Law Enforcement Jobs – Protect And Serve

Whether at the local or federal level, law enforcement officials are relied on each day to protect the lives and property of our citizens. The field of law enforcement is large and continuing to expand, and there are many job opportunities available in the field today. If you’re considering a career in law enforcement but don’t know where to start, here’s what you’ll need to know.

What Types of Law Enforcement Officials Are There?
Law enforcement is a broad term that describes anyone whose job it is to uphold and enforce the law. Overall, there are three different levels of law enforcement: local, state and federal.
Local law enforcement refers to individuals who work at the municipal or county level. Sheriffs and local police officers are examples of local law enforcement.

State law enforcement refers to individuals who work throughout an entire state or for state institutions. State police and highway patrol officers are examples of state law enforcement.
Federal law enforcement refers to individuals who are employed to maintain the law as it relates to the country as a whole. Such individuals include federal police, FBI or CIA agents.

What Do Law Enforcement Officers Do?
Generally speaking, law enforcement officers are responsible for upholding the laws in the jurisdiction in which they work. This means that they are responsible for upholding both federal and local laws — for example, police officers must uphold federal laws that prohibit drinking while driving, and also enforce local regulations like speed limits.

Though each area of law enforcement has different responsibilities, each official has a duty to protect their country’s laws and citizens. Some law enforcement officials, like police officers, mainly work with the public, responding to crimes and accidents, and maintaining order in their county or city. Larger agencies, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) or the Department of Homeland Security, typically don’t work with the public. Instead, they spend the majority of their time investigating terrorism, organized crimes and missing person cases, among other issues.

How Do I Become A Law Enforcement Official?
Training to work in law enforcement varies depending on which career path you plan to pursue. However, there are a few qualifications that candidates must meet for nearly every law enforcement position. At the most basic level, qualified candidates must have a high school diploma and are required to complete training at a police academy. Some positions even require a college degree, typically an Associate’s degree in criminal justice, law enforcement, or a related field. In most states, candidates need to be at least 21 years old, and all candidates must be able to provide a valid driver’s license, and pass a drug test and mental health screening.