A former president, Barack Obama, once said, “we need to keep making our streets safer and our criminal justice system fairer – our homeland more secure, our world more peaceful and sustainable for the next generation.” There are so many different jobs one can obtain in the criminal justice field. Jobs such as policeman, lawyer, and parole officer are given out every day. All these jobs fall under different branches of the criminal justice system. The three branches consist of law enforcement, court system, and corrections. Although sentencing wrongdoers and correcting their behavior sounds nice, I would like to partake in the law enforcement branch to not only bring those wrongdoers in but to help prevent the laws from being broken.
Pope Francis once said, “Each of us has a vision of good and of evil. We have to encourage people to move towards what they think is good… Everyone has his own idea of good and evil and must choose to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them. That would be enough to make the world a better place.” As a young girl, growing up with three brothers, I didn’t want to be a princess or a ballerina when I grew up. I wanted to be a super hero and fight bad guys. Unlike most, this dream never died. You don’t have to be a mutated human, who shoots lasers or can fly, to be classified as a super hero. I see everyday people as super heroes; such as policemen, firefighters, and teachers. As I approached a certain age, I realized that we don’t live in a country that is as peacefully and free as the world makes it seem. Cops are murdering innocent minorities and treating obvious criminals like helpless children. Minorities are subjected to hate crimes due to living the free life they were promised after becoming a citizen. Actions like this angered me, so I decided it was my turn to step in and make a difference; not by attacking the police or setting out for revenge for those who have done wrong, but by becoming a part of the criminal justice field and using my platform to raise awareness of social injustice. I also plan on promoting cultural appreciation through the whole nation, to reduce hate crimes. Being a police officer and then biologist in the FBI will not only give me years of experience in criminal justice, but it will also place me with my passion of science, turning my job into a career.
My love for science and my Christian faith constantly collide. I grew up in a Baptist church, however, I was never one to be excited to go to church. I believe in God, however, I’m not an average Christian who goes to church every Sunday, reads the Bible, and prays every day. I have so many questions, but I’m just a curious person. My curiosity is what led me to enjoy science as a whole. This subject gives an explanation to any and everything it studies, and if it doesn’t, it’s determined to find one. There’s been a long battle in history between science and religion. The two hardly get along, however, there are scientists out there that believe they can balance both. These scientists often say, “if science and the Bible don’t line up, then the science is wrong.” I don’t entirely believe that. I’m not too sure what I believe. However, I don’t believe the two can mix, because they follow two different storylines. I plan to follow my love of science and continue to ask my questions about my faith.
For all of my life, I grew up in the poor part of town. My family wasn’t poor, per se, we just have a big family to take care of, so our money wasn’t enough to live lavishly. Every night you will hear gunshots. My mom used to rush in a make sure I was okay, but it is so common now she just texts me. The police ride around waiting to arrest someone and the neighbors are always fussing with the cops. I’ve always been scared to voice my opinions on law enforcement, in fear that there might be a target on my back. I try my best to stay out of the mix of trouble and stay in the house. By the time I got to high school, I stopped going outside to hang out with the neighborhood kids. Every corner you turn in my neighborhood, you will always hear “fuck the police.” Even my own brother, my favorite of them all, has this same mentality. He’s currently in jail for an alleged murder charge. I’ve always looked up to him. After the arrest, my opinion soon changed. I don’t want to be like him anymore. I want to be better than him. I would like to show him that there’s a good side to law enforcement and I’ll always have his back.
I would like to go back home and start off as a local level police officer to gain experience in the field and get used to the life of a policeman. I want to grab a greater understanding of the criminal justice system. To get the job, I must first complete an online application like any other job. Once I’ve done that, I must complete the written exam on practical skills, interpersonal skills, emotional outlook, and basic educational skills. If I pass the written portion, I can move on to the physical test that consists of eleven push-ups, a sit and reach of 5.33 inches, a trunk pull of 72 pounds of pressure, and a 300-meter run within 112 seconds. The last few steps consist of a background investigation, an oral interview, firearms check, a fingerprint check, a psychological examination, and a medical examination. (e.g., “Steps,” n.d.). As a Virginia Beach police officer, my daily task would consist of controlling traffic, patrolling neighborhoods, responding to emergency calls, writing citations, delivering warrants, arresting violators and submitting incident reports. (Johnson, 2018, para. 2). My salary would start off at $44,355 once I get out of school. I will also gain benefits such as tuition reimbursement, paid specialized training, uniform and clothing allowance, and military leave. Fully paid dental, vision, life, disability, and long-term care insurance is also included in my benefits. (e.g., “Apply,” 2017.). While I hold a position as a local police officer, I plan on going back to school to obtain a degree in forensic science. Although I do not prefer the direct enforcement portion of criminal justice, I will comply with this job, so I can pay my bills and school for my bachelor’s degree.
After I graduate with a degree in forensic science with a biology emphasis. I plan to apply to an FBI site, in Virginia, for a STEM career as a biologist. Biologists in the FBI analyze body fluid stains and other biological tissues retained from items of evidence and compare it to DNA collected from the known individual. (e.g., “Innovation,” n.d., para. 5.) As a biologist, I will also produce DNA profiles for comparison to crime scene samples in the National DNA Index System. (e.g., “Innovation,” n.d., para. 5.) To obtain this job I will need to have a bachelor’s degree in biological science, chemistry, or forensic science. I will also need to pass a background test analyzing drug use, credit and record checks, and extensive interviews with colleagues, family, and friends. (e.g., “How to Apply,” n.d., para. 10.) After I pass the background check, I must enroll in the FBI Academy as a New Intelligence Analysts in Training [NIATs] for 12 weeks. Here, I will learn the intelligence-driven and operationally focused approach the FBI takes to all investigations. (e.g., “Experience,” n.d., para. 2.) Once I get the job, I will access benefits such as health benefits, long-term care insurance, a federal flexible spending account, and a federal thrift saving plan. I will also start off with an annual pay of $60,274. As a STEM employee, I also have the opportunity to experience several careers in the FBI, such as an intelligence analyst or special agent. (e.g., “Benefits,” n.d., para. 1.) These opportunities will not only increase my pay by thousands but also widen my line of work.
I’m a very quiet and shy person. I don’t like to be in anyone’s way and I like to stay to myself most of the time. It’s hard to find a profession where you don’t have to deal with a lot of people and you’re not bothered by social interactions too often. Working in the lab as a biologist would be the perfect job to match my personality. Yes, I have to work with other people, however, it’ll be the same people, so I can get used to them. I don’t have to pretend to be happy to serve someone in customer service and I don’t have try to sell someone on a product that might not work. Most importantly, I don’t have to be told to fix my face or listen to people ask me why I look mad all the time. I grew up thinking I wanted a job in customer service or helping people, but as I got older, I realized I like to keep to myself and I’m not being on social interactions. Lab work is the perfect fit for me.
I want to make the world a better place and even the tiniest efforts will help. Whether I’m patrolling my hometown and obtaining my bachelor’s degree or working in the lab analyzing DNA for the FBI and promoting cultural appreciation, I will be pursuing my dream of becoming a part of the criminal justice field and working towards world peace. Philip Sweet, a member of Little Big Town, once said, “stay true to yourself, yet always be open to learn. Work hard, and never give up on your dreams, even when nobody else believes they can come true but you. These are not clichés but real tools you need no matter what you do in life to stay focused on your path.” As long as I follow this quote, I will make that little girl, who wants to be a super hero, so happy.