Criminal Justice Colleges in West Virginia
Attending one of the criminal justice schools in West Virginia not only prepares you for a career in law enforcement or related work, it can also expose you to the great natural beauty and history of the state. West Virginia is best known for its mountains, which make for great mountain biking and hiking, and its clear, cold rivers and streams, which make it a mecca for anglers, kayakers, and rafters.
West Virginia Criminal Justice Colleges
The criminal justice colleges in West Virginia give you an opportunity to study at one of the many scenic campuses sprinkled around the hilly terrain but also a chance to earn your degree online. West Virginia criminal justice colleges allow you to work toward a two-year associate's degree or a four-year degree, and many graduates of criminal justice schools in West Virginia go on to earn advanced degrees in areas related to law enforcement.
Law Enforcement Jobs in West Virginia
There are more than 14,000 protective service employees working in West Virginia at jobs that range from sheriff or police patrol officers to security guards, firefighters, bailiffs, detectives, and criminal investigators. All told, there are nearly 4,500 law enforcement employees working for nearly 350 law enforcement agencies in the state, and many of them graduated from one of West Virginia's criminal justice colleges. Protective service workers in West Virginia make a mean annual wage of $29,000 a year, which is below the national mean, and police and sheriff's patrol officers earned $35,000, about $20,000 a year less than the national rate, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Detectives and criminal investigators earn nearly $50,000, about $15,000 below the national mean for that profession. First-line supervisors and managers of police and detectives in West Virginia earn an average of $60,000, about $18,000 less than the national mean. From 2008 to 2009, the number of different crimes in West Virginia increased in almost every category except stolen vehicles. Violent crime increased 7 percent, and the number of murders rose 25 percent. There are just 1.8 million residents of West Virginia, and the two largest cities, Charleston and Huntington, have only 50,000 residents each, so small changes in the number of crimes can have a big impact on the percentages at which crime rates increase. The highest rate of violent crime in West Virginia was recorded in the town of Beckley, with a population of 16,777 people in 2009. There were 188 violent crimes recorded there in 2009, about one for every 90 residents. The next highest rate among cities was in Charleston, where the 535 violent crimes translated into one violent crime per 93 residents.