Small town vs. Big city
I work for a small department, 4 deputies (6 when maxed) 2 home confinement officers, 2 transport officers. State police detachment here has 3 troopers assigned. Our county is just about the size of the state of rhode island with less than 10,000 people. Some of the things I love about working here are, being out in the country, not the most crime in the world although we have our share and the area is just beautiful, people in our county are for the most decent hard working country folk. In our department 4 of us went to high school together, 2 of us are cousins...another cousin just retired and a nephew resigned, so we are a pretty tight group, a family within a family. There are not many people in the county that I dont know well enough to stop and have a conversation with them and that leads me to a bad thing about this area, whenever we respond to something bad...chance are we are going to either know the person pretty well or we will be related to them...still all in all I think I would pick here over a big city. What are some of the pros and cons of large departments?
#1 reason big city depts are great: your cover is just around the corner, and if you need them to step it up, you'll get the whole city there before you can blink an eye. Always something to do, and always meeting new people. Tons of different divisions and bureaus to transfer/promote to. In some large depts, pensions and benefits are better
If you make a name for yourself, sometimes it's easy to get promoted, whereas other times, because of the mere size of the dept, it doesn't matter what you do, it takes forever..it's a dept. by dept. basis. Some big city depts have all the toys, where others (such as mine) are a good 10+ years behind the times because they can't afford to keep up due to the mass amount of officers.
There are plenty other pros and cons, and these are just a few. However, though I respect why you like a smaller dept, myself, I will forever love the larger depts.
IMO, meet somewhere in the middle and find yourself a Suberb Police Department. You get the best of both worlds. Similar resources to a big city, more to do, and backup is close. At the same time, you arn't swamped by calls and you still get time to breath.
And an exterality I didn't expect, but it seems that suberban residents are much friendlier and like their cops a lot more than either big cities or small towns. Using my career as an example: The City of Tucson has very unpopular cops among most residents, and when I was a Deputy in a small town of about 1200 people, I was also very much disliked. But here at Marana (a suberb of Tucson) the residents love thier cops. Its a bit refreashing.
The 'burbs might have some advantages, but I like the big city thing myself. Slick and I work together, so I would go along with a lot of what he already said (our equipment being ten years out of date, old cars, etc... typical city crap).
Still, I work in one of the most violent areas of our city (and for that matter, our state). Our calls are "interesting", and we see a lot more action than many guys in small departments... Plus, our cover is nearly instantly available. Like Slick said, when you need 'em to step it up, guys come out of the woodwork faster than you can imagine.
Also, while it is hard to categorize this, I think I also have an advantage with how I can deal with problem citizens. Friends of mine who work for smaller agencies (particularly Sheriffs) seem to be held to a much tighter standard of courtesy. And, while we certainly aren't going out of our way to be rude, it is safe to say that our "bullshit tolerance" is often allowed to be a lot lower than many of the officers who work for small departments!
For me the large department is the way to go!
EDIT: PM sent. :D
Originally Posted by Coloradocop
I worked for a larger department for 20 years. Now, I work for a smaller suburb next to the larger department. To me, the bullshit tolerance is lower in the smaller dept. My chief is very pro- officer, and support us. Too much bureaucracy in the larger dept.
For instance, I had to shoot a pit bull last week. My Sgt. was on the scene. When I got back to the station, my Lt. said to write a report. End of story.
In my old dept, I would have to call out Evidence Techs, IAD, my Lt. and the On-call Capt. I would have to be interviewed on tape, etc. Ridiculous!
I can see the pro's of working in large departments, one of the pros for me, especially in an area where you have a very laarge population is that you dont really deal with the same person day after day. After 23 years I find that I am dealing with third generation idiots, makes me just shake my head when I hear "hey, you put my grandad in jail one time"
As an outsider looking in (non LEO) it looks reading from what is here that you all have good you all have bad and surely as long as your happy where you are your in the right place for you.Obviously all will have different ideas and i'm probably wrong as i will never know what shit you guys go through on a daily basis.But be it big city small town to mid size community you do the job s you all love and like me want to go home at night safely.
Well let me tell you all something if it were not for you brave women and men going out every day this would be one crazy and fucked up world.So from me a civilian THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU.:)
We had a shooting here on Sunday, within the half hour we knew who we were looking for, that night we had one arrested and by the next day had all five in custody. This could be one pro of the small areas, we know everyone and we know every main road, back road and path both in this county and some surrounding ones.
That is quite an adavantage. Being the coloradocop and I work in the same district, we can both tell you that we have had a record amount of shootings this month, most resulting in homicides. though we have a suspect named in half of them, it is a bitch tracking these people down.
Originally Posted by PCSD722
I've only been in LE for 2 years and work for a fairly small department, but I prefer small towns over larger ones. I was born and raised in the country and try to stay away from the city as much as possible.
I work at a very small department also. We did have 2 full time and 1 part time. Now have 3 full time and 2 part time. We even answer the phone over our police radio because there is no one at town hall at night.
Pros: You know where most everyone lives and who they are. You work without supervision. You don't have to ask for permission to eat, take a break, leave zone, etc.
Cons: Backup from the next town or sheriff might take a while....if your radio can get out to call for help in the first place (we have to run back to the car radio in several places). No one knows where you are at or checks your status sometimes because they forget about you until they need your help. Pay is low. Equipment can be hand me down variety or in need of repair.
I work part time for a small department. (2-fulltimers, 4-part timers, population 1800)
Pros: You get to know everyone that you need to or should know. Good equipment: computers and printers in the car, electronic citations, assault rifles, well kept squad cars, you are on your own.
Cons: Back up is usually at least 20 minutes away, everyone knows you, can be pretty boring, you are on your own.