As a Tennessee resident interested in possibly pursuing a career in the field of criminal justice, you probably have quite a few questions. Most commonly, people want to know how to get started in the field , what type of education and/or training they will need to receive, their expected salary, and what hours they can expect to work.
Overwhelmingly, however, what most people want to know is simply what a day in the life of a working criminal justice agent in the state is truly like. Unfortunately, there isn’t one, simple answer to that question.
As you may already be aware of, criminal justice professionals in the state of Tennessee and throughout the rest of the United States can work in a wide variety of different ways and capacities.
Those with criminal justice backgrounds can go on to become police officers, sheriffs, bailiffs, victim advocates, or even employees of the central intelligence agency (CIA), the federal bureau of investigation (FBI), the drug enforcement agency (DEA), or the secret service, in which they provide assistance to the president and other equally important professional staff.
Each of these jobs requires very different requirements and educations and, likewise, has a very different working schedule.
So, what you can expect your day to day life to look like as a criminal justice professional will vary widely depending upon what exactly you do in the field. Many people work traditional nine to five type days, where they may perform their work at a desk or out in the field.
Others work more “on call” schedules, meaning they can be called to do work at any hour of the day or night. Some work in a kind of combination of these, working some weeks with a tradtiioanl schedule and others with an on call schedule.
In general, it’s a very good idea for all people who want o work in criminal justice to be flexible on when and where they are willing to work, since this can vary widely from position to position and may even change frequently within the confines of one particular job.
It is also important, with such crazy possible schedules, for all professionals to be completely dedicated to their jobs. Sometimes, in the work of criminal justice, relationships, family, and other commitments really have to take a back seat to the demands of the job.
One thing that all criminal justice professionals have in common, however, regardless of when or where they do their work, is that they are all working for the same basic reason and cause.
That reason is to help improve the lives of others and to keep people safe from crimes and the criminals who commit them. When you keep that in mind, the crazy work schedule probably won’t bother you nearly as much.
While we can’t go into detail about the daily lives of every professional in the field, we can talk about some of the most common criminal justice professionals. Police officers, for example, usually work the combination of traditional and on call schedules. They may be asked to work within a certain area, or to look for a certain type of crime or criminals.
Some police officers, for example, might be more focused on catching traffic violators, while others look for those breaking drug laws or other obvious violations. They don’t spend all their time patrolling, however; paperwork and traditional office chores are a regular part of the job as well.
Likewise, criminal investigators tend to work on call schedules, usually adding in many more hours of work when they’re hot on the trail of a particular case.
Not only do they visit crime scenes, conduct interviews with witnesses and suspects, collect and submit evidence, and follow leads, but they too must file paperwork and be familiar with and follow the protocols of the law.
All other professionals in the field are also subject to the rules and regulations of the laws of the state, which is why formal education and/or training in the field of criminal justice, no matter who you are or what you plan to do, is so very important.