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Careers in Law Enforcement

Careers in Law Enforcement

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


  • Integrated coverage of diversity directly addresses the experiences of women and minorities in the field of criminal justice careers.
  • Tips on resume writing and interview dos and don’ts are provided to help students get that first job.
  • Self-Assessment Tools encourage students to explore their own strengths, weaknesses, preferences, and temperaments, to help understand the careers they would be a good fit for.
  • Interviews featuring Experts in Law Enforcement offer advice to students interested in similar careers.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

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