There’s a multitude of reasons why many individuals are drawn to a career in law enforcement – specifically the police department. Since police officers are employed by the state government, they enjoy good job security and a healthy income. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national average annual salary for a police officer in the United States is $61,270.
However, the benefits of working in the police department extend far beyond financial ones. It’s a highly rewarding career path, perfect for those who desire to protect and serve their local communities and wish to make a positive difference to the lives of people.
However, you don’t necessarily have to be a police officer to work at the police department. There are various other roles offered by police departments, including investigative assistant, dispatcher, crime scene technician, intelligence assistant, and more.
Here at Civil Service Success, we have helped thousands of aspiring police officers succeed with their NYC Police Exam. Over the course of this blog post, we’ll take a look at the sworn and non-sworn designations available within a police department.
County Police Officer
If you want to make a positive impact within your community, joining the police force as an officer is a great way to make a lasting impact. The primary role of a county police officer is to enforce the law, and discover and prevent the commission of crime by patrolling designated areas and responding to distress calls. Their jurisdiction extends throughout the county they’re stationed in. The job of a police officer may also include performing communication functions and enforcing traffic laws and regulations.
The education and experience requirements for becoming a police officer vary from state to state and program to program. In New York for instance, applicants must have a 4-year high school diploma/ GED, must be at least 19 years of age at the time of applying, and must take a special civil exam.
A dispatcher serves as a police department’s first line of contact. The receive distress calls that are either redirected from the 911 dispatchers or are directed at the police department itself, and dispatch officers on duty to the location where the emergency is. In some instances, dispatchers are also called upon to coordinate multiple police units.
There aren’t any specific education or experience requirements for telecommunicators/dispatchers other than a high school diploma/GED. However, in order to successfully secure the position, applicants need to be highly organized, have solid communication skills, and an ability to perform under stress. According to data from PayScale, the annual salary of a police dispatcher ranges between $25,844 and $57,659.
The job of a crime analyst is to analyze and assess trends in different crimes and provide case-specific support to investigators. Crime analysts serve as the intelligence wing of the police department. Through research and analysis, they identify and analyze crime patterns, and provide the information to the relevant staff in the form of reports.
This is a highly specialized position, with basic requirements including a Bachelor’ degree in criminal justice and excellent data processing and communication skills. The national average annual salary of a crime analyst is $47,079, according to data from PayScale.
Crime Scene Technician
Also referred to as Forensic Science Technicians, Crime Scene Technicians are highly specialized, trained professionals who assist police departments in solving crimes in various areas and capacities. Crime scene technicians spend their workdays either on the field or in the lab. Their main duty is supporting the forensic science unit by collecting physical evidence found at the scene of crime, including weapons, fingerprints, and bodily fluids, and performing lab analysis on the evidence before creating oral or written reports.
They also prepare sketches and diagrams of the crime scene through special computer software. In some cases, crime scene technicians are also needed to provide testimony in court.
Like we mentioned, the position of a crime scene technician is a highly specialized one. The minimum educational requirements for the position vary from state to state, but typically include a Bachelor’s degree in chemistry, crime scene investigation, biology, or forensic science. Police departments seek individuals who’re able to work in a team, have an eye for attention to detail, can work under pressure, and have excellent communication skills. According to data from PayScale, the annual salary of a crime scene technician ranges between $27,893 and $59,634.
If you’ve registered for the Suffolk County police exam, we offer online classes that can help you prepare for success! You can register for their Suffolk County police classes here.