Become a police officer: how study can change your life

Do you want to further your ability to help others and keep people safe? You could become a police officer. Or shift your current career focus to anti-money laundering or financial crimes.

Charles Sturt University can help you make that change.

Let’s take a look at how Constable Liam Hanley did just that

At 25 years old, Liam is one of many officers taking steps to keep Australia safe. Attached to the New South Wales Police Force State Intelligence Command, he is embedded in the Organised Crime Squad and supports the Anti-Money Laundering Team and the Unexplained Wealth Team.

Constable Liam Hanley

There, he “assists in proactively identifying vulnerabilities in criminals involved in serious organised crime.”

Constable Hanley’s job takes him around New South Wales. He works with various agencies “conducting complex financial analysis, to identify criminal behaviours and present [his] findings to investigators in an easy-to-comprehend format.” 

Just four years on from graduation through Charles Sturt, Constable Hanley is working in the fast-paced world of anti-money laundering and financial crime. He says he’s found himself right at the heart of the action, where he’s helping to make the world safer and fairer. During his career, Liam has played a part in stopping billions of dollars being siphoned out of the national coffers; money governments can use it to improve communities around the world.

How is Constable Hanley making a difference?

Earlier this year, NSWPF’s Organised Crime Squad was part of a joint investigation, targeting and confiscating unexplained wealth and assets. Through their investigations, police officers were able to seize more than $7 million worth of goods. The haul included property, luxury cars, jewellery, a case of gold bullions, watches, 14 high-end handbags and thousands of dollars in cash. It was believed to have been accumulated through organised criminal activity in Sydney’s west.

New powers mean that ‘big players’ who have previously been able to enjoy their wealth by keeping their heads down, can now be brought in front of a court and forced to explain how they make their money.

A Charles Sturt alumnus, Constable Hanley believes our university gave him a detailed understanding of the financial regulations. And compliance requirements that impact Australia.

“As such, I have the ability to analyse financial data and identify discrepancies which may indicate criminal or illicit behaviour”.

How did study help Constable Hanley further his career and become a police officer?

While studying to become a police officer, Constable Hanley realised he enjoyed university. He was curious and energised by the possibility of learning and enhancing his work. But after starting on the Force, he found that a police officer’s roster gave him blocks of spare time. And he wanted to fill it with further study. So he went on to complete a Bachelor of Criminal Justice1 and a Master of Intelligence Analysis.

“The course subjects provided me with relevant and important skills that I use on a daily basis. My degree is more than a piece of paper. But the analytical skills that I have learned through my studies are used daily. And help me to be a valuable member of my team.” Constable Hanley said.

Now, Constable Hanley is finishing a Master of Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorist Financing. After accepting his Doctor of Public Safety, he is conducting ground-breaking research into money laundering through trade transactions – with a thesis about the real-world impact of financial crimes around the globe.

Balancing work, life and study – made easier

Constable Hanley doesn’t consider himself an academic, but says Charles Sturt made it easy to keep studying and learning new things. 

“Raising a daughter, working full-time and completing university is no easy task. But Charles Sturt’s online flexibility has provided me with the ability to learn in my spare time and progress my career.”

Experience amazing opportunities while you study to become a police officer

Selected by Charles Sturt Global as a representative, Constable Hanley recently returned from a trip to England, where he attended the Cambridge International Symposium on Economic Crime. Inspired by his learning, he used the opportunity to build his understanding of Australia’s position within the architecture of international financial crime and prevention.

When asked to give advice to those looking to become a police officer, Constable Hanley had this pearl of wisdom.

“If you’re aiming to become a police officer, make sure you have a can-do attitude and pride yourself on helping your mates and serving your community.”

Charles Sturt is here to support you

Charles Sturt’s Australian Graduate School of Policing and Security is a global leader in research and education. Especially for professionals in law enforcement, investigations, counter-terrorism, law, emergency management, leadership and security.

We also offer a suite of micro-credentials in anti-money laundering, fraud and financial crime that can help further your career. These bite-sized pieces of education give you industry-relevant skills and the latest knowledge. All in a short amount of time, to help you excel in the workplace.

Moreover, we’re Australia’s most experienced online university*, meaning we are the perfect choice for those who are looking to upskill and fit study around their current professional and personal commitments. People just like Constable Hanley.

Want to become a police officer? Earn a salary while you study to become a NSW Police Officer with Charles Sturt

From March 2024, you’ll earn a salary while you study Session 2 of the Associate Degree in Policing Practice (ADPP) on campus at the NSW Police Force Academy in Goulburn. Over the 16 weeks at the Academy, you’ll earn $1,360 per week, plus superannuation and allowances. That’s almost $31,000!

Applications to study in 2024 are open now. Contact our team or learn more.

1Cricos: 022895G
*Department of Education, Skills and Employment Higher Education Statistics