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Career and Education Opportunities for Policemen in Charleston, West Virginia

Policeman career and educational opportunities abound in Charleston, West Virginia. About 2,910 people are currently employed as policemen in West Virginia. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 10% to about 3,200 people employed. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for policemen are expected to grow by about 8.7%. Policemen generally patrol assigned areas to enforce laws and ordinances, regulate traffic, and arrest violators.

Income for policemen is about $16 hourly or $35,240 annually on average in West Virginia. Nationally, their income is about $24 per hour or $51,410 annually. Earnings for policemen are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Police and Security in West Virginia and better than general Police and Security category earnings nationally. People working as policemen can fill a number of jobs, such as: detective, policewoman, and officer.

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 policeman. Policemen usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time training to become a policeman if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Policeman

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

In general, policemen patrol assigned areas to enforce laws and ordinances, regulate traffic, and arrest violators.

Policemen record facts to ready reports that document incidents and efforts. They also identify and arrest suspects and perpetrators of criminal acts. Equally important, policemen have to track and investigate suspicious persons and situations and unusual or illegal activity in patrol area. They are often called upon to provide for public safety by maintaining order, responding to emergencies, protecting people, and promoting good community relations. They are expected to testify in court to present evidence or act as witness in traffic and criminal cases. Finally, policemen relay complaint and emergency-request data to appropriate agency dispatchers.

Every day, policemen are expected to be able to respond quickly in general. They need to evaluate problems as they arise. It is also important that they articulate ideas and problems.

It is important for policemen to evaluate complaint and emergency-request data to establish response requirements. They are often called upon to process prisoners, and ready and maintain records of prisoner bookings and prisoner status during booking and pre-trial process. They also act as official escorts. Somewhat less frequently, policemen are also expected to examine public establishments to insure adherence to rules and regulations.

Policemen sometimes are asked to track traffic to insure motorists observe traffic rules and exhibit safe driving procedures. And finally, they sometimes have to inspect facts of incidents to establish if criminal acts or statute violations were involved.

Like many other jobs, policemen must have exceptional integrity and have strong self control in the face of challenging situations.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Charleston 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.
  • Police Records Officer. Collect evidence at crime scenes, classify and identify fingerprints, and photograph evidence for use in criminal and civil cases.
  • 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: Policeman Training

West Virginia State Community and Technical College - Institute, WV

West Virginia State Community and Technical College, 103 Cole Complex, Institute, WV 25112-1000. West Virginia State Community and Technical College is a small college located in Institute, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,741 students. West Virginia State Community and Technical College has an associate's degree program in Criminal Justice/Police Science which graduated sixteen students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Oxygen Administration: Prepares laypersons and professional rescuers with the knowledge and skills needed to know when and how to use supplemental oxygen and breathing devices.

For more information, see the American Red Cross website.

Police Service Dog Certification: This test is to determine if the police service dog is capable of performing on and off lead obedience exercises.

For more information, see the Eastern States Working Dog Association, INC website.

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.