What type of work would I do if I studied Law Enforcement?
This degree opens doors to a possible career in law enforcement, including positions such as sheriff, deputy sheriff, police officer and highway patrol officer. In these kinds of careers you would enforce laws and ordinances, regulate traffic, control crowds, prevent crime and arrest violators.
What type of degree will I earn at Missouri State University-West Plains?
Students enrolled in law enforcement may obtain a two-year Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Law Enforcement degree that will include both general education and law enforcement courses. The degree is designed to articulate with the 640-hour Missouri Sheriff's Association Training Academy (MSATA) on our campus and at other sites around the state. The training prepares one for certification by the Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) program which is offered by the Missouri Department of Public Safety. Students who complete MSATA training can receive 30 semester hours of credit (LWE 190, LWE191, and LWE 120) toward their AAS degree in Law Enforcement.
Why should I major in Law Enforcement?
Although the MSATA course is currently the minimum training requirement to obtain employment as sheriffs, deputy sheriffs, and municipal police officers, area law enforcement officials have said they expect these minimum requirements to increase in the near future, possibly to include an associate's degree in law enforcement. Already, an increasing number of cities and states require some college training, and some departments and most federal agencies require a college degree. Some agencies have annual extra pay incentives for those with degrees. In addition, statewide statistics show police and sheriff patrol officers and first-line supervisors of police and detectives are among the top 50 careers in 2014. (Mo. Department of Economic Development/Missouri Economic Research and Information Center)
What salary can I expect to earn?
Police and Sheriff's patrol officers in Missouri earned an average annual salary of $42,700, according to May 2011 data compiled by the Mo. Department of Economic Development and posted on the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center website. Police and sheriff’s patrol officers in the south-central Missouri region earned an average annual salary of $31,405.
This is a specialized degree that is primarily an occupationally-oriented degree. Recipients of this degree are ready to enter a particular job market. While not designed as transfer degrees, some AAS degrees can be used as the first two years of a Bachelor of Applied Science degree. Students will need to take additional general education courses, as well as courses in the major field.