Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement

March 30th, 2011 by admin

criminal-justice-and-law-enforcement ts_86543565While it might seem that law enforcement professionals are separate from the many recipients of criminal justice degrees, the truth is that a law enforcement and criminal justice go hand-in-hand. They are, in fact, complimentary. And, for that reason, it’s important for those looking for a career in law enforcement to strongly consider obtaining a degree in criminal justice from their local university before searching and applying for positions.

Law enforcement and criminal justice are essentially like the right and left hands of the same body. Law enforcement professionals are engaged in pursuing those who actively broke the law (thereby enforcing it). Criminal justice professionals, on the other hand, are responsible for dealing with those who have broken the law once they have been identified or apprehended. This means that the “left hand” and “right hand” must often interact in order to bring justice those breaking the law as well as the victims of those actions.

Criminal Justice Education in the Field of Law Enforcement

The fact is that most law enforcement careers require some college credits in the area of criminal justice before they’ll even consider an applicant. And while some agencies may hire law enforcement professionals and offer to pay for these classes at a local community college or university, the fact is that many simply won’t consider an applicant for a law enforcement job who does not have a solid criminal justice background.

On top of that, the field of criminal justice is broad within itself and obtaining an associates or bachelor’s degree in the field can greatly broaden both the potential career options a candidate has, as well as their earning potential over a lifetime of employment in the sector.

Additionally, because law enforcement professionals will frequently be interacting with colleagues in the criminal justice field, pursuing higher education in criminal justice will lead to greater understanding of the various forces at work, as well as a tendency for greater efficiency and knowledge of the process.

Without a firm understanding of the criminal justice profession, as well as the system of justice in the United States, law enforcement officers risk overstepping the boundaries of their occupation and exposing themselves to dangerous “abuse of power” conflicts or — even worse — lawsuits for negligent or allegedly abusive behavior that disrespects the criminal justice system.

Law enforcement professionals can expect careers with the local or state police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Secret Service, or even with the Game Warden. They’ll be charged with finding those breaking the law and apprehending them. Their criminal justice counterparts will take the more passive role, guiding them through the criminal justice system and ensuring their safety, security, and rights.

Law enforcement professionals are seeking justice for criminals. It’s as simple as that. Because their goals are well-aligned with those in the criminal justice sphere of careers, it’s important to take education seriously and pursue an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in criminal justice studies. Knowing the system well means that it can be used effectively and efficiently to benefit parties on all sides of a crime.

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