Education, Hiring and Disciplinary Issues in Law Enforcement Agencies

Education, Hiring and Disciplinary Issues in Law Enforcement Agencies
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1 Resources
Recorded on: 2019-07-25
Unit 1 Slide Deck: Education, Hiring and Disciplinary Issues in Law Enforcement Agencies
Unit 2 Workbook: Education, Hiring and Disciplinary Issues in Law Enforcement Agencies
Unit 3 Recording: Education, Hiring and Disciplinary Issues in Law Enforcement Agencies

It wasn’t until about 50 years ago that the law enforcement field actually implemented efforts to encourage its members to pursue higher level of education. Prior this, just about anyone can be a police officer – it’s just a matter of who is willing. The number of law enforcement officers who’ve attained a bachelor’s degree tripled in the first 15 years of the initiatives that pushed for a higher level of education in the field.

To talk about the state of education in law enforcement, it’s history, impact and link to other issues Dr. Chase Wetherington. He is a Detective with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office in Tampa, Florida where he’s been a part of the Field Training and Intelligence Unit.

Topics he discussed in this webinar include:

  • Walking through the history of pursuing higher education in the law enforcement field.
    • The very first idea of the need for officer readiness as early as the 1700s.
    • How society chose who will be enforcing the law prior to any guidelines, tests or training.
    • The very first formal college police program.
    • The challenges posed by the lack of education in the law enforcement workforce and the financial constraints that prevent the success of programs aiming to enhance education.
    • Initiatives from the government to push for a higher level of education that hopes to bring better leaders.
  • Perception of law enforcement across the different facets of society and how these impact the officers and their relationship with the communities they serve.
  • A look into the reality of law enforcement’s citizen interaction and the prevalence of use of force.
  • The double-edged sword when it comes to setting an agency’s hiring requirements.
  • The correlation between higher education requirements and the percentage of female officers in an agency.
  • Case examples that demonstrate the legality of educational requirements during hiring.
  • Researches that exhibit how higher educational requirements…
    • Result in better performance in the academy.
    • Enables law enforcement officers assigned in school policing to be better equipped in assisting minority and disabled students.
    • Does not affect the number of disciplinary issues but tends to impact the severity of the offense committed.
  • The various factors that play a role in an individual’s likelihood for success in law enforcement.
  • Questions raised during the Q&A segment concerned:
    • Accessing resources and research used for the webinar.
    • Up to date resources on the public’s perception of law enforcement.
    • The importance of having both formal education and on the job training.


Audience Comments:

  • “The length of time that education in law enforcement has been an emphasis was surprising to me. Thank you for the information.” — Karyn
  • “More education helps people do a better job – opens the mind, communicate better. Far too many people have a closed mind.” — Renee
  • “One valuable thing I learned was the history of policing and how for over 100 years… Policing has been pressing higher education.” — Tawsha
  • “Research validated my perception. Good presentation; however, my agency trains our officers in-house.” — Ronald



Additional Resources
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