- Published: August 2, 2022
- Updated: August 2, 2022
- University / College: Pennsylvania State University
- Language: English
- Downloads: 28
| | | There are approximately 870, 000 sworn law enforcement officers now serving in the United States. | | | | About 11. 3 percent of them are female. | | | | Crime fighting has taken its toll. Since the first recorded police death in 1792, there have been more that 16, 500 law enforcement| | officers killed in the line of duty. | | | A total of 1, 658 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty during the last 10 years, an average of one death every 53 | | hours or 166 per year. | | | | There were 230 police deaths in 2001 nationwide, which represents a 49 percent increase from the 154 officers who died in 2000. | | | In 2002 there were 147 police deaths nationwide – a significant decrease from 2001. | | | | There were 145 law enforcement officers killed in 2003. | | | | The deadliest day in law enforcement history was September 11, 2001, when 70 law enforcement officers were killed in the terrorist| | attacks at the World Trade Center in New York City. | | | Averages: | | | | Every 53 hours an officer is killed… | | | | 166 deaths per year… | | | | 58, 066 assaults per year resulting in 16, 494 injuries per year. | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | A Career in Law Enforcement | | People depend on police officers and detectives to protect their lives and property.
Law enforcement officers, some of whom are | | State or Federal special agents or inspectors, perform these duties in a variety of ways, depending on the size and type of their | | organization. In most jurisdictions, they are expected to exercise authority when necessary, whether on or off duty. | | Uniformed police officers who work in municipal police departments of various sizes, small communities, and rural areas have | | general law enforcement duties including maintaining regular patrols and responding to calls for service. They may direct traffic | | at the scene of a fire, investigate a burglary, or give first aid to an accident victim. In large police departments, officers | | usually are assigned to a specific type of duty.
Many urban police agencies are becoming more involved in community policing—a | | practice in which an officer builds relationships with the citizens of local neighborhoods and mobilizes the public to help fight | | crime. | | Police agencies are usually organized into geographic districts, with uniformed officers assigned to patrol a specific area, such | | as part of the business district or outlying residential neighborhoods. Officers may work alone, but in large agencies they often | | patrol with a partner. While on patrol, officers attempt to become thoroughly familiar with their patrol area and remain alert for| | anything unusual. Suspicious circumstances and hazards to public safety are investigated or noted, and officers are dispatched to | | individual calls for assistance within their district.
During their shift, they may identify, pursue, and arrest suspected | | criminals, resolve problems within the community, and enforce traffic laws. | | Public college and university police forces, public school district police, and agencies serving transportation systems and | | facilities are examples of special police agencies. These agencies have special geographic jurisdictions or enforcement | | responsibilities in the United States. Most sworn personnel in special agencies are uniformed officers, a smaller number are | | investigators. | | Some police officers specialize in such diverse fields as chemical and microscopic analysis, training and firearms instruction, or| | handwriting and fingerprint identification.
Others work with special units such as horseback, bicycle, motorcycle or harbor | | patrol, canine corps, or special weapons and tactics (SWAT) or emergency response teams. A few local and special law enforcement | | officers primarily perform jail-related duties or work in courts. Regardless of job duties or location, police officers and | | detectives at all levels must write reports and maintain meticulous records that will be needed if they testify in court. | | Sheriffs and deputy sheriffs enforce the law on the county level. Sheriffs are usually elected to their posts and perform duties | | similar to those of a local or county police chief.
Sheriffs’ departments tend to be relatively small, most having fewer than 25 | | sworn officers. A deputy sheriff in a large agency will have law enforcement duties similar to those of officers in urban police | | departments. Police and sheriffs’ deputies who provide security in city and county courts are sometimes called bailiffs. (For | | information on other officers who work in jails and prisons, see correctional officers elsewhere in the Handbook. ) | | State police officers (sometimes called State troopers or highway patrol officers) arrest criminals Statewide and patrol highways | | to enforce motor vehicle laws and regulations.
Uniformed officers are best known for issuing traffic citations to motorists who | | violate the law. At the scene of accidents, they may direct traffic, give first aid, and call for emergency equipment. They also | | write reports used to determine the cause of the accident. State police officers are frequently called upon to render assistance | | to other law enforcement agencies, especially those in rural areas or small towns. | | State law enforcement agencies operate in every State except Hawaii. Most full-time sworn personnel are uniformed officers who | | regularly patrol and respond to calls for service. Others are investigators, perform court-related duties, or work in | | administrative or other assignments. | Detectives are plainclothes investigators who gather facts and collect evidence for criminal cases. Some are assigned to | | interagency task forces to combat specific types of crime. They conduct interviews, examine records, observe the activities of | | suspects, and participate in raids or arrests. Detectives and State and Federal agents and inspectors usually specialize in one of| | a wide variety of violations such as homicide or fraud. They are assigned cases on a rotating basis and work on them until an | | arrest and conviction occurs or the case is dropped. | | The Federal Government maintains a high profile in many areas of law enforcement.
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents are| | the Government’s principal investigators, responsible for investigating violations of more than 260 statutes and conducting | | sensitive national security investigations. Agents may conduct surveillance, monitor court-authorized wiretaps, examine business | | records, investigate white-collar crime, track the interstate movement of stolen property, collect evidence of espionage | | activities, or participate in sensitive undercover assignments. The FBI investigates organized crime, public corruption, financial| | crime, fraud against the government, bribery, copyright infringement, civil rights violations, bank robbery, extortion, | | kidnapping, air piracy, terrorism, espionage, interstate criminal activity, drug trafficking, and other violations of Federal | | statutes. | | U. S.
Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents enforce laws and regulations relating to illegal drugs. Not only is the DEA the | | lead agency for domestic enforcement of Federal drug laws, it also has sole responsibility for coordinating and pursuing U. S. drug| | investigations abroad. Agents may conduct complex criminal investigations, carry out surveillance of criminals, and infiltrate | | illicit drug organizations using undercover techniques. | | U. S. marshals and deputy marshals protect the Federal courts and ensure the effective operation of the judicial system. They | | provide protection for the Federal judiciary, transport Federal prisoners, protect Federal witnesses, and manage assets seized | | from criminal enterprises.
They enjoy the widest jurisdiction of any Federal law enforcement agency and are involved to some | | degree in nearly all Federal law enforcement efforts. In addition, U. S. marshals pursue and arrest Federal fugitives. | | U. S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) agents and inspectors facilitate the entry of legal visitors and immigrants to | | the U. S. and detain and deport those arriving illegally. They consist of border patrol agents, immigration inspectors, criminal | | investigators and immigration agents, and detention and deportation officers. U. S. Border Patrol agents protect more than 8, 000 | | miles of international land and water boundaries. Their missions are to detect and prevent the smuggling and unlawful entry of | | undocumented foreign nationals into the U. S. apprehend those persons found in violation of the immigration laws, and interdict | | contraband, such as narcotics. Immigration inspectors interview and examine people seeking entrance to the U. S. and its | | territories. They inspect passports to determine whether people are legally eligible to enter the United States. Immigration | | inspectors also prepare reports, maintain records, and process applications and petitions for immigration or temporary residence | | in the United States. | | Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives agents regulate and investigate violations of Federal firearms and explosives| | laws, as well as Federal alcohol and tobacco tax regulations.
Customs agents investigate violations of narcotics smuggling, money | | laundering, child pornography, customs fraud, and enforcement of the Arms Export Control Act. Domestic and foreign investigations | | involve the development and use of informants, physical and electronic surveillance, and examination of records from | | importers/exporters, banks, couriers, and manufacturers. They conduct interviews, serve on joint task forces with other agencies, | | and get and execute search warrants. | | Customs inspectors inspect cargo, baggage, and articles worn or carried by people and carriers including vessels, vehicles, trains| | and aircraft entering or leaving the U. S. to enforce laws governing imports and exports.
These inspectors examine, count, weigh, | | gauge, measure, and sample commercial and noncommercial cargoes entering and leaving the United States. Customs inspectors seize | | prohibited or smuggled articles, intercept contraband, and apprehend, search, detain, and arrest violators of U. S. laws. | | U. S. Secret Service special agents protect the President, Vice President, and their immediate families; Presidential candidates; | | former Presidents; and foreign dignitaries visiting the United States. Secret Service agents also investigate counterfeiting, | | forgery of Government checks or bonds, and fraudulent use of credit cards. | | The U. S.
Department of State Bureau of Diplomatic Security special agents are engaged in the battle against terrorism. Overseas, | | they advise ambassadors on all security matters and manage a complex range of security programs designed to protect personnel, | | facilities, and information. In the U. S. , they investigate passport and visa fraud, conduct personnel security investigations, | | issue security clearances, and protect the Secretary of State and a number of foreign dignitaries. They also train foreign | | civilian police and administer a counter-terrorism reward program. | | Other Federal agencies employ police and special agents with sworn arrest powers and the authority to carry firearms.
These | | agencies include the Postal Service, the Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Law Enforcement, the Forest Service, the National Park| | Service, and the Federal Air Marshals. | | Police work can be very dangerous and stressful. In addition to the obvious dangers of confrontations with criminals, officers | | need to be constantly alert and ready to deal appropriately with a number of other threatening situations. Many law enforcement | | officers witness death and suffering resulting from accidents and criminal behavior. A career in law enforcement may take a toll | | on officers’ private lives. | | Uniformed officers, detectives, agents, and inspectors are usually scheduled to work 40-hour weeks, but paid overtime is common. | Shift work is necessary because protection must be provided around the clock. Junior officers frequently work weekends, holidays, | | and nights. Police officers and detectives are required to work at any time their services are needed and may work long hours | | during investigations. In most jurisdictions, whether on or off duty, officers are expected to be armed and to exercise their | | arrest authority whenever necessary. | | The jobs of some Federal agents such as U. S. Secret Service and DEA special agents require extensive travel, often on very short | | notice. They may relocate a number of times over the course of their careers.
Some special agents in agencies such as the U. S. | | Border Patrol work outdoors in rugged terrain for long periods and in all kinds of weather. | | Police and detectives held about 840, 000 jobs in 2002. About 81 percent were employed by local governments. State police agencies | | employed about 11 percent and various Federal agencies employed about 6 percent. A small proportion worked for educational | | services, rail transportation, and contract investigation and security services. | | According to the U. S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, police and detectives employed by local governments primarily worked in cities| | with more than 25, 000 inhabitants.
Some cities have very large police forces, while thousands of small communities employ fewer | | than 25 officers each. | | Civil service regulations govern the appointment of police and detectives in practically all States, large municipalities, and | | special police agencies, as well as in many smaller ones. Candidates must be U. S. citizens, usually at least 20 years of age, and | | must meet rigorous physical and personal qualifications. In the Federal Government, candidates must be at least 21 years of age | | but less than 37 years of age at the time of appointment. Physical examinations for entrance into law enforcement often include | | tests of vision, hearing, strength, and agility.
Eligibility for appointment usually depends on performance in competitive written| | examinations and previous education and experience. In larger departments, where the majority of law enforcement jobs are found, | | applicants usually must have at least a high school education. Federal and State agencies typically require a college degree. | | Candidates should enjoy working with people and meeting the public. | | Because personal characteristics such as honesty, sound judgment, integrity, and a sense of responsibility are especially | | important in law enforcement, candidates are interviewed by senior officers, and their character traits and backgrounds are | | investigated.
In some agencies, candidates are interviewed by a psychiatrist or a psychologist, or given a personality test. Most | | applicants are subjected to lie detector examinations or drug testing. Some agencies subject sworn personnel to random drug | | testing as a condition of continuing employment. | | Before their first assignments, officers usually go through a period of training. In State and large local departments, recruits | | get training in their agency’s police academy, often for 12 to 14 weeks. In small agencies, recruits often attend a regional or | | State academy. Training includes classroom instruction in constitutional law and civil rights, State laws and local ordinances, | | and accident investigation.
Recruits also receive training and supervised experience in patrol, traffic control, use of firearms, | | self-defense, first aid, and emergency response. Police departments in some large cities hire high school graduates who are still | | in their teens as police cadets or trainees. They do clerical work and attend classes, usually for 1 to 2 years, at which point | | they reach the minimum age requirement and may be appointed to the regular force. | | Police officers usually become eligible for promotion after a probationary period ranging from 6 months to 3 years. In a large | | department, promotion may enable an officer to become a detective or specialize in one type of police work, such as working with | | juveniles.
Promotions to corporal, sergeant, lieutenant, and captain usually are made according to a candidate’s position on a | | promotion list, as determined by scores on a written examination and on-the-job performance. | | To be considered for appointment as an FBI agent, an applicant either must be a graduate of an accredited law school or a college | | graduate with a major in accounting, fluency in a foreign language, or 3 years of related full-time work experience. All new | | agents undergo 16 weeks of training at the FBI academy on the U. S. Marine Corps base in Quantico, Virginia. | | Applicants for special agent jobs with the U. S. Secret Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives must | | have a bachelor’s degree or a minimum of 3 years’ related work experience.
Prospective special agents undergo 10 weeks of initial | | criminal investigation training at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Georgia, and another 17 weeks of | | specialized training with their particular agencies. | | Applicants for special agent jobs with the U. S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) must have a college degree and either 1 year| | of experience conducting criminal investigations, 1 year of graduate school, or have achieved at least a 2. 95 grade point average | | while in college. DEA special agents undergo 14 weeks of specialized training at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia. | | U. S. Border Patrol agents must be U. S. itizens, younger than 37 years of age at the time of appointment, possess a valid driver’s| | license, and pass a three-part examination on reasoning and language skills. A bachelor’s degree or previous work experience that | | demonstrates the ability to handle stressful situations, make decisions, and take charge is required for a position as a Border | | Patrol agent. Applicants may qualify through a combination of education and work experience. | | Postal inspectors must have a bachelor’s degree and 1 year of related work experience. It is desirable that they have one of | | several professional certifications, such as that of certified public accountant.
They also must pass a background suitability | | investigation, meet certain health requirements, undergo a drug screening test, possess a valid State driver’s license, and be a | | U. S. citizen between 21 and 36 years of age when hired. | | Law enforcement agencies are encouraging applicants to take postsecondary school training in law enforcement-related subjects. | | Many entry-level applicants for police jobs have completed some formal postsecondary education and a significant number are | | college graduates. Many junior colleges, colleges, and universities offer programs in law enforcement or administration of | | justice. Other courses helpful in preparing for a career in law enforcement include accounting, finance, electrical engineering, | | computer science, and foreign languages.
Physical education and sports are helpful in developing the competitiveness, stamina, and| | agility needed for many law enforcement positions. Knowledge of a foreign language is an asset in many Federal agencies and urban | | departments. | | Continuing training helps police officers, detectives, and special agents improve their job performance. Through police department| | academies, regional centers for public safety employees established by the States, and Federal agency training centers, | | instructors provide annual training in self-defense tactics, firearms, use-of-force policies, sensitivity and communications | | skills, crowd-control techniques, relevant legal developments, and advances in law enforcement equipment.
Many agencies pay all or| | part of the tuition for officers to work toward degrees in criminal justice, police science, administration of justice, or public | | administration, and pay higher salaries to those who earn such a degree. | | The opportunity for public service through law enforcement work is attractive to many because the job is challenging and involves | | much personal responsibility. Furthermore, law enforcement officers in many agencies may retire with a pension after 20 or 25 | | years of service, allowing them to pursue a second career while still in their 40s. Because of relatively attractive salaries and | | benefits, the number of qualified candidates exceeds the number of job openings in Federal law enforcement agencies and in most | | State police departments—resulting in increased hiring standards and selectivity by employers.
Competition should remain keen for | | higher paying jobs with State and Federal agencies and police departments in more affluent areas. Opportunities will be better in | | local and special police departments, especially in departments that offer relatively low salaries, or in urban communities where | | the crime rate is relatively high. Applicants with college training in police science, military police experience, or both should | | have the best opportunities. | | Employment of police and detectives is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2012. A more | | security-conscious society and concern about drug-related crimes should contribute to the increasing demand for police services. | | The level of overnment spending determines the level of employment for police and detectives. The number of job opportunities, | | therefore, can vary from year to year and from place to place. Layoffs, on the other hand, are rare because retirements enable | | most staffing cuts to be handled through attrition. Trained law enforcement officers who lose their jobs because of budget cuts | | usually have little difficulty finding jobs with other agencies. The need to replace workers who retire, transfer to other | | occupations, or stop working for other reasons will be the source of many job openings. | | Police and sheriff’s patrol officers had median annual earnings of $42, 270 in 2002.
The middle 50 percent earned between $32, 300 | | and $53, 500. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $25, 270, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $65, 330. Median annual | | earnings were $47, 090 in State government, $42, 020 in local government, and $41, 600 in Federal Government. | | In 2002, median annual earnings of police and detective supervisors were $61, 010. The middle 50 percent earned between $47, 210 and| |$74, 610. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $36, 340, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $90, 070. Median annual | | earnings were $78, 230 in Federal Government, $64, 410 in State government, and $59, 830 in local government. | In 2002, median annual earnings of detectives and criminal investigators were $51, 410. The middle 50 percent earned between | |$39, 010 and $65, 980. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $31, 010, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $80, 380. Median | | annual earnings were $66, 500 in Federal Government, $47, 700 in local government, and $46, 600 in State government. | | Federal law provides special salary rates to Federal employees who serve in law enforcement. Additionally, Federal special agents | | and inspectors receive law enforcement availability pay (LEAP)—equal to 25 percent of the agent’s grade and step—awarded because | | of the large amount of overtime that these agents are expected to work.
For example, in 2003 FBI agents enter Federal service as | | GS-10 employees on the pay scale at a base salary of $39, 115, yet earned about $48, 890 a year with availability pay. They can | | advance to the GS-13 grade level in field nonsupervisory assignments at a base salary of $61, 251, which is worth $76, 560 with | | availability pay. FBI supervisory, management, and executive positions in grades GS-14 and GS-15 pay a base salary of about | |$72, 381 or $85, 140 a year, respectively, and equaled $90, 480 or $106, 430 per year including availability pay. Salaries were | | slightly higher in selected areas where the prevailing local pay level was higher. Because Federal agents may be eligible for a | | special law enforcement benefits package, applicants should ask their recruiter for more information. | According to the International City-County Management Association’s annual Police and Fire Personnel, Salaries, and Expenditures | | Survey, average salaries for sworn full-time positions in 2002 were as follows: | | | | Minimum | | annual base | | salary | | Maximum | | annual base | | salary | | | | | | Police chief | |$68, 337 | |$87, 037 | | | | | | Deputy chief | | 59, 790 | | 75, 266 | | | | | | Police captain | | 56, 499 | | 70, 177 | | | | | Police lieutenant | | 52, 446 | | 63, 059 | | | | | | Police sergeant | | 46, 805 | | 55, 661 | | | | | | Police corporal | | 39, 899 | | 49, 299 | | | | | | Total earnings for local, State, and special police and detectives frequently exceed the stated salary because of payments for | | overtime, which can be significant. In addition to the common benefits—paid vacation, sick leave, and medical and life | | insurance—most police and sheriffs’ departments provide officers with special allowances for uniforms. Because police officers | | usually are covered by liberal pension plans, many retire at half-pay after 20 or 25 years of service. | | Police and detectives maintain law and order, collect evidence and information, and conduct investigations and surveillance. | Significant Points of Security and Gaming Surveillance | | | | | | | | Opportunities for most jobs should be favorable, but competition is expected for higher paying positions at facilities requiring | | longer periods of training and a high level of security, such as nuclear power plants and weapons installations. | | Because of limited formal training requirements and flexible hours, this occupation attracts many individuals seeking a second or | | part-time job. | | Some positions, such as those of armored car guards, are hazardous. | | Guards, who are also called security officers, patrol and inspect property to protect against fire, theft, vandalism, terrorism, | | and illegal activity.
These workers protect their employer’s investment, enforce laws on the property, and deter criminal activity| | or other problems. They use radio and telephone communications to call for assistance from police, fire, or emergency medical | | services as the situation dictates. Security guards write comprehensive reports outlining their observations and activities during| | their assigned shift. They may also interview witnesses or victims, prepare case reports, and testify in court. | | Although all security guards perform many of the same duties, specific duties vary based on whether the guard works in a “ static” | | security position or on a mobile patrol.
Guards assigned to static security positions usually serve the client at one location for| | a specific length of time. These guards must become closely acquainted with the property and people associated with it and often | | monitor alarms and closed-circuit TV cameras. In contrast, guards assigned to mobile patrol duty drive or walk from location to | | location and conduct security checks within an assigned geographical zone. They may detain or arrest criminal violators, answer | | service calls concerning criminal activity or problems, and issue traffic violation warnings. | | Specific job responsibilities also vary with the size, type, and location of the employer.
In department stores, guards protect | | people, records, merchandise, money, and equipment. They often work with undercover store detectives to prevent theft by customers| | or store employees and help in the apprehension of shoplifting suspects prior to arrival by police. Some shopping centers and | | theaters have officers mounted on horses or bicycles who patrol their parking lots to deter car theft and robberies. In office | | buildings, banks, and hospitals, guards maintain order and protect the institutions’ property, staff, and customers. At air, sea, | | and rail terminals and other transportation facilities, guards protect people, freight, property, and equipment.
They may screen | | passengers and visitors for weapons and explosives using metal detectors and high-tech equipment, ensure nothing is stolen while | | being loaded or unloaded, and watch for fires and criminals. | | Guards who work in public buildings such as museums or art galleries protect paintings and exhibits by inspecting people and | | packages entering and leaving the building. In factories, laboratories, government buildings, data processing centers, and | | military bases, security officers protect information, products, computer codes, and defense secrets and check the credentials of | | people and vehicles entering and leaving the premises. Guards working at universities, parks, and sports stadiums perform crowd | | control, supervise parking and seating, and direct traffic.
Security guards stationed at the entrance to bars and places of adult | | entertainment, such as nightclubs, prevent access by minors, collect cover charges at the door, maintain order among customers, | | and protect property and patrons. | | Armored car guards protect money and valuables during transit. In addition, they protect individuals responsible for making | | commercial bank deposits from theft or bodily injury. When the armored car arrives at the door of a business, an armed guard | | enters, signs for the money, and returns to the truck with the valuables in hand. Carrying money between the truck and the | | business can be extremely hazardous for guards. Because of this risk, armored car guards usually wear bullet-proof vests. | All security officers must show good judgment and common sense, follow directions and directives from supervisors, accurately | | testify in court, and follow company policy and guidelines. Guards should have a professional appearance and attitude and be able | | to interact with the public. They also must be able to take charge and direct others in emergencies or other dangerous incidents. | | In a large organization, the security manager is often in charge of a trained guard force divided into shifts; whereas in a small | | organization, a single worker may be responsible for all security. | | Gaming surveillance officers and gaming investigators act as security agents for casino managers and patrons. They observe casino | | operations for irregular activities, such as cheating or theft, by either employees or patrons.
To do this, surveillance officers | | and investigators often monitor activities from a catwalk over one-way mirrors located above the casino floor. Many casinos use | | audio and video equipment, allowing surveillance officers and investigators to observe these same areas via monitors. Recordings | | are kept as a record and are sometimes used as evidence against alleged criminals in police investigations. | | Most security guards and gaming surveillance officers spend considerable time on their feet, either assigned to a specific post or| | patrolling buildings and grounds. Guards may be stationed at a guard desk inside a building to monitor electronic security and | | surveillance devices or to check the credentials of persons entering or leaving the premises.
They also may be stationed at a | | guardhouse outside the entrance to a gated facility or community and use a portable radio or cellular telephone that allows them | | to be in constant contact with a central station. The work usually is routine, but guards must be constantly alert for threats to | | themselves and the property they are protecting. Guards who work during the day may have a great deal of contact with other | | employees and members of the public. Gaming surveillance often takes place behind a bank of monitors controlling several cameras | | in a casino, which can cause eyestrain. | | Guards usually work at least 8-hour shifts for 40 hours per week and often are on call in case an emergency arises.
Some employers| | have three shifts, and guards rotate to equally divide daytime, weekend, and holiday work. Guards usually eat on the job instead | | of taking a regular break away from the site. More than 1 in 7 guards worked part time, and many individuals held a second job as | | a guard to supplement their primary earnings. | | Security guards and gaming surveillance officers held more than 1. 0 million jobs in 2002. More than half of jobs for security | | guards were in investigation and security services, including guard and armored car services. These organizations provide security| | services on a contract basis, assigning their guards to buildings and other sites as needed.
Most other security officers were | | employed directly by educational services, hospitals, food services and drinking places, traveler accommodation (hotels), | | department stores, manufacturing firms, lessors of real estate (residential and nonresidential buildings), and governments. Guard | | jobs are found throughout the country, most commonly in metropolitan areas. Gaming surveillance officers worked primarily in | | gambling industries; traveler accommodation, which includes casino hotels; and local government. Gaming surveillance officers were| | employed only in those States and Indian reservations where gambling has been legalized. | A significant number of law enforcement officers work as security guards when off-duty to supplement their incomes. Often working | | in uniform and with the official cars assigned to them, they add a high profile security presence to the establishment with which | | they have contracted. At construction sites and apartment complexes, for example, their presence often prevents trouble before it | | starts. | | Most States require that guards be licensed. To be licensed as a guard, individuals must usually be at least 18 years old, pass a | | background check, and complete classroom training in such subjects as property rights, emergency procedures, and detention of | | suspected criminals.
Drug testing often is required, and may be random and ongoing. | | Many employers of unarmed guards do not have any specific educational requirements. For armed guards, employers usually prefer | | individuals who are high school graduates or hold an equivalent certification. Many jobs require a driver’s license. For positions| | as armed guards, employers often seek people who have had responsible experience in other occupations. | | Guards who carry weapons must be licensed by the appropriate government authority, and some receive further certification as | | special police officers, which allows them to make limited types of arrests while on duty.
Armed guard positions have more | | stringent background checks and entry requirements than those of unarmed guards because of greater insurance liability risks. | | Compared to unarmed security guards, armed guards and special police typically enjoy higher earnings and benefits, greater job | | security, more advancement potential, and usually are given more training and responsibility. | | Rigorous hiring and screening programs consisting of background, criminal record, and fingerprint checks are becoming the norm in | | the occupation. Applicants are expected to have good character references, no serious police record, and good health.
They should | | be mentally alert, emotionally stable, and physically fit in order to cope with emergencies. Guards who have frequent contact with| | the public should communicate well. | | The amount of training guards receive varies. Training requirements are higher for armed guards because their employers are | | legally responsible for any use of force. Armed guards receive formal training in areas such as weapons retention and laws | | covering the use of force. | | Many employers give newly hired guards instruction before they start the job and also provide on-the-job training. An increasing | | number of States are making ongoing training a legal requirement for retention of certification.
Guards may receive training in | | protection, public relations, report writing, crisis deterrence, and first aid, as well as specialized training relevant to their | | particular assignment. | | Guards employed at establishments placing a heavy emphasis on security usually receive extensive formal training. For example, | | guards at nuclear power plants undergo several months of training before being placed on duty under close supervision. They are | | taught to use firearms, administer first aid, operate alarm systems and electronic security equipment, and spot and deal with | | security problems. Guards authorized to carry firearms may be periodically tested in their use. | | Although guards in small companies may receive periodic salary increases, advancement opportunities are limited.
Most large | | organizations use a military type of ranking that offers the possibility of advancement in position and salary. Some guards may | | advance to supervisor or security manager positions. Guards with management skills may open their own contract security guard | | agencies. | | In addition to the keen observation skills required to perform their jobs, gaming surveillance officers and gaming investigators | | must have excellent verbal and writing abilities to document violations or suspicious behavior. They also need to be physically | | fit and have quick reflexes because they sometimes must detain individuals until local law enforcement officials arrive. | Surveillance officers and investigators usually do not need a bachelor’s degree, but some training beyond high school is required;| | previous security experience is a plus. Several educational institutes offer certification programs. Training classes usually are | | conducted in a casino-like atmosphere using surveillance camera equipment. | | Opportunities for security guards and gaming surveillance officers should be favorable. Numerous job openings will stem from | | employment growth attributable to the desire for increased security, and from the need to replace those who leave this large | | occupation each year. In addition to full-time job opportunities, the limited training requirements and flexible hours attract | | many persons seeking part-time or second jobs.
However, competition is expected for higher paying positions that require longer | | periods of training; these positions usually are found at facilities that require a high level of security, such as nuclear power | | plants or weapons installations. | | Employment of security guards and gaming surveillance officers is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations | | through 2012 as concern about crime, vandalism, and terrorism continue to increase the need for security. Demand for guards also | | will grow as private security firms increasingly perform duties—such as monitoring crowds at airports and providing security in | | courts—which were formerly handled by government police officers and marshals.
Because enlisting the services of a security guard | | firm is easier and less costly than assuming direct responsibility for hiring, training, and managing a security guard force, job | | growth is expected to be concentrated among contract security guard agencies. Casinos will continue to hire more surveillance | | officers as more States legalize gambling and as the number of casinos increases in States where gambling is already legal. | | Additionally, casino security forces will employ more technically trained personnel as technology becomes increasingly important | | in thwarting casino cheating and theft. | | Median annual earnings of security guards were $19, 140 in 2002. The middle 50 percent earned between $15, 910 and $23, 920. The | | lowest 10 percent earned less than $13, 740, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $31, 540.
Median annual earnings in the | | industries employing the largest numbers of security guards in 2002 were as follows: | | Elementary and secondary schools | |$24, 470 | | | | General medical and surgical hospitals | | 24, 050 | | | | Local government | | 22, 120 | | | | Traveler accommodation | | 21, 390 | | | | Investigation and security services | | 17, 910 | | | | Gaming surveillance officers and gaming investigators had median annual earnings of $23, 110 in 2002. The middle 50 percent earned | | between $19, 620 and $28, 420. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $15, 930, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $35, 170. | | Guards protect property, maintain security, and enforce regulations and standards of conduct in the establishments at which they | | work. | Significant Points for a Private Detective or Investgator Career | | | | Work hours often are irregular, and the work can be dangerous. | | About a third were self-employed. | | Applicants typically have related experience in areas such as law enforcement, insurance, the military, or government | | investigative or intelligence jobs. | | Keen competition is expected because of the large number of qualified people who are attracted to this occupation; opportunities | | will be best for entry-level jobs with detective agencies or as store detectives on a part-time basis. | | Private detectives and investigators use many means to determine the facts in a variety of matters. To carry out investigations, | | they may use various types of surveillance or searches.
To verify facts, such as an individual’s place of employment or income, | | they may make phone calls or visit a subject’s workplace. In other cases, especially those involving missing persons and | | background checks, investigators often interview people to gather as much information as possible about an individual. In all | | cases, private detectives and investigators assist attorneys, businesses, and the public with a variety of legal, financial, and | | personal problems. | | Private detectives and investigators offer many services, including executive, corporate, and celebrity protection; pre-employment| | verification; and individual background profiles.
They also provide assistance in civil liability and personal injury cases, | | insurance claims and fraud, child custody and protection cases, and premarital screening. Increasingly, they are hired to | | investigate individuals to prove or disprove infidelity. | | Most detectives and investigators are trained to perform physical surveillance, often for long periods, in a car or van. They may | | observe a site, such as the home of a subject, from an inconspicuous location. The surveillance continues using still and video | | cameras, binoculars, and a cell phone, until the desired evidence is obtained. They also may perform computer database searches, | | or work with someone who does.
Computers allow detectives and investigators to quickly obtain massive amounts of information on | | individuals’ prior arrests, convictions, and civil legal judgments; telephone numbers; motor vehicle registrations; association | | and club memberships; and other matters. | | The duties of private detectives and investigators depend on the needs of their client. In cases for employers involving workers’ | | fraudulent compensation claims, for example, investigators may carry out long-term covert observation of subjects. If an | | investigator observes a subject performing an activity that contradicts injuries stated in a workers’ compensation claim, the | | investigator would take video or still photographs to document the activity and report it to the client. | | Private detectives and investigators often specialize.
Those who focus on intellectual property theft, for example, investigate | | and document acts of piracy, help clients stop the illegal activity, and provide intelligence for prosecution and civil action. | | Other investigators specialize in developing financial profiles and asset searches. Their reports reflect information gathered | | through interviews, investigation and surveillance, and research, including review of public documents. | | Legal investigators specialize in cases involving the courts and are normally employed by law firms or lawyers. They frequently | | assist in preparing criminal defenses, locating witnesses, serving legal documents, interviewing police and prospective witnesses,| | and gathering and reviewing evidence.
Legal investigators also may collect information on the parties to the litigation, take | | photographs, testify in court, and assemble evidence and reports for trials. | | Corporate investigators conduct internal and external investigations for corporations other than investigative firms. In internal | | investigations, they may investigate drug use in the workplace, ensure that expense accounts are not abused, or determine if | | employees are stealing merchandise or information. External investigations typically prevent criminal schemes originating outside | | the corporation, such as theft of company assets through fraudulent billing of products by suppliers. | Financial investigators may be hired to develop confidential financial profiles of individuals or companies who are prospective | | parties to large financial transactions. They often are Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) and work closely with investment | | bankers and accountants. They search for assets in order to recover damages awarded by a court in fraud or theft cases. | | Detectives who work for retail stores or hotels are responsible for loss control and asset protection. Store detectives, also | | known as loss prevention agents, safeguard the assets of retail stores by apprehending anyone attempting to steal merchandise or | | destroy store property. They prevent theft by shoplifters, vendor representatives, delivery personnel, and even store employees. | Store detectives also conduct periodic inspections of stock areas, dressing rooms, and restrooms, and sometimes assist in opening | | and closing the store. They may prepare loss prevention and security reports for management and testify in court against persons | | they apprehend. Hotel detectives protect guests of the establishment from theft of their belongings and preserve order in hotel | | restaurants and bars. They also may keep undesirable individuals, such as known thieves, off the premises. | | Private detectives and investigators often work irregular hours because of the need to conduct surveillance and contact people who| | are not available during normal working hours. Early morning, evening, weekend, and holiday work is common. | Many detectives and investigators spend time away from their offices conducting interviews or doing surveillance, but some work in| | their office most of the day conducting computer searches and making phone calls. Those who have their own agencies and employ | | other investigators may work primarily in an office and have normal business hours. | | When working on a case away from the office, the environment might range from plush boardrooms to seedy bars. Store and hotel | | detectives work in the businesses that they protect. Investigators generally work alone, but they sometimes work with others | | during surveillance or when following a subject in order to avoid detection by the subject. | | Some of the work involves confrontation, so the job can be stressful and dangerous.
Some situations call for the investigator to | | be armed, such as certain bodyguard assignments for corporate or celebrity clients. Detectives and investigators who carry | | handguns must be licensed by the appropriate authority. In most cases, however, a weapon is not necessary because the purpose of | | their work is gathering information and not law enforcement or criminal apprehension. Owners of investigative agencies have the | | added stress of having to deal with demanding and sometimes distraught clients. | | Private detectives and investigators held about 48, 000 jobs in 2002. About a third were self-employed, including many who held a | | secondary job as a self-employed private detective.
Almost a fifth jobs were found in investigation and security services, | | including private detective agencies, while another fifth were in department or other general merchandise stores. The rest worked | | mostly in State and local government, legal services firms, employment services, insurance carriers, and credit intermediation and| | related activities, including banks and other depository institutions. | | There are no formal education requirements for most private detective and investigator jobs, although many private detectives have| | college degrees. Private detectives and investigators typically have previous experience in other occupations. Some work initially| | for insurance or collections companies or in the private security industry.
Many investigators enter the field after serving in | | law enforcement, the military, government auditing and investigative positions, or Federal intelligence jobs. | | Former law enforcement officers, military investigators, and government agents often become private detectives or investigators as| | a second career because they are frequently able to retire after 20 years of service. Others enter from such diverse fields as | | finance, accounting, commercial credit, investigative reporting, insurance, and law. These individuals often can apply their prior| | work experience in a related investigative specialty. A few enter the occupation directly after graduation from college, generally| | with associate or bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice or police science. | The majority of States and the District of Colombia require private detectives and investigators to be licensed. Licensing | | requirements vary widely, but convicted felons cannot receive a license in most States and a growing number of States are enacting| | mandatory training programs for private detectives and investigators. Some States have few requirements, and 6 States—Alabama, | | Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Mississippi, and South Dakota—have no statewide licensing requirements while others have stringent | | regulations. For example, the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services of the California Department of Consumer Affairs | | requires rivate investigators to be 18 years of age or older; have a combination of education in police science, criminal law, or| | justice, and experience equaling 3 years (6, 000 hours) of investigative experience; pass an evaluation by the Federal Department | | of Justice and a criminal history background check; and receive a qualifying score on a 2-hour written examination covering laws | | and regulations. There are additional requirements for a firearms permit. | | For private detective and investigator jobs, most employers look for individuals with ingenuity, persistence, and assertiveness. A| | candidate must not be afraid of confrontation, should communicate well, and should be able to think on his or her feet. Good | | interviewing and interrogation skills also are important and usually are acquired in earlier careers in law enforcement or other | | fields. Because the courts often are the ultimate judge of a properly conducted investigation, the investigator must be able to | | present the facts in a manner a jury will believe. | Training in subjects such as criminal justice is helpful to aspiring private detectives and investigators. Most corporate | | investigators must have a bachelor’s degree, preferably in a business-related field. Some corporate investigators have master’s | | degrees in business administration or law, while others are certified public accountants. Corporate investigators hired by large | | companies may receive formal training from their employers on business practices, management structure, and various | | finance-related topics. The screening process for potential employees typically includes a background check of criminal history. | Some investigators receive certification from a professional organization to demonstrate competency in a field. For example, the | | National Association of Legal Investigators (NALI) confers the Certified Legal Investigator designation to licensed investigators | | who devote a majority of their practice to negligence or criminal defense investigations. To receive the designation, applicants | | must satisfy experience, educational, and continuing training requirements, and must pass written and oral exams administered by | | the NALI. | | Most private detective agencies are small, with little room for advancement. Usually there are no defined ranks r steps, so | | advancement takes the form of increases in salary and assignment status. Many detectives and investigators work for detective | | agencies at the beginning of their careers and, after a few years, start their own firms. Corporate and legal investigators may | | rise to supervisor or manager of the security or investigations department. | | Keen competition is expected because private detective and investigator careers attract many qualified people, including | | relatively young retirees from law enforcement and military careers. Opportunities will be best for entry-level jobs with | | detective agencies or as store detectives on a part-time basis.
Those seeking store detective jobs have the best prospects with | | large chains and discount stores. | | Employment of private detectives and investigators is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2012. | | In addition to growth, replacement of those who retire or leave the occupation for other reasons should create many job openings. | | Increased demand for private detectives and investigators will result from fear of crime, increased litigation, and the need to | | protect confidential information and property of all kinds. More private investigators also will be needed to assist attorneys | | working on criminal defense and civil litigation.
Growing financial activity worldwide will increase the demand for investigators | | to control internal and external financial losses, and to monitor competitors and prevent industrial spying. | | Median annual earnings of salaried private detectives and investigators were $29, 300 in 2002. The middle 50 percent earned between| |$21, 980 and $41, 710. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $17, 290, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $57, 370. In 2002,| | median annual earnings were $29, 030 in investigation and security services, and $22, 250 in department stores. | | Earnings of private detectives and investigators vary greatly depending on their employer, specialty, and the geographic area in | | which they work.
According to a study by Abbott, Langer & Associates, security/loss prevention directors and vice presidents had a| | median income of $77, 500 per year in 2002; investigators, $39, 800; and store detectives, $25, 000. In addition to typical benefits,| | most corporate investigators received profit-sharing plans. | | Private detectives and investigators often collect information and protect the property and other assets of companies and | | individuals. | | Significant Points of a Career in Corrections | | The work can be stressful and hazardous. | | Most correctional officers work in institutions located in rural areas with smaller inmate populations than those in urban jails. | | Job opportunities are expected to be excellent. | Correctional officers are responsible for overseeing individuals who have been arrested and are awaiting trial or who have been | | convicted of a crime and sentenced to serve time in a jail, reformatory, or penitentiary. They maintain security and inmate | | accountability to prevent disturbances, assaults, or escapes. Officers have no law enforcement responsibilities outside the | | institution where they work. | | Police and sheriffs’ departments in county and municipal jails or precinct station houses employ many correctional officers, also | | known as detention officers. Most of the approximately 3, 300 jails in the United States are operated by county governments, with | | about three-quarters of all jails under the jurisdiction of an elected sheriff.
Individuals in the jail population change | | constantly as some are released, some are convicted and transferred to prison, and new offenders are arrested and enter the | | system. Correctional officers in the U. S. jail system admit and process more than 11 million people a year, with about half a | | million offenders in jail at any given time. When individuals are first arrested, the jail staff may not know their true identity | | or criminal record, and violent detainees may be placed in the general population. This is the most dangerous phase of the | | incarceration process for correctional officers. | | Most correctional officers are employed in large jails or State and Federal prisons, watching over the approximately one million | | offenders who are incarcerated at any given time.
In addition to jails and prisons, a relatively small number of correctional | | officers oversee individuals being held by the U. S. Immigration and Naturalization Service before they are released or deported, | | or they work for correctional institutions that are run by private for-profit organizations. While both jails and prisons can be | | dangerous places to work, prison populations are more stable than jail populations, and correctional officers in prisons know the | | security and custodial requirements of the prisoners with whom they are dealing. | | Regardless of the setting, correctional officers maintain order within the institution, and enforce rules and regulations.
To help| | ensure that inmates are orderly and obey rules, correctional officers monitor the activities and supervise the work assignments of| | inmates. Sometimes, it is necessary for officers to search inmates and their living quarters for contraband like weapons or drugs,| | settle disputes between inmates, and enforce discipline. Correctional officers periodically inspect the facilitie
The paper "Important law enforcement facts assignment" was contributed to our database by a real student. You can use this work as a reference for your own writing or as a starting point for your research. You must properly cite any portion of this sample before using it.
If this work is your intellectual property and you no longer would like it to appear in our database, please request its deletion.Ask for Removal
Create a Citation on Essay
PaperPrompt. (2022) 'Important law enforcement facts assignment'. 2 August.
PaperPrompt. (2022, August 2). Important law enforcement facts assignment. Retrieved from https://paperprompt.com/important-law-enforcement-facts-assignment/
PaperPrompt. 2022. "Important law enforcement facts assignment." August 2, 2022. https://paperprompt.com/important-law-enforcement-facts-assignment/.
1. PaperPrompt. "Important law enforcement facts assignment." August 2, 2022. https://paperprompt.com/important-law-enforcement-facts-assignment/.
PaperPrompt. "Important law enforcement facts assignment." August 2, 2022. https://paperprompt.com/important-law-enforcement-facts-assignment/.
"Important law enforcement facts assignment." PaperPrompt, 2 Aug. 2022, paperprompt.com/important-law-enforcement-facts-assignment/.
Get in Touch with Us
Do you have more ideas on how to improve Important law enforcement facts assignment? Please share them with us by writing at the [email protected]