I Want To Be A… Police Officer

By Arkansas Next on Friday, October 21, 2022

Hannah Jobe
Molly May Stockman is a police officer at the North Little Rock Police Department.

Hometown: Girard, Kansas

My training: Law Enforcement Training Academy at Black River Technical College

My job: Police officer at the North Little Rock Police Department

Molly has always been interested in becoming a police officer. As a child, she always felt a sense of relief when she saw the blue lights on police cars. Growing up, she realized police officers in her small town were all big and tall men. Standing at 5-foot-2-inches, she felt like she wasn't the right fit, so she pursued a career in communications at the University of Central Arkansas (UCA). 

She earned a bachelor’s degree in public relations from UCA and a master’s degree in emergency management and homeland security from Arizona State University. While earning her master’s, Molly was enrolled in a few law enforcement courses, which reignited her childhood dream. 

After graduating in 2014, she settled for a desk job, but the dream lingered. She longed to be a police officer and live the thrill of not knowing what she would be doing from one moment to the next. 

Molly made a bold pivot and enrolled in the North Little Rock Police Academy in 2018. At first, she was intimidated by the militaristic training. She had to stand at attention and was even pepper-sprayed. Nevertheless, Molly graduated with the “Highest Overall Average” award for academics, shooting and physical training. 

“I could not stand [the idea of] spending one more day at my desk looking at my calendar full of meetings,” Molly said. “The chaos and unpredictability are my favorite parts of the job!”

Being promoted to field training officer by a lieutenant is one of Molly’s greatest accomplishments in her career. She is honored to be recognized as someone who does the job well enough to teach others. 

“Being a female in a male-dominated career field can have its challenges, but people at the North Little Rock Police Department tend to focus more on your skillset than your gender,” Molly said. “Everybody has something to offer, and working as a team matters way more than how strong you are.”

I want to be a… POLICE OFFICER

► Education required: A high school diploma or equivalent and one-to-12 months of on-the-job training.

► The pay: Median wage in Arkansas: $39,890

► Top 10% wage in Arkansas: $60,040

► 12% projected increase in jobs for police and detectives in Arkansas by 2028

► 550 annual projected job openings in Arkansas

Source: careeronestop.org

Earn More With a Degree

Police departments, like the Fort Smith Police Department, rewards officers and detectives who possess degrees with the following education incentives: 

  • Associate degree: additional 3% of base salary
  • Bachelor's degree: additional 6% of base salary
  • Master's degree: additional 7% of base salary

Source: detectiveedu.org/arkansas

Law Enforcement Majors

Advance your career in law enforcement faster with a degree, like these offered across Arkansas:

  • Disaster preparedness and emergency management
  • Forensic science
  • Crime scene investigation
  • Criminology
  • Criminal justice technology
  • Law enforcement administration
  • Social work

Helpful Skills for Police Officers

  • Bilingual 
  • Great communicator
  • Computer skills
  • Customer service 
  • First aid
  • Leadership

Source: indeed.com

Highest-paying Cities for Police Officers

  1. North Little Rock
  2. Fayetteville
  3. Little Rock
  4. Fort Smith
  5. Rogers