Continuing Education for Law Enforcement Officers
23 February 2010
Most states do not require a college level education to become a police officer, and fewer still require anything in the form of continuing education credits. While the topic of a degree requirement for police offers is often discussed, there seems to be a lack of action in regards to making the requirement a law. Simply put, the fact that it is not required does not mean there is not personal benefits to the officer as well as benefits to the police department itself should an officer seek higher education opportunities. For the individual officer there is much to be gained, from the satisfaction of improving him or herself to increasing the odds of obtaining a higher level of employment on the force. In fact, while an entry-level police officer position does not require a degree, nearly every promotion past that level does. What this means to you as a police officer is simple. Lack of a degree may leave you out of the competition for advancement and better paying positions. There are many creative opportunities available to someone who is employed full time. Online degree programs are the most popular and have been endorsed by many police departments. With these types of online universities you can complete your coursework at whatever time works best for you, which is an important consideration for someone with a demanding and changing schedule.
Even if you have already earned your bachelor’s degree and are working as a police officer, there are other opportunities to fine tune your skills and increase your chances of earning a higher salary through promotion. There are numerous academies across the country that offer specialized training. Below are some of the continuing education courses you may find beneficial to your career advancement. Instructor training- these courses teach you how to effectively competently research, plan, prepare, present and evaluate a block of instruction in accordance with the systems approach. Rapid Deployment Training-This type of training will provide law enforcement officers with technical and tactical skills to effectively respond to an active shooter incident in any public setting.
Tactical Handgun Operations- These classes offer the officer a chance to work on fine-tuning his or her handgun operation skills while emphasizing tactical operations under emergency situation conditions. Psychology- these courses offer a more in depth study to psychology, especially in regards to the criminal. Public speaking- Public speaking classes are very beneficial to career advancement as more interaction with the committees and the media takes place as your rank is raised. Regardless of the type of training you choose, continuing your education by means of a bachelors degree or continuing education courses can only benefit your ability to protect and serve the community while allowing yourself the best possible odds of career advancement.