrol officers enforce laws. They are responsible for arresting criminals throughout their state, and patrolling highways for motorist compliance with state vehicle use laws and regulations. State patrol officers issue citations to motorists who violate state laws or regulations. Detectives, police officers who do not wear uniforms, investigate and compile facts regarding offenses for criminal cases. Fish and game wardens maintain law and order when it comes to boating, hunting and fishing laws.
The U. S. Federal government has its own law enforcement arm, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The FBI enforces over 200 types of Federal law. It also conducts nationwide security investigations. Surveillance, court-ordered wiretaps, business record analysis, undercover operations, and white collar crime investigations are primary tasks of the FBI. When police departments hiring staff conduct investigations, the FBI is often the best practice model.