A career in law enforcement is a career serving the people. Law enforcement can be at the federal, state, or local level. Whether or not decide to become Drug Enforcement Agent (DEA) on the federal level or local police officer service and protection is the number one priority for a law enforcement officer.
Name: Dave Kirkendall
Position: Police Officer, Vice Unit, San Jose Police Dept.
Education: BS Administrative Justice, Minor History
Career Bio: Criminal Investigations Division (CID), United States Army; San Jose Police Department
Advantages: A police officer is a public servant so it's fortunate that one of the biggest joys of police work is helping people. Working within a small team environment creates a strong bond between police officers. Police work can also be very exciting with all the different specialized units with the department.
Disadvantages: Scheduling and flexibility can be a problem for most young officers. Scheduling is often based on seniority, so most young officer get undesirable hours. The work can also be depressing, police officers see many disturbing aspects of life daily. Often you see people at their worst. This has the potential to take its toll on family life.
Advice: Excellent communications skills are required to become a police officer. Often you are talking a person down, rather that taking a person down. People interested in a career in law enforcement should develop strong oral and written communication skills. Maintaining good health and physical shape will also help you as a police officer.
How a background in Political Science will help: A background in political science will help a police officer understand the relationships the police, local government, and other interests. Police officers must be objective but knowledge of politics will an officer keep vision on the bigger picture.