Are there professional criminal justice organizations or law enforcement associations I can join?

There are quite a few professional organizations available for members of the law enforcement and criminal justice fields. Below are some of the largest and most recognized criminal justice organizations.

The Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), which has over 325,000 members, is the largest law enforcement organization in the world. The main objective of the organization is to work for fair and safe working conditions for sworn officers. This goal is achieved through education, legislation, community involvement and representation. The FOP works through local lodges so that the needs of each locality will be better met. Individual annual dues will vary by lodge.

The Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS) is an association which promotes criminal justice education and research. The members are criminal justice professionals, students and scholars. Annual membership dues are $75.

The National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO) supports the interests of many unions and associations in the country and combines the members of these varied groups in such a way that their voices are stronger and more effective. NAPO can be joined by visiting their website, filling out an application and submitting it along with the first year’s dues of $25 for individuals.

The National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA) strives to improve the professionalism of those who serve in the criminal justice field. They provide training programs for law enforcement officers such as Sheriffs, deputies and chiefs of police to help them serve citizens better. Court security, jail operations, domestic violence and homeland security training opportunities are found through the National Sheriff’s Association. Individual membership dues vary from $45 to $500 per year.

The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) operates in over 100 countries and has a membership of over 20,000. They serve the needs of law enforcement through their research and programs. The IACP works to advance cooperation and information exchange among law enforcement organizations worldwide. They are also active in raising ethics, integrity and professional conduct among police professionals. Their annual dues for individuals are $120.

The National Criminal Justice Association (NCJA) is composed of members from many criminal justice fields. These include juvenile and criminal law enforcement and corrections officers, prosecutors, defense, the courts and victim-witness services. They work to shape criminal justice policy nationwide. The NCJA promotes interrelationships among agencies to better provide services for the community and represent the needs of state, local and tribal systems to the federal government. Individual membership is available for $95 per year.

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