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Career and Education Opportunities for Police Records Officers in Chattanooga, Tennessee

Police records officers can find many career and educational opportunities in the Chattanooga, Tennessee area. Currently, 2,320 people work as police records officers in Tennessee. This is expected to grow by 30% to 3,000 people by 2016. This is better than the national trend for police records officers, which sees this job pool growing by about 16.6% over the next eight years. Police records officers generally collect evidence at crime scenes, classify and identify fingerprints, and photograph evidence for use in criminal and civil cases.

Police records officers earn about $23 per hour or $48,250 yearly on average in Tennessee and about $29 per hour or $60,910 per year on average nationally. Incomes for police records officers are better than in the overall category of Police and Security in Tennessee, and better than the overall Police and Security category nationally. Police records officers work in a variety of jobs, including: evidence technician, identification officer, and crime scene technician.

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

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Police Records Officer

In general, police records officers collect evidence at crime scenes, classify and identify fingerprints, and photograph evidence for use in criminal and civil cases.

Police records officers testify in court and present evidence. They also package, store and retrieve evidence. Equally important, police records officers have to dust selected areas of crime scene and lift latent fingerprints, adhering to proper preservation procedures. They are often called upon to photograph crime or accident scenes for evidence records. They are expected to look for trace evidence, such as fingerprints or shoe impressions, using alternative light sources when needed. Finally, police records officers submit evidence to supervisors.

Every day, police records officers are expected to be able to see details at a very fine level of focus. They need to solve different sorts of problems in different ways depending upon circumstances. It is also important that they piece together evidence to, in some sense, diagnose what is going on in a situation.

It is important for police records officers to serve as technical advisor and direct with other law enforcement staff to share data on crime scene collection efforts. They are often called upon to perform emergency work during off-hours. They also identify and file fingerprints, using systems such as the Henry Classification system. Somewhat less frequently, police records officers are also expected to process film and prints from crime or accident scenes.

And finally, they sometimes have to process film and prints from crime or accident scenes.

Like many other jobs, police records officers must have exceptional integrity and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Chattanooga 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.
  • Police Officer. Conduct investigations to prevent crimes or solve criminal 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 Records Officer Training

Northwestern Technical College - Rock Spring, GA

Northwestern Technical College, 265 Bicentennial Trail, Rock Spring, GA 30739. Northwestern Technical College is a small college located in Rock Spring, Georgia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,335 students. Northwestern Technical College has a less than one year program in Criminal Justice/Police Science which graduated six students in 2008.

Cleveland State Community College - Cleveland, TN

Cleveland State Community College, 3535 Adkisson Drive, Cleveland, TN 37320-3570. Cleveland State Community College is a small college located in Cleveland, Tennessee. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 3,335 students and an admission rate of 56%. Cleveland State Community College has a less than one year program in Criminal Justice/Police Science which graduated six 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: Chattanooga, Tennessee

Chattanooga, Tennessee
Chattanooga, Tennessee photo by Avala

Chattanooga is situated in Hamilton County, Tennessee. It has a population of over 170,880, which has grown by 9.9% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chattanooga, 85, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Chattanooga are priced at $141,100 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, two hundred sixty-two new homes were built in Chattanooga, down from four hundred forty-one the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Chattanooga are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average commute to work is about 20 minutes. More than 21.5% of Chattanooga residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chattanooga is 9.5%, which is less than Tennessee's average of 10.2%.

The percentage of Chattanooga residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.2%, is more than both the national and state average. Stuart Heights Baptist Church, Kings Point Church and Stanley United Methodist Church are some of the churches located in Chattanooga. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Non-Charismatic Churches Independent.

Chattanooga is home to the Creeks Bend Golf Club and the Concord Golf Course as well as Warner Park and Ross Landing City Park. Shopping malls in the area include Northgate Mall, Northgate Crossing Shopping Center and Lee Plaza East Shopping Center. Visitors to Chattanooga can choose from Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites, Crystal Air Sport Motel and Hampton Inn Chattanooga I-75 North for temporary stays in the area.