The work of police officers is dangerous, challenging, and requires a specific set of skills. However, the list of such abilities is often reduced to physical development and not includes wide range of intellectual one. For this reason, higher education is not among recruitment demands, and usually finished high school is enough to become a police representative. Despite repeated calls for a college degree requirement for police officers, the debate over whether it is necessary is ongoing.
Supporters and opponents of college degree requirements offer various arguments in their favor. On the one hand, higher education’s presence affects communication with society, helps make more balanced decisions and not tolerate abuse of authority (Cox et al., 2018). On the other hand, it is not evidenced enough how education can affect promotion and job satisfaction. For example, experienced staff in a higher position but without a degree may be cynical about beginners with education and vice versa. All arguments deserve attention and can be crucial to the problem.
I believe that education may be necessary to work as a police officer. The main argument that convinced me of such a need is that higher education officers make decisions about the arrest and use of force more carefully (Cox et al., 2018). The action of officers as representatives of law enforcement agencies affects public opinion and the perception of the entire service. The incidents that happened over the past few years have shown a trend towards excessive and often inappropriate use of authority and abuse of power by the police. Subsequently, proposals were made to deprive the service of funding and even disband it. Since the police force is a critical part of society that protects the rule of law, such events will have serious adverse results. Thus, the recruitment of officers with a degree is necessary to improve the police’s image and improve the quality of their service.
Cox, S. M., Massey, D., Koski, C. M., & Fitch, B. D. (2018). Introduction to policing (4th ed.). Sage Publications.