Law Enforcement Programs
While the law enforcement profession is often "in your blood" -- it takes a special kind of person to give so fully to protect other people -- a lot of education is needed, too.
Alaska Law Enforcement Training Academy
Today's law enforcement career requires two kinds of preparation. The physical demands of law enforcement, including driving skills, physical fitness, shooting skills, and hand combat techniques, are taught in training academies held either by the larger city police departments, or at programs like the Alaska Law Enforcement Training Academy in Sitka. For the last 20 years, ALET has been teaching young police officers in this "boot-camp" style academy, in conjunction with the Sitka Campus of UAS. Any Alaskan who meets certain physical and educational requirements may register for this program. The intensive 15-week course results in an Occupational Endorsement.
Associate of Applied Science in Law Enforcement
Because the minimum age of ALET Academy cadets is 21, recent high school graduates who are interested in a career in law enforcement would do well to fill the two years before they are eligible by earning the AAS in Law Enforcement.
The other kind of preparation for police work is more mental or intellectual. Up till now, no schools in Alaska apart from 4-year programs have provided this instruction. Beginning in the fall of 2013, the Sitka Campus will offer an Associate of Applied Science in Law Enforcement degree. To be effective police officers who enjoy their work and advance in their profession, a number of college-level written and oral communications skills are needed, including:
- Communication Skills like critical listening, public speaking, and conflict resolution
- Quantitative Skills like basic and applied math
- Information Literacy such as how to read, write, research, and evaluate information
- Computer Usage skills
- Professional Behavior including the mindset of a successful police officer. You'll be guided in the high-level skills and attitudes you'll need to be good at interacting with the public, interviewing witnesses, investigating accidents and crimes, and report writing -- job skills that are essential to master in today's world of police work.
- Critical Thinking which will expose you to issues and different cultural perspectives on laws, society, and our changing world.
The UAS Southeast - Sitka program will therefore teach you how to "think like a police officer," and be effective as a leader in your community and within your department. This is the kind of study that will help you advance in your profession.
This program is open to any Alaskan interested in law enforcement careers at whatever level you desire. It will aid in your pursuit of local, state, or federal law enforcement positions.
High school graduates who are interested in a career in law enforcement will find that the AAS degree program is ideal: it can be completed during the 2 years you must wait between graduation and the age when you can enroll in the Academy.
For existing police officers, the program can be pursued in their spare time, through e-Learning. Course work is done over the internet.