Are you a transcriptionist looking to branch out into a new field?
Law enforcement transcription is an exciting and rapidly expanding niche, offering many opportunities for the right professional.
With law enforcement cases increasing across the board, more and more organizations are turning to freelance transcriptionists to help them decipher important conversations in criminal investigations and remain compliant with industry regulations.
In this post, we’ll discuss what it takes to become a successful law enforcement transcriber as well as what type of compensation can be expected.
Are you ready to learn how you can make your career in this area?
What does Law Enforcement Transcription Entail?
With the rise in popularity of remote work, becoming a law enforcement transcriptionist has never been more attractive.
In this role, you will be responsible for accurately listening to and transcribing audio recordings from police encounters, interviews, and reports.
Your work will allow important records to be accurately documented so that legal proceedings are documented accurately — an enormous responsibility.
Becoming a transcriptionist is an appealing career option for many people due to its low barrier to entry.
With no formal education required and the ability to work remotely, transcriptionists can enjoy flexible hours and schedules.
This type of transcription is one of the few jobs that pay well while allowing you to telecommute.
As you improve your typing and listening abilities, you will be able to increase your income potential even further.
The growing demand for specialized transcriptionists in the law enforcement field makes perfect sense.
Audio files capture vital evidence and information to help assemble a case and protect against wrongful convictions.
Officers no longer need to spend valuable time transcribing audio recordings. This can now be outsourced.
This is why portable cameras or “body cams” are becoming increasingly popular, ensuring that all procedures are followed correctly during any type of encounter.
Agencies can track activity, avoid wrongful claims and verify conversations with solid evidence, giving courts confidence when making a judgment call.
Transparency rises while justice is served with the help of reliable audio transcription services.
The Field of Law Enforcement Transcription is Expanding
Law enforcement transcriptionists are highly sought after due to their range of skills and level of accuracy.
By mastering the language and accurately utilizing your listening skills, you can quickly increase your pay rate and even work towards the maximum earnings potential within this profession.
Getting started on developing these skills is key so that you can begin providing quality services as soon as possible, and take advantage of the great earning potential of a law enforcement transcriber.
Although there are similarities between transcribing legal and law enforcement audio files, a few differences exist.
Transcribing audio files of courtroom proceedings and depositions is the most common type of work for legal transcriptionists, while a law enforcement transcriptionist’s standard tasks include transcribing recordings from investigations, including suspect interviews and body-cam recordings from field officers.
Both law enforcement and legal transcriptionists must undergo criminal background checks in order to protect confidential information associated with their work such as cases involving crimes against minors, national security concerns, unsolved homicides, and more.
Additionally, confidentiality is essential when transcribing law enforcement audio files because these recordings often contain sensitive details about ongoing investigations.
The work of transcriptionists in law enforcement must be done with the utmost discretion.
In some cases, audio recordings may include details of events involving crimes against minors, murder, and violent offenses which can be graphic and unsettling.
But despite these difficult files, the transcriber must remain composed and detached until a proper process is followed, such as proper authorization to release confidential information.
Not adhering to such policies could not only lead to legal consequences but also undo any investigative progress made due to premature disclosure by an unauthorized individual.
It is therefore essential that a transcriptionist never reveal sensitive information outside of their work, not even to close friends or family members.
How Much Does a Law Enforcement Transcriptionist Make?
Law enforcement transcriptionists can earn a generous salary depending on the amount of time and effort they invest.
A well-seasoned transcriptionist with an advanced skill set may be able to complete an assignment that takes a novice transcriber three hours in as little as one and a half hours, earning around $60,000 annually or more.
Compensation for law enforcement transcriptionists often comes in the form of per audio minute, line, or page rates, with potential wages ranging anywhere from $1,071 per week or $4,641 per month (according to ZipRecruiter).
With time and dedication, even newcomers can have a successful career in law enforcement transcription by honing their skills through practice and experience.
Requirements for a Law Enforcement Transcriptionist
Experience in law enforcement is certainly an advantage when it comes to becoming a successful law enforcement transcriptionist, but even those without experience can excel with the right training and practice.
Typing speed and accuracy are essential.
Most experienced law enforcement transcriptionists type at least 65 words per minute with a 99% accuracy rate.
Additionally, exceptional listening skills are key since they must hear audio recordings clearly and note down important information.
Developing all these essential abilities requires dedication and hard work from aspiring transcriptionists, but taking the necessary steps can help ensure success in this demanding career path.
Transcriptionists with years of experience have finely-honed typing skills capable of up to 95 words per minute with a minimal number of mistakes.
This skill is especially important when deciphering audio files recorded by law enforcement in the field, as context clues and recording nuances offer valuable insight into the circumstances.
A transcriptionist’s expertise should include extensive awareness of the unique vocabulary and acronyms employed by law enforcement work.
Therefore, when accuracy and detailed understanding are critical, many employers look for transcriptionists who specialize in or who already possess working knowledge of law enforcement terminology.
If a transcriptionist wants to work efficiently and quickly, they need to have the best available equipment.
A powerful, up-to-date desktop or laptop computer is essential. It needs to have at least 8 MB of RAM, but 16 MB is preferred.
Quality headphones are also important, as they will allow the user to easily hear any nuances in the audio that might be hard to pick out otherwise.
Additionally, they should invest in a foot pedal which gives them more control over the playback of the audio recording.
For added comfort during long hours of typing, an ergonomic keyboard should be at hand.
Plus, access to a reliable high-speed internet connection is key for uploading and downloading documents quickly and securely.
When it comes to law enforcement transcription, a good-quality keyboard is key.
It should be ergonomic, with your hands resting comfortably and your arms properly positioned while typing long documents.
Professional transcribers also use either noise-canceling headphones or a foot pedal.
With this device, they have the power to control vital transcription tasks without ever needing to move their hands away from the keys of the keyboard.
A foot pedal can make intricate sections of transcription even smoother; something that could make all the difference when inputting important information.
To make transcription efficient, a reliable foot pedal and headphones are key.
In terms of software, Microsoft Word is popular among transcriptionists.
For browsers, Google Chrome and Brave (we personally use this one) offer good performance when used for transcription tasks.
And finally, Express Scribe from NCH Software features value-added features like multi-channel control that are ideal for transcriptionists.
Having a legal dictionary at your disposal can be extremely helpful when decoding difficult or unfamiliar legal words and phrases.
As you get more efficient with using the dictionary, your comprehension of law enforcement terms will also be improved and you should see an increase in your typing speed.
In addition to this, it is important to access high-speed internet so that you can upload the transcription data quickly.
Download speeds of at least 100 Mbps are recommended for optimal performance, but 10 Mbps would suffice if that is all that is available.
You don’t necessarily need every tool in order to succeed in law enforcement transcription, but having these tools may help boost your efficiency and earnings.
Check out these must-have tools for transcription.
Working as a Law Enforcement Transcriptionist
Working as a law enforcement transcriptionist starts with becoming familiar with transcribing in general.
Most people gain experience and confidence in their skills by completing the more entry-level assignments first, but once you have those basics down, many law enforcement agencies offer transcription work for audio files from police interviews or surveillance footage.
For those looking to go in more specialized directions, there are also opportunities to specialize your skills even further in legal and medical transcription.
No matter what type of field you’d like to pursue, having the ability to transcribe accurately and quickly can open new doors for you as a professional.
Law Enforcement Transcription Companies
Net Transcripts has been providing confidential transcription services to Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice agencies for over three decades, offering a cost-effective, efficient solution for the law enforcement field.
With state-of-the-art technology and secure data encryption, it’s no wonder why organizations have been relying on Net Transcripts since 1988.
The global transcription technology provided by VIQ Solutions is at the forefront of the industry, featuring an end-to-end transcription platform that streamlines workflow for its transcription team.
This automation leads to increased efficiency and productivity among team members. Independent contractors working for VIQ Solutions can take advantage of the flexibility to set their own schedules and receive support from the in-office team whenever necessary.
With a high volume of orders available, VIQ Solutions is able to offer work opportunities to editors and transcribers seeking part-time, full-time, or ongoing work.
Independent contractors working with the company are granted the freedom to manage their own schedules.
VIQ Solutions has a diverse team of contractors, some working on a full-time basis while others consistently work on a part-time basis.
Applicants who are available to work full-time, processing an average of 60 minutes per day for five days a week, are given priority for transcription opportunities that require full-time availability.
Upon submission of an application, VIQ Solutions will review it and determine whether the applicant meets the necessary qualifications.
If qualified, the applicant will receive an Overview document detailing the opportunity, pay rates, expectations, and next steps.
Although experienced editors/transcriptionists are welcome to apply, the clients of VIQ Solutions require unique and specific styles of verbatim transcription.
As a result, prospective transcription contractors are required to complete an assessment before gaining access to clients’ orders.
During the assessment, the transcription platform and client specifications will be explained, and practice transcripts will be used to ensure that contractors meet client specifications and the company’s accuracy guarantees.
Editors/transcriptionists who apply will be evaluated based on their practice transcripts’ quality and accuracy, as well as their ability to meet deadlines during the assessment period. Contracts will be extended to those who excel in both areas.
SpeakWrite is revolutionizing the way law enforcement agencies operate.
By providing reliable transcription services, it eliminates the need for officers and investigators to stay up to date with recording devices and training on how to use them.
Furthermore, it drastically reduces the number of overtime hours, allowing them more time on patrol, processing evidence, and making a real difference in their communities.
All this leads to increased efficiency and cost savings that allow agencies to make better use of their budgets while delivering cleaner audio documentation.
Independent contractors will have the opportunity to transcribe audio from various industries, including police departments, investigators, law offices, and protective services.
The work is rewarding, as independent contractors can assist police officers in transcribing witness interviews and help protective service workers document a child’s journey to a safe home.
SpeakWrite offers the flexibility to set one’s own schedule, allowing contractors to work as much or as little as they prefer and earn as much as they like.
With a limited number of positions available, the company encourages interested parties to take action by submitting an application immediately.
To become a transcription contractor with SpeakWrite, you must meet a set of qualifications.
You should have a background in word processing and a strong desire for a work-from-home career rather than just an easy-money gig.
You should also have a passion for transcription and facilitating workflow, as well as proficiency in Microsoft Word or a willingness to learn.
Professionalism and a commitment to delivering quality work are also crucial.
To maintain high standards, you must be willing to learn SpeakWrite policies and procedures.
You should also be available for at least four hours per week and ready to redefine your career, achieving personal and professional success.
Above all, enthusiasm for contributing to the company’s growth and making a positive impact on the lives of people worldwide is a must.
By meeting these qualifications, you can join the SpeakWrite team and help facilitate the work of professionals in various industries.
With this opportunity, you have the potential to earn an average of $450 per month, and the top monthly earner can make up to $3,400.
You could also earn bonuses, incentives, and extra rewards on top of your base pay.
American High-Tech Transcription & Reporting, Inc. is a leading transcription and translation agency based in Palm Harbor, Florida.
As a certified small business founded in 1994 and formerly known as Segal Reporting Service, the company offers fast and accurate services throughout the country and the world to government agencies, large corporations, and other businesses.
They consider themselves experts in security protocols that ensure the confidentiality of all sensitive data given to us by customers.
They have experienced staff dedicated to meeting the need of their clients with top-quality service.
When the workload surpasses the capacity of their in-house staff, they frequently subcontract work projects to skilled independent contractors who are either U.S. citizens or legal U.S. residents currently residing and working in the U.S.
If you are looking to work as a translator or transcriptionist, send in your resume via email for any available positions.
At Ditto, law enforcement transcription is taken seriously.
The team of skilled and dedicated transcriptionists provides industry-leading services, ensuring that all recordings are accurately transcribed with speed and precision.
The company understands the importance of detail in the legal sphere and is committed to delivering reliable services that clients can trust.
With personalized support, Ditto aims to assist clients throughout their projects and address any difficulties that may arise.
Accuracy and precision are top priorities for Ditto, making it a reliable partner for transcription needs.
Ditto Transcripts is constantly seeking skilled, committed, experienced, and professional transcriptionists to join its expanding team.
The company is interested in individuals who are seeking remote work opportunities, whether as independent contractors or full-time employees.
They welcome those who are up for a challenge and enjoy working with fascinating clients across a broad geographic area ranging from Washington to Florida.
Ditto values ambition, attention to detail, and delivering high-quality services with a focus on excellence.
Transcription Hub offers an exceptional service that law enforcement departments and investigators can rely on for accuracy and confidentiality.
Their services guarantee the integrity of evidence and provide a cost-effective way for agencies to save time, money, and resources.
They use established protocols to ensure that all information is handled with great precision and diligence so that investigations are conducted seamlessly.
Transcription Hub is committed to providing quality transcription services at an affordable price, making their work trustworthy for any agency.
Transcription Hub’s remote freelance team has made working from home easier than ever before.
Their four-step gateway offers a flexible and convenient way to work.
The first step involves an evaluation process to ensure that all transcribers meet their quality and on-time work standards.
Once evaluated, transcribers are rated based on their work ethic, granting them access to the Live Transcription Marketplace with Gold, Silver, or Bronze ratings.
From there, each transcriber can customize their own workspace and determine their own availability to complete tasks.
After completing the work, they will be paid based on the amount of work done.
With Transcription Hub, taking advantage of working from home has never been easier. Interested individuals can sign up today and explore new career opportunities.
AML-Global, also known as American Language Services, has been a leading provider of language services in the law enforcement industry since 1985.
AML-Global has had the opportunity to assist with transcription projects for various law enforcement organizations at different levels, from federal agencies like the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), to homeland security and the U.S. Military.
Their services have also been utilized by police officers across America, detectives on special assignments, undercover agents doing surveillance work, and other law enforcement professionals who require speedy transcription support for their mission-critical tasks.
AML-Global takes pride in providing accurate transcripts quickly and considers it a valuable aid to those working hard in the service of public safety in all these cases.
AML-Global is committed to providing extraordinary language services to their clients and understands the importance of building a diverse and highly qualified team to achieve success.
They currently have job openings available, offering individuals from various backgrounds the opportunity to join their team in this endeavor.
AML-Global is actively seeking skilled individuals who can assist their clients in meeting their global challenges and operating effectively.
These skills range from executing complex interpreting tasks involving multiple languages to managing international sales, accounting and billing functions, and providing in-depth translations.
Through such an accomplished staff, AML-Global can ensure that their standards of excellence are being met.
If you are interested in joining AML-Global’s organization, you can submit your application by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and including your resume while specifying the area you’re interested in.
AML-Global’s team is dedicated to responding promptly and will notify you if any openings are available.
Applying with AML-Global is an easy process that could potentially lead to the start of your next career journey.