Florida Law Enforcement

Bordered by the Gulf of Mexico, Alabama and Georgia and the Atlantic Ocean, Florida is the 4th most populous US state. Tallahassee is the state capital while Jacksonville is its largest city. The state’s culture reflects various influences from cultures such as Native American, European American, Hispanic, and African American. Florida boasts a number of institutes for higher education that offer numerous learning opportunities for students with diverse educational and professional goals. Law enforcement programs are also available at a number of schools in the state. Based on upcoming demand, career outlook for a number of law enforcement professionals in Florida including police and probations officers looks positive in the coming years.

What do Law Enforcement Workers do?

A career in law enforcement may be challenging, exciting, and stressful. Law enforcement professionals such as police officers are required to enforce laws, respond to emergency and non-emergency calls, and conduct traffic stops. Obtaining warrants and arresting suspects, writing detailed reports and filling out forms, and preparing cases are some other tasks that these professionals need to perform. Correctional officers oversee individuals who have been arrested and are awaiting trial or those who are serving time in correctional facilities. Probation officers work with and monitor ex-convicts to help them get back into society and prevent them from committing further crimes.

Florida Law Enforcement Certification Programs

In addition to degree programs, a number of Florida schools offer certification programs that may lead to careers in law enforcement. Students may enroll in police officer basic recruit training programs or certification programs in probation, corrections, and auxiliary law enforcement.

Enrolling in certification programs in the state may help students improve their career opportunities. They will learn how to handle traffic stops, including potential DUI situations, in addition to receiving training in firearms, defensive tactics, crime scene investigation, and other course topics. Crossover training for probation and correctional officers is also available that may help students become familiar with prisoner interactions and rehabilitation programs.

Certificate programs in law enforcement may take 6 months to one year to complete. Factors such as the enrollment status of the students may determine a student’s duration in a program. In addition to traditional certificate programs in law enforcement, some schools in Florida offer online learning options; allowing individuals to study from any location at any time.

Upon completion of these programs, students will acquire analytical, communication as well as problem solving skills. In addition, they will develop an understanding of police strategies, types of crime, and methods of research.

Enrolling in Law Enforcement Schools in Florida

Students who wish to enroll in law enforcement certificate programs in Florida may have to meet the following requirements:

  • Hold a high school diploma, a 2-year degree, or 4-year degree
  • Provide general educational development (GED) scores
  • Submit a SAT or ACT score
  • Have related work experience

What Courses Will I Study?

Certificate programs in law enforcement will instruct students in a number of areas allowing them to become familiar with the basics of corrections, probations, crime, and criminals. Curriculum may include instruction in areas such as:

  • Correctional Environments
  • Domestic Violence
  • Cybercrime
  • Social Policies
  • Criminal Law
  • Public Administration

Classes are also available in sociology, abnormal psychology, fingerprinting, biometrics, and florescent applications. In addition to classroom based instruction, students may have to complete practical training in these programs.

What are the Opportunities for Graduates?

Law enforcement workers such as police officers, corrections, and probation officers may work in:

  • Law enforcement
  • Security
  • Probation
  • Government agencies
  • Correctional and judicial systems
  • Private security companies

According to information from O*Net OnLine, demand for law enforcement professionals in Florida between 2012 and 2022 is likely to see a positive growth.

Probation officers work with criminal offenders, some of whom may be unsafe. They may also have to work in high-crime areas or in institutions where there are chances of violence, as stated by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Correctional officers may be required to work indoors or outdoors. They may have to stand for long periods of time, which can be physically stressful.

How Much do Law Enforcement Workers Earn in Florida?

According to O*Net OnLine, the median annual income of law enforcement workers in Florida in 2013 was as follows:

  • Police patrol officers: $55,100
  • Correctional officers: $36,400
  • Probation officers: $37,500

The location, work experience, and job title may help to determine pay.

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