Law, Public Safety, Corrections and Security

If you are someone who has strong moral values, enjoys giving back to the community and has a dedicated and positive work ethic, then a career in public safety could be for you.

Public safety personnel are highly respected by their local communities and have excellent job security and career development opportunities. There are many different branches of public safety and many different ways to enter the sector, depending on your state or region.

In this article we will look at the various career paths available to anyone looking to work in law enforcement, public safety, corrections or security, as well as the qualities necessary to this kind of work. 

What does Public Safety mean?

Public Safety Departments are state and local government agencies who are responsible for maintaining and protecting the safety of their local community. In the majority of states and cities across America, the Department of Public Safety oversees the coordination, communication and collaboration of the various emergency services in the area.

These kinds of DPSs tend to be administrative in nature and the personnel are expert managers and organizers. The individual emergency service departments in these areas are independent of each other, although those working within them are still considered public safety personnel. 

In some states and cities, the Department of Public Safety has fully trained personnel who person all the emergency services. In these agencies, police officers are also trained in fire fighting and emergency medical services.

The Texas State Troopers are a good example of this kind of agency, and they are highly skilled officers with extensive responsibilities and authority. Of course, most areas also have specialist officers and personnel for particular accidents and emergencies – like lifeguards for water based policing.

Who is suitable for a career in Public Safety?

As public safety is such a broad area, the qualities and characteristics that best suit a career in it depend largely on the role that you are interested in. For example, those who are brave, decisive, calm under pressure, clear communicators and great team players who suit a career as a first responder in the emergency services very well.

Those who are organized, fair, clear headed, dedicated and studious would suit a career in the justice system or on the administrative side of public safety. Anyone who has a passion for their community and is hardworking, dedicated and responsible would do well in Public Safety. Some avenues require University degrees and higher education, whereas others require vocational training at a police academy or fire department instead.

What are possible careers in Fire and the Emergency Services?

These days firefighters are required to do far more than prevent and suppress fires, although they are still highly skilled in this area. They are also often trained in emergency medical care as well, and are often the first responders at the scene of an accident or emergency.

Of course, the emergency services require excellent managers and planners to work behind the scenes as well, and there are many administrative roles in this area. The 911 call center workers who are responsible for dispatching the correct teams in response to emergencies are also a vital part of the operation.

Most Fire Departments have training facilities and do not require new trainees to have academic degrees. However, firefighters are required to sit exams and pass physical tests in order to qualify for the profession. To become a fully qualified EMT firefighter takes many extra hours of dedicated learning and training due to all the medical expertise involved.

Possible career paths include:

  • Fire Fighter
  • Hazardous Materials Responder
  • Rescue Worker
  • Emergency Medical Technician
  • Training Officer
  • Dispatcher
  • Emergency Management and Response Coordinator
  • Emergency Planning Manager

What possible careers are there in Law Enforcement?

Police officers and law enforcement personnel play a huge part in keeping their communities safe and peaceful. They have to have excellent communication skills and be able to interact with members of the public from all walks of life.

Depending on the branch of policing that you are interested in, the level of risk and danger can vary. Some police jobs involve arresting and chasing down criminals, undercover work and surveillance. In the same way, some policing jobs are desk based and involve filing reports and checking documentation, whereas other branches are more active.

Park rangers patrol and police green spaces and therefore need to have a love and appreciation of the great outdoors, as well as a heightened awareness of the dangers it poses. Detectives and investigators need to possess excellent critical thinking skills and have the ability to work methodically and patiently on cases that can last months and months. There is a huge range of roles that fall into the law enforcement category.

Possible career paths include:

  • Police and Patrol Officer
  • Criminal Investigator and Special Agent
  • Police Detective and Criminal Investigator
  • Sheriff and Deputy Sheriff
  • Immigration and Customs Inspector
  • Federal Marshall
  • Private Detective and Investigator
  • Police, Fire and Ambulance Dispatcher
  • Evidence Technician
  • Bailiff
  • Park Ranger
  • Game Enforcement Officer
  • Animal Control Officer

What possible careers are there in Legal Services?

The area of legal services refers to any personnel operating within the justice system. As every citizen in the United States of America has a right to criminal defense, the legal system is vast and varied.

From personal disputes, to criminal charges and federal investigations, the legal services have to ensure that those in society are fairly heard, that rules and standards are relevant and appropriate and that consequences are fairly brought about.

A career in the legal services is most suited to those who have a strong moral compass, enjoy responsibility and have a great deal of attention to detail.

Possible career paths include:

  • Attorney
  • Judge
  • Magistrate
  • Investigator
  • Law Clerk
  • Paralegal
  • Legal Assistant
  • File and Document Manager
  • Case Management Specialist
  • Court Reporter
  • Legal Secretary
  • Mediator/Arbitrator

What possible careers are there in Correction Services?

Those who work in the correctional services are responsible for individuals who have been accused of a crime and are awaiting trial, or those who have been found guilty and are serving prison sentences.

They oversee the appeals process for criminals who are hoping to lessen their sentence, and they also provide the support and structure for those who are released from prison on probation or parole. Any criminals who are serving community sentences have to report to a correctional officer as well.

Although correctional officers are primarily responsible for ensuring the safety and security of victims and the general public, they also oversee the education, care and rehabilitation of criminals.

Possible career paths include:

  • Probation, Parole Officer
  • Corrections Officer

What possible careers are there in Security and Protection Services?

A career in security services is best suited to those who are vigilant, patient and hard working. Security personnel are employed to work in public buildings and spaces, as well as in government buildings. They patrol the area and protect the precious paintings and artifacts in museums, as well as intelligence data and scientific research that exists inside laboratories and government offices.

Those who work for the Department of HOmeland Security are responsible for protecting and securing the country’s borders and for overseeing immigration processes.

Possible career paths include:

  • Private Detective, Investigator
  • Security Officer

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