Police Officer / Detective
Police officers protect lives and property. Detectives and criminal investigators, who sometimes are called agents or special agents, gather facts and collect evidence of possible crimes. Police officers pursue and apprehend people who break the law and then warn, cite or arrest them. Most police officers patrol their jurisdictions and investigate any suspicious activity they notice. They also respond to calls, issue traffic tickets, investigate domestic issues, and give first aid to accident victims. The daily activities of police and detectives vary with their occupational specialty and whether they are working for a local, state, or federal agency. Duties also differ among federal agencies, which enforce different aspects of the law. Regardless of job duties or location, police officers and detectives at all levels must write reports and keep detailed records that will be needed if they testify in court.TCC programs that are right for you:Criminal Justice and Public Safety Programs
Police and detective work can be physically demanding, stressful and dangerous. Police officers have one of the highest rates of on-the-job injuries and fatalities. In addition to confrontations with criminals, police officers and detectives need to be constantly alert and ready to deal appropriately with a number of other threatening scenarios. Officers regularly work at crime or accident scenes and other traumatic events as well as deal with the death and suffering that they encounter. Although a career in law enforcement may take a toll on their private lives, many officers find it rewarding to help members of their communities. The jobs of some federal agents – such as U.S. Secret Service and DEA special agents –require extensive travel, often on short notice. These agents may relocate a number of times over the course of their careers. Some special agents, such as those in the U.S. Border Patrol, may work outdoors in rugged terrain and in all kinds of weather.
Employment of police and detectives is expected to grow by 7 percent between 2010 and 2020, slower than the average for all occupations. Continued demand for public safety will lead to new openings for officers in local departments; however, both state and federal jobs may be more competitive.
Career information courtesy of the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook.