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Career and Education Opportunities for Chiefs of Police in Charleston, West Virginia

For those living in the Charleston, West Virginia area, there are many career and education opportunities for chiefs of police. About 240 people are currently employed as chiefs of police in West Virginia. By 2016, this is expected to grow 9% to about 270 people employed. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for chiefs of police are expected to grow by about 8.1%. 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 $26 per hour or $55,850 per year on average in West Virginia and about $36 per hour or $75,490 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Incomes for chiefs of police are better than in the overall category of Police and Security in West Virginia, and better than the overall Police and Security category nationally. Jobs in this field include: detective sergeant, civil division commander deputy sheriff, and detective supervisor.

There are seventeen schools of higher education in the Charleston area, including one within twenty-five miles of Charleston where you can get a degree to start your career as a chief of police. Given that the most common education level for chiefs of police is a high school diploma or GED, it will take only a short time to learn to be a chief of police if you already have a high school diploma.


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 Charleston 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.


West Virginia State University - Institute, WV

West Virginia State University, Rte 25, Institute, WV 25112-1000. West Virginia State University is a small university located in Institute, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,347 students and an admission rate of 57%. West Virginia State University has a bachelor's degree program in Criminal Justice/Safety Studies which graduated forty-two students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Charleston, West Virginia

Charleston, West Virginia
Charleston, West Virginia photo by Malepheasant

Charleston is situated in Kanawha County, West Virginia. It has a population of over 50,302, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Charleston, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Charleston are priced at $268,400 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, thirty-four new homes were constructed in Charleston, up from twenty-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Charleston are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, health care, and public administration. The average travel time to work is about 16 minutes. More than 32.6% of Charleston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Charleston is 7.7%, which is the same as West Virginia's average of 7.7%. About 16.7% of Charleston's residents are below the poverty line, which is better than the state average.

The percentage of Charleston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 34.5%, is less than both the national and state average. Starcher Baptist Church, Southeast Church of the Nazarene and South Ruffner Presbyterian Church are among the churches located in Charleston. The largest religious groups are the American Baptist Churches in the USA, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Charleston is home to the John F Kennedy Center and the Kanawha County Courthouse as well as Watt Powell Stadium and Ruffner Memorial Park. Shopping centers in the area include Patrick Street Plaza Shopping Center, Laidley Court Shopping Center and Plaza East Shopping Center. Visitors to Charleston can choose from Days Inn Charleston East WV, Motel 6 and Fairfield Inn Charleston for temporary stays in the area.