The world of law enforcement has evolved into a complex and sophisticated field that is as diverse in makeup as that of any profession. It is not a place for ill-prepared or incapable individuals. Getting properly geared up to meet the challenges of the job begins with preparing to get the job in the first place, and that is where this book comes in. Applicants for law enforcement positions at all levels of government can benefit from a comprehensive understanding of not just the fundamentals, but many of the finer points of a career enforcing the law.
Although there is no fraternal handshake or secret password that is shared throughout law enforcement, there are certain tenets of the profession that are universal in their application. The nobler elements of the job are often tarnished over time amid the realities that enforcers face in the field. Having those noble ideals in sharp focus from the outset is helpful in maintaining them throughout the many trials of a full career.
Law enforcement is not a profession for those who are lazy or faint of heart, but getting from one end of a career to the other successfully takes more than just endurance. Officers and agents today need stamina, intelligence, an abundance of ongoing training, and an internal drive that rivals that found within any other profession.
Technology is pervasive in today's society, and America's reliance on computers has spawned an entire new genre of criminal activity, which requires a whole new approach and response from law enforcement. In order to be up to that task, law enforcement agents have had to acquire a refined and acute understanding of how computers function and how people interact with them. Since an enormous percentage of crime today is perpetrated by computer criminals, agents need to hone both their computer and investigative skills to a fine edge. This requires continuous intensive study in order to stay ahead of the criminal mind.
Law enforcement officers today also face an ethnic mixture within our population that dictates and deserves an incredible level of understanding, empathy, and tolerance. Comprehending the many nuances of such a culturally diverse society, and being able to communicate effectively with that population in order to maintain the peace, is no simple task. The requirements of the job now include more than the physical strength and stamina that were once the minimum qualifications for carrying a badge. Today, law enforcement agents benefit greatly from being multilingual, attuned to a variety of ethnic needs, and open-minded toward the requirements of the specific public they serve.
Despite the many additional burdens that have been added to the job description of the average law enforcement agent over the years, one change for the positive that has occurred is diversification within the agencies. Both ethnic minorities and women are now taking their rightful place within the ranks of law enforcement, at all levels of government and among all ranks and specialties within their agencies. This blending of human resources has proven extremely valuable to agencies, due to the varied points of view and experiences that are brought to bear in combating crime, apprehending felons, and keeping the peace.
There is no job more important than that of enforcing society's laws. The broad spectrum of laws that require enforcement has led to an explosion in the number and types of agencies needed to perform this mission. As a result, there are more positions available today that consist of widely divergent duties. For those with a thirst for serving a greater cause, who can rise to the standards and accept the challenges inherent therein, there is no better place to spend a career than within the field of law enforcement.