The field of Law Enforcement includes all jobs dedicated to upholding and protecting the law within a society. People working in this field have the duty to investigate, discover, deter, fight, punish, imprison, and rehabilitate those who break the law. The grand majority of Law Enforcement professionals work as part of Police Forces and Intelligence Agencies sanctioned by national, regional, or municipal governments. However, some professionals work independently or in different security agencies.
Among the different bodies and agencies that exist in the Law Enforcement field, there are many ranks and responsibilities for members to cover and take care of. Given the broad extent of the law, some Police Forces work to maintain order in towns, cities, or counties, whereas bigger Law Enforcement offices work on a federal or national level. The field covered by a specific Police Force or Law Enforcing agency is called a jurisdiction and, in some cases, these jurisdictions may overlap permitting two separate agencies to work together on a single case.
Law Enforcement professionals are usually responsible for the following:
- Patrolling city areas by foot, motorized vehicles, bicycles, or on horseback.
- Patrolling highways and other roads to enforce traffic laws.
- Conducting investigations on criminal activities.
- Detaining criminals and offenders.
- Maintaining order in public events.
- Providing assistance in emergency situations.
- Patrolling detention and correctional centres.
- Transporting detainees between facilities when necessary.
- Providing testimony in a court of law when necessary.
- Using a wide arrange of lethal and non-lethal weapons (e.g. handguns, shotguns, batons, and pepper spray).
- Creating conscience of crime prevention and safety measures among citizens.
All professionals working in the Law Enforcement field usually share the same characteristics, which include, but are not limited to:
- Possessing excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
- Having outstanding problem-solving and analytical skills.
- Being in excellent physical condition.
- Possessing exceptional weapon and self-defence skills.
- Having excellent driving skills.
- Having outstanding teamwork, leadership, and decision-making skills.
- Possessing strong organizational skills.
- Having good IT skills.
- Displaying outstanding levels of integrity, morality, honesty, and responsibility.
Most jobs in Law Enforcement require a lot preparation and training. Applying for a job in this field is often done by enrolling in a specialized academy where Cadets receive special training. Applicants, however, are expected to possess some educational background prior to applying to one of these academies. The standard rule is that applicants must have completed a secondary education, however, applicants with college or university degrees in Police Science, Criminology, Law Enforcement, Forensic Sciences, or Social Sciences may have an advantage against other candidates during the selection process. The duration of the training process can vary between academies and agencies. The bigger the jurisdiction of a specific force, the longer and more complex their training process will be.
Given the nature of all jobs in Law Enforcement, all applicants must possess a clean criminal record. Minor offences may be overlooked by admission officers at academies, nevertheless, it’s highly recommended that all applicants have a clear status with the law. Physical and psychological evaluations might also be mandatory for all candidates. Failure to meet these requirements may exclude or prevent candidates to join a Police Force or Law Enforcing agency.
Most Law Enforcement professionals possess special permits to carry and use firearms in public in order to deter crime and enforce the law whenever necessary. Other than firearms, Law Enforcement professionals use a wide variety of tools and non-lethal weapons to do their jobs. They’re also required to drive several different vehicles that require licensing. All certificates and licences of a Law Enforcement official must always be up-to-date. Independent Law Enforcement professionals (e.g. Private Investigators) are required to possess a special licence issued by the government to do their practice.