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Careers in Law Enforcement

Careers in Law Enforcement

  • Coy H. Johnston - Arizona State University School of Criminology and Criminal Justice

April 2016 | 272 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Careers in Law Enforcement is a valuable resource for students considering a career in the criminal justice field, specifically in policing. Written in a concise and conversational tone, author Coy H. Johnston includes three main sections: planning a realistic path, selecting an appropriate career path in law enforcement, and preparing for the hiring process. The first chapter offers students a unique opportunity to take a personality/career test to help them discover the types of jobs that might be a good fit. Consequently, students will set sensible goals at the beginning of their degree program and seek appropriate internships and volunteer opportunities. This text is a helpful resource students will be able to peruse repeatedly when they are ready to start the process of applying for jobs within law enforcement.

Section 1 – Planning
Chapter 1 - Know Yourself
What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

What You Don’t Know

Self Assessments

What Color is Your Parachute?

Keirsey Temperament Sorter

True Colors

What Type Am I?

The Four Temperaments

What Color is Your Personality?



Chapter 2 - Setting Realistic Goal
Setting Realistic Goals

Issues with Police Work

The Use of Deception

The Role of Acting in Police Work

The Use of Discretion

The Use of Force

The Polygraph Test

Interviewing and Interrogating

The Internal Investigations


Interviewing and Interrogation

Report Writing

Court Testimony

Dangers and Stress

The Realities of Working in Criminal Justice


The Search for Happiness

Section 2 - Pursuing
Chapter 3 – Local and State Law Enforcement
Local Law Enforcement

Game and Fish Warden

Gaming Officer

Campus Police

Hospital Police


Diversity Issues

Chapter 4 – Crime Lab
Crime Scene Technician

Forensic Scientist

Medical Examiner

Investigative Technician

Criminalist – DNA Analyst

Criminalist – Toxicologist

Forensic Nurse Examiner

Forensic Psychiatrist Specialist

Forensic Interviewer

Forensic Entomologist

Diversity in Forensic Jobs

Chapter 5 – Victim Services
Victim Advocate and Related Positions

Diversity in Victim Services

Chapter 6 – Other Non-Sworn Positions
Crime Analyst


Police Aide



Supplies/Equipment/Fleet Management

Animal Control

Crime Prevention/Community Outreach

Information Technology

Intelligence Analyst

Parking Enforcement

Public Information

Chapter 7 – Detention officer/Jailer
Local Jails

County Jails


Chapter 8 – Federal Law Enforcement



Border Patrol


U.S. Secret Service

U.S. Marshals


Non-Sworn Positions

Diversity in Federal Law Enforcement


Chapter 9 – Private Security and Investigations
Security Officer

Private Investigators

Loss Prevention

Armed Security Guard

Diversity Issues in Private Security

Section 3 - Preparing
Chapter 10 – Getting a Foot in the Door

Letters of Recommendation


Volunteer Service

Education Documentation


Interview Preparation

Police Ride-a-Long


Physical Fitness

Volunteering vs. Internships


The Application

Written Tests

Psychological Test

Chapter – 11 – The Interview


Body Language


Sample Questions

Dos and Don’ts

A Note to Females

Personal Note to Minorities, Females, Gays, and Lesbians



Student Study Site
Use the Student Study Site to get the most out of your course! Our Student Study Site is completely open-access and offers a wide range of additional features!

The open-access Student Study Site includes the following:
  • Psychology profile test
  • Career videos that focus on a variety of professions in the criminal justice field

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

For instructors

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ISBN: 9781483379067