Katherine D. California

Police Officers Need a College Degree

Police officers are not required to have a college degree. In the U.S. we have too much police violence and racism. This may be caused by their lack of knowledge on certain topics like race and law.

Dear Future President:

The United States has been faced with racism and police brutality. I have not faced racism from police officers, but I do know a former police officer who has strong views on certain races. This may be from his firsthand experience with dealing with criminals that has led him to have certain biases. I don't agree with many of his views on race, and it has even made me angry. I believe there should be a stricter requirement for people to become police officers so they would have more knowledge about people.

There was a study conducted by the Michigan State University in 2015 where they compared police officers with a college degree and ones without a college degree. They found that police officers that had a four year degree used less force, had fewer complaints of impoliteness, were more open-minded, and better at resolving conflicts. The study also showed that they had a better understanding of the law and civil rights issues.

College should be a new requirement for police officers because they will gain more knowledge than officers who didn’t go to college. Police officers could take classes that would benefit them in their job like law, criminal justice, ethics, and race. They would also learn about how to deal with stress, change, and how to handle the workload.  All these can be useful to police officers. In the same study they also showed that police officers with college degrees had better communication skills and could write better reports. Both of these could be learned in college because they have the option to take communication classes, and they have to write reports for their classes.

Many of the skills police officers need can be learned in college. Police will become more insightful and aware of issues that people have in the U.S. because they have to deal with a diverse group of citizens. If more police officers were to get a four year degree, they would be seen as more professional. Even though there are other reasons why police officers aren’t performing well, having college experience could change police officers’ perspective on issues. 


Katherine Duong

The Preuss School UCSD

Block 8

AP English Lit & Comp, B Day

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