Guide To Becoming A Police Officer



click here to view some selected departments and thier requirments
                                  PREFACE

         A law enforcement career in the  1990's  promises to present chal-
    lenges that are second to none. This guide is intended to help you meet 
    that challenge by providing one convenient source for practical, up-to-
    date information  on the current state of the law enforcement industry. 
    This guide should prove to be indispensable to anyone wishing to pursue 
    a law enforcement career  beyond the boundaries of their own municipal-
    ity.
         Inside you will  find a complete  identification  of the major law 
    enforcement entities in the United States and the function of each. You 
    will also be provided  with a comprehensive  list of the qualifications  
    for employment with more than  50  state, county and local law enforce-
    ment agencies. Also included is an outline of the benefits available at 
    each agency.
         For every man or woman  on the street with a badge, there are num-
    erous "civilian" support personnel hard at work; some in the background 
    and  some out on  the front lines.  This guide includes descriptions of 
    some  of the many  "non-sworn" or civilian  positions available at most 
    law enforcement agencies. 

         Get ready for an adventure!



                      
                              TABLE OF CONTENTS

             CHAPTER 1          Introduction
             CHAPTER 2          Agencies
             CHAPTER 3          Who are Peace Officers?
             CHAPTER 4          Assignments
             CHAPTER 5          Application and Testing
             CHAPTER 6          State Mandated Standards
             CHAPTER 7          The Police Academy
             CHAPTER 8          Civilian Employment Opportunities
             CHAPTER 9          Exploring...Something for Teens!
             CHAPTER 10         National Accreditation
             CHAPTER 11         Conclusion
             CHAPTER 12         Beneficial Bytes (Useful Information)
             CHAPTER 13         Individual Agency Requirements



INTRODUCTION           ENFORCEMENT CAREERS IN AMERICA

                      A COMPLETE  SOURCEBOOK  AND  GUIDE




         If you're reading this,  you probably have  more than just an idle 
    interest in  a career in law enforcement.  You're not alone!  Thousands  
    before  you have made the  same choice,  and for a  variety of reasons. 
    Some are  seeking excitement.  For others it's the  high  degree of job 
    security.  Others may be attracted to the rising pay and benefits being 
    offered by  some agencies.  For some it might  be the satisfaction of a 
    public  service  oriented career.  Whatever the  attraction is for you;  
    there  are plenty of employment opportunities to be explored.
         Where are these jobs? They're in more places than you think! There 
    are more than  525,000  state and local law enforcement officers in the 

    United States! That number includes an increase of almost 30,000 in the  
    last five years! Included in that figure are  highway patrol, alcoholic 
    beverage control agents, game wardens,  arson investigators,  sheriff's 
    deputies, municipal police officers and others. 
         Most every city  in the state has a police force; from the largest
    in New York City  with more than  25,000  commissioned officers, to the 
    smallest operation handled by a lone officer. Those smaller cities, who 
    may be without a police force, are served by the county sheriff's dept.  
    From the small "one person does it all" operation, to the large depart-
    ments where operations are broken  down into  specialized  areas, there 
    are many  employment  opportunities to be found. Included below are the 
    personnel figures for a few well-known departments around the country.

         New York City    
         33,300+ full time employees (25,600+ commissioned officers) 

         Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department
         10,800+ full time employees (7,600+ commissioned officers)


         California Highway Patrol
         8,500+ full time employees (5,900+ commissioned officers)

         Houston Police Department
         5,600+ full time employees (4,100+ commissioned officers)



                                  AGENCIES


         Let's jump right in and take a look at exactly what's out there in 
    the form of "agencies seeking qualified applicants". 

                             AT THE STATE LEVEL 

         DEPARTMENTS of PUBLIC SAFETY or HIGHWAY PATROL 
         
         These agencies may also be known simply as the State Police.  They  
    provide  criminal  and traffic law  enforcement services for the state. 
    Usually includes the highway patrol,  motor  vehicle inspection license 
    and weight service, driver license service and  other specialized divi-
    sions such as narcotics and criminal investigation.




         PARKS and WILDLIFE DEPARTMENTS 

         Usually enforces game, fish and water safety laws. State game war-
    dens make daily patrols to enforce all state game law violations, sport 
    and commercial  fishing violations and violations concerning inland and 
    coastal waters and pollution laws.

         ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE CONTROL AGENCIES 

         These agencies inspect, regulate and supervise, every phase of the 
    business of manufacturing, selling, importing, exporting, transporting, 
    storing,  advertising, labeling, and distributing  alcoholic beverages, 
    and  the possession of alcoholic  beverages for the  purpose of sale or 
    otherwise.  These agencies  investigate all violations of the alcoholic 
    beverage law of their state and assist in the prosecution of offenders. 

         DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

         Maintains the state prison system. Responsible for housing and all
    other aspects of the care of state prisoners. The Department of Correc-  
    tions is a large  employer of  guards,  physicians,  administrative and 
    other personnel.


         ATTORNEY GENERAL'S  OFFICE  

         The Attorney General is the "peoples" attorney at the state level.  
    The AG also serves as counsel to the governor, the legislature, and the 
    boards and agencies of the state.   Below is a list of the divisions of 
    the  Texas Attorney  General's Office.  The AG Office of your state may 
    be very similar to this one. 
          

          Administration                        Antitrust 
          Child Support Enforcement             Collections
          Consumer Protection                   Crime Victim Compensation
          Criminal Law Enforcement              Energy
          Environmental Protection              Finance
          General Litigation                    Highway
          Tort Litigation                       Worker Compensation Fraud
          Communications                        Financial Management
          Internal Audit                        Medicaid Fraud
          Personnel and Training                Research
          Staff Services                        Taxation 


         CAMPUS POLICE DEPARTMENTS

         Provides law  enforcement services within the property boundary of 
    any state institution  of higher education,  public  junior college, or 
    similar institution.

                              AT THE COUNTY LEVEL

         COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENTS

         Provides all law enforcement  services  in areas of the county not 
    served by municipal departments. Maintains a county jail. May serve and 
    enforce  writs and make arrests anywhere in the county.  The sheriff is 
    usually an elected official.

         ADULT AND JUVENILE PROBATION OFFICES

         Responsible for the supervision of those persons placed on probat-
    ionary status by a court.  Probationers are  usually required to report 
    to a probation officer on a regular basis.  The probation officer helps 
    the  probationer  adjust to community life,  assists him/her in finding 
    employment, and performs other tasks.


         CONSTABLES

         A county official, having less authority than the sheriff, who 
    serves writs and warrants in the county.



         DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S INVESTIGATOR

         Assists the district  attorney in the prosecution of cases by pro-
    viding additional follow-up investigation that may be necessary to bet-
    ter prepare a case for trial.  May initiate investigations and file any
    charges necessary.


                               AT THE CITY LEVEL

         POLICE DEPARTMENTS

         Responsible  for the  preservation of peace and  order  within its 
    jurisdiction.   Police departments  enforce criminal  and traffic laws, 
    city ordinances, and state and federal laws.

         FIRE MARSHAL'S OFFICE

         Responsible  for enforcement of city, state,  and federal laws re-
    lating to fire safety, fire prevention, and arson.

         ARSON INVESTIGATOR

         Investigates all fires of suspicious nature to determine cause and 
    origin. Work includes responsibility for collection and preservation of  
    evidence,  interviewing  of witnesses and suspects, arrest of suspects, 
    and  preparation  of  cases for prosecution. Operates under guidance of 
    the fire marshal.  Arson investigators are considered peace officers in
    most states.



         PARK POLICE

         Provides law enforcement  services at federal, state and municipal 
    parks and recreation areas.

          
         AIRPORT POLICE

         Provides law enforcement services at larger municipal and regional 
    airports.

         TRANSIT POLICE

         Provides limited police service on municipal bus and rail systems
    in larger cities.

         HOUSING AUTHORITY POLICE

         Provides police services at public housing projects in larger 
    cities.

         Many agencies, usually Sheriff's departments, utilize the services 
    of volunteer reserve officers. Reserve officers may assist law enforce-
    ment  agencies in all phases of the job and have the same power and au-
    thority as regular officers.

         All of the officers described above are usually considered commis-
    sioned peace officers in most states.

         The above is a list of the major avenues of employment as a peace 
    officer in the United States. 




                          WHO ARE PEACE OFFICERS?

         To illustrate exactly who are considered  "peace officers"  in the  
    U.S., a definition of the term as defined by the Texas Code of Criminal 
    Procedure is given below. 

          Art. 2.12

         Sheriff's and their deputies

         Constables and deputy constables

         Marshals or police officers of an incorporated city, town,
         or village.

         Rangers and officers commissioned by the public safety com-
         missioner and the director of the Department of Public Safety.
         

         Investigators of the district attorney's, criminal district 
         attorney's, and county attorney's offices.

         Law enforcement agents of the Alcoholic Beverage Commission

         Each member of an arson investigating unit of a city, county, or 
         the state.

         Any private person specially appointed to execute criminal 
         process.

         Officers commissioned by the governing board of any state insti-
         tution of higher education, public junior college, or the Texas 
         State Technical Institute.

         Officers commissioned by the State Purchasing and General Services 
         Commission.

         Law enforcement officers commssioned by the Parks and Wildlife 
          Commission.

         Airport police and security personnel commissioned as peace offic-
         ers by the governing body of any political subdivision that oper-
         ates an airport that serves commercial air carriers.

         Municipal park and recreational patrolmen and security officers.

         Security officers commissioned as peace officers by the State 
         Treasurer.

         Officers commissioned by a water control and improvement district 
         under section 51.132, water code.

         Investigators commissioned by the Texas State Board of Medical 
         Examiners.

         County park rangers.

         Stewards and judges employed by the Texas Racing Commission.

         Officers commissioned by the Texas State Board of Pharmacy.

         Officers commissioned by the governing body of a metropolitan 
         rapid transit authority.

         Also, the director of the  Department of Public Safety may appoint 
    up to 250 railroad peace officers  who are  employed by a railroad com-
    pany to aid law enforcement agencies in the protection of railroad pro-
    perty and the  protection  of the persons and  the property of railroad 
    passengers and employees.

         Again,  this description of peace officers in  Texas is taken from
    the  Texas  Code of Criminal Procedure.  It covers more than the tradi-
    itional   "police officer"  or  "sheriff's deputy" most people think of 
    when they see or hear the term  "peace officer".   This should serve to
    illustrate the wide-ranging possibilities available  to those seeking a
    law enforcement career in Texas or anywhere else in the country.



  
                                ASSIGNMENTS

         Assignments within a law enforcement agency  itself are varied and 
    become  more specialized  as the size of the agency increases.  Some of
    the assignments  possible in police and sheriff's  departments are des-
    cribed below.

         Patrol                                Crime prevention
         Traffic law enforcement               Identification
         Accident investigation                Detention officers
         Criminal investigation (detectives)   Divers
         Administration                        Aviation
         Training
                
                
                
                
                

         The above  is just a partial list of available assignments.  Below
    you will find a  partial  list of the units, sections, and divisions of     
    the Houston,  Texas Police  Department.  This is a good example of duty
    assignment possibilities.

    Crime Stoppers                               Juvenile division
    Auto theft division                          K-9 detail
    Community liason office                      Major assault unit
    Community services                           Major offender unit
    Centralized investigative services           Special theft detail
    Criminal intelligence                        Cargo theft detail
    Public information office                    Fence detail
    Planning and research                        Missing persons
    Burglary and theft division                  Mounted Patrol
    Forgery detail                               Narcotics division
    Pawn shop detail                             Organized crime unit
    Domestic violence unit                       Recruiting division
    Helicopter patrol                            Robbery division
    Hit & run detail                             SWAT detail
    Homicide division                            Internal affairs division
    Identification detail                        Jail division
    
         That's quite an impressive list of options.  Anyone having trouble 
    finding a spot in there has probably chosen the wrong career field!
    
   


                    The Application and Testing Process


         The  application and testing processes involved in your search for 
    a job in law  enforcement are about as numerous and varied as the agen-
    cies you've read about so far. But at the same time they are very simi-
    lar because the minimum standards for employment as a peace officer are 
    usually  set by the state legislatures.  The agency responsible for the
    licensing of peace officers in Texas is the Commission on Law Enforce-
    ment Officer Standards and Education.  Your state may have a regulatory 
    agency with a similar function.
         These processes sometimes vary in sequence and  method from agency 
    to agency, but they all seek the same end result:  a capable and quali-
    fied applicant.  At the end of this guide you will find a detailed list 
    of the qualifications for employment and the application process for 50 
    state, county, and municipal law enforcement agencies. Included in this  
    figure are highway patrol,  county sheriff's agencies, corrections per-
    sonnel,  fish and wildlife officers. alcoholic beverage control agents,
    and more!
         Provided below is a brief description of the testing process used 
    by many agencies.  

         WRITTEN EXAMINATIONS

         Usually a test of basic reading comprehension and writing skills 
    necessary to perform police tasks. 


         POLYGRAPH EXAMINATION

         Used to verify information provided on the initial application and 
    personal history questionaire. 

         PHYSICAL EXAMINATION

         Used to eliminate applicants with medical  conditions  or limitat-
    ions that would prevent them from safely performing police duties. Drug 
    testing will probably be included in the exam.

         BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION

         A  check  of the information  you provided on the personal history 
    questionaire. It will include a check of your criminal history and dri-
    ving record. May also include a check of your employment history, cred-
    it history, personal/business references and educational background. 

         PSYCHOLOGICAL EXAMINATION

         Used to evaluate your psychological and emotional health as it re-
    lates to the position you are seeking.


         PHYSICAL AGILITY TEST

         This test will include such events as:

         Running a pre-determined distance. You might have to run in order 
    to catch a suspect.

         Climbing flights of stairs.  You may have to answer calls for ser-
    vice or pursue suspects in multi-story buildings.

         Dragging a dummy.  You may have  to drag an unconsious person to a 
    place of safety at an accident scene or other disaster.

         Climbing over walls or obstacles. You may have to climb over fenc-
    es or walls to check buildings or pursue suspects. 

         Negotiating an obstacle course.  You may have  to  avoid different 
    types of obstacles quickly while running, such as if you are pursuing a 
    suspect through a crowd of people.

         Broad jump. You may have to jump across a ditch.

         Walking a beam.  You may have to walk on a log, etc. to get across 
    a creek or ditch.

         Weight lifting.  You may have to lift heavy objects or push people 
    or objects off of you.  (usually demonstrated  with the bench press and 
    leg press and other exercises)

         Most of these events are timed.


         If you are a moderately active person and regularly engage in some  
    form of exercise or sport, you should have no difficulty in passing the 
    physical agility test.  All persons, especially those who may have lead 
    a sedentary lifestyle, should get clearance from a physician before be-
    ginning any exercise program in preparation for any anticipated agility 
    test. 


         ASSESSMENT CENTER

         More departments  are utilizing  this form of  "hands on"  type of 
    test. Assessment centers subject the applicant to a battery of job rel-
    ated reasoning and decision-making exercises. This procedure may also 
    include group discussion exercises with  other applicants and an  oral 
    interview. The applicant usually participates in all of these events 
    before a panel of "assessors".


         ORAL INTERVIEW

         Finally,  there is usually an oral interview  conducted as part of 
    the assessment center, or before the  department head, or both. You are 
    certain to be asked questions such as: "Why do you want to be  a police 
    officer? or  "Why do you feel you are more qualified than the other ap-
    plicants to be a police officer?"  or "Describe your strengths and your  
    weaknesses."  You may also be asked to give the interviewer(s) a  short 
    history of your background, etc.  You could be asked to give your opin-
    ions  on current events in  the  field of law enforcement.  Think ahead 
    about  these and similar questions.  Be TRUTHFUL in all of your answers 
    and don't try to display  a "know-it-all" or "I'm here to solve all the 
    world's problems" attitude. 
         Take the time to learn about the position you are applying for. If
    you're about to be interviewed by the Texas Department of Public Safety
    for the position of Trooper, then familiarize yourself with the differ-
    ent duties that Troopers must perform. If you have no idea at all about
    the duties of the job you're applying for, it may appear that you're on
    a "fishing expedition" and hoping for anything you can get. That may be
    the case, but you won't impress many interviewers/assessors if you make
    it apparent.
         One of the objectives  of the interviewers is to try to get as ac-
    curate  an idea as  possible of what you are really like.  They want to 
    see the  side of you  that a written test and a physical exam can never 
    reveal.  They want to know if you are capable of following the rules of 
    the agency and the laws of the state.  They want to know if you're good 
    and honest person who will be an asset to the agency and the community. 
    They also want to know  if you have a reasonable chance to successfully 
    complete the  difficult  training academy which will cost the taxpayers  
    thousands of dollars per recruit. 
         The applicant  usually participates in most of these events before 
    a  panel of  "assessors".   This  phase of the testing is sometimes the 
    most difficult for many applicants. It requires a "cool" head and quick 
    but serious thinking in order to make it through. 


         Once again, this is only meant to be a generalization.  Larger de-
    partments  may  have an exhausting selection  process that will put you 
    through a wringer! Competition is tough, and  a comprehensive selection 
    process is sometimes the only way to insure that only the qualified are 
    employed.


         Most agencies will want the following items with your application
    or shortly thereafter:

         1) Birth Certificate
         2) DD 214 for veterans
         3) Driver's License
         4) High School Diploma, GED, or College Transcripts
         5) Marriage/Divorce certificates

         Once again, this is only meant to be a generalization.  Larger de-
    partments  may have  an exhausting selection process that will  put you 
    through a wringer!  Competition is tough, and a comprehensive selection 
    process is sometimes the only way to insure that only the qualified are 
    employed.





                          STATE MANDATED STANDARDS 


         As mentioned earlier, most states have a regulatory agency that is
    responsible for the setting of standards for peace officer training and
    licensing.  The following is a short description of the function of the
    Texas agency, TCLEOSE, that provides this service.
    
                  Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer
                            Standards and Education


         TCLEOSE  was  created in  1965 to establish standard and mandatory 
    qualifications  for the training  of peace officers,  reserve officers, 
    and county jailers. The commission  also has the responsibility to con-
    duct research  for the purpose of improving law enforcement management. 
    In 1981,  the commission  began licensing Texas peace officers, reserve 
    officers and jailors.  In 1987,  this licensing  authority was extended 
    to include armed  public security officers.  TCLEOSE also certifies all 
    telecommunications  personnel,  hypnotic investigators,  and homeowners  
    insurance inspectors.  TCLEOSE also has the authority to establish min-
    imum standards for competency  and reliability,  and the training, edu-
    cational, moral, and  physical standards of peace officers. 

         In 1987 the Texas legislature established, through the commission, 
    the Law Enforcement Management Institute.  The purpose of the institute 
    is to develop  the analytical,  managerial and  executive skills of all 
    current and future law enforcement  administrators in Texas through the 
    study of public administration, law enforcement management and advanced 
    studies relating to law  enforcement. The Institute is tuition free and 
    may be attended by all eligible Texas law enforcement officers who meet
    certain qualifications.

          
        Below are the basic requirements to be certified as a peace officer
    in Texas according to the current regulations of TCLEOSE:

    1. Be a citizen of the United States.
    2. Be fingerprinted and subjected  to a search of local, state and nat-
       ional records and fingerprint files to disclose any criminal record.
    3. Not be on probation for a criminal offense above  the grade of class 
       "C" misdemeanor.
    4. Not have been  convicted of a misdemeanor of  the grade of Class "A" 
       within the last twelve (12) months.
    5. Not have been  convicted of a misdemeanor of  the grade of Class "B" 
       within the last six (6) months. 
    6. Not have been convicted of the offense of driving  while intoxicated 
       or driving under the influence of drugs within the  last twenty-four 
       (24) months.
    7. Never have been convicted of a felony offense.
    8. Be of good moral character.
    9. Be subjected to a thorough,  comprehensive  background investigation 
       conducted by the appointing authority.
    10. Be examined  within ninety (90) days prior to the beginning of the 
        Basic Peace Officer Course applied for by a licensed physician  who 
        will declare in writing that the applicant is physically sound and  
        free from any defect which may adversely affect the applicant's 
        ability to perform the duties of a peace officer. The physician 
        must also certify, after a physical examination, blood test, or 
        other medical test of the applicant that the applicant shows no 
        trace of drug dependency or illegal drug use.
    11. Be examined within ninety 90  days  prior to the enrollment in a 
        Basic Peace Officer Course by a licensed psychologist or psychia-
        trist or registered professional and be declared in writing by that  
        professional to be in satisfactory psychological and emotional 
        health appropriate to the  type of license sought and appointment 
        to be made. 
    12. Be interviewed personally prior to appointment by representatives 
        of the appointing authority.
    13. Not have been discharged from any military service under less than 
        honorable conditions. 
    14. Not have had a commission license revoked / denied by final order. 
    15. Not have a voluntary surrender of a peace officer license currently 
        in effect.
    16. Not have violated any commission rule/statutory provision contained 
        in Chapter 415 of the Government Code.












     "If evolution works, nature will eventually produce a pedestrian who
                     can jump three ways at once!"

 
 

                             
                             
                              THE POLICE ACADEMY

         Depending upon the laws of your state, and the existence and auth- 
    ority  of an agency regulating peace officers, it can be said that most
    states  have requirements concerning the minimum amount of training and 
    the content of the training given to entry level peace officers. 
         That brings us to the  method normally used to achieve this train-
    ing: The Police Academy.  Police, or law enforcement academies are con-
    ducted at some of the larger agencies in the country. This training may
    also be received at various  "regional"  academies. Smaller departments 
    around the country may send their recruits to a larger  agency having a 
    certified  academy, or they may attend a regional academy.  Some states 
    have only one central facility to train all peace officers.  
         The "basic police officer" course as required by the Texas commis-
    sion, TCLEOSE, consists of more than  400  hours of classroom and field 
    training.  While all Texas agencies must meet this minimum, you'll find 
    that many will add several hours to several hundred hours to this mini-
    mum,  supplementing it with their own curriculum.  The Texas Department 
    of Public Safety academy, for example, consists of more than 900  hours 
    of instruction.
          Below is a breakdown of the subjects and hours required in each
     for the basic police officer course.


        SUBJECT                                                HOURS


        Inrtroduction, Review, Exam & Grad.........................7
        Patrol Procedures..........................................39
        Traffic Law Enforcement....................................32
        Traffic Stops..............................................8
        Intoxicated Driver.........................................6
        U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.......................5
        Code of Criminal Procedure.................................17
        Penal Code.................................................39
        Use of Force...............................................9
        Family Code................................................8
        Alcoholic Beverage Code....................................4
        Dangerous Drugs and Controlled Substances..................8
        Arrest/Search and Seizure..................................27
        Mechanics of Arrest........................................17
        Peace Officer's Role in Society............................7
        Recognizing and Handling Abnormal Persons..................6
        Basic Criminal Investigation...............................28
        Interview and Interrogation................................5
        Protection of & Crime Scene Search.........................9
        Traffic Collision Investigation............................23
        Notetaking & Report Writing................................15
        Civil Law, Process, & Liability............................8
        Firearms...................................................42
        Introduction to Vehicle Operation..........................13
        Emergency Medical Care.....................................21
                                                           Total: 403 

            Officers receive a "basic" certificate upon completion of
        a training academy consisting of a minimum of the above subjects
        and hours. An "intermediate" and "advanced" certificate may be
        earned by a combination of "education and training points" and 
        years of law enforcement experience.


            In addition to initial  certification requirements,  nearly all 
    states require  annual or biennial  retraining in order for peace offi-
    cers to maintain their certification.  This training may consist of re-
    fresher courses in the subjects taught  at the academy,  as well as up-
    dates on new techniques, court decisions, and similar topics.
           
          

 

                          

                          CIVILIAN JOB OPPORTUNITIES

        
         Job opportunities  in law  enforcement are by no  means limited to 
    "commissioned" peace officer positions. Every type of agency may employ 
    one or several thousand civilian, or "non-sworn" personnel.  These civ-
    ilian positions range from secretarial to the supervising of major sec-
    tions within an agency. Civilians are being utilized now more than ever 
    before  to perform duties once handled by  commissioned officers.  This 
    "civilianization" enables agencies to  return officers to the "streets" 
    where they are needed to perform more  traditional police tasks.  These 
    civilian positions include, but are not limited to, the following:

    Communications     

    This category includes message-takers,  dispatchers and teletype opera-
    tors. Message-takers are ususally the first point of contact the public 
    has with the agency when they call for assistance.Message-takers deter-
    mine the nature of the call or request and route the call to the appro-
    priate unit or section within a  department such as  dispatch, informa-
    tion  officer,  investigations,  or to an ambulance company or the fire 
    department.  Dispatchers maintain direct communications with patrol and 
    other units in the field.They dispatch these units as needed to respond
    to calls for service. Dispatchers are also the patrol officer's link to 
    other sections or  divisions in the  agency,  relaying information from 
    field units to those divisions and vice-versa.Communications with other 
    law enforcement agencies nation-wide is possible via a teletype system. 
    The  teletype is used to  send and receive administrative messages from 
    other agencies and to report and receive  "wanted" information from the 
    state crime information centers and the National Crime Information Cen-
    ter. At small agencies, one person may perform all of these duties. 

    Records Clerks/Typists/Data Entry Personnel

    Law  enforcement agencies run on paperwork,  paperwork, and more paper-
    work! Records personnel are responsible for assembling the massive flow 
    of reports and other items into an orderly and manageable system.  Data 
    entry personnel must enter, usually on computer, all reports and  other 
    documents generated by field and investigative units.

    Identification Technicians

    ID techs are trained in such skills as photography, fingerprinting, ev-
    idence  identification  and collection,  crime scene search,  and crime 
    scene sketching. These technicians respond to many major crime or acci-
    dent scenes to process them for photographic and physical evidence.

    Computer Programmers

    Responsible  for  maintaining the computer systems used by many depart-
    ments.  Computers  are  used for storing records and  reports compiling 
    statistics, dispatching, and other functions. Massive amounts of useful 
    law enforcement information is stored on computer for instant access by 
    field personnel,either through the dispatcher or by mobile data termin-
    als.
        
    Statistical Analyst

    Compiles  and  maintains  statistics on every phase of law enforcement  
    activity and prepares  summaries and reports which which aid in detect-
    ing crime patterns.  This information also helps agency heads to better 
    utilize available resources and to petition their governing bodies when  
    more are needed. This position usually  requires a degree or background 
    in math or business administration.


    Driver Testing

    The testing and licensing of drivers is being delegated more frequently 
    to civilian personnel.  This is a move  designed to return commissioned 
    officers back to the street whenever possible.



    Training

    Civilian  instructors provide training in their areas of specialization 
    to other  civilians and commissioned personnel when called upon by agen-
    cy heads for mandated recertification and other training needs. 

         There are  also opportunities for advancement to supervisory posi-
    tions in these fields at larger agencies. Again, this is only a partial 
    list of employment  possibilities available as a civilian member of the 
    law enforcement community.

        


 



                            Law Enforcement Exploring...
                               Something For Teens


          Exploring is a division of the  Boy Scouts of  America for young
     men and women aged 14 through 20. Its purpose is to bring a character     
     building, citizenship training, and fitness program to the youth of
     America. 
          According to surveys, law enforcement remains as one of the top 
     career choices of today's youth. At present there are more than 42,000
     young adults actively enrolled in 2,200 law enforcement posts throug-
     out the country. Most of these posts are sponsored by local police and
     sheriff's departments. Other agencies sponsoring exploring posts are
     The Drug Enforcement Agency, The Federal Bureau of Investigation, The
     Marshal's Service, The Secret Service, The Air Force Office of Security
     Police, The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, U.S. Customs 
     Service, and The Criminal Investigation Command of the U.S. Army.
          The purpose of law enforcement exploring is to educate and in-
     volve young adults in police operations. This is achieved by conduct-     
     ing regular training sessions at police agencies. Explorers train in
     such subjects as crime prevention, record-keeping, radio procedures, 
     telecommunications, first-aid, traffic stops, patrol procedures, acc-
     ident investigation, and other topics. Explorers also may participate
     in a "ride-along" program at most agencies. 
          Explorers also participate in regional and national competition
     in events designed to test their proficency in the above subjects. 




   
              The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement
                               Agencies, Inc.


         The Commission was formed in  1979 through the combined efforts of
    four major law enforcement  membership asscociations, whose members di-
    rect approximately  80  percent of the law enforcement community of the 
    United States. These organizations are the International Association of 
    Chiefs of Police (IACP), National Organization of Black Law Enforcement 
    Executives  (NOBLE),  National  Sheriff's  Association  (NSA),  and the 
    Police Executive Research Forum (PERF).
         The Commission, CALEA, was formed to develop a set of law enforce-
    ment standards and establish and administer an accreditation process by 
    which law enforcement agencies at the state and local levels can demon-
    strate  voluntarily  that they meet professional criteria.  The overall 
    goal of the accreditation is to improve the delivery of law enforcement 
    services from coast to coast.
         There are presently about 210 law enforcement agencies nation-wide 
    which have met the qualifications for accreditation. More are added to
    that number each month.
             




   
 
                                  CONCLUSION


          There is much to be written on the subject of law enforcement; in
    fact, much has been written. There are volumes and volumes available on     
    the art and science of police work. This guide, however, is not intend-
    ed to be a police science course. This guide is intended  to inform you
    of the many career choices that await you in the field  of law enforce-
     ment. 
          With the information contained in these pages, you will be able to
     approach the job application and testing process in a more "enlighten-
     ed" condition. 






          THE FOLLOWING SECTION CONTAINS A SELECTION OF INFORMATION
                WHICH YOU MAY FIND USEFUL AND/OR INTERESTING.




                                   NOTE!!!

         A few law enforcement agencies, in their information packets, are
    informing prospective applicants that they will be automatically dis-
    qualified if they have had the surgical procedures Orthokeratology or
    Keratotomy performed in order to improve their vision. If you have had
    or are thinking of having this procedure done, please check with the
    agency you are applying to early in the process to determine their rule
    on this matter. 


   
      Good Luck  !
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