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Career and Education Opportunities for Chiefs of Police in Birmingham, Alabama

There are many career and education opportunities for chiefs of police in the Birmingham, Alabama area. About 900 people are currently employed as chiefs of police in Alabama. By 2016, this is expected to grow 14% to about 1,020 people employed. This is better than the national trend for chiefs of police, which sees this job pool growing by about 8.1% over the next eight years. In general, chiefs of police supervise and coordinate activities of members of police force.

A person working as a chief of police can expect to earn about $25 hourly or $53,100 yearly on average in Alabama and about $36 hourly or $75,490 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Compared with people working in the overall category of Police and Security, people working as chiefs of police in Alabama earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Police and Security nationally. Chiefs of police work in a variety of jobs, including: community relations police lieutenant, sheriff chief deputy, and precinct commanding officer.

There are four schools within twenty-five miles of Birmingham where you can study to be a chief of police, among fifteen schools of higher education total in the Birmingham area. The most common level of education for chiefs of police is a high school diploma or GED. You can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a chief of police if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Chief of Police

Chief of Police video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, chiefs of police supervise and coordinate activities of members of police force.

Chiefs of police explain police operations to subordinates to help them in performing their duties. They also manage logs and direct the preparation and maintenance of departmental records. Equally important, chiefs of police have to inform staff of changes in rules and policies, implications of new or amended laws, and new techniques of police work. They are often called upon to ready work schedules and assign duties to subordinates. They are expected to discipline staff for violation of department rules and regulations. Finally, chiefs of police inspect contents of written orders to insure adherence to legal requirements.

Every day, chiefs of police are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they read and understand documents and reports.

It is important for chiefs of police to supervise and direct the investigation of criminal cases, offering guidance and expertise to investigators, and ensuring that procedures are conducted in accordance with laws and rules. They are often called upon to ready news releases and respond to police correspondence. They also perform raids and order detention of witnesses and suspects for questioning. They are sometimes expected to requisition and issue equipment and supplies. Somewhat less frequently, chiefs of police are also expected to ready budgets and oversee expenditures of department funds.

Chiefs of police sometimes are asked to meet with civic and community groups to evolve community programs and events, and to consider law enforcement subjects. They also have to be able to investigate and resolve staff problems within their organizations And finally, they sometimes have to discipline staff for violation of department rules and regulations.

Like many other jobs, chiefs of police must have exceptional integrity and be able to deal with stress and deal with situations calmly.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Birmingham include:

  • Criminal Investigator. Investigate alleged or suspected criminal violations of Federal, state, or local laws to determine if evidence is sufficient to recommend prosecution.
  • Customs Inspector. Investigate and inspect persons, common carriers, and merchandise, arriving in or departing from the United States or between states to detect violations of immigration and customs laws and regulations.
  • Police Officer. Conduct investigations to prevent crimes or solve criminal cases.
  • Police Records Officer. Collect evidence at crime scenes, classify and identify fingerprints, and photograph evidence for use in criminal and civil cases.
  • Policeman. Patrol assigned areas to enforce laws and ordinances, regulate traffic, and arrest violators.
  • Private Investigator. Detect occurrences of unlawful acts or infractions of rules in private establishment, or seek, examine, and compile information for client.
  • Sheriff. Enforce law and order in rural or unincorporated districts or serve legal processes of courts. May patrol courthouse, guard court or grand jury, or escort defendants.
  • Transportation Security Officer. Inspect baggage or cargo and screen passengers to detect and prevent potentially dangerous objects from being transported into secure areas or onto aircraft.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Chief of Police Training

ITT Technical Institute-Bessemer - Bessemer, AL

ITT Technical Institute-Bessemer, 6270 Park South Drive, Bessemer, AL 35022. ITT Technical Institute-Bessemer is a small school located in Bessemer, Alabama. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,104 students and an admission rate of 48%. ITT Technical Institute-Bessemer has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement Administration which graduated three and zero students respectively in 2008.

Miles College - Fairfield, AL

Miles College, 5500 Myron Massey Blvd, Fairfield, AL 35064. Miles College is a small college located in Fairfield, Alabama. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,773 students. Miles College has a bachelor's degree program in Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement Administration which graduated twenty-three students in 2008.

Herzing College - Birmingham, AL

Herzing College, 280 West Valley Ave, Birmingham, AL 35209. Herzing College is a small college located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 314 students and an admission rate of 82%. Herzing College has a bachelor's degree program in Criminal Justice/Safety Studies which graduated sixteen students in 2008.

Virginia College-Birmingham - Birmingham, AL

Virginia College-Birmingham, 65 Bagby Dr., Birmingham, AL 35209-3703. Virginia College-Birmingham is a medium sized college located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,090 students and an admission rate of 64%. Virginia College-Birmingham has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement Administration which graduated twenty-one and ten students respectively in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham, Alabama photo by Eric_in_SF

Birmingham is located in Jefferson County, Alabama. It has a population of over 228,798, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Birmingham, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Birmingham cost $187,300 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, one hundred thirty-two new homes were built in Birmingham, down from two hundred thirty-two the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Birmingham are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 24 minutes. More than 18.5% of Birmingham residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Birmingham is 12.5%, which is greater than Alabama's average of 10.7%.

The percentage of Birmingham residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 60.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Williams Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Westminister Presbyterian Church and West End Methodist Church are all churches located in Birmingham. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Birmingham is home to the Mineral Park Municipal Golf Course and the Cooper Green Golf Course as well as Avondale Mills Park and Smithfield Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Acipco Shopping Center, Altadena Square Shopping Center and Parkway East Huffman Shopping Center. Visitors to Birmingham can choose from Marriott Hotel Birmingham, Rime Garden Extended Stay Suites and Studioplus for temporary stays in the area.