Police Force Jobs - How Many Do We Need?

Larger or Smaller Forces?

A new reader has requested information about the number of police officers the US will need in the year 2020. As the number of people in our population climbs year by year, we may need additional policemen and woman to patrol our streets and answer calls for assistance. Or, with possible budget cuts that some police forces have experienced since 2001, we may end up with fewer officers per 100,000 population than might be adequate.

Special duty officers are paid large wages for their work in acting as the official law enforcement presence at special events. Some large churches, for example, employ city police, local sheriff's deputies, and State Highway Patrol officers all at once to help control crowds at yearly gatherings called revivals or in the early 1900s lingo based on Bible stories - Camp Meeting. I can attest to the fact that without these Special Duty Officers, you'd never get out of the parking lot filled with 40,000 attendees. How Pastor Joel Osteen handles 80,000 quests in his former sports arena, I can imagine requires dozens of officers every week in Texas.

At the same time, certain businesses can no longer afford the services of Special Dutiy Police and step down to the lower wages of Security Officers. This is interesting, since for the year 2008, the job title Security Officer has risen into the Top 10 Most Dangerous Jobs in America with an aggregate fatality and injury list larger than some other previous occupations, per 100,000 workers. Security officers are taking the place of police officers and in doing so more frequently are exposing themselves more often to danger and physical harm. Note than many security guards carry no firearms on patrol and still may be shot. Insurance costs for such jobs must be rising as well.

(By Happidog on Sxc.hu.)
(By Happidog on Sxc.hu.)

Current Employment Demand

Police fall into the Protective Services category of employment under the US Department of Labor and Bureau of Labor Statistics. They join Firefighters, Private Detectives and other Investigators, Corrections Officers, Surveillance/Gaming forces (as seen in TV's Las Vegas and CSI), and Security Guards in this jobs category. One field of study preparatory to any of these career paths is Criminology. Another field is Law and Paralegal Services. All of these are considered (protective) service occupations. Let's look at the current job demand for police officers and security guards in America.

Putting Out the Call

(By haloocyn on Sxc.hu)
(By haloocyn on Sxc.hu)

Demand for Police Increases

The US Federal Government labor divisions predict that the need for police officers and police detectives will increase by 10% during the course of the years 2008 - 2018, over the need that was experienced from 1998 - 2008. An update of this need in the going-forward will be available every two years, beginning approximately 2012.

In 2008, certain budget cuts around the country eliminated some entire new classes of police cadets. In Central Ohio, the need for another tax levy to support the local police temporarily, in addition to the Federal Stimulus Funds available in 2009, was required. because the levy passed a public vote and Stimulus Funds were available, police jobs were saved new cadets recruited, and a higher quality Crime Lab put into planning and implementation. Such a result did not benefit communities with lesser finding.

The number of needed police compared to the number of permitted police jobs that will be available in the USA in 2020 are likely to be significantly different numbers in some market area.

Demand for Police Officers Up 187%

Data provided by SimplyHired.com, a job search engine.
Data provided by SimplyHired.com, a job search engine.

Jobs Increased Again In 2011

Source

Employment Outlook

Employment in career positions and job opportunities for local police will increase for people that meet the strict psychological, personal, and physical qualifications. Various in-depth background checks are required.Jobs will open to replace workers that retire, are promoted, or who transfer departments or agencies. Some police officers will become lawyers or begin their own private investigation agencies. Others will die on the job or leave for other career fields - some will join the US armed forces in Afghanistan, for example.

Urban communities may experience higher crime rates, while offering only lower police wages. Here, demand will be high and jobs will remain open. Few people may want to fill them. Bilingual police officers and police with military experience will be in demand. Police with college degrees or at least some college will be in demand.

Predicted Demand

The two major job search end trending engines on the Internet, Indeed.com and SimplyHired.com show approximately only 1,000 police officer jobs listed across the Internet for the entire nation in mid-April 2010. Some additional positions may be available only through local law enforcement agencies. At the same time, this represents an increase of 187% in job listings since August 2008.

A government-predicted increase in police jobs expected to 2018 is 57,500 additional police officer and sheriff's patrol jobs, beginning in 2008. This is an average of 5,750 jobs per year. Job listings for police officers posted on the Internet increased in 1.5 years 2008 to 2010 by 187% or from about 535 to 1,000 jobs. We have no idea how many of these were newly created and how many were replacement jobs for retirees/other reasons. It is not likely that job listings are meeting the government prediction, however.

We do not know how many police officers will be needed in 2020.

Security Guards - Jobs Increased 60%

Data provided by SimplyHired.com, a job search engine.
Data provided by SimplyHired.com, a job search engine.

Jobs Increased Again Slightly In 2012

Source

Higher Demand for Security Guards

In mid-April 2009, 3,000+ job listings for Security Guards were found across the Internet for America. This is three times the number of police officers positions posted online.

A 10% increase in Security Guards since 2008, on to 2018 is expected to account for 152,500 new jobs. The numbers of police officers and security guards (who have more deaths/injuries than the police) are likely neither meeting the demand predicted for either one by the US government.

How Many Will We Need in 2020?

  • In May 2008, the number of employed police and sheriff's patrol officers (equivalent), a single category, was 633,710 men and women. The US needs to hire 0ver 5,000 new officers yearly across the country to meet the federal predictions by 2018.
  • In May 2008, the number of Security Guards was 1,046,760 men and women. We need to hired 15,250 new (more) guards every year through to meet predictions by 2018.

The best estimate is that the US may not meet the need already predicted for 2018 for either type of job - police or security guard - and will need even more such workers in the two years up to 2020. That would make roughly 67,000 police total and 185,000 guards from 2010 to 2020 if the government sources are correct. we will know more in 2012.

The Lighter Side of Security Guards

Top 10 Security Guard Positions in Demand in the US

  1. Security Guard - patrol officers, private and public companies.
  2. Delivery Driver - court documents
  3. Security Officers - various
  4. Warehouse Security
  5. Lead Security Guards
  6. Supervisory Security Guards
  7. Public Safety Officers
  8. Part-time Security Officers
  9. Armed Security Guards
  10. Unarmed Traditional Security Officers

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Comments 11 comments

katiem2 profile image

katiem2 6 years ago from I'm outta here

WOW this is a great topic to discuss. You here just a little information about this when new levies are on the ballad. This is clear and everybody should read this one. This is as Rate Up and Must Read...Again...Thanks and Peace :)


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

You can call other security guards as liaison officers or messengers, if I'm not mistaken. Mot of the times, all the banks, need at least two more additional police officers plus the guards to transport money from the affiliate bank to the central bank. Thanks for the wide review on the work of security guards. Salute for you, Ms. Patty.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 6 years ago from North America Author

Thanks very much for the nice comments. It will be interesting to watch the progress of these jobs.


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

Thank you for an informative hub. I anjoyed reading it.


billyaustindillon profile image

billyaustindillon 6 years ago

A fear in a socirty that runs out of money, like we seem to be doing, is a break down in law and order. A very relevant topic Patty.


gg.zaino profile image

gg.zaino 6 years ago from L'America

Thank you for your time invested Patty. I found the statistics interesting in the area of "security positions" as opposed to police presence.

It will all cave in under its own weight is my opinion. I lived on the streets in the past, I felt the hatred and loathing on both sides of the law. It all spells disaster on the doorstep.

I'm afraid that police are not the answer, they represent a numerical marker of failure in a society. The disparity in a classless system of 'have and have nots' will drive violence. Lawlessness will only become more violent and widespread with the decline of our society.

The downward spiral will eventually call for federal intervention when the fear becomes too great. Woe to the republic.

peace ~ greg


Silver Poet profile image

Silver Poet 6 years ago from the computer of a midwestern American writer

I am always interested to learn about the workings of our nation's police force. You did your homework on this hub, bringing solid facts to light. I appreciate all the time you spent to make this an informative and readable hub. I think we don't show enough appreciation for those who keep the peace and who enable us to live and work without always looking over our shoulders. They watch our neighborhoods and keep trouble at a minimum.


BobbiRant profile image

BobbiRant 5 years ago from New York

As a Sociologist, I do know that were more and more people devoid of a conscience, or more of the population failed to simply obey the laws of the land by their own choice, there would never be enough military people nor enough law enforcement officers to ever keep them in check. As our society crumbles more and more due to the failing monetary system, more and more people are starting to feel they have nothing to lose by breaking the law. It will be interesting to see how well law enforcement keeps that thinking in check.


zduckman profile image

zduckman 5 years ago

smaller forces. We need to return to "peace officers" recently our police have become militarized. We do not need police hiding to catch unsuspecting speeders and the likes. We need peace officers to have a visible presence and be easily identified. Law enforcement officers do not prevent crimes, they investigate them after the fact(most of the time)


Chuck 5 years ago

zduckman, don't speed and you will not get the ticket.


mishel ronld profile image

mishel ronld 4 years ago from New York, NY

Hey informative hub.Great research done here about different topic well done thumbs up.

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