Law Enforcement Careers in Pennsylvania

Although the number of crimes reported to Pennsylvania police agencies increased slightly from 2010 to 2011, the number of violent crime offenses decreased during that time frame.  Part of this can be attributed to the efforts of law enforcement officers throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

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Those seeking law enforcement careers in Pennsylvania have a number of options, ranging from jobs with the Pennsylvania State Police to jobs as Sheriff’s Deputies and municipal Police Officers.

Jobs with the Pennsylvania State Police

Since its inception in 1905 as the first uniformed police organization of its type, Pennsylvania state troopers have been protecting those who travel the highways of Pennsylvania.  The Pennsylvania State Police currently has 4,677 sworn Troopers.  In addition to enforcing traffic laws and stopping drunk drivers, State Police Troopers are trained to identify potential smugglers and terrorists who may be crossing through Pennsylvania.

The I-95 corridor is an avenue for drug smuggling throughout the Northeast.  Pennsylvania State Police Troopers frequently intercept shipments of drugs and cash from Miami that are destined for New York and other cities. The Pennsylvania State Police also offers high tech assistance to other law enforcement agencies throughout the Commonwealth.

Applicants for positions with the Pennsylvania State Police start out as cadets.  Those seeking jobs as State Troopers in Pennsylvania must be 21-39 years old on the date they are appointed.  Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED plus an Associate’s Degree of 60 semester credit hours.  This can be waived in some casings, such as having worked for two years as a police officer or in the military.  Potential candidates for the Pennsylvania State Police must apply on-line.

Jobs with Sheriff’s Departments in Pennsylvania

The counties of Pennsylvania provide numerous opportunities to obtain jobs as a Sheriff’s Deputy.

Allegheny County:  Allegheny County has the lowest crime rate of any metropolitan area with over one million citizens.  Located in Pittsburgh, the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office practices Community Oriented Policing to help prevent crimes from taking place.

Delaware County:  The Sheriff’s Office of Delaware County is staffed with 41 full time Deputy Sheriffs that fight crime in the county and assist other law enforcement agencies.  Those seeking a job as a Deputy Sheriff in Delaware County should contact The Office of Workforce Development.

Philadelphia County:  Deputy Sheriffs of the Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office provide protection in court buildings and hunt fugitives.  Those who apply for jobs as Deputy Sheriffs with the Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office must be 19-49 years old at the time of their appointment.  A high school diploma or GED is required.

Jobs with Municipal Police Departments in Pennsylvania

Residents of Pennsylvania have a number of options to obtain jobs as Police Officers in the municipal regions of the state.

Allentown:  The crime rate for Allentown is higher than for many other cities of its size in the U.S.  Fighting this trend are the members of the Allentown Police Department.  Those who wish to obtain jobs as Police Officers in must be 21 years old when appointed and possess a high school diploma or GED.

Erie:  There are high rates of both violent and property crimes in Erie.  The Erie Police Department currently employs 173 active Police Officers.  Those who wish to obtain jobs as Police Officers in Erie must be 21-65 years old, have a high school diploma or a GED.  By the time of hiring, applicants must be Act 120 certified.

Philadelphia:  Philadelphia has one of the highest crime rates of any city in the U.S., and to combat this, it has the fourth largest police department in the country with over 6600 sworn members.  Those who seek jobs as Police Officers in Philadelphia must first submit an on-line pre-application form.  They will then have to pass a written exam and a test of physical agility before being considered for hiring.

Pittsburgh:  The crime rate in Pittsburgh is about average for cities of its size.  Law enforcement officials in this city are members of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, which has approximately 900 sworn officers.  To apply for jobs as Police Officers in Pittsburgh, applicants must be at least 18 years old and have 30 semester or 45 quarter credits of completed coursework at a college, technical, or trade school.

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