Letters submitted by BDN readers are verified by BDN Opinion Page staff. Send your letters to letters@bangordailynews.com.

The local police are our first line of defense and we should be appreciative of the service they perform. My concern is the requirements needed to be qualified for the job. To become a teacher a person must be a college graduate, usually at their own expense. To become a qualified craftsman a person must get training over and above high school, again sometimes at their own expense. To become a policeman a high school degree and a clean record is needed for starters with extra training, if needed, at the town’s expense.  

A police officer has to enforce the laws of the land, usually at a moment’s notice. I think that to be qualified to become a cop a person should, at least, have an associates degree in criminal law so as to fully understand the laws he/she is enforcing. After an arrest is made, the officer often has to defend the arrest in court against a criminal lawyer trained in challenging the officer’s knowledge of the laws.

When a person invests his/her time and money to prepare for a position, I feel that we are more apt to see someone that is truly interested in serving the people, not someone who wants to carry a gun and wear the uniform. Also, with the extra schooling needed to qualify for the job, the pay should be somewhat higher than entry level. I am not saying the officers we have now are not qualified. I am just saying that a job as dangerous and complex, a higher degree of education should be required.

Timothy Smyth