Law enforcement technicians, also known as police technicians, communicate with field units and other emergency services in order to support police officers. Generally, prospective candidates must have finished high school or attained a GED equivalent. Some employers may prefer candidates who have an associate's degree; certificate programs are also available. Because law enforcement technicians work closely with police authorities, they must be able to pass both drug screenings and background checks.
|Required Education||High school diploma or GED; certificates in law enforcement are available, though an associate's degree may be preferred by employers|
|Other Requirements||Clean background check and drug screening|
|Projected Job Growth (2019-2029)*||6% for all police, fire, and ambulance dispatchers|
|Median Salary (2019)*||$41,910 for all police, fire, and ambulance dispatchers|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Is a Police Technician?
A police service technician works with a police department but is not a sworn officer, making this one of several law enforcement support jobs. Law enforcement technicians have two primary roles, which include dispatching units and acting as facility managers. As dispatchers, technicians may field incoming calls, assess the appropriate response and dispatch units to respond. Technicians support responding officers by communicating with other law enforcement agencies and emergency services in order to advise responding units of potential issues. Additionally, technicians assist investigations by gathering, logging, and examining official records and data.
As office managers, police technicians monitor inventories, schedule maintenance, and provide office security. Technicians are responsible for re-stocking supplies, ensuring that vehicles are serviced, and keeping records of service and mileage. Additionally, technicians may have administrative, clerical, and warehousing duties including filing reports, entering data, and storing evidence or property. In some environments, technicians may also be responsible for monitoring personnel and restricting access to unauthorized use.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), police, fire, and ambulance dispatchers earned a median annual salary of $41,910 in May 2019 (www.bls.gov). The BLS estimated that employment for these workers would increase 6% between 2019 and 2029.
How to Become a Law Enforcement Technician
Educational requirements can vary based on position; however, most require applicants to have at least completed high school or obtained their GED equivalent. Some employers prefer candidates who have an associate's degree or have completed a specific number of related undergraduate coursework.
Other employers may substitute several years of public service or law enforcement experience in lieu of academic coursework. Although not required for employment, police technician certificates are offered traditionally or online by colleges, universities, trade schools and professional organizations.
Prior to hire, applicants may be required to pass a fitness, background, and drug test, as well as a written examination. Additionally, many employers prefer prospective candidates who have a valid driver's license and are able to lift over 25 pounds.
When someone dials 911, a police technician is the person who will answer the phone. They obtain information about the emergency, determine the appropriate response, and alert the appropriate emergency services to respond to the call. They may also manage an office and restock supplies or implement a maintenance schedule for emergency vehicles.