While many of these skills can be learned on the street in the day-to-day execution of their job, many of them are more easily acquired in a formal classroom setting. A college education would not only benefit the individual officer, it would also give the public an increased perception in regards to the professionalism of the police.
Police work today is far more scientifically based than it was in the past. Police officers are continually challenged to keep current in the areas of "technical support, forensic science, fraud investigation, and high tech crime" (Fleming and Wood, 2006, p.262). This knowledge is applied from the moment the police begin to analyze a crime to the time they are preserving a crime scene and collecting evidence. The science of DNA, the expanded technical databases available, and new analytical techniques require the police officer to enter into a lifetime of learning.
In addition to the pragmatic side of police work that entails collecting and analyzing the evidence, there is the human contact that officers must constantly confront. In many ways, and in many situations, the police officer needs to act almost as a psychologist. Whether they are trying to defuse a tense situation or attempting to get a suspect to talk, a knowledge of psychology can make them more effective.