Utica College Television – Professor Ray Philo, being interviewed by UCTV Host Dr. James Norrie

UTICA COLLEGE – TV : Preparation for a Career in Law Enforcement.


Many students enroll in a Criminal Justice, Financial Crime, or Cybersecurity program because they are interested in pursuing a career in law enforcement. Whether interest lies in serving locally, within a specific federal agency, or even in the corporate world, there are certain aspects of an educational program that students need to be aware of during their research.

In this video, Ray Philo, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice, and Executive Director of the Economic Crime and Cybersecurity Institute, and UCTV Host, Dr. James Norrie, discuss some important ways that the Utica College programs help prepare students for these rewarding careers.

Video Transcript: Preparation for a Career in Law Enforcement.


Dr. Norrie: Welcome back to the Casual Friday edition of UCTV. My name is Dr. James Norrie. I'm your host. And we want to talk a little bit about careers in law enforcement. So Ray, you were formerly in law enforcement I think.

Raymond Philo: That's correct for almost 30 years.

Dr. Norrie: And what did you end up doing?

Raymond Philo: I started off as a patrol officer, and worked my way up to the Chief of Police position, then I retired as a police chief.

Dr. Norrie: Chief of Police. Well, indicative of the kinds of faculty we have here at Utica College teaching in our programs. But what I want to focus on today is, I get all kinds of questions for students seeking entry into law enforcement or intelligence agencies, you know, the alphabet soup of agencies we talk about, and there are so many.

Raymond Philo: Yes.

Dr. Norrie: And I want to relate our four programs at Utica College. So whether we're talking criminal justice, whether we're talking cybersecurity, cyber policy, one of our latest ones which I think is a really neat program, or of course, economic crime, how do all of those lead to law enforcement, and what are agencies looking for today in a graduate they hire?

Raymond Philo: Well, that's a great question. And I get those questions all the time from students. How to best prepare themselves, because they want a law enforcement career. Our programs offer a sound foundation in technologies. They offer a sound foundation in the humanities and social sciences. Remember, policing nowadays is what I would call more global than it used to be. It used to be somewhat insular. You worried about this particular community, and this particular economic condition of this community and addressing it. Policing now is much more global. We need to put college graduates in police positions with a sound foundation of several things, like I said, a good foundation of technology. Even the lowest rank of police officer or patrolman is daily immersed in all types of technology. When you go up the ranks of a police officer, you have to have a great foundation in law in order to help them critically think and make what I call summary decisions, sometimes critical decisions that have to be made in a fraction. We do scenario-based teaching for crime scenes. I teach a forensics course and how to critically think through the whole crime scene and make those decisions, because if you make a mistake, or you miss something, you can't go back, because the crime scene will have been contaminated by that point. We think that really helps the student and prepare them better for law enforcement positions, positions in the national security area, as well as the intelligence sector.

Dr. Norrie: So one last final question in our episode. What's the difference? What's the importance of that degree, and how does that figure in their career in policing today?

Raymond Philo: Well, I think it's very important to look specifically at a program, call it criminal justice, call it cybersecurity, whatever, and make sure that the particular institution that the student picks has the ability to practically teach them in scenario-based or have particular labs that they can actually utilize and learn from and put on their resume. So where are they going to get their experience? They're going to get their experience in a particular, what I call a functional setting, such as a lab. And I think that's incredibly important to train somebody on who might go into a law enforcement or a national security job, but also to provide them with a little bit of a basis for their resume, a little bit of practical experience for their resume. I think that's incredibly important.

Dr. Norrie: Well, Professor Philo, thank you for joining us today. Great conversation! If you're interested in online, on ground, graduate, or undergraduate programs, leading programs in the nation in any of those disciplines, cybersecurity, cyber policy, criminal justice, or economic and white collar crime, you can find out more at http://programs.online.utica.edu/programs/. Thanks for joining us today.

Raymond Philo: Thank you.

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