Career and Education Opportunities for Police Officers in Portland, Maine
Police officers can find many career and educational opportunities in the Portland, Maine area. About 440 people are currently employed as police officers in Maine. By 2016, this is expected to grow 17% to about 510 people employed. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for police officers are expected to grow by about 16.6%. Police officers generally conduct investigations to prevent crimes or solve criminal cases.
Police officers earn approximately $25 hourly or $52,740 yearly on average in Maine. Nationally they average about $29 per hour or $60,910 yearly. Earnings for police officers are better than earnings in the general category of Police and Security in Maine and better than general Police and Security category earnings nationally. Police officers work in a variety of jobs, including: criminal investigations division investigator, vice investigator, and fugitive detective.
The Portland area is home to twenty-three schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Portland where you can get a degree as a police officer. The most common level of education for police officers is a high school diploma or GED. You can expect to spend only a short time training to become a police officer if you already have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Police Officer
In general, police officers conduct investigations to prevent crimes or solve criminal cases.
Police officers furnish testimony as a witness in court. They also examine records and governmental agency files to discover identifying data about suspects. Equally important, police officers have to participate or help in raids and arrests. They are often called upon to record progress of investigation, maintain informational files on suspects, and submit reports to commanding officer or magistrate to authorize warrants. They are expected to obtain evidence from suspects. Finally, police officers furnish data to lab staff concerning the source of an item of evidence and tests to be performed.
Every day, police officers are expected to be able to evaluate problems as they arise. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they think through problems and come up with general rules.
It is important for police officers to obtain summary of incident from officer in charge at crime scene, taking care to avoid disturbing evidence. They are often called upon to examine crime scenes to obtain clues and evidence, such as loose hairs or weapons. They also organize scene search, assigning specific tasks and areas of search to individual officers and obtaining adequate lighting as needed. They are sometimes expected to secure persons at scene, keeping witnesses from conversing or leaving the scene before investigators arrive. Somewhat less frequently, police officers are also expected to secure deceased body and obtain evidence from it, preventing bystanders from tampering with it before medical examiner's arrival.
Police officers sometimes are asked to summon medical help for injured individuals and alert medical staff to take statements from them. They also have to be able to check victims for signs of life And finally, they sometimes have to analyze completed police reports to establish what additional data and investigative work is needed.
Like many other jobs, police officers must have exceptional integrity and be able to deal with stress and deal with situations calmly.
Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Portland include:
- Chief of Police. Supervise and coordinate activities of members of police force.
- 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.
- Fire Code Inspector. Inspect buildings and equipment to detect fire hazards and enforce state and local regulations.
- Fire Inspector. Conduct investigations to determine causes of fires and explosions.
- 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: Police Officer Training
Southern Maine Community College - South Portland, ME
Southern Maine Community College, 2 Fort Road, South Portland, ME 04106-1698. Southern Maine Community College is a medium sized college located in South Portland, Maine. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 5,654 students and an admission rate of 68%. Southern Maine Community College has an associate's degree program in Criminal Justice/Police Science which graduated thirty-two students in 2008.
Certified Medical Investigator: The spectrum of professions involved in forensic investigation has broadened dramatically over the past 20 years.
For more information, see the American College of Forensic Examiners website.
Certified Corrections Manager - Security Threat Groups: Individuals who head a Security Threat Group (STG) program in an adult or juvenile corrections facility, contribute to the development of agency policies/procedures pertaining to STGs, and are involved in the implementation of these policies/procedures.
For more information, see the American Correctional Association website.
Certified Fraud Examiner: The ACFE established and administers the Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) designation.
For more information, see the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners website.
Computer Forensics: The primary goals we have for our certification programs are to both assist law enforcement and organizations requiring highly skilled investigators in the identification of highly skilled individuals, and to promote the training and education efforts within the computer investigation, computer forensic and computer security industries.
For more information, see the Cyber Enforcement Resources Incorporated website.
Certified Cyber-Crime Expert: High-profile cases of corporate malfeasance and increased attention paid to cybercrime and cyberterrorism have elevated electronic evidence discovery to an indispensable component of any organization's security plan.
For more information, see the E-Business Process Solutions website.
LOCATION INFORMATION: Portland, Maine
Portland is situated in Cumberland County, Maine. It has a population of over 62,561, which has shrunk by 2.6% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Portland, 102, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Portland are priced at $164,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, twenty-three new homes were built in Portland, down from thirty-two the previous year.
The three most popular industries for women in Portland are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, accommodation and food services, and construction. The average commute to work is about 19 minutes. More than 36.4% of Portland residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 13.0%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Portland is 6.3%, which is less than Maine's average of 7.6%. About 14.1% of Portland's residents are below the poverty line, which is worse than the state average.
The percentage of Portland residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 40.4%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Mariners Church, Swedenborgian Church and Stroudwater Christian Church are among the churches located in Portland. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Church of Christ and the United Methodist Church.
Portland is home to the Cumberland Wharf and the Browns Wharf as well as Longfellow Square and Hadlock Field. Shopping centers in the area include Mill Creek Shopping Center, Monument Square Shopping Center and Portland East Shopping Center. Visitors to Portland can choose from Motel 6, Fairfield Inn Portland Airport and Ramada Limited Portland for temporary stays in the area.