Continuing Education for Law Enforcement Officers

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Continuing Education for Law Enforcement Officers
Ruben Castellon
L24561605
Liberty University
2012 CJUS300-D04 LUO

Continuing Education for Law Enforcement Officers
Since the inception of my military career to my present law enforcement profession, it has always been evident that training (quality) and/or continuing higher education has been paramount to producing a professional Law Enforcement Officer (LEO) – “the future leaders” of our Criminal Justice (CJ) system. Key to the success of any LEO’s quality training or higher education is the head administrator, in law enforcement it would be the Chief Executive Officer (CEO); also known as Police Chief or Sheriff. Unfortunately once this leader becomes the CEO he or she soon forgets the staff – “middle managers: Captains and lieutenants, first-line supervisors: the patrol sergeant” (Peak, 2010, pp. 100-101), and of course let’s not forget about the files: the “worker bees” (as I like to call them). Many contributing factors can be provided for the lack (my opinion) of initiative on behalf of the CEO, but for this purpose only two will be mentioned: greed and lack of knowledge. I will also concentrate only with my state – North Carolina. In addition, my references will be various and from different states. Currently the State of North Carolina has two training & standards: the North Carolina Sheriff’s Education and training Standards Commission and the Criminal Justice Education & training Standards Commission” (Cooper, 2012). These two commissions could be strongest when unified, thus implementing better training and continuing education to include better ideals for risk management for the LEO. This would further enable the CEO with more political power when lobbing for budgetary issues with regards to the training/education of the LEOs, etc.

By unifying both commissions and becoming one with an equal amount of members – 50 percent Sheriffs and the other half of Police Chiefs, all having equal voting power for any/all topics could save thousands of dollars to the state. The unification would bring more efficiency to our Deputies and Police Officers with regards to training and continuing education. Unfortunately, the unification is only a dream of mine, the “powers-to-be” and the division between the Sheriffs and Police Chiefs will not make this to past. The following are some examples of how divided we stand when it comes to the minimum standards for both the Deputy and Police Officer hiring process – respectively:

A. The current standards under the North Carolina Sheriff’s Education Standards are as follows (not all included):

1. Level of education required. “Be a high school graduate or the equivalent…” (Cooper, 2012). However, the Sheriff has the option to request a waiver with applicants not meeting the minimum education requirements – GED, if the “individual shows potential and willingness to achieve the standards…” (Chapter17E-7, (c), p. 7).

2. Age requirements: “Be at least 21 years of age…” (Cooper, 2012).

3. Other requirements: “Not have committed or been convicted of a crime or crimes as specified in…” (Cooper, 2012).

B. The current standards for the Criminal Justice Education & training Standards are as follows:

1. Level of education required: “Be a high school graduate or have passed…” (12 NCAC 09B .0111, (2)).

2. Age requirements: “Be at least 20 years of age” (Subchapter 9B, 12 NCAC 09B .0101, (2), p. 1).

3. Other requirements: “Have been administered a psychological screening examination by a clinical psychologist…” (Subchapter 9B, 12 NCAC 09B .0101, (6), p. 1).

The latter examples would go away if both commissions unified and become one, thus establishing one standard. Who can make this possible? The CEO can make this possible, although the possibility is unlikely because of the greed and most likely the lack of knowledge on both sides. The greed is involved on both...
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