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Career and Education Opportunities for Chiefs of Police in Vancouver, Washington

Chiefs of police can find many career and educational opportunities in the Vancouver, Washington area. There are currently 1,980 jobs for chiefs of police in Washington and this is projected to grow 11% to 2,210 jobs by 2016. 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. Chiefs of police generally supervise and coordinate activities of members of police force.

A person working as a chief of police can expect to earn about $39 per hour or $82,090 annually on average in Washington and about $36 per hour or $75,490 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Earnings for chiefs of police are better than earnings in the general category of Police and Security in Washington and better than general Police and Security category earnings nationally. People working as chiefs of police can fill a number of jobs, such as: safety supervisor, police lieutenant, and detective lieutenant.

The Vancouver area is home to forty-eight schools of higher education, including six within twenty-five miles of Vancouver where you can get a degree as a chief of police. Chiefs of police usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time training to become 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 Vancouver 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

College of Legal Arts - Portland, OR

College of Legal Arts, 8909 SW Barbur Blvd., Suite 100, Portland, OR 97219. College of Legal Arts is a small college located in Portland, Oregon. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 260 students. College of Legal Arts has a less than one year program in Corrections which graduated twenty-one students in 2008.

ITT Technical Institute-Portland - Portland, OR

ITT Technical Institute-Portland, 9500 NE Cascades Parkway, Portland, OR 97220. ITT Technical Institute-Portland is a small school located in Portland, Oregon. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 816 students and an admission rate of 50%. ITT Technical Institute-Portland has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement Administration which graduated one and zero students respectively in 2008.

Portland State University - Portland, OR

Portland State University, 724 SW Harrison, Portland, OR 97201. Portland State University is a large university located in Portland, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 25,959 students and an admission rate of 80%. Portland State University has bachelor's degree, postbaccalaureate certificate, and master's degree programs in Criminal Justice/Safety Studies which graduated one, three, and eleven students respectively in 2008.

Portland Community College - Portland, OR

Portland Community College, 12000 SW 49th Avenue, Portland, OR 97219-7132. Portland Community College is a large college located in Portland, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 26,657 students. Portland Community College has an associate's degree program in Criminal Justice/Safety Studies which graduated forty-eight students in 2008.

Clackamas Community College - Oregon City, OR

Clackamas Community College, 19600 Molalla Ave, Oregon City, OR 97045-8980. Clackamas Community College is a medium sized college located in Oregon City, Oregon. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,701 students. Clackamas Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Corrections which graduated two and six students respectively in 2008.

Everest College-Portland - Portland, OR

Everest College-Portland, 425 SW Washington, Portland, OR 97204-2296. Everest College-Portland is a small college located in Portland, Oregon. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 764 students and an admission rate of 49%. Everest College-Portland has an associate's degree program in Criminal Justice/Safety Studies which graduated ten students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Vancouver, Washington

Vancouver, Washington
Vancouver, Washington photo by Matthiasb

Vancouver is located in Clark County, Washington. It has a population of over 163,186, which has grown by 13.7% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Vancouver, 98, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Vancouver are priced at $95,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred eighty new homes were built in Vancouver, down from four hundred twenty the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Vancouver are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, computer and electronic products, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 21.7% of Vancouver residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.4%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Vancouver is 7.8%, which is less than Washington's average of 8.7%.

The percentage of Vancouver residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 27.9%, is less than both the national and state average. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Vancouver is home to the Vancouver Square and the Vancouver Plaza as well as Leverich Park and Wintler Park. Shopping malls in the area include Arbours Shopping Center, Millport Shopping Center and Vancouver Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Vancouver can choose from Comfort Suites Vancouver, Homewood Suites Portland-Vancouver and Best Western Hotel and Suites Vacouver Mall Dr for temporary stays in the area.