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Jobs and Career Opportunities in Law Enforcement & Security

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City Jobs

The main position at the city level is the Police Officer.  City police officers are responsible for enforcing the law within the city limits. New officers usually spend time on the street patrolling a certain area of the city. This may be in a car, on a motorcycle or bicycle or on foot. A city police officer probably experiences more diverse situations than any other law enforcement officer. This is because they can encounter nearly every type of criminal activity. They may respond to a burglary in progress, a domestic dispute, a shooting, a kidnapping, a suicide, etc. Even though we think of some crimes as being strictly a federal crime such as bank robbery, the first officers responding to the bank's alarm will not be the FBI. It will probably be the city police officer who is closest to the bank. Police officers are also responsible for providing public assistance, answering calls related to traffic incidents and other emergencies, collecting, preserving and maintaining evidence, serving arrest warrants, and performing other related activities as needed or required.  After several years on the job, officers are eligible for a promotion to the rank of sergeant, lieutenant, detective, etc. They can also apply for a specialized unit.

Listed below are some of the more common divisions that most departments have.
Homicide, Robbery, Burglary, Fraud, Computer Forensics, Juvenile, Sex Crimes, Polygraph Section, Motorcycles, Canine, Bicycle, Foot Patrol, Crime Prevention, Bomb Squad, Town Marshal.

Some cities have a Town Marshal's Office. This may be in lieu of a police department or in addition to the city police. Some small towns which only have one or two law enforcement officers will refer to them as marshals rather than city police officers. However, there are towns which will have a Marshal's Office that employs 30 or more sworn Deputy Marshals.

In some cities, the Marshal will function as the Chief of Police. He reports to the Mayor and Town council. The Marshal and his deputies are responsible for the enforcement of those provisions of the Town Code including zoning ordinances, the preservation of law and order, and the protection of life and property. In some cities, the Marshal's Office provides court services to the Municipal Court. This includes providing security at the courthouse, serving subpoenas issued by the court and collecting any fines owed to the court.

Opportunities for Teens with the Los Angeles, CA Police Department Law Enforcement Explorer Program

The Los Angeles Police Explorer Program was established in 1962, it has been a very successful youth program for the past 41 years.  The purpose of the Explorer program is to provide special training to the young people that are preparing themselves for a career in law enforcement.

These are the following goals for the Explorer Program:

  • To recruit qualified young men and women and prepare them for future careers in law enforcement.
  • To assist them in becoming better citizens in their community, while developing a positive relationship between the police and the youth.
  • Preparing the young people physically for a challenging career.
  • To provide a forum, in which young people can provide non-hazardous community service, thereby relieving police officers for other assignments.

Program Requirements

The Explorer program has a stringent selection process and only takes the most qualified applicants. Once selected, an Explorer Recruit is expected to maintain a high level of standards.

Explorer Recruits must meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 14 years of age and in the 9th grade; or 15 years (regardless of grade) through 21 years of age
  • Pass a preliminary investigation
  • Have at least a "C" average and maintain it through the 12th grade
  • Have no record of serious arrests or convictions
  • Maintain good moral character
  • Be free of any physical deficiencies that would jeopardize the Explorer or others in the program
  • Obtain a medical examination (to qualify for insurance)
  • Attend and graduate from the Explorer Academy
  • Pass an oral examination
  • Write an autobiography
  • Register with Learning for Life, which does not discriminate, based on color, race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnic background, economic status, or citizenship. The City of Los Angeles and the LAPD do not endorse any policy, which discriminates based on sexual orientation.
  • Demonstrate a willingness to serve and participate in Explorer activities

Explorer Academy
The Los Angeles Police Department's Youth Programs Unit coordinates a 128-hour Explorer Recruit Academy. This training is composed of academics, physical-fitness training and military drill that are instructed by Police Officers and Explorers with the Los Angeles Police Department. This training is supplemented by additional physical fitness, academics and drill that are taught by the Explorer post advisors and Explorer supervisors.

Satisfactory passing scores on two academic tests and two physical-fitness qualifications must be achieved before the Explorer recruits are able to graduate from the Academy. The Explorer recruits must graduate from the Academy prior to wearing the Law Enforcement Explorer uniform and receiving identification cards verifying their association with the Los Angeles Police Explorer Program.

For more information on the LAPD Explorer Program click here.

Opportunities for Teens with the New York, NY Police Department’s Police Cadet Program

The mission of the Police Cadet Corps is to recruit the best candidates possible with the ultimate goal of increasing the number of college graduates within the uniformed ranks of the NYPD. The Police Cadet Corps is a public-service apprenticeship for college students that not only provides 1,800 tours of training and work experience over two years, but incentive for these students to permanently join the NYPD’s ranks as uniform members.  This is accomplished by integrating Cadets into the daily operations of the Department.

The Cadet Corps provides qualified college men and women with a chance to experience the challenges and personal rewards of a career in the NYPD.  It also offers you significant financial benefits.  It can provide up to $64,000 in total compensation through full-time summer and part time school year employment for Cadets who complete the Police Cadet Program.  Minimum age to apply: 18

For more information on the NYPD Police Cadet Corps click here.

 

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