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Police reform through education

All police should be required to have tertiary qualifications. Why?

Posted by | Journey to the Center of a PHD | No Comments

All police should be required to have tertiary qualifications. Why?

Every few years it seems that police reform is yet again a heated topic in some region of the world. In 2014, the then police commissioner for Western Australia wrote about creating a better future in policing through police reform (O’Callaghan, 2014). In the United States of America in 2015 the deaths of several black community members across different instances and events caused wide spread civil unrest and calls for police reform (Dianis, 2015; Toobin, 2015). And in the United Kingdom there are bodies established with the goal of reforming policing institutions to face modern crimes while providing services that are trusted by the public (Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, 2017). Indeed, most western countries and many eastern block or third world countries struggle with calls for police reform from their constituents periodically, normally in the aftermath that follows a disaster or particularly publicised scandal. During these times, police institutions often look at higher education as a form of organisational reform as a get out of controversy free card. Its ease of implementation and acceptance by the civilian community only enforces its status as an appealing scapegoat for reformists and policy makers. But by equipping our police officers with tertiary qualifications, we are also ensuring they have another tool needed in the fight against crime and corruption. This essay will take the positive side of the claim that all police officers should be required to have tertiary qualifications. This essay will argue in support of this claim by showing how increased tertiary education and other qualifications improve the overall health of a police department, the benefits on individual policing, and compare how effectively police officers with and without a university degree perform in relation to each other when they’re actively carrying out their duties. Read More