Police Don't Need HS Diploma


Senior Member.
No HS Diploma.png

This article appeared on The Free Thought Project last week. The author, Jack Burns, claims that applicants for the Kentucky state police no longer have to possess a high school diploma.

Burns goes on to say that hairdressers receive two or three times more training than police in Kentucky.

The end result (my emphasis):

Already, as TFTP [The Free Thought Project] has observed and reported, there appears to be a preponderance of state patrolmen who are abusing their badge, and authority, often violating the civil liberties of people with whom they interact. Lowering the educational standards for troopers seems destined to result in more infractions of civil liberties.
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Although the article starts with Kentucky, Burns expands his claim to police across the country:

It takes a special kind of person to go to work every day and harass, kidnap, and kill people for victimless crimes. The act of unquestioningly carrying out orders to ruin the lives of good people whose only “crime” was to do with their own body as they wish, would eventually have to raise the eyebrow of a person with a higher level of intelligence…or so we’d like to think.

A smart person does not create a domestic standing army and call it freedom.
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So, in other words, Americans have built an under-qualified army of goons that pose a threat to the country.

Let’s look at two of the main claims in the article.

Claim #1: Kentucky State Police no longer require a high school diploma

Here is the standard from Kentucky State Police recruitment page (my emphasis)

· At the time of application, possess a minimum of a high school diploma or GED and three years work experience, or sixty (60) semester hours of credit from an accredited college or university, or be a high school graduate with at least two (2) years of active military duty or two (2) years of experience as a full-time, sworn law enforcement officer.
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Obviously, a high school diploma and a GED are not exactly the same. However, applicants need to complete a high school-level education and have three years of work experience. Also, the diploma is a starting point, not a guarantee that the person holding it will be hired.

I was curious about where Kentucky recruitment standards stood among other state police/highway patrol organizations around the country. Standards actually vary quite a lot from state to state.

New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Illinois, Delaware, and New Mexico all require some form of a college degree, either 60 credits, and Associate’s degree, or a Bachelor’s.

However, Texas, Missouri, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, and New Mexico will waive some or all college credits if the applicant has prior military or law enforcement service.

Still other states, like California, Maine, Kansas, Oregon, Florida, North Carolina, Colorado, Arizona, Michigan, Wyoming, and Georgia only have a minimum requirement of a high school diploma or a GED.

As noted earlier, each state sets down minimum requirements. Some, like California, Michigan and Georgia, also make it clear that applicants with more education are preferred requirements.

Claim #2 Hairdressers receive more training than Kentucky police.

If you look at the actual quantity of hours, a licensed esthetician in Kentucky requires 1,000 hours of training. In comparison, a state police recruit undergoes 23 weeks of training at the police academy, a course that comprises over 1,000 hours of official training.

The word “official” is important because state police candidates normally don’t get to go home after they are finished with daily classes. It is highly likely that training goes on long after the regular duty day concludes.

Also, it is standard practice to have a probationary period following the academy. In Kentucky, it is one year, which would add approximately 2,000 more hours to what amounts to additional on the job training.

As far as the actual quality of the training is concerned, we are not comparing apples to apples.

To state the obvious, hairdressers don’t get extensive training in the use of deadly force, first aid, law, etc. This website gave a good breakdown of standards:

So, I call “bunk” on Jack Burns and The Free Thought Project.

David Fraser

Senior Member.
Just for interest I remember considering joining the police when I left the army and in the UK at the time you were required to have a minimum of 5 'O' Levels. These are the qualifications we sit at 16 with us sitting 'A' Levels at 18. Just browsing now and the education requirement has been removed in favour of a test.

  • there is no formal educational requirement, but you will have to pass written tests
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However there are BA(Hons) and foundation level degrees open such as thishttps://www.brookes.ac.uk/courses/undergraduate/policing/ which I presume would make an applicant more attractive. Another requirement for some of the forces is that the applicant has worked as a Special Constable for a year or so.