Your Research Guide To A Career In Law Enforcement Or Security

By Rick Jones, vice president of sales at RecruitMilitary and a former master gunnery sergeant in the United States Marine Corps

I encourage job seekers to use this guide to learn about law enforcement and security and the job opportunities in those fields.


The Bureau of Justice Statistics, a part of the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) branch of the United States Department of Justice, publishes descriptive and statistical information on various kinds of law enforcement agencies. The most recent publications include:

Campus Law Enforcement, 2011-12, published in January 2015

Local Police Departments, 2013: Equipment and Technology, published in July 2015

Local Police Departments, 2013: Personnel, Policies, and Practices, published in May 2015

Sheriffs’ Offices, 2007 – Statistical Tables, published in December 2012

Hiring and Retention of State and Local Law Enforcement Officers, 2008 – Statistical Tables, published in October 2012

Federal Law Enforcement Officers, 2008, published in June 2012

Census of Publicly Funded Forensic Crime Laboratories, 2009, published in August 2012


Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Drug Enforcement Administration

Federal Bureau of Investigation

National Security Agency

National Security Division

U.S. Marshals Service

United States Secret Service


A non-government website, “The Official Directory of State Patrol & State Police” contains links to the official sites of all such agencies.


Information on private companies is available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a part of the United States Department of Labor. The BLS has published projections on employment in an “industry group” called Investigation and Security Services. That group has an NAICS (North American Industrial Classification System) code of 5616; see “Your Guide to Industrial and Occupational Employment Statistics.”


The Occupational Outlook Handbook, published by the BLS, has six chapters on Protective Service Occupations. Each chapter covers the nature of the work, the work environment, qualifications, pay, job outlook, similar occupations, and contacts for more information.

Correctional Officers

Fire Inspectors and Investigators


Police and Detectives

Private Detectives and Investigators

Security Guards

Chapters on Community and Social Service Occupations include:

Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists

Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors


Many police academies have produced videos on academy life. For example, the Virginia State Police Recruitment Video and “The Academy Challenge 2011,” a video of the St. Louis County and Municipal Police Academy.


To learn about the issues in law enforcement and security, I suggest that you read magazines and view media websites on the subjects. Most of the magazines are available both in print and on line. In the listing below, the name of the publisher follows the name of the magazine or site.

American Cop FMG Publications

American Police Beat American Police Beat

Campus Safety Magazine EH Publishing, Inc. CorrectionsMedia Praetorian Group Praetorian Group

K-9 Cop Magazine Largo Communications

Law and Order Hendon Publishing Company

Law Enforcement Product News Cygnus Business Media

Law Enforcement Technology Cygnus Business Media

Law Officer Pennwell Corporation Cygnus Business Media

Police Bobit Business Media

Police and Security News Days Communications Inc.

Police Fleet Manager Hendon Publishing Company

Police K-9 Magazine Largo Communications Praetorian Group

Security Dealer & Integrator Cygnus Business Media

Security InfoWatch Cygnus Business Media

Security Management ASIS International

Security Sales & IntegrationEH Publishing, Inc.

Security Technology Executive Cygnus Business Media

Tactical Response Hendon Publishing Company

By Rick Jones