U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

College Education and Policing

NCJ Number
FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin Volume: 61 Issue: 1 Dated: (January 1992) Pages: 8-14
D L Carter; A D Sapp
Date Published
7 pages
This article addresses the movement to require higher education for law enforcement using data from a 1988 study of police education commissioned by the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF).
The police educational movement began in 1967 when the Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice recommended implementation of the Law Enforcement Education program which provided financial incentives for college education. By 1980, the focus on higher education diminished, and funds and programs were reduced. The results of the 1988 PERF survey of 250,000 officers found that the present state of police education is good as evidenced by the increase in police officer educational levels from 12.3 years to 13.6 over 20 years, and the recruitment of college experience for employment and promotion by 14 percent of the departments. Each department should have a written policy defining college education as a bona fide occupation qualification (BFOG). To ensure that curricula and policies address the long-term problems and needs of law enforcement, police departments and colleges must communicate regularly. The issue of college education becomes particularly critical with women and minority candidates and in the area of community policing where decisionmaking skills, better service provision, and communication are necessary skills. The future of policing depends on the future of higher education, particularly in the development of innovative police practices and increased responsiveness to demands for police services.