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  1. #1
    sideman is offline Registered User
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    Too old for a career in criminal justice?

    I'm interested in studying criminal justice , however I am 52 yrs. old. That puts me as too old to become a police officer , so what other career opportunites would there be for a person my age, if any? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Vinipink is offline Accounting Monster
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    Quote Originally Posted by sideman View Post
    I'm interested in studying criminal justice, however I am 52 yrs. old. That puts me as too old to become a police officer, so what other career opportunites would there be for a person my age, if any? Any suggestions would be appreciated.
    Some:

    Forensics
    Criminology
    Private Investigation
    Security
    Crime Scene Investigation
    Corrections (Probation)
    Law Enforcement : like code enforcement and child support enforcement
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  3. #3
    Bruce is offline Moderator
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    Are you looking to get involved in law enforcement , or are you looking to change careers? I ask because there are often many opportunities for people to get involved with their police department without committing to a career change.
    --
    Bruce Tait
    A.S. (Criminal Justice) Quincy College
    B.A. (Criminal Justice) Curry College
    M.A. (Criminal Justice) University of Massachusetts-Lowell
    M.A. (Forensic Psychology) Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology



    RA Criminal Justice Degrees by Distance Learning - Updated 3/16/08

    NA Criminal Justice Degrees by Distance Learning - Updated 3/20/08

  4. #4
    ebbwvale is offline Registered User
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    Why is 52 years too old? In this country and in this state we still take recruits in that age bracket. There isn't many, but surprisingly a number who have had quite successful careers elsewhere who have always wanted to be police officers. I am don't understand why they want to see sunrises and angry drunken people when they don't have to, but they do. One even used to drive his Rolls Royce to work. I thought the vehicle was a seized exhibit and somebody had put it in the wrong compound, when I first saw it in the police car park. He was a complete mystery to me.

    If you have previous service, things should be easier. Our service takes people with previous service in other police agencies through a fast track program. We have them from all over the world including the US.

    I am sure that the US would have some agencies that are flexible in respect of age. There is also now a raft of jobs in police intelligence, forensics, and administration that are not as age limited. It just depends on the agency.

  5. #5
    perrymk is offline Registered User
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    Evidence room technician. Basically, putting evidence on a shelf, taking evidence off a shelf, and tracking it all in a computer system. Not glamorous but extremely important. Such positions exist in law enforcement agencies as well as forensic laboratories. Requires some lifting but nothing a 12 year old girl couldn't handle. (no offense meant to 12 yo girls) Usually requires a degree although I don't know why. There is an opening for this position at the forensic lab at which I am employed.

    Administrative. Most agencies require various administrative functions be performed and are often performed by non-sworn persons. These run the range from secretary/receptionist to accountant to IT to quality control manager. Degree requirements vary but good computer user (not programmer unless IT) skills usually required.

    Security guard.

    Admin positions in a courthouse. These include witness manager and other positions that help witnesses (expert and civilian) through the process.

    I'm sure we could come up with several others.
    Last edited by perrymk; 08-11-2008 at 03:57 AM.

  6. #6
    GeneralSnus is offline Registered User
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    You could also become a police officer with one of the many federal police agencies that are not covered by the law enforcement retirement provisions. For example, the vast majority of civilian police officers that serve U.S. military installations are not subject to the maximum age entry requirement.

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    ShotoJuku is offline Registered User
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  9. #8
    sideman is offline Registered User
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    Bruce,

    I'm looking at changing careers. I've been an entrepreneur for 25 years and I've tired of the business world. Criminal justice just struck me as an interesting major for study, I just wanted to make sure I could make a decent living after the change and if it was doable. Thanks.

  10. #9
    makana793 is offline Registered User
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    The corrections/treatment side of criminal justice would suit you well. If you really want to help people this might be your ticket. Potential jobs include probation, parole or working with pre-trial defendants. Another thing to consider is corrections case management. Prisons and jails are always hiring caseworkers or social workers, which falls under the criminal justice system. I started off as a corrections officer then I moved to corrections counseling and then parole.

  11. #10
    Bruce is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by sideman View Post
    I'm looking at changing careers. I've been an entrepreneur for 25 years and I've tired of the business world. Criminal justice just struck me as an interesting major for study, I just wanted to make sure I could make a decent living after the change and if it was doable. Thanks.
    Decent living depends on what your definition is, but in most places a police officer doesn't need to apply for food stamps. :D

    There are more and more departments which don't have an age limit; the Boston PD lifted theirs but it was put back in place when a 64 year-old graduated the police academy, worked for 9 months, then had to retire (true story).

    What state are you in? I have contacts all over the country and can probably give a better opinion once I know where you are.
    --
    Bruce Tait
    A.S. (Criminal Justice) Quincy College
    B.A. (Criminal Justice) Curry College
    M.A. (Criminal Justice) University of Massachusetts-Lowell
    M.A. (Forensic Psychology) Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology



    RA Criminal Justice Degrees by Distance Learning - Updated 3/16/08

    NA Criminal Justice Degrees by Distance Learning - Updated 3/20/08

  12. #11
    perrymk is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce View Post
    Decent living depends on what your definition is, but in most places a police officer doesn't need to apply for food stamps. :D
    Police officers may not require food stamps, but in some cases can't afford to live in the areas they patrol. We don't have to travel to Silicon Valley to find examples. I don't think the police dept starting salary in Tallahassee, Florida will qualify one for a mortgage for a home in the city. Other CJ careers may be even more overworked and underpaid. I'm thinking parole officers and lower rung admin positions. Some of these just about require a second income source to survive. These careers may be great for a retiree with a pension or a spouse just trying to get a little extra income in the household but not so great for someone just starting out and needing to be self-supporting. It's unfortunate.

  13. #12
    ebbwvale is offline Registered User
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    It is true to say that you don't enter policing for the money and at the bottom end you will need to hunt the overtime. The only compensating thing is that you won't be bored. There may be a range of other emotions at times, but boredom won't one of them. You also get a fair bit of freedom when compared to other workers, but then you have considerable accountability as well.

    If the mortgage has to be fed,then health areas, such as nursing , may be worth considering. They are in high demand here at least, with a reasonable starting wage and some good prospects if you specialize. The qualification may be more portable if you want to travel. Interesting work as well and no age limits.

    I guess it depends on the degree you are doing or thinking about.

  14. #13
    recruiting is offline Registered User
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    Lots of departments on the west coast have no max age. You just have to want it bad enough to move. California, Nevada, Arizona, Texas and on and on Florida?

  15. #14
    Bruce is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by perrymk View Post
    Police officers may not require food stamps, but in some cases can't afford to live in the areas they patrol.
    I'm a living example of that; every home my wife and I even considered buying in the city was way beyond our budget. We ended up buying in the south shore suburbs where home prices are reasonable, the school system is great, and no one drives down my street unless they're lost or they live in the neighborhood.

    I think residency requirements are foolish and counterproductive. I can understand giving initial preference to residents during hiring, but it should be no one's business if a city employee wants to move, especially a police officer .

    When I was single and still lived (rented) in the city, I had some uncomfortable moments when I ran into gang bangers and other people I had arrested while off-duty. Since I retreated to the suburbs, I've had no such problems.
    --
    Bruce Tait
    A.S. (Criminal Justice) Quincy College
    B.A. (Criminal Justice) Curry College
    M.A. (Criminal Justice) University of Massachusetts-Lowell
    M.A. (Forensic Psychology) Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology



    RA Criminal Justice Degrees by Distance Learning - Updated 3/16/08

    NA Criminal Justice Degrees by Distance Learning - Updated 3/20/08

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  17. #15
    PatsFan is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by sideman View Post
    I'm interested in studying criminal justice, however I am 52 yrs. old. That puts me as too old to become a police officer, so what other career opportunites would there be for a person my age, if any? Any suggestions would be appreciated.
    Very interesting topic. Great comments. Good luck, sideman. Keep us posted.

    Tom
    BA, Nyack College
    MAR, Eastern Nazarene College
    MSW, University of Connecticut
    D.Min., Ashland Theological Seminary

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