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  1. #1
    nick122590 is offline Officer First Class
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    westwood college?

    i am currently attending westwood college to get my bachelors in CJ. some people have different opinions on schooling so i would like to know what you think. most towns around me (chicagoland area) want atleast an associates degree. i figured im only 19 so why not go for the extra degree. some people have told me its not a real school. its a career college, most ppl are in there mid 20s not a bunch of kids like a big university ( i can learn how to binge drink on my own time) it is also very hands on. not a lecture hall where you just listen and write papers. we acually do crime scenes, go to court cases etc. all our cj professors are also LEOs or retired (one of mine is a commander with il state police) (some are retired Chicago pd) i already made up my mind and if i dont find something after 6 months of graduating i will join the military (pay student loans & get the experience.) what i want to know is if any of you have or know anyone who has gone to westwood and what do you think of it. also is there anything else i can do which will help me become an LEO like how to get internships etc.


    these are my CJ classes i have to take just for reference:
    intro to CJ
    intro to policing
    corrections
    criminology
    criminal law
    criminal procedure and constitutional law
    juvenile justice
    private investigation and security
    organizational issues in CJ
    CJ ethics
    communication for the CJ professional
    rules of evidence and courtroom procedure
    criminal investigations
    crime scene investigation
    criminalistics
    criminal courts
    cummunity policing
    CJ administration
    cultural diversity and CJ
    mental health issues in the CJ system
    Drugs and narcotics
    crisis intervention
    sex offenders
    probation and parole
    victimology and domestic violence
    women and CJ
    terrorism
    gangs and criminal sub-culture
    digital crime
    white collar crime
    CJ and public policy
    special topics in CJ
    comparative CJ

    Not to mention all the core classes i have to take

  2. #2
    Xiphos's Avatar
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    CJ is a waste of a degree if you want to be a cop. Nobody will care what classes you had, you will sit through everything the department wants you to learn with everyone else. All the department will care about is whether you have a degree. That's all. If you climb the ranks a business degree will be more helpful. If you get hurt and can't be a cop, the CJ limits your new career options.
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  3. #3
    nick122590 is offline Officer First Class
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    i was told it really didnt matter what i majored in as long as i had the degree. i just thought it might help and it gives me a little more info

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xiphos View Post
    CJ is a waste of a degree if you want to be a cop. Nobody will care what classes you had, you will sit through everything the department wants you to learn with everyone else. All the department will care about is whether you have a degree. That's all. If you climb the ranks a business degree will be more helpful. If you get hurt and can't be a cop, the CJ limits your new career options.

    +1,234,567,890


    Everyone who asks me about going for a CJ degree to be a cop gets this response. You're not going to learn anything in a CJ course in college that won't be taught in the Academy, FTO, and every day on the street afterwards.

    Business, Accounting, or something else will be more of a benefit in your career.
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  5. #5
    nick122590 is offline Officer First Class
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    before i decided to go there 3 LEOs told me it would be a good choice. the day i sign everything for student loans i start hearing this. are you guys saying its completely useless or could be better

  6. #6
    Jks9199 is offline The Reason People Hate Cops & Causer of War
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xiphos View Post
    CJ is a waste of a degree if you want to be a cop. Nobody will care what classes you had, you will sit through everything the department wants you to learn with everyone else. All the department will care about is whether you have a degree. That's all. If you climb the ranks a business degree will be more helpful. If you get hurt and can't be a cop, the CJ limits your new career options.
    I'll go a slightly different tack here.

    FACT: The academy, FTO, and other official training will give you much of the police stuff you'll need. Some of your CJ classes will be helpful, or may let you get a deeper read on official training -- but it's not like needing a medical degree to be doctor.

    FACT: A bachelor's in anything will generally be more useful and open more doors than an associate's or a collection of credit hours. And lots of people work in fields far removed from their bachelor's. That -- or there's a crapload of historians out there, along with tons of folks doing "English" 'cause that's what they majored in, and they aren't teaching...

    Put those together, and here's my advice. First, go for the bachelor's if time and money permit. If not -- keep working towards it as time and money permit, because it will open doors. You may even need more education depending on what you want to do; there are damn few chiefs in my area without at least a Master's in Public Administration or something similar.

    As to what to major in... Study something you're interested in. Being interested in it will give you the best chance to do well, and doing well will look much better as you look for work until you develop a work history. If Criminal Justice is that -- great. But consider a useful minor... which might even help you on the job. Want to work financial crimes? A solid business/accounting grounding will probably help you along the way, no? Computer crimes? A degree in computer sciences will be of use. And so on.

    Finally... DO RIDE-ALONGS. In fact, look into Explorers, cadet programs, or internships to get a taste of real police work, not classroom exercises. I know someone who waited to do this until his final semester of school, and only then during an internship did he discover that he didn't want to be a cop! Had he done something much earlier, he might have been able to change his major and be better prepared. (He did land on his feet, and is doing well in a different field.)
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  7. #7
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    Could be better. The CJ degree may not be a total loss with the knowledge you will receive. However, you will learn a lot in the academy and on the street. I agree with Xiphos. A business degree will help you in the long run and you will still have a degree to show. Not trying to talk you out of it just my opinion.
    Do not war for peace. If you must war, war for justice. For without justice there is no peace. -me

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    R.I.P. Arielle. 08/20/2010-09/16/2012


  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by nick122590 View Post
    i was told it really didnt matter what i majored in as long as i had the degree. i just thought it might help and it gives me a little more info
    That's likely true.

    If you like CJ classes, fine. Get some psych in there in your electives or minor in it.

    Take INTENSIVE writing classes and public speaking, but especially writing.

    Also, do internships. Do internships. Do internships.
    I'm your huckleberry...

    Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentus telum est!

    You can be the weapon, and the gun in your hand is a tool - or the gun is a weapon and you are the tool.


    I was looking for a saint who was a devil of a lover,
    but every girl I found was either one way or the other...



  9. #9
    nick122590 is offline Officer First Class
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    i already looked into some pych and sociology classes. now it may sound stupid but i dont have many resources, how exactly do i get a internship? local pd, county, state where should i look who should i talk to

  10. #10
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    Call and ask around where you want to see yourself working!
    I'm your huckleberry...

    Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentus telum est!

    You can be the weapon, and the gun in your hand is a tool - or the gun is a weapon and you are the tool.


    I was looking for a saint who was a devil of a lover,
    but every girl I found was either one way or the other...



  11. #11
    Five-0's Avatar
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    Where you at Nick. I have a degree in History with a minor in Poly Sci and I interned with the Secret Service. See what is available in your area, and then call and ask them.

    Meanwhile, fishing in Russia:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkzV5AIK8iM
    "When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that justifies it." -- Frederic Bastiat

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  12. #12
    nick122590 is offline Officer First Class
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    another quick question. what should i expect on the ride-alongs? i have heard theres not much you do besides drive around and watch him work the computer do to reliability reasons

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by nick122590 View Post
    another quick question. what should i expect on the ride-alongs? i have heard there is not much you do besides drive around and watch him work the computer do to reliability reasons

    Understand that you will initially be looked at as a liability to the officer. I would look at you as such. Now, you keeping that initial status is solely up to you. Couple of rules:

    What is said in the car stays in the car.
    Don't point out every little BS violation.
    Keep you mouth shut until you asked why you are so quite but be attentive.
    If the radio is talking you shouldn't be.
    (There are a lot more that other will share. You opened a whole other subject by introducing ride-a-longs.)

    Once the person you are assigned to figures out you are learning without being a burden to him you will start getting somewhere. Remember it will take time to gain trust. This is coming from an FTO that isn't thrilled when Chaplains ride with him. I show up to work not entertain if that makes sense.

    Meanwhile, fishing in Russia:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkzV5AIK8iM
    "When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that justifies it." -- Frederic Bastiat

    "Certainly there is no hunting like the hunting of man and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never really care for anything else thereafter." Ernest Hemingway

    The opinions given in my signatures & threads DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only, thereby releasing my agency of any liability, or involvement in anything posted under the username "Five-0" on Officerresource.com

  14. #14
    nick122590 is offline Officer First Class
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    i know what you mean. i was thinking about trying to do it in my town since i know it pretty well and know alot of the officers around. would i be able to go with one of them that i know?

  15. #15
    nick122590 is offline Officer First Class
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    ps: my professor already told me when i start to do ride-alongs i should keep my mouth shut at 1st till spoken to

  16. #16
    MacLean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nick122590 View Post
    ps: my professor already told me when i start to do ride-alongs i should keep my mouth shut at 1st till spoken to
    Eh, I dunno about that. A silent ride along would creep me out.

    Be friendly and open and appreciative - but not overly so.

    What he means by "keep your mouth shut" is don't comment or critique or suggest things to the officer about his job. He knows how to do it.

    Feel free to ask polite questions and express an interest in the answers.
    I'm your huckleberry...

    Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentus telum est!

    You can be the weapon, and the gun in your hand is a tool - or the gun is a weapon and you are the tool.


    I was looking for a saint who was a devil of a lover,
    but every girl I found was either one way or the other...



  17. #17
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    A polite question would be, "Is it alright if I take care of the meal tonight?"

    Meanwhile, fishing in Russia:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkzV5AIK8iM
    "When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that justifies it." -- Frederic Bastiat

    "Certainly there is no hunting like the hunting of man and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never really care for anything else thereafter." Ernest Hemingway

    The opinions given in my signatures & threads DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only, thereby releasing my agency of any liability, or involvement in anything posted under the username "Five-0" on Officerresource.com

  18. #18
    Jks9199 is offline The Reason People Hate Cops & Causer of War
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    Quote Originally Posted by nick122590 View Post
    i already looked into some pych and sociology classes. now it may sound stupid but i dont have many resources, how exactly do i get a internship? local pd, county, state where should i look who should i talk to
    Talk to your professors. Your school may have an internship office, as well.
    Voting against incumbents until we get a Congress that does its job.

    TASER: almost as good as alcohol for teaching white boys to dance

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  19. #19
    Jks9199 is offline The Reason People Hate Cops & Causer of War
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    Quote Originally Posted by Five-0 View Post
    A polite question would be, "Is it alright if I take care of the meal tonight?"
    It's a polite question -- but I wouldn't let a ride-along buy dinner. Personal choice -- but I do get paid. College kids, especially, may not be.

    What I want out of a ride-along is that they follow directions, not expect me to be the entertainment, and that they listen and pay attention. Whether they get out of the car or not depends on the call, and whether they follow directions. If the ride along is a college student or cadet or the like... they can expect me to ask them some basic questions, like search and seizure principles. After all, they're there to learn...
    Voting against incumbents until we get a Congress that does its job.

    TASER: almost as good as alcohol for teaching white boys to dance

    "Don't suffer from PTSD -- Go out and cause it!"
    -- Col. David Grossman, US Army, ret.

    All opinions expressed are my own and are not official statements of my employer.

  20. #20
    nick122590 is offline Officer First Class
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    thanks for all the help guys, i wish i found this forum sooner. i was told that they deal with customs alot and since i live less then a mile from an airport im going to try and get a internship there.



    Quote Originally Posted by Five-0 View Post
    Where you at Nick.
    i live just west of chicago next to ohare airport. if theres any LEOs in the area let me know!

 

 
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