What level of education/training is typical of suburban and small town police officers in the US?
August 27, 2007 5:04 PM   Subscribe

What level of education/training is typical of suburban and small town police officers in the US?
posted by R. Mutt to Education (4 answers total)
 
In Indiana, even local and county LE are starting to require at least an Associates in Criminal Justice, and the bigger cities lean heavily toward a Bachelor's.
posted by headspace at 5:08 PM on August 27, 2007


The requirements probably vary with the municipality. Some might just require a HS degree and a clean criminal background. Other small town PDs might be run by an ex big city cop who has adopted more stringent requirements on par with a large city's police department. Generally speaking, the actual "police" have stricter requirements (ie. 4 year degrees, law enforcement certifications) than those of the sheriff's deputies or constables. But, this is all specific to the how much a small town has budgeted for it's police department and the level of professional development by its administration.
posted by Burhanistan at 5:10 PM on August 27, 2007


I live in a really small town and we have a constable and no police officers. We just got a new constable but my guess is the last one probably had a high school diploma. I don't know if you're asking this because you're considering it as a career or if there's something else you're trying to get at but here in Vermont many small towns have no "official" police at all though the state troopers have a barracks up the road and they've all gone to the police academy.
posted by jessamyn at 8:13 PM on August 27, 2007


Quick check here in Vermont shows a variety of qualifications, with the minimum apparently being a high school diploma or equivalent.

Vemont Police Jobs

Probably varies considerably nationwide, though peeking at Police Chief Magazine just now showed no job listings in this month's issue to verify.

Kind of scary, when you consider that we equip them with guns and expect them to uphold the Constitution, while maintaining the peace amongst the commoners.

I am sure that the Police Academy trains them somewhat in the law, but having had a lot of exposure to it and to lawyers, the subtleties are the subject of endless debate, even among highly educated lawyers. I doubt many officers rise to the level of training and/or intellect that many people assume when they have a conversation with the local cops.

The ones I have actualy KNOWN over the years were mostly notable for their phyiscal size, and certainly not for their stellar wits. Four were high school graduates; one had a law degree. Two of the high school grads are dead. The lawyer was fired and the reamaining constable in that town has one eye and a high school diploma. It apparently isn't rocket science, though in my fantasies, it would be much harder to be a cop with weapons.

FBI requires an accredited 4-year degree and three years professional experience in addition to physical requirements.
posted by FauxScot at 3:22 AM on August 28, 2007


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