Crime Prevention Specialists Ensure Safer Communities
You’ll work with police and educate neighborhoods and citizens to create safer communities together.
As a crime prevention specialist, you’ll need a watchful eye and a drive to help others.
Strong communication skills are necessary since you’ll be working both with law enforcement in community policing divisions and local citizens to create a safer community.
Qualifications for the Job
If you’re interested in becoming a crime prevention specialist, an associate’s or bachelor’s degree can help you get ahead. The following qualifications are required by employers in most instances:
- One to two years of work experience in law enforcement or crime prevention/resistance
- Experience implementing crime resistance programs in a community environment
- College-level courses in justice administration, police science and community relations
- A two- or four-year degree in criminal justice, criminology, sociology, police science or a related field
The National Crime Prevention Association (NCPA) now offers nationally-recognized professional certification. The organization has set minimum standards for two levels of crime prevention expertise: Basic and Advanced. Earning your certification can help distinguish you from other job candidates.
Crime Prevention Specialist Duties
Crime prevention specialists have two overall goals in their job. The first is to develop community programs aimed at preventing crime. The second goal is to educate citizens on how to protect themselves.
To accomplish these objectives, crime prevention specialists conduct crime analysis on the community. Then, they generate initiatives based on the findings to create a program for the targeted community.
This plan may include:
- Development of youth focused programs
- Crime prevention marketing within the community
- Identifying and promoting leaders within the community
- Emergency response measures
- Violence prevention
- Senior violence prevention programs
- Personal safety
Crime prevention specialists are also responsible for deterring crime on a larger scale by:
- Developing strategic security plans for physical structures, such as a security officer presence at buildings in the community
- Using environmental design for loss prevention and crime prevention
- Developing homeland security disaster and emergency response plans
Crime Prevention Specialist Salary and Job Growth
Salaries across the country vary significantly based on if the individual is a sworn officer or non-sworn officer, location, experience, certification and other factors.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2016-17 Occupational Outlook Handbook, the median national annual salary for police careers is $58,630. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a variety of other factors. National long-term projections of employment growth may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.
Employment for police careers is expected to grow 4 percent through 2024. Although job growth is expected to be slower than average, having a college degree can help your chances.
Salary information specific to your geographic area can usually be found at:
- Local police departments
- Sheriff’s departments
- Your state’s Department of Justice
- Other law enforcement agencies
Remember, a criminal justice degree can be one of the best ways to help boost your salary in the long run.
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