5 Most Dangerous Jobs in Criminal Justice

Written by on January 8, 2013 in Career - No comments | Print this page

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Police Week May 15, 2010

While it is true that there are some criminal justice careers that are absolutely safe and require very little, if any, interaction with dangerous offenders, there are others that put employees at risk every day. It is important to take note of some of these career paths if you are entering the criminal justice field. While the salary and benefits might be desirable, you may find yourself in constant stress and danger if you pursue this field.

Patrol Officers

Patrol officers usually cruise their respective areas by car, but they may also walk, ride a bicycle or drive a motorcycle. Some even patrol on horseback depending on the area. While most patrols go off without a hitch, there is no escaping the fact that making arrests and talking to suspects is dangerous. There is always the risk that a suspect will pull out a knife, gun or other weapon in the heat of the moment.

CIA or FBI Agent

The stress of an investigator or informant working for a government branch such as the CIA or FBI is intense and never ends. These agents investigate crimes that are not only threatening to individuals, but to an entire country. If an agent’s position or status is ever leaked, the consequences may be fatal. Years of experience, education and training are required for these positions.

Corrections Officers

Correctional officers do more than simply stand guard outside closed prison cells. They are directly involved with prisoners on a daily basis, often escorting them around the facility and breaking up fights. They may prevent riots and discipline prisoners. The truth of the matter is that these officers deal with some of the most dangerous people in the system.

Undercover Officers

It is sometimes essential for an officer to go undercover to catch scam artists, drug dealers and prostitutes. Those who go undercover are at even higher risk than those in other positions, as suspects can be unpredictable, especially if somebody blows an officer’s cover. Personal contact with offenders is taken to an entirely different level for these agents, who may actually pretend to be criminals in order to catch the bad guys. In these situations, even those who are able to keep their cover may interact with gang members and criminals who intend to do them harm.

Fish and Game Wardens

Just as patrol officers may use a variety of techniques to get around, there are other officers who use unique modes of travel. Fish and game wardens often use boats to enforce the law. They may deal with fishermen, hunters, other boaters and even wildlife. If a warden lacks some essential skills, he or she might end up drowning, crashing or dealing with dangerous folks in isolated areas.

Any of these field positions is potentially dangerous, but proper training can help criminal justice employees remain safe in spite of associated risks. Knowing how to defuse a bad situation is an important part of the problem, but so is knowing how to avoid bad situations before they ever begin.

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This is a guest post.  Rhonda Cook is a criminal law paralegal and guest author at Top Criminal Justice Degrees.

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