There has been a long‐standing debate over whether a college education for police officers is desirable or even necessary. Today, with the ever‐expanding complexity of the police role and the transition toward community policing, this question is more significant than ever. A zenith of interest and debate over the requirement of higher education for officers was reached in the 1970s, but it soon died out. However, a quickly changing social landscape, changing job role, rapid technological advancement, domestic terrorism and increased scrutiny have combined to renew the debate over higher education. This article attempts to synthesize past literature and bring the discussion up to date. Finally, the authors will advocate a position that would require a bachelor's degree for police officers over time, using a graduated timetable and supported by federal funding.
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