Criminal Justice Programs in Kansas City
Criminal Justice professionals like police, paralegals, court reporters, security guards and private investigators are an integral part of keeping Kansas City safe. The Kansas City area is a large metropolitan area that stretches across two cities and reaches into both Kansas and Missouri. It is the second-largest metropolitan area in Missouri and the largest in Kansas, and because of its large presence in both states there is always a need for Criminal Justice professionals.
Because Kansas City resides in two states, there are two primary Criminal Justice employers in this area: the Kansas City, Kansas Police Department and the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department. These departments work together seamlessly to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all Kansas City residents.
The Kansas City, Kansas Police Department has two main bureau’s of operation: the Operations Bureau and the Investigation Bureau. The Operations Bureau consists mostly of community policing and patrols, as well as providing school officers. The Investigation Bureau offers a wider array of divisions such as Major Case/Robbery, Crimes Against Persons, Crimes Against Property, Crime Scene Investigation, and Victims Services Unit. The KCMO Police Department has five Bureaus: Investigations Bureau, Professional Development and Research Bureau, Patrol Bureau, Administration Bureau, and the Executive Services Bureau. The Investigations Bureau has divisions such as Violent Crimes, Narcotice and Vice, and Criminalistics. The Professional Development and Research Bureau has two major operations: Research and Development and Training, while the Patrol Bureau is the group of officers that drive around town and respond to 911 emergency calls. Finally the Executive Services Bureau handles the Logistical Support and Financies, while the Administration Bureau handles the adminstration and clerical work such as Human Resources and Information Services.
As you may know, Criminal Justice relies a lot on procedure and laws. Because of this, it is important to have a solid education before entering into this field. You can look at our list of Kansas City area schools to learn more. Contact any schools that you’re interested in.
Criminal Justice Schools in Other Major Missouri Cities
Criminal Justice Education in Kansas City
Choosing a Criminal Justice school in the Kansas City area can get you started on the path to a rewarding career. You can earn an Associate’s Degree at a technical or community college. If you want to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree, you can do so at a four-year college or university.
When you first start your degree, you can plan on taking lower-level courses in a broad spectrum of justice courses. This gives you a basic education in the entire field and allows you to find out what field you are specifically interested in. You may take courses like Policing Procedures, Law Enforcement, Corrections Procedures, and Criminology.
You may want to look into pursuing an internship in your last year of school. You can choose what type of field you want to work in after graduation and then work in that field. You generally need a three to six hour commitment for an entire semester.
Joining local Criminal Justice organizations can help you get the most from your education. You can network, meet potential employers, and get a feel for the field. In Kansas City, you can look into the Kansas City Paralegal Association, the Kansas City Fraternal Order of Police, and the Kansas Association of Private Investigators.
Job Outlook for Criminal Justice Graduates in Kansas City
How do you want to use your Criminal Justice degree? Since it is such a versatile degree, you can consider a huge variety of career paths. Most Criminal Justice jobs require to work in the community, in the courtroom, or in the prison system.
With an Associate’s Degree, you can take on many entry-level jobs in this field. As you gain experience, you may be able to move up through the ranks and take on more specialized job titles. Consider these career paths:
- Security Guard: $28,420 per year (BLS, 2012)
- Correctional Officer: $32,830 per year (BLS, 2012)
- Bailiff: $36,910 per year (BLS, 2012)
After earning a Bachelor’s Degree, it’s likely that you have experience in many different settings and positions. This can serve you well when you begin your job search, as it qualifies you for many career paths. Consider these choices:
- Correctional Officer Supervisor: $50,390 per year (BLS, 2012)
- Detective: $73,950 per year (BLS, 2012)
- FBI Agent: $43,441 per year (FBI, 2014)
Depending on whether you live in Kansas or Missouri, you may want to become a police officer with the Kansas City, Kansas Police Department or the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department. New officers with the KCKPD can earn an annual salary of $40,417, while new officers with the KCMPD can start at $39,864 per year.
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