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Degree or No Degree

NCJ Number
Law and Order Volume: 53 Issue: 9 Dated: September 2005 Pages: 76-77,79-80,82
Russ Schanlaub
Date Published
September 2005
5 pages
This article discusses the issue of education in the field of law enforcement and the value and demand in attaining and receiving a college degree for career advancement.
Over the past decade, the law enforcement field has changed dramatically; what was a modern police agency 10 years ago would be considered mediocre today in terms of technology, equipment, and operational policies. However, the career field of law enforcement today is now considered more of a profession with the expectation that the profession will be more professional. Today, many police agencies require college degrees for advanced rank positions and offer pay incentives to those with degrees. The idea or concept of a more educated police force became refined as early as 1921, promoting that officers receive at least a bachelor’s degree. Police agencies not only prefer their officers be college educated, but most are willing to pay for it. This article discusses how police agencies across the country are attempting to assist officers achieve a college degree through incentive programs. It discusses incentives offered through distance education and various school opportunities on the community, state college/university, and private university levels. On the financial incentive side, financial aid, student loans, and scholarship availability are discussed.