What Do Transit and Railroad Police Do?
Many people assume that all law enforcement officers are trained in the same fashion and can handle any situation. However, there are divisions among police that specialize in protecting citizens and enforcing the law in a particular capacity. Such is the case with transit and railroad police, who play a significant role in the safety and lawfulness of passengers and employees of rail transportation companies.
Transit and Railroad Police Skills and Abilities
Much like the job of any other member of law enforcement, being a transit and railroad police officer requires you to have a great deal of knowledge memorized in order to properly do the job. There are many safety procedures that you need to be able to put into action in order to ensure public safety. Additionally, you must be able to internally access all local, state and federal laws with regard to transit and railroads so that you can be sure that all are being followed. Since this is a job that is inextricably tied to dealing with the public, you need the ability to quickly read situation and interactions and come up with safe solutions to any issues that might arise.
Transit and Railroad Police Duties
Your primary job as a transit and railroad police officer is to maintain order and protect company shipments or property by patrolling railroad stations, cars, yards and other on-site facilities. If there are any unauthorized individuals attempting to get into secured locations, you must examine their credentials, as railroad and shipping facilities tend to attract thieves. Should these individuals prove unlawfully present, it is your job to apprehend them and remove them from the area, following up with detailed reports on your activities. If any crimes are committed, you and your fellow officers will likely be called upon to investigate the situation and gather any information on potential perpetrators.
Transit and Railroad Police Tools and Technology
The equipment frequently used by transit and railroad police is not much different from officers in other fields. Handguns, police vehicles, handcuffs, laptops and detectors for weapons or explosives are all standard issue. As for computer technology, you will have access to word processing and spreadsheet software for documenting information as well as map creation and database programs for facilitating investigations.
Education and Training for Transit and Railroad Police
To be seriously considered for a job in this field, you need to at least have a high school diploma. However, there are a sizable number of officers who have done college coursework and even earned degrees. Expect extensive physical and intellectual training and testing before going into the field on your own.
Transit and Railroad Police Salary
The annual wages for transit and railroad police officers, while not enormous, are entirely livable. In the United States, the median figure for officers is close to $52,000 per year, while even the lowest ten percent of people in the field bring in about $33,000. If you perform well and gain enough experience, you might join the top ten percent of earner who make around $78,000 every year.
Transit and Railroad Police Jobs by Geography
Since this is such a specific division of law enforcement, the actual number of jobs in the nation appears relatively small, with even the states with the highest job concentrations like Texas, New Jersey and Georgia only having a few hundred officers in this capacity. With this in mind, the greatest projected job growth percentages over the next few years are in Texas, Tennessee and Oregon. Since wages for this occupation tend to vary significantly based on location, the highest median wages in the nation are in New Jersey, Arizona and Minnesota.