PENDLETON --- There is a wide range of career opportunities in law enforcement for those who hold a two-year criminal justice degree.  Tri-County Technical College's upcoming Criminal Justice Career Fair is a way to connect individuals with employers and the information they need to get into the workforce. 

The event will be held Wednesday, March 23, from 9 a.m. - noon in the Café on the College's Pendleton Campus. The event is open to current students and graduates, as well as the community.

Federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, along with military recruiters, will be on hand.  Representatives from four-year colleges and universities also will be present.

"It's an opportunity to find out how to position yourself to be competitive and to help you get a job with specific agencies.  A two-year degree arms you with the knowledge to go out into the workforce the day after you graduate," said Dr. McFarlin.  It's also an avenue to transfer to a four-year college to earn a bachelor's degree, he said. 

 "With large numbers of law enforcement personnel retiring, the jobs are out there, ranging from full- and part-time positions, to internship and volunteer opportunities," said Dr. McFarlin.  "This event will benefit our students, our military veterans and the community while helping law enforcement agencies fill positions.  There is a huge job demand and employers are looking for good people to fill these positions."

Attendees can fill out applications and talk with representatives to get an idea of what is involved in these careers, along with pay rates and benefits packages.

Among those law enforcement agencies will be: SC Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services, SC Department of Corrections, DeKalb County City Police Department, Perry Correctional Institute, Clemson University Police Department, Pickens County Sheriff's Office, U.S. Army, Greenville City Police Department, Greenville County Sheriff's Department; Anderson County Sheriff's Office, Anderson City Police Department, SC Highway Patrol and the Anderson County Detention Center. 

Also in attendance will be Anderson University, Clemson University, Southern Wesleyan University and USC Upstate. There will be Tri-County admissions representatives, as well as Criminal Justice faculty, on hand to talk to folks about the Criminal Justice program and the opportunities that a degree holds for graduates. 

In addition to law enforcement, Tri-County grads are prepared for entry-level jobs in security, protective services, corrections and court administration. Graduates are working as police officers, victims' witness advocates, dispatchers, correctional officers and in loss prevention and private security.

The two-year degree serves as a stepping stone for many, including Dr. McFarlin, who entered college at Arkansas Northeastern College and began working as a detention officer while in college.  He transferred to Arkansas State University where he earned a criminology degree and at age 21 attended the criminal justice academy while working as an officer.  That led him to law school and he later served as a state prosecutor, and was founder and managing attorney for McFarlin Law Firm PLLC.  He began teaching at Tri-County eight years ago.  He also serves as a faculty member with American Public University System's School of Security and Global Studies and the American Military University. He holds active commissions as a reserve law enforcement officer and summary court magistrate for the state of South Carolina.

"With a degree in criminal justice, there is a lot of career mobility -- and education is the way to remain viable in the field," he said.  "While at the entry-level job, you can develop sought-after skills set, which includes maturity and an understanding of human behavior, which is valuable to public safety and the private security industry. Working in a detention center, as I did at 18, teaches you a great deal about the world we live in and how a criminal thinks and acts. Education is what has allowed me to grow as a criminal justice professional and opened the doors to the opportunities I have had in my career thus far."

            For more information, contact Chris McFarlin at 646-1327 or