Police College Education Position Paper


The US government set up several commissions throughout the 1960s to investigate police and their involvement in crime and corruption. One of the commissions set up during this period was the President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration. The government created other similar commissions to investigate corruption and crimes within the police department. The commissions found out that rampant corruption in the force was the main reason for to wrong recruitment processes, and as a result, police department was unable to maintain quality labor force. It was also clear from the investigation that people from minority groups did not get equal representation within the force. This could be because they did not have the means to forge their way into the police force. Security being one of the most crucial human concerns, these commissions gave recommendations to improve the police department. One of the recommendations was mandatory bachelor degree education for all police officers by the end of 1984. Though the US government is yet to accomplish this goal to perfection while it is good for the police force, it is also a bit unrealistic (Chapman, 2012).

Reasons Warranting For Police College Education

Though this goal is expensive, for the American government, there are reasons that warranted for higher education for all police officers. The first is the need for a recruitment procedure and qualifications for those joining police force. This is important because it would reduce corruption cases in the recruitment process. One main reason why there was persistent corruption and nepotism during the hiring of police is that there were no set qualifications of r those joining the force. This made it difficult for anyone to control the recruitment process or audit the same. Creating a law requiring that all police officers hold at least a bachelors degree would limit entry into force. In addition to limiting entry in the force, it would provide a good basis for assessing corruption cases within the police force (Chapman, 2012).

Educated people have a different approach to life issues. This makes it important for police officers to have at least a college education. This is because people learn how to relate well with others best when in learning institutions. Police service involves human relations, and they know how to deal with different situations. This was likely to reduce police brutality and wayward method of solving issues. In most instances, police result in use of force because they cannot think of any other effective method of resolving conflicts, such as negotiation. These commissions suggested that education would enlarge the thinking scope of police officers. This would make them appreciated that there are other more effective ways to solve issues other than violence (Chapman, 2012).

Another reason warranting for police higher education is the fact that police view themselves as non-professionals because to join the police unit on requires just a high school diploma. This feeling of unprofessional is also the reason quality personnel do not remain in the police unit for long. To make sure that police jobs attract learned and quality staff it was important to introduce education in the force. This would make it a profession, which would attract sharp and intellect minds. Having joined the police department after undergoing higher education also raises the morale and attitude of a person towards his or her job. The same would apply in the police force; education would give them a sense of confidence in providing security. This would make unnecessary for officers to indulge in criminal activities because on the reason why they involved themselves in such activities was the lack of self-confidence (Chapman, 2012).

Through studies, police would also acquire critical analytical skills, which would enhance their investigative duties. To make sure police pursue investigations successfully, it important that they analyze situations and arrive to accurate conclusions. This would make it possible for officers to deal with challenging cases (Chapman, 2012). Without education, police will probably take a bribe to close such cases because they feel the cases demand a lot from their side and they have very little expertise in carrying out analysis and critically thinking of the possible solutions.

Issues the goal addressed

There are benefits from police officers’ learning. It is possible to state that education has met some of the issues within the security force back in the 1960s. One of the benefits is better and more desirable psychological make-up than was in the past. These include alertness, empathy, flexibility, initiative, and intelligence. Teaching police officers has made them cognizant of recent expansion. They are more attentive of the current tendencies are able to keep up with expansion that lawless persons take benefit of when committing crimes. Without perception of latest developments, it is nearly unrealistic to undertake criminals who use the latest technology and expansion to organize their undertakings (Ashby, 2013).

Ashby (2013) states that educated law enforcement agents have a different approach of dealing with people since they have wise the art of relating with those they are assisting. Different those in the 1960s who favored to use brutal and ruthless means to pass across their attitudes, up to date security officers realize the art of dialogue (Ashby, 2013). They display empathy where need be and are flexible in their undertakings. They do not attach to one procedure of carrying out their mandates, but search to find the best alternate and the way of doing things. This is because education has opened their brain set to other better means of approaching positions, using psychological means instead of violence as a way of solving issues.

In the earlier years, officers did not bother to enhance security via security programs. Today police officers educate the community on the importance of security and encourage community founded policing schemes. In addition, they are intelligent when dealing with lawless persons and are adept to use psychological methods of getting data from supposed lawless persons. In the past, enforcement-officers used violence to resolve issues; they also request intelligence and ethics in their occupations since they seem that they are worth their work (Ashby, 2013).

Why Police Bachelor Education Goal was unrealistic

As much as this goal is essential in the development and improvement of police services, it was unrealistic in some sense. Few police officers were willing to take up the higher education. This is because most police work is practical and as such calls for very little theoretical learning. Many colleges offer theoretical learning as opposed to practical studies. This made the goal appear unrealistic for most of the officers. They were not willing to pay extra costs for such education. In fact, many of those who took up classes to further their education only did so because it promised them the job promotions (Ashby, 2013).

Another reason why the government is yet to accomplish this goal is that very few police officers were willing to part with money to get an education. It was unrealistic for the commissions to expect that police officers would accept to pay for their education. This would have served to increase their expenses with same salaries. Many view it as an additional cost that may yield little or no benefits at all. This has discouraged many police officers from pursuing higher education (Ashby, 2013). Many feel that is an unwarranted expense since they view it as a reserve for those seeking to advance their careers in the police force.

Nature of Police Education and Its Impact on Education Institutions

The nature of learning that police agents obtained in colleges encompassed course such as lawless person law, investigative sciences, and other regulation courses. Learning in colleges differed from the rudimentary training and learning police officer receive when connecting the force. This is because it enclosed a broad scope of study and not functional undertakings only. In addition to functional usual activities, they also discovered other useful human relation disciplines that would enhance their connection with the public (Ashby, 2013). Tertiary institutions suggested police officers’ distant discovering categories and part time categories. Night and part time courses ensured that the officers were adept to perform their obligations and discover all at the identical time. This concept of police learning had a great impact to learning institutions. Colleges that suggested law enforcement officers learning had to incur additional costs devising for the new techniques. This influenced them adversely since only a hand full of police officers took up higher education. Numerous of them evolved curriculums for the police force to attract them to their organizations. Whereas most courses suggested in the 1960s were customary, schools have made major strides and have developed up to date courses that cover a broader subject than the customary courses.

Today numerous universities offer four-year online degree techniques to police officers across the joined States (Ashby, 2013). Therefore, the recommendations have compelled numerous colleges and universities to adapt courses to suite the police force. So far only about one in every a hundred of the police officers has a four-year baccalaureate degree in USA. This is because numerous of the agents do not glimpse the use of school education in their occupations, and most of those who have acquired bachelor’s qualifications have done so because they either require them, for a promotion or remain in their work departments.

How Government would have managed the Goal

The government could have managed goal differently to make sure it became a success. The first thing that the government would have done is to create a police education curriculum. This would ensure that all the aforementioned learning institutions offered same police education to all officers. This would add to the professionalism of the career. It would also make it easy for those who wish to join the law enforcement department to identify the relevant courses they should take. Learning institutions would also have learned the relevant courses to offer those aspiring to join the security service. The reason why many did not join tertiary institutions is they do not know the course to pick (Ashby, 2013). This causes some to worry of taking wrong courses that might not have any impact in their career.


In conclusion, the goal to have all police officers hold a bachelor’s degree education by the end of 1984 was a positive aspiration. It was, however, an over ambitious move that was somewhat unrealistic. There are institutions that offer higher education to police officers, and as such, the government has pursued the goal to some extent. The goal has remained unachieved to a satisfactory level because of issues surrounding it. Some of these issues are financial costs, police attitude towards the goal and diverse courses making it difficult for one to select the best. Police education is important given the fact that they provide one of the most essential services in the lives of people, which is security. The government needs to come up ways to make this goal a reality.


Ashby, E. (2013). A Progress Report on the Work of the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education in the USA. World Yearbook of Education 1972/3: Universities Facing the Future, 29.

Chapman, C. (2012). Use Of Force In Minority Communities Is Related To Police Education, Age, Experience, And Ethnicity. Police Practice and Research, 13(5), 421-436.


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