The Highlands Police Department Four Frame Analysis

Topics: Police, Higher education, Academic degree Pages: 21 (7119 words) Published: May 4, 2014


Higher Education in North Carolina Law Enforcement, “Overdue or Overkill” By,
Foundations of Justice Administration
MJA 6000

Table of Contents
Title Page
Abstract……………………………………………………………………………………..3 History of Education in Law Enforcement .……………………………………………......4 Literature Review…………………………………………………………………………...6 Methodology………………………………………………………………………………..10 Case Analysis…………………………………………………………………………….....11 Conclusion…………………………………………………………………………………..23 References…………………………………………………………………………………..26 Appendices ………………………………………………………………………………....29

Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to determine, as to whether or not, the State of North Carolina should raise the minimum educational requirements necessary for an individual to apply for a job as a law enforcement officer within the State of North Carolina. Research will primarily be focused on the discussion of raising the current law enforcement hiring standard, from either a high school or general education diploma, to a two-year degree. A primary source of my research information came from online surveys which I disseminated to the Chiefs of Police and Sheriffs within the State of North Carolina. The data from those surveys, along with a review of the literature, and interviews with key members of the North Carolina Training and Standards Commission was utilized. The findings revealed that the State of North Carolina will greatly benefit by raising the minimum educational requirements for law enforcement officers to at least a two-year degree.

Mandating Higher Education in Law Enforcement in the 21st Century The schooling of police officers has been the subject of debate in the United States since the early 1900s, when only one of every 10 officers graduated from high school (Burns, 2010, p. 6). Beginning in the 1930s, several high-profile national commissions began recommending that departments consider higher education as a requirement for employment, as a way to “professionalize” the police force and improve its public image (Burns, 2010, p. 6). However, the relevance of higher education amongst law enforcement peers can actually be traced back to as early as 1829, when Robert Peel of England, made reference to the need for a more professionally trained police force (Perin, 2009). Presently, in order to be a police officer within the State of North Carolina, applicants need only a high school diploma, or general education diploma, and while only a small percentage of agencies in the United States require a “formal” college requirement for employment, a vast majority of these agencies have an “informal” criterion of college education for the selection and promotion of officers (Carter & Sapp, 1990). “In 1967 the President’s Commission on Law Enforcement Administration of Justice recommended in the report, ‘The Challenge of Crime in a Free Society’, that all officers have a four-year degree” (Eldridge, 2011, p.4). Police departments, however, have been slow to change. A study performed by the Bureau of Justice Statistics in the year 2003, showed that while 83% of all U.S. police agencies required a high school diploma, only 8% of those agencies required some college, and a scant 1% required an actual four-year college degree (Burns, 2010, p.8). It can be argued that having a college education does not necessarily guarantee that police officers will meet the larger educational challenge the police profession faces. After all, most officers have been effectively protecting and serving citizens for generations without the use of a college education. Having a degree doesn’t assure that each police officer will exercise discretion, nor does it ascertain that new officers will be field or department ready. That is to say, only so much information can be gleaned from school and educational materials. This is the basis of the educational debate, the...


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