Enhancing Educational Standards for Law Enforcement: It is Time




Coggins, Patrick

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Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT)


Despite appeals for higher educational standards, from two presidential commissions (Wickersham Commission, 1931 and the President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice, 1967), numerous scholars, and law enforcement practitioners, the educational standard for law enforcement has remained the high school diploma since the 1960s (as cited by Roberg & Bonn, 2004). This is ironic, as present day police officers are faced with some of the most complex challenges the field of law enforcement has ever seen. It is imperative that the modern police officer possess the broad-based knowledge, critical-thinking and analytical-problem solving skills imparted by the baccalaureate degree. This paper will examine several of the factors that have lead to this inevitability. It will go on to explore some of the most relevant research available to support the assertion made by the author, as well as several of the concept’s most significant criticisms. In the end, it will demonstrate to the reader that a college education is a necessary educational qualification for the police officer of today.



Higher education, Police training