Careers in the Criminal Justice system
When one thinks of law enforcement, the first thing that comes to mind is the patrol officer, which is the most visible aspect of the law enforcement system in our everyday lives. However, the field of law enforcement is vast and has many levels, branches, and specializations. There are local law enforcement agencies such as the city police departments or the state patrol offices. At the federal level, there are agencies such as the FBI, CIA, ATF, and Secret Service. Some of the federal law enforcement agencies are also integrated into the recently formed Department of Homeland Security and those efforts often overlap.
Homeland security is a term that has become a part of our everyday vocabulary since the attacks of September 11, 2001 and the increased threat of terrorist activities on United States soil. The Department of Homeland Security was formed in the wake of 9/11 as a more robust and efficient system that utilizes the efforts of several separate departments and divisions with one unifying goal of protecting our country from threats and preparing for the possible handling of tragic events and disasters. From intelligence gathering, border patrolling, and disaster preparedness, there are a number of important positions from the local to federal level which sustain the operations of this vitally important department.
Forensics careers have experienced major growth in recent decades as technology and new methods of evidence analysis have evolved. This evolution in sophistication and technology in forensics has become a major force in more precisely identifying suspects as well as the facts and events surrounding a crime. The application of forensics has many subdivisions and special applications. Forensics careers can be pursued in the study of blood groups, accounting, fingerprints, video analysis, toxicology, psychology, biological evidence, ballistics, and more. For those who have a scientific disposition and an eye for precision, a career in one of the many forensics roles could be a good fit.
With the advent of the information age, a new set of threats and security concerns have become a major priority in both our government and the private sector. The fields of cyber security, information security, and computer forensics are all closely related and sometimes overlap. Those in IT security careers gain knowledge in both offensive and defensive mechanisms for dealing with potential security breaches leading to exposure to sensitive information, access to control systems, and a whole host of potential criminal activity and leaked intelligence surrounding the use of computers, the internet, and digital devices.
P.C. McKinnon, born Peter Charles McKinnon (b. 1958) in Waterbury, Connecticut. In 1976, after graduating from high school, he entered the Air Force, where he remained until his retirement in 1996. Before retirement, he graduated from the University of Central Florida with a BA in Criminal Justice, with a minor in Legal Affairs. After...