A Uniformed History of Law Enforcement

Police in England during the 19th Century first realized the necessity and added benefits of using uniforms while on duty. Uniforms obviously increased visibility and they added credibility to the perception of Law Enforcement by the general public. Uniforms were also used to further emphasize the divide between the military and local police officers. Initially, police uniforms identified the police as separate from the military but appeared to serve a number of other purposes after implementation. The high profile visibility of the Uniformed Police Officer also deterred criminal activity in and of itself, because lawbreakers would curtail their criminal conduct in the presence of an officer and a citizen in trouble could, without any doubt, spot an officer in a multitude of people, and increased the perception of professionalism and trust between the police and civilian population.

Since their inception in the late 1800’s, police uniforms have evolved to meet the changing tasks placed on a more advanced and modernized law enforcement officer, and also reflected changing styles of their times. Early uniforms included a “high-collared, tailed, dark navy wool coat with shiny buttons, and a cane top hat.” The tails were removed, creating the tunic style uniform coat, and a helmet that was peaked top with a chinstrap, called a custodian helmet. The U.S. uniform was redesigned to include blue pants, blue buttoned shirt and a flat, cap-style hat with a visor on the front, by the 1950s.

As police uniforms have changed to increase mobility, visibility and safety of officers over the years, modern uniforms accommodate many different aspects never conceived of at first design. Law Enforcement uniforms in the U.S. have become highly specialized; U.S. police forces now offer a variety of uniforms depending on division, specific occupational function, and even for different weather. Motorcycle Police have very durable uniforms with high quality all-leather coats and protective helmets, Bicycle officers wear short pants and golf-style shirts, while special weapons and tactics teams (SWAT) wear reflective jackets, body armor, stab vests, and full-face visors, State Police, Sherriff’s and Local Police all have different styles and colors of uniform.

Law enforcement uniforms now include a variety of options that help officers execute their daily duties. Tactical gear, shoes and holster belts for tasers and guns are items that can be found on some patrol officers. Investigators and detectives in different departments may wear completely different attire, including a suit and tie, since the majority of their work is done in an office environment or in the judicial system and uniforms may be unnecessary. These officers still carry holsters that hold weapons for protection and have added special features to accommodate their specific needs.

There are a variety of police uniforms and the styles vary depending on the location of the agency. Each branch of law enforcement uses different uniforms and although they vary in styles, they are still used most effectively to attain the same purpose they did hundreds of years ago, to increase visibility and help officers perform their jobs. It is vital that a law enforcement officer wear his or her assigned uniform correctly in order to be recognizable in case law enforcement services are needed. The main purpose of the police uniform is to increase respect from the civilians while emphasizing the presence of integrity when confronted by would be criminals.

Law Enforcement Training – Train to Serve Your City the Right Way

Do you ever wonder what a Law Enforcement Training is all about? If you do, then you do not need look any further. Here’s a detailed insight into the realm of law enforcement training and what it entails

What you gain?

Law Enforcement Training will get you well acquainted with the regulations, laws, acts and other various codes of ethics practiced at the local, state and the federal level. In addition, it will also inform you about the structure of the law enforcement organization as well as their basic standard procedures. Some of the common skills developed during this form of training include investigating criminal procedures, interrogating suspects and analyzing crime scenes. In most programs, you are bound to study at least a few of these courses:

Introduction to Criminal Justice
Criminal Procedures and Evidence
Introduction to Law Enforcement
Ethics in Law Enforcement
Criminal Investigation
Correctional Treatment Strategies

If you wish to have a progressive career in this field, i.e. if you plan on becoming a police officer, a private investigator or even a correctional officer, then you must opt for an associate’s degree. This usually takes around two years to complete or sometimes even less. An associate’s degree in law enforcement training provides you with an overview of how the entire criminal justice system operates. This usually focuses on teaching three main areas – the cops, courts and corrections. Having significant insight within these three areas equips and prepares you for an entry level job.

Further studies

You should not stop at an associate’s degree. You can progress your career in the same field by getting a bachelor’s degree as well.

A bachelor’s degree offers you an interdisciplinary study of crime and justice in the society. This allows students to prepare for platforms of leadership and responsibility within the criminal justice community and other related professions. Some of the core courses taught during this level include psychology, juvenile justice and families in crisis codes, traffic codes and first responder reactions.

Getting a bachelor’s degree qualifies you for positions like FBI or DEA agent, a narcotics officer, immigrations officer and even a harbor patrol officer.

In general, it covers two main aspects – theoretical and physical. While the theoretical aspect confines you to classroom training, the physical aspect helps in increasing your physical aptitude and teaches you how to operate different arms and ammunitions and how to deal in a situation of crisis.

Thus, Law Enforcement Training is simply a means to equip you for a career that is aimed towards serving the country and the local public in every way possible.

Law Enforcement Careers

There are an abundance of law enforcement careers that people can pick from. These possible careers include jobs such as: investigators, police officers, special agents, and prison guards. People can also select from different law enforcement agencies, which include the Secret Service, FBI, and CIA. The largest number of employed law enforcement officials are done by Homeland Security, the Justice, Defense, and Treasury Departments.

After the September 11th attacks, the Department of Homeland Security was formed. It is now the third largest department and employs over one-hundred and fifty-thousand federal workers. Also, it consolidated twenty-two different agencies. These include: the CIA, FBI, IRS, Airport Security Screeners, Customs and Border Patrol, Investigations, State Law Enforcement jobs, as well as Private Sector Enforcement jobs.

Other law careers include working in the Justice Department at the Immigration and Naturalization service, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, or at the Office for Domestic Preparedness. In the Treasury Department, officials can work at the U.S. Customs Service. Individuals can also work as Transportation Security for the Transportation Department. Then, other rewarding enforcement careers can be found in the following agencies: FEMA, Nuclear Incident Response Team, Domestic Emergency Support Team, Strategic National Stockpile & National Disaster Medical System, Federal Computer Incident Response Center, National Communications System, and the Plum Island Animal Disease Center

Wages for all of these career choices vary. In the Federal Government, the median annual wages are $73,170. State government median annual ranges around $53,910, while local governments are near the $55,930 mark. It all depends on the job, though. For instance, detectives and criminal investigators have a median annual income of $60,910. The highest paid earn more than $97,870, while the lowest paid only receive $36,500. On the other hand, the median annual wage for transit and railroad police only hovers around $46,670. The lowest ten percent receive $31,300 the highest ten percent earn $72,700 or more.

Certain agencies provide extra benefits for their employees. For instance, special salary rates are applied to Federal employees that work in law enforcement. Federal special agents are eligible to receive law enforcement availability pay, which is equal to twenty-five percent of the agent’s job grade. This is due to the amount of overtime hours that they are expected work. Most law agencies also include benefits such as paid vacation, medical insurance, life insurance, sick leave, special allowances, and early retirement packages.

Law Enforcement As a Choice in Your Education

If you are interested in studying law enforcement, you want to make sure you look for the courses that are right for you. A number of choices are available for a future in the field. A Criminal Justice major covers a lot of areas. A solid law enforcement education will help ensure a successful career in the police force. If you are looking for an exciting career in this area, there are many different areas to research.

Because of your training from a law enforcement education you will have more options available to you.. With the proper training, you can pursue a career as a probation officer, police officer, crime scene investigation, crime technician, parole officer, forensic scientist, forensic psychologist, prison guard or a corrections officer. This is just an example of the options available.

All of these careers are exciting, provided you have the right education from the right institution. If you want to be successful in your field, you have to choose the option that is best suited for you. There are opportunities in fields like forensics, private investigator, correction facilities, criminal psychologist, lawyer, counter-terrorism, homeland security, internet crimes, public safety and so much more. Once you decide where you want to focus your efforts, you can narrow down your law enforcement studies.

You could actually get a certificate or a associates degree before going to a major university. Most community colleges, vocational schools, or trade schools offer a number of courses that apply to all of these areas..

Once you have a certification or an undergraduate degree from one of these schools or colleges, if interested you can go on for a masters degree from a university.

If you major in criminal justice many choices and opportunities are available. Crime continues to escalate so employment opportunities in law enforcement grow as well. With proper training, one can join government agencies or choose to work in the private sector. If you have the credentials from a well-known university qualifying for these positions is much easier.

Areas to consider pursuing include government agencies, the local police force, jails, private businesses, prisons, forensic laboratories, and even schools. There are many opportunities, making this one of the most popular fields of study in the last few years.

Those who are concerned with justice and public safety are well suited for legal studies. As are those who want to contribute to the betterment of society. You can make a difference in the lives of those around you by pursuing a career in law enforcement.

Law Enforcement Careers – It’s a Long Journey From the Application to the Patrol Car

I was 19 and fresh out of high school when I decided I wanted a career as a police officer. My quest started with a letter to a nearby barracks of the NJ State Police. I’ll never forget the expression of disappointment shown on the face of the state trooper who came to my front door. You see, the minimum age was 21.

It wasn’t until I was 30 that I took another shot at it. I was working as a property manager for a real estate office and was laid off due to the market being in the toilet. I had been serving as a Special Officer (Rent-a-Cop) for my small-town police department so I knew the chief of police pretty well. On the way home from the Realtor’s office that day (to break the news to my wife) I decided to stop by and talk to the chief.

The first thing he did was call the director of public safety. “Guess who wants to be a police officer? Don Penven wants to join the department.”

Two weeks later I was issued a badge, gun and a uniform (of sorts). I was assigned to ride with another experienced officer until the next County Law Enforcement Training Academy was scheduled to begin.

But that was a very long time ago, and the times have changed. Today’s world has made the task of becoming a law enforcement officer far more demanding and oh so much more complicated.

The Application:

Step number 1 is to fill out and submit an application. This one step can make or break your efforts. Generally the application for many agencies has to be filled out online. According to one source I’m familiar with, about 30% of these applications are rejected and this is done electronically. Computers do the preliminary screening-checking for misspelled words and poor grammar. Ironic isn’t it that most rejections occur before a human ever sees the application.

So if you are fortunate enough to get through step one, step two is the written exam.

The Written Exam

For most applicants, this step is a killer. What does one study to become a cop? Well, here are a few examples:

• Decision-making and exercising good judgment

• Ability to express one’s self clearly, possess good writing skills

• Ability to judge distance and direction

• Verbal abilities

• Memory optimization

• Sharp powers of observation

• And much, much more

The written police exam does a great deal more in accomplishing the “weeding out” of undesirable applicants.

Oral Exam

The final step in this trilogy is the oral exam. Here you are faced with some tough, well-experienced and seasoned law enforcement officers. Maintaining control of your nervousness will be the greatest challenge.

I’m not just blowing my own horn when I say that law enforcement officers are indeed a special breed. I have over 30 years of direct and indirect involvement in law enforcement and this involvement continues to this day. I won’t sugar-coat the job, it is often filled with frustration, disappointment and heartbreak. But it also includes some really great experiences that compel you to drag your weary butt out of bed at 3:00 a.m. when a problem is afoot and more manpower is needed. All things being equal, I firmly believe I made a very good career choice so long ago.

What Factors Law Enforcement Consider in Deciding Whether to Make a DUI Arrest

Many people are not aware of all the factors law enforcement consider when making a DUI arrest. Even the simplest task can be used against you and viewed as a possible indicator of impairment when being investigated for a DUI. It’s important to understand what will be used against you, and why. These factors can be infinite, but in my opinion there are 6 main factors or observations law enforcement will consider in determining whether to place an individual under arrest for DUI.

Driving: This is the most common factor considered in making a DUI arrest. In making that decision law enforcement will consider many things when it comes to the driving. They will look at what type of infraction is being committed. They would consider whether an accident occurred. They will consider whether the driving is erratic in any manner. Obviously some of these observations are common and more prevalent in DUI cases, but law enforcement will consider every aspect of the driving.

Speech: One of the tell tale signs of alcohol impairment at least in the eyes of law enforcement is slow or slurred speech. This will be observed during the initial contact, and throughout the entire investigation. Other observations made with the speech can be the substance of what is being said. Whether the responses are appropriate and intelligible. Whether the speech is fast and repetitive. All of this can be considered.

Physical appearance: Facial color, the eyes, clothing, all of these can be considered. If the individual’s face is flushed, the eyes are watery and bloodshot, and the clothing is disheveled with vomit then you bet law enforcement will note these observations and factor them into the arrest.

Performance on SFST’s: The other main factor considered in addition to the driving is the performance on the standardized field sobriety tests. According to NHTSA the agency who created the tests if a certain number of clues are observed, then an arrest should be made.

Statements: Often times law enforcement will question an individual who they suspect is under the influence. These questions will usually involve the use or consumption of alcohol and or other drugs. But other statements are considered as well. If unusual statements are made, or statements that don’t make any sense these will be noted and possibly can be used later on.

Portable breath test: The last factor or observation that is generally considered in making a DUI arrest would be the portable breath test. This test is generally not admissible in court, however it can be used to aid law enforcement in their investigation.

A DUI arrest can be fairly complicated and extensive depending on what evidence is gathered. As I stated above the number of observations and factors considered by law enforcement in making their decision can be infinite. However these are the main and most common factors that are considered.

Why Law Enforcement Need Nightsticks

Most law enforcement policies allow “reasonable and necessary [force] to protect others or themselves from bodily harm.” The debate over the use of force by police is a decades old question. How much is too much? Should police be allowed to use TASERs, pepper spray, batons, et cetera. Almost any weapon can be abused and many have been throughout history. However, it is important that we not repeat the situation of the early 1930s when law enforcement agents were at a severe disadvantage against violent criminals who were armed better than they were. Proper training in defense techniques and emphasis of “necessary force” only should reduce the infrequent cases of “police brutality” and keep our law enforcement personnel safer.

Police nightsticks have other uses besides as a weapon. Many officers employ their baton to help them direct traffic, or rescue someone trapped by breaking a car window after an accident. For the cases when a nightstick is utilized as a weapon, officers are trained “that the baton should not be used against the head, spine or kidneys, except in cases when an officer’s life is in danger. Nor should the baton be used “to gain compliance to verbal commands absent combative or aggressive actions by the suspect.” Law enforcement policy is to use a baton as a primarily defensive weapon. There are over twenty positions and officer can perform, such as a “Power Chop, the Pool-Cue Jab and the Yarawa Strike, which an officer can use to ward off an attack from the rear.”

Despite this training, far too often video and eyewitness accounts of police officer’s using excessive and even brutal force against someone is shown on national and local news. The names of many victims: Rodney Glen King, Maurice White, Richard Rodriguez, Kailee Martinez, Hope Steffy, James Williams and others testify to the sobering fact that the abuse of the law happens. Thankfully, the solution is simple, “we should see and insist the rule of law apply to lawless law enforcement officers…There is no other recourse than the unwavering application of the law against all who break it.” Disarming all law enforcement officials because of the mistakes and bad judgment of a few officers puts everyone in greater danger from those who do not respect the law to begin with.

Health and Fitness in Law Enforcement

The Health and Fitness in Law Enforcement is very important to those who work in the law enforcement branch. This can help you achieve good and healthy body. Good health is more important to be physically and emotionally fit. You must never abuse your body in every matter which not important. There are a lot of people abusing their body thus affecting their health by not taking in proper nutrition and doing physical fitness.

Health is highly important, thus you should get involve in any health and fitness in law enforcement. Attending the program will keep your body healthy and make you pass the physical exams every time. Healthy body is very important for you to perform your work. This health program is very useful to law enforcement professional especially in the performance of duty or in during the call of duty.

Being in the law enforcement requires good nutrition and healthy body. You should have physical strength to perform your tasks in your job. Enough knowledge and skills to perform properly is also required. A health and fitness in law enforcement is aimed for people in the law enforcement industry. You must have enough knowledge and the ability to do this work clearly and professionally. Always maintain your body healthy and eat food that rich in calcium, iron, protein and vitamins aside from getting into the fitness program in law enforcement. Good posture is a good result that you can get from this fitness program.

Most fitness experts and fitness system contributors have pitched in every idea into the health and fitness law enforcement program. You can also ask them to develop personalized program for you if desired. Especially if you need more work in order to be fit. This is a good vehicle for you to achieve the idea body that you want. Being fit gives you confidence and makes you feel comfortable with your body.

Law Enforcement Articles – How Most Law Enforcement Officers Interview People

Most Law Enforcement Officers rely on confrontational, accusatory methods of interviewing, coupled with an assessment of non-verbal behavior (body language) to elicit admissions and confessions.

Yet, these methods are not successful in a large percentage of cases.

Consider the following:

o At least 50% of interview methods currently being taught to law enforcement officers are non-productive (Fisher, Geiselman and Raymond).

o Law Enforcement Officers score no better than chance (50/50) when asked to evaluate body language for truthfulness or deception (Ekman & O’Sullivan).

o Law Enforcement Officers put blind faith in the principles that advocate judging deception by evaluating body language (Gudjonsson).

o The published success rates of officers getting admissions or confessions, using a confrontational approach, averages less than 40% (Gudjonsson, Baldwin, Leo).

So why do we continue to use methods and principles that are not very productive (at best) or counter-productive (at worst)?

Primarily because that’s what we’ve been taught in Law Enforcement basic training and what’s been in use over time.

The Law Enforcement community has been likened to a great train. It takes enormous time and energy to start the train moving and, once moving, it doesn’t want to stop. Moreover, the train always wants to stay on the same track because switching to another track is a laborious, time-consuming process.

We know from scientific studies conducted by behavioral scientists, coupled with the untold work experience of polygraph examiners and law enforcement officials, that there are essentially two types of interviews used in law enforcement: the accusatory (confrontational) approach (which is primary) and the narrative (non-confrontational) approach, used as a secondary approach.

We know from those same studies that the following is true:

o The most predominate interview method employed in law enforcement today is the accusatory, (confrontational) method, even though every modern, published shows it to be the least effective.

o The most productive interview method studied is the narrative, subject-driven (non-confrontational) approach, yet this method has not traditionally been emphasized.

Aside from the fact that confrontational interviewing doesn’t work as well as conversational interviewing, it suffers from a huge problem: it looks bad to the public.

When a member of the public, the media or a juror sees a high-energy, confrontational interview, the net effect is a feeling of coercion.

There are some interviewing techniques which are conversational in nature and provide a narrative, non-confrontational approach to interviewing which has proven to be very easy to use and extremely productive.

It has the added bonus of being “politically correct” when viewed by members of the media and public.

Law Enforcement Degree – Why Going Online is Becoming SO Popular

Are you considering a law enforcement degree? Are you interested in becoming:

o Police officer
o Detective
o FBI Agent
o DEA Agent
o U.S. Marshal
o Department of Homeland security officer
o U.S. Secret Service agent

If any of these law enforcement careers seem interesting and sound like something you would like to pursue, consider a law enforcement degree as this will lead you one step closer to your perfect career.

Law Enforcement Degree Programs – What are they like?

As our world becomes more complex and technically advance, so is the demand on more highly trained individuals. As in any other career, law enforcement careers today require more and more education training from prospective applicants.

Most positions within this field require an associate’s degree, bachelor’s or even master’s degree, usually in criminal justice. Not only will a higher level of education, such as a bachelor, masters or doctorate degree, lead to greater salary but also to more job opportunities and career advancement choices.

Law enforcement degree programs will train you for a wide spectrum of skills, allowing for a wide range of career options. You will learn about the court and judicial system, police procedures and policies, prison systems, rehabilitation and control of prisoners.

Law Enforcement Courses/Curriculum

Aside from the study of law and the legal system, courses focus on accounting, business finance, computer science as well as physical education to promote fitness and performance on the job. Foreign language fluency is important for federal employment.

In a law enforcement training program you will be exposed to courses in criminal justice, police administration, police management, police organization, criminal law, criminal procedures, crime scene investigation, interviewing and interrogation, criminal counseling, juvenile delinquency, pubic safety – to name a few.

As you can see from the long list of courses offered, law enforcement is becoming a popular and fast growing field. As a result, colleges and universities offering training in this area are able to provide many courses to choose from. By exploring all your options within this degree program, you can pinpoint your strengths, areas of interest and design your ideal future career. You can do so much with a law enforcement degree – make sure you find out what works best for YOU.

Online Law Enforcement Degree Programs

Online education is on the raise so it’s not surprising that most online colleges and universities also offer law enforcement training. Online degree programs give you the freedom from attending regularly scheduled classes and allow you to go to school while working full time and managing a family. They are becoming very popular as they are a way to advance your career while keeping your current job. Many employers will pay their employees to go back to school, online.

There are so many online schools offering law enforcement online degree programs, how are you to choose one? The best approach is to select a few, request information and research, read about their programs and courses offered as well as class/degree requirements. Some schools offer complete online degree programs, others require some in class time. Find out all the details before signing on to a program, be it an online associate, bachelor or online master degree law enforcement program. When researching schools, in addition to program details, try to find out faculty qualifications as well as the percentage of students that graduate and find jobs upon graduation.

Law Enforcement Careers

The primary goal of all law enforcement professionals is to protect individuals within their jurisdiction. With this career you could work as a state or federal agent, police officers, inspector, sheriff or detective. There are many opportunities for specialization within this field and the list of job titles is extensive.

Police officers are usually employed at a local level and perform task such as traffic control, regular patrols, investigation of theft and assault as well as community policing.

Detectives and Investigators specialize in one area of crime and are assigned cases within that area. Their primary role is to collect evidence, conduct interviews, and examine records all leading to crime solution, arrest and prosecution.

Federal agents are employed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and perform investigations of all types of crimes. The list of task and job opportunities is extensive. Spend some time reading and researching all the opportunities and educational requirements before choosing an area to specialize in within the law enforcement filed.