Careers in Criminal Justice

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Careers In Criminal Justice
Carman Moon
CRJ 201
Professor Barnard
March 28, 2012

Having a degree in Criminal Justice can open many doors. There are many fields of criminal justice in which a person could enter with a wide variety of degrees. These degrees are any thing from an Art major to a bio science degree of some sort. Three particular careers that I choose to discuss are AFT agent, Criminalist, and Dispatcher. If I were to specialize in Criminal Justice these are the three areas I would be most interested in because they all have something to do with investigating or problem solving.
I will begin with the AFT agent. AFT stands for Alcohol, Firearms, and Tobacco. A job as an ATF Agent involves investigating violations of laws governing the possession and sale of alcohol, tobacco, firearms and explosives. An ATF Agent works closely with local, state and other federal law enforcement agencies. The ATF Agent career is similar to that of a police officer in that ATF agents obtain warrants, serve warrants, conduct raids, collecting evidence, investigating crime scenes, and testifying in trials. Applicants must be U.S. Citizens, at least 21 years of age, physical and written testing, background and drug screening and a 4-year college degree.?  Once hired as a new ATF Agent there will be a significant amount of law enforcement training.?  9 weeks in Glynco, GA where new agents are trained in surveillance, arrest techniques, firearms training and other skills.?  New agents then spend 13 weeks at FLETC where they are trained on explosives, bomb scene investigation and other similar areas.
I believe that the idea of connecting the gun to the person who committed the crime would be very rewarding. I also would enjoy getting as many of these weapons off the streets. Just knowing that many lives could be saved because you helped intercept a weapon cartel.
Next, I will discuss a Criminologist. A Criminalist applies scientific principles to analysis, identification, and classification of mechanical devices, chemical and physical substances, materials, liquids, or other physical evidence related to criminology, law enforcement, or investigative work: Searches for, collects, photographs, and preserves evidence. Performs variety of analytical examinations, utilizing chemistry, physics, mechanics, and other sciences. Analyzes items, such as paint, glass, printed matter, paper, ink, fabric, dust, dirt, gases, or other substances, using spectroscope, microscope, infrared and ultraviolet light, microphotography, gas chromatograph, or other recording, measuring, or testing instruments. Identifies hair, skin, tissue, blood, bones, or human organs. Examines and classifies explosives, firearms, bullets, shells, and other weapons. Interprets laboratory findings relative to drugs, poisons, narcotics, alcohol, or other compounds ingested or injected into body. Reconstructs crime scene, preserving marks or impressions made by shoes, tires, or other objects by plaster or moulage casts. Prepares reports or presentations of findings, methods, and techniques used to support conclusions, and prepares results for court or other formal hearings. May testify as expert witness on evidence or crime laboratory techniques. Confers with experts in such specialties as ballistics, fingerprinting, handwriting, documents, electronics, metallurgy, biochemistry, medicine, or others. This is the similar to an AFT agent in the sense that they both require investigation and analyzing things. Many crime scene investigation jobs require a bachelors degree in science with an emphasis on criminal investigation or law enforcement. Other jobs may require a criminal justice degree with some background in science.
Last, I will discuss the duties of a Dispatcher. The Police Dispatcher position is skilled emergency service work that involves receiving emergency 911 and non-emergency requests for police assistance, determining nature/urgency of calls, initiating police or other emergency personnel action and maintaining close contact with field units to monitor response and needed support requirements. It requires a considerable degree of initiative and independent judgment within procedural boundaries in responding to emotional, disturbed and sometimes abusive people in a variety of situations. Work may be done separately or in conjunction with other dispatchers and dispatchers may assist in training, teaching and basic operational equipment management. Knowing the geographic within the area will be very beneficial to this job. The Police Dispatcher position requires rotating shift assignments and overtime in accordance with maintaining a fully operational 24-hour facility. The minimum requirements are High School Diploma or G.E.D., at least 18 years of age, United States citizen, and no felony convictions. This position requires attaining and maintaining certifications for access into local, state and national criminal history databases and associated telecommunications systems, and the possession of a valid Driver??™s License. This position requires the satisfactory completion of a personal background investigation by law enforcement and the ability to meet minimum POST qualifications regarding police employment.
Even though each of these jobs specializes in different areas they all seem to have similarities in duties and qualifications. Each of these jobs has their own perks and will only be interesting to those with these likes. There will be no grand applause each time you solve a case just like all other careers within the lines of Criminal Justice. These jobs pay a little more than careers as police officers, but still require an individual who loves this line of work.

Schmalleger, F. (2011). Criminal justice today: An introductory text for the 21st century (11thEd.), Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.