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Higher Education's Role and Responsibility in Police Training: A Starting Point for Justice-Oriented Change

Sat, April 10, 9:30 to 10:30am EDT (9:30 to 10:30am EDT), SIG Sessions, SIG-Critical Educators for Social Justice Roundtable Sessions


This study illuminates higher education’s involvement in the training of police officers with the ultimate goal of reimagining this role to form a more just society. Using publicly available data, we collected information about the total degrees awarded in applied criminal justice/law enforcement in addition to conducting a 50-state inventory to address questions regarding minimum education requirements, the role of higher education in training, continuing education requirements, and the degree to which aspects of social justice are incorporated into the curriculum. 1301 higher education institutions in all 50 states awarded 60,353 applied law enforcement degrees in 2018. More than half of states are involved in basic training in some capacity. Little evidence of comprehensive justice-oriented police training exists.