Know what employers want before applying to be in law enforcement

This is the last of three pieces brought to you by Distance Minnesota about some of today’s hottest career fields. Be sure to check out our piece on the IT workforce and the Health industry.

Distance Minnesota is offering a free Online Career Workshop starting March 31 that will assist you in gaining more knowledge about your values, personality, skills and interests and how they relate to possible careers. Register today. Space may be limited.

Law Enforcement Academy

With the economy improving, more job opportunities are appearing, giving today’s students openings to show prospective employers their skills and professional talents. However, the job market is still competitive, and students need to know – and then acquire – the skills prospective employers want.

In the law enforcement industry, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts demand for police officers and detectives will increase 5 percent through the year 2022. This growth will make jobs available, but applicants must expect competition for these jobs.

Having knowledge of what traits and skills law enforcement agencies across the country want in candidates will help students strongly compete for open positions. Some background information and skills to know about in advance are:

Writing and communication skills for law enforcement


Report writing is an important part of the job for law enforcement officers, and departments are looking for officers who can communicate well in those reports. They have the potential for being reviewed by other officers, by the media, involved in court cases, and reviewed by many other professionals, which is why good communication skills are so important. What may surprise some applicants is that these writing skills are exactly that – often handwritten. Many departments don’t have the high-tech computer systems found in the detective shows on TV, making computer skills less important than effective communication skills, both written and oral.


Police officers may face many ethical issues on a daily or weekly basis, and how an officer behaves in these situations could affect an individual, business or even the community as a whole. All criminal justice students should complete an ethics course to ensure they’re prepared for the law enforcement working environment.

Community involvement

LawEnforcement3Many police departments require their officers to live within the community. Officers involved in the community are more effective in their careers.

Physical fitness for law enforcement applicants

Applicants shouldn’t be surprised that physical fitness is a requirement for most positions. Physical fitness prior to and during the testing process is critical if you want to get the career of your choice. Students wanting to be competitive for those open positions should begin additional physical training on their own.

These helpful hints about the law enforcement market, and what’s expected of candidates for jobs, were designed to help candidates have an edge when applying for those open positions. And even with the job market improving, that edge is important to getting the best position possible.

Whether you are seeking to advance in your current career or embark on a new one, career opportunities in the Health industry are many. And now, obtaining the skills you need to be successful are more accessible and affordable than ever. To learn more about the Distance Minnesota Law Enforcement programs, visit

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