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  1. #1
    allsugr is offline Rookie
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    Bachelor's Degree Required

    Hi Everyone,

    I am currently attending college to get my associates degree in Criminal Justice. For one of my classes I have to write a paper on why I think our state (Wisconsin) should NOT become the first state to require a police officer to have a bachelor's degree. Opinons, facts, suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thank You!

  2. #2
    jmur5074's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by allsugr View Post
    Hi Everyone,

    I am currently attending college to get my associates degree in Criminal Justice. For one of my classes I have to write a paper on why I think our state (Wisconsin) should NOT become the first state to require a police officer to have a bachelor's degree. Opinons, facts, suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thank You!
    Police work is something you really can't learn in a classroom. This is a topic i have a very strong opinion on, because MN requires either an associates degree (2 yr) in Law Enforcement, or a 4 yr (Bachelors Degree) in Criminal Justice. There aren't any dept. run academies in MN (other than St. Paul and the State Patrol I believe..?) but even if you attend one of their academies, you HAVE to get your 2 or 4 yr degree.

    Part of the reason I don't think a 4 yr degree means anything in what kind of street cop you are in because I work in a city with two colleges that offer 4 yr Criminal Justice degrees. Those kids know NOTHING when it comes to law enforcement. From the freshmen to the seniors, they know nothing when it comes to real world law enforcement applications. They may know everything they need to know about Robert Peel or the broken windows theory (good things to learn about) but when it comes to ACTUAL, MODERN, REAL police work, they don't know anything. They don't learn those things until they attend a skills program at one of the 2 yr associate schools.

    So anyway, no I don't believe a 4 yr bachelors degrees means anything when it comes to what kind of police officer you are going to become. All it means is you spent more money and time to be a police officer.

    Police work can only be learned by doing it. But to even begin that process, you need a stable real world base to get started. The 4 yr colleges don't offer skills classes (firearms, driving, arrest procedures, etc). You learn everything from a book. Books do not provide a stable, real world base to begin that process.
    No one has greater love than this, to lay down ones life for ones friends - John 15:13

    "The Wicked Flee When No Man Pursueth: But The Righteous Are Bold As A Lion".

    We lucky few, we band of brothers. For he who today sheds his blood with me shall be my brother.

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    The opinions, beliefs, and ideas expressed in this post are mine, and mine alone. They are NOT the opinions, beliefs, ideas, or policies of my Agency, Police Chief, City Council, or any member of my department.

  3. #3
    jmur5074's Avatar
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    In addition to that, the associate degree programs i'm familiar with structure their law enforcement programs around classes that make sense for the profession.

    The first two years of every 4 yr program (that I've looked into) are mostly (or entirely) gen eds.

    The "least" law enforcement type class I took was Public Speaking..which is still pretty valuable. Everything else I took was on DT, firearms, driving, criminal/traffic statutes, etc, etc.

    I've met criminal justice students in 4 yr programs who are taking classes on medieval history and trigonometry. What do those classes have to do with law enforcement?

    Also, I recently spoke with a 3rd year Criminal Justice student (a Junior) who didn't ANYTHING about the elements of the crime for DWI, or the differences between the degrees of assault or dwi. Incredible.

    And he's probably spending an extra 30 grand for that stellar education.


    Finally I have to recommend not using input from an internet forum for your paper. Anything you use from us here you should try to find examples elsewhere that you can cite.
    No one has greater love than this, to lay down ones life for ones friends - John 15:13

    "The Wicked Flee When No Man Pursueth: But The Righteous Are Bold As A Lion".

    We lucky few, we band of brothers. For he who today sheds his blood with me shall be my brother.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~
    The opinions, beliefs, and ideas expressed in this post are mine, and mine alone. They are NOT the opinions, beliefs, ideas, or policies of my Agency, Police Chief, City Council, or any member of my department.

  4. #4
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    Very simply, a lot of great candidates will be cut before they have a chance. College is good but not all that important for an officer.
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  5. #5
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    My way of saying it would be that they will graduate with a whole lot of "book sense", but without a lick of "common sense".

    (Also known as "street sense".)



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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmur5074 View Post
    Police work is something you really can't learn in a classroom. This is a topic i have a very strong opinion on, because MN requires either an associates degree (2 yr) in Law Enforcement, or a 4 yr (Bachelors Degree) in Criminal Justice. There aren't any dept. run academies in MN (other than St. Paul and the State Patrol I believe..?) but even if you attend one of their academies, you HAVE to get your 2 or 4 yr degree.

    Part of the reason I don't think a 4 yr degree means anything in what kind of street cop you are in because I work in a city with two colleges that offer 4 yr Criminal Justice degrees. Those kids know NOTHING when it comes to law enforcement. From the freshmen to the seniors, they know nothing when it comes to real world law enforcement applications. They may know everything they need to know about Robert Peel or the broken windows theory (good things to learn about) but when it comes to ACTUAL, MODERN, REAL police work, they don't know anything. They don't learn those things until they attend a skills program at one of the 2 yr associate schools.

    So anyway, no I don't believe a 4 yr bachelors degrees means anything when it comes to what kind of police officer you are going to become. All it means is you spent more money and time to be a police officer.

    Police work can only be learned by doing it. But to even begin that process, you need a stable real world base to get started. The 4 yr colleges don't offer skills classes (firearms, driving, arrest procedures, etc). You learn everything from a book. Books do not provide a stable, real world base to begin that process.
    this

    and i have a bachelors degree in criminal justice.
    in the warriors code there's no surrender, though his body says stop, his spirit cries...NEVER. deep in our souls, a quiet ember, knows its you against you, its the paradox that drives us all. its a battle of wills, in the heat of attack, its the passion that kills, and victory is yours alone.


    the posts and opinions stated by me do not in any way reflect the values, beliefs, or views of my department. they are simply opinions and/or observations which have been developed through my personal experiences. hell, most of the stories probably arent even true...wink wink

  7. #7
    dadyswat's Avatar
    dadyswat is offline Officer First Class
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    Quote Originally Posted by cajunguy View Post
    My way of saying it would be that they will graduate with a whole lot of "book sense", but without a lick of "common sense".

    (Also known as "street sense".)

    .
    You can't teach common sense.

  8. #8
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    because YOU don't want to have to have a degree to be an officer...
    Job security...

    Ecclesiastes 8:11 Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.

  9. #9
    Five-0's Avatar
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    I see no problem with education. If you are going to get a four year degree, get it in something that is not related to CJ or the like. The reason is if the law enforcement gig doesn't work out you will have something to fall back on. Not to mention, some agencies give you an education incentive. My agency gives me an additional 10% on top of my base pay for my bachelor's. My degree is in history and political science. All the writing I did for the history has paid off for all the writing I do in law enforcement.

    Meanwhile, fishing in Russia:

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  10. #10
    obxemt is offline Rookie
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    I can't give you my real opinion because I'd write your paper for you.

    Education isn't about DOING something, or learning skills for a job. It is about knowledge for the sake of knowledge. It makes you a more well-rounded human being, better writer, more critical thinker, etc. College has become the new high school, and depending on the individual, it might be completely worthless. For those reasons, if degrees are required for LE, they shouldn't be in Criminology or Criminal Justice. I have more respect for criminology because it is theoretical, but it has very little use for street-level law enforcement.

    I started college almost five years after I became a cop, then I left for 18 months to pursue a graduate degree. My degrees are in an unrelated field, but they still built skills that I already had, and they have made me a much better police officer, but not because of any applied or learned skills.

    I've known cops with advanced degrees who were bumbling idiots, and I know cops with GEDs who have exceedingly fine minds (smart as the best attorneys). People like that with natural intelligence can only become better thinkers with formal education. But idiots who persevere and have letters after their name are still idiots.

    I think requiring a college degree for LE is among the best of intentions, but the results don't bear it out. Fine candidates might be excluded while a moron with a BA or BS makes it in. It really is about the candidate in his or her totality, and not individual random requirements.

  11. #11
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    I go back and forth on this topic. Frankly the majority of the college only educated cops I come in contact with are "knuckleheads". I myself have a bachelors degree, but I also have military, and I generally don't consider myself an idiot. My department for almost 20 years required a 4 year degree and frankly I think that is why our command is such idiots. We in effect breed stupidity. We now will take 4 years military or 3 years law enforcement experience from somewhere else. I think I've seen a shift in the last few years of better recruits/cadets coming out of our classes.

    I don't think going to college is a bad thing, and just because you don't have a degree doesn't mean you have street smarts. College does give a lot of idiots time to grow out of there stupidity without mom and down coddling them.

    These days if you have any intelligence what so ever or even want to be a police officer then you probably either went into the military or to college. If you apply to my department and have neither, I'm seriously asking you where your drive is.

    So all in all I think it's a good thing to have it, but a 2 year associates is plenty. At the same time you can't be a cop in most states until the age of 21, so what are you doing with those 4 years after high school. Figure it out, I don't really want a prior weed head or a high school welder applying. I want someone who is driven and knows what they want in life and goes after it.

    Just my take...

  12. #12
    allsugr is offline Rookie
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    Thank you everyone for your responses, I really appreciate it!!!
    This helps me a lot, in many ways!

 

 

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