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Thread: Can I make it?

  1. #21
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    Your past will lead to careful scrutinization, however, be honest about it, don't try to hide it. We all have sleletons in our closet. I always tell people, "I didn't always wear a uniform."
    For the morning will come. Brightly will it shine on the brave and true, kindly upon all who suffer for the cause, glorious upon the tombs of heroes. Thus will shine the dawn.

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    Thanks for the input, everyone. I have one more question. If I were to put a few more years between myself and all of this mess, and applied those years pursing a Masters degree, would that be to my benefit? Don't take this as me trying to run from my past, but rather to separate who I am now compared to that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PlatoKnowsBest View Post
    Thanks for the input, everyone. I have one more question. If I were to put a few more years between myself and all of this mess, and applied those years pursing a Masters degree, would that be to my benefit? Don't take this as me trying to run from my past, but rather to separate who I am now compared to that.
    Finish your school and establish a good work history. Masters degree? Why?

    Stay away from the drugs.

    Do something that says you can handle stress and people.
    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...



  4. #24
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    Agree with above. Get a degree and get a job. A masters won't help you much in the hiring process, whereas job (any job) experience would. Showing you've got a stable work history would go further than a masters IMO.

    And when you do decide to go for it, apply EVERYWHERE. In this economy there will be a ton of applicants. Most people have a "goal" agency, try to get there, but you will probably have to work somewhere else first. I could not tell you how many resume's I put out there when I started. And you might want to look for more than local PD's. The feds/state have LE agencies you've never even thought of. I work for a college, we've got airport PD here, also the Veterans Affairs on this board. They all have their pluses/minuses. Even if it's not somewhere you necessarily want to be, the big part is getting certified.

    Edit to add: The drug thing here would not be that big of an issue, as long as you're up front about it, and it's way in your past. Everyone was young once.

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    So the job I'm doing now isn't enough? I've been with it since January of 09 part time, and by the time I get my degree, I'll have been with it for 4-4.5 years.

  6. #26
    Jks9199 is offline The Reason People Hate Cops & Causer of War
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    Quote Originally Posted by PlatoKnowsBest View Post
    Thanks for the input, everyone. I have one more question. If I were to put a few more years between myself and all of this mess, and applied those years pursing a Masters degree, would that be to my benefit? Don't take this as me trying to run from my past, but rather to separate who I am now compared to that.
    If you want to be a cop -- a master's degree isn't much use at entry level. It may be of benefit at higher ranks -- but is far from essential.

    What would be of much more benefit to you, if you choose to wait, is to spend the time working at real job, with real work responsibilities, deadlines, and obligations, while you're paying your bills and generally being a grown up. One of the biggest things I see in rookies today is lack of real life experience -- especially, but not limited to, the younger ones. I know of at least one recruit in an academy who is still living with their parents...
    Voting against incumbents until we get a Congress that does its job.

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    I see, so maybe use something else within my degree first, like a Liquor Enforcement Officer or a Corrections Officer for a few years, then apply?

  8. #28
    Jks9199 is offline The Reason People Hate Cops & Causer of War
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    Quote Originally Posted by PlatoKnowsBest View Post
    I see, so maybe use something else within my degree first, like a Liquor Enforcement Officer or a Corrections Officer for a few years, then apply?
    It doesn't really matter what you do -- do something. Show that you know what it is to hold a job, and to function as a grown up.
    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.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by PlatoKnowsBest View Post
    I see, so maybe use something else within my degree first, like a Liquor Enforcement Officer or a Corrections Officer for a few years, then apply?
    Don't minimalize those professions so quickly. Their application processes are the same as ours. Being a CO can be a harder job than mine at times. Rethink that one. You need to think about what you can do to get your face and name known where you want to apply. To help overcome any obstacles. Start out volunteering or working in a civilian capacity within the agency. Maybe while even continuing school. Prove yourself so to speak.
    "Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character."
    Albert Einstein

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    This may seem a bit extreme, but if it would help me, I'll do it. How would the Peace Corps look on my resume? I've always been sort of interested in it anyway. Lets say after I get my degree, I go do 2 or 3 years in the Peace Corps. How would that look to Police Departments? Would it be favorable enough to help me?

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    Quote Originally Posted by PlatoKnowsBest View Post
    This may seem a bit extreme, but if it would help me, I'll do it. How would the Peace Corps look on my resume? I've always been sort of interested in it anyway. Lets say after I get my degree, I go do 2 or 3 years in the Peace Corps. How would that look to Police Departments? Would it be favorable enough to help me?
    Now I am confused. You have separation anxiety from your family so badly it ruined a military career, now you want to go off and join the Peace Corp for 2-3 years? I sense you want to be a cop so badly you are willing to say anything, try anything. Too bad you didn't have the fortitude when you enlisted. Now I am going to say I just don't see it happening. But good luck to you.
    PS-I didn't want to leave home either at 18, but I did. To beautiful Southeat Asia. Courtesy of the 101st ABN.
    "Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character."
    Albert Einstein

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    Quote Originally Posted by MacLean View Post
    Finish your school and establish a good work history. Masters degree? Why?

    Stay away from the drugs.

    Do something that says you can handle stress and people.
    Quote Originally Posted by luckyme View Post
    Agree with above. Get a degree and get a job. A masters won't help you much in the hiring process, whereas job (any job) experience would. Showing you've got a stable work history would go further than a masters IMO.

    And when you do decide to go for it, apply EVERYWHERE. In this economy there will be a ton of applicants. Most people have a "goal" agency, try to get there, but you will probably have to work somewhere else first. I could not tell you how many resume's I put out there when I started. And you might want to look for more than local PD's. The feds/state have LE agencies you've never even thought of. I work for a college, we've got airport PD here, also the Veterans Affairs on this board. They all have their pluses/minuses. Even if it's not somewhere you necessarily want to be, the big part is getting certified.

    Edit to add: The drug thing here would not be that big of an issue, as long as you're up front about it, and it's way in your past. Everyone was young once.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jks9199 View Post
    If you want to be a cop -- a master's degree isn't much use at entry level. It may be of benefit at higher ranks -- but is far from essential.

    What would be of much more benefit to you, if you choose to wait, is to spend the time working at real job, with real work responsibilities, deadlines, and obligations, while you're paying your bills and generally being a grown up. One of the biggest things I see in rookies today is lack of real life experience -- especially, but not limited to, the younger ones. I know of at least one recruit in an academy who is still living with their parents...
    Quote Originally Posted by Jks9199 View Post
    It doesn't really matter what you do -- do something. Show that you know what it is to hold a job, and to function as a grown up.
    I'm confused, too. You are the one who said I'm not currently good enough to be a cop and that I need to do something to prove that I can be. You didn't say it in those exact words, but you didn't have to, you certainly implied it. So now that I am willing to do something to prove myself, in your words, now I'm still not doing something right.

    Either we have a misunderstanding or you're up on a soapbox... which is it?

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by PlatoKnowsBest View Post
    I'm confused, too. You are the one who said I'm not currently good enough to be a cop and that I need to do something to prove that I can be. You didn't say it in those exact words, but you didn't have to, you certainly implied it. So now that I am willing to do something to prove myself, in your words, now I'm still not doing something right.

    Either we have a misunderstanding or you're up on a soapbox... which is it?
    You were separated from the military because, based on your own statements, you couldn't hack it being away from home.

    You're asking what you need to do to overcome that -- and you're talking about college and the Peace Corps. Let's look at each briefly. College: Who's paying? Who'll pay once you graduate? Are you working? How do you think your advanced degree is going to help you as a cop? Answer the last, especially. Because it's the first thing I'd ask about that advanced degree if I were interviewing you.

    The Peace Corps: Valuable experience and exposure to the world, absolutely. But limited structure and discipline... And LE is all about structure and discipline. And I'm still not convinced you'd make it more than a few weeks because you haven't shown ME that you've overcome the separation issues. In fact, the tone of this latest post suggests to me that you still have some maturing to do before you think about becoming a cop.

    Let me spell out what we're talking about when we say "life experience." In LE, you'll see things that you will never see anywhere else. You have to be the calm voice when the world is going to shit. How will you handle something like breaking the news to a mother and father about the death of their child? How will you handle listening to a rape victim recount their experience (my first night on the streets, we had a rape reported), or sitting across an table in an interview room with the rapist? How will you handle pulling a couple thousand dollars out of a drug dealers house the same week that you're barely paying your bills? How will you carry a voice of authority on the street? How will you understand the gray lines between the words and the spirit of the law? There's very little in LE work that is cut and dried. How will you know how to react and adjust?

    The answer to all of this is life experience.

    (By the way -- you do realize you quoted several people in your post?)
    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.

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    I quoted several people on purpose, because you guys all told me I have to do something to show that I've grown up, and now that I am thinking of ways to do that, it's still apparently not good enough. I never realized some of you were so perfect, and I never realized everyone who has ever become a police officer is perfect. You act like it's impossible to overcome things that were done as a teenager, and if it really does take someone that perfect to be a police officer, then I will be finding a different career path. That kind of wreaks of something I really don't want to get involved in. You(Jks) talked about how the police have to be the calm voice when the world goes to shit. Well, I hope you guys talk to people on the streets better than this, with your holier than thou attitude. I bet you wouldn't be taken so seriously.

    You realize by the time I would begin applying to police departments, I'll be 24. And I don't know how much you remember about being young, but an extra 3 years from 21 to 24 is a lot. I am sure I'll be a lot different person then than I am now, just the same that I am a much different person now at 21 than I was at 18. I just can't help but feel that some of you here are up on a huge soapbox and it's customary for you to think nobody is good enough to be police officers. You don't know my entire story, and I won't bother telling it, because you already have these judgments about me that I apparently can't do anything about no matter what.

    You(Jks) say that you still can't be convinced that I've overcome the separation thing. Well, what else could I do other than leave the country for 2 years to prove that I have indeed overcome it? I really don't understand. You guys make it seem like there's almost nothing I can do, even though I'm getting older and trying to build myself away from my past. And to answer some of your questions, right now I'm relying on a lot of government financial aid to go to school, and yes I am working. I'll be the one paying it back after I graduate. In fact, I'll probably have to start paying on a loan next semester. But I am fully prepared to do that. I don't know how much more I can do. As I said, I didn't realize police officers had to be so perfect in every aspect of life.

    I apologize for how some of that is going to be read, and I'm not looking for a pity party by any means, so don't think that for a second. I just don't think I'm getting a fair shake here, and I have no trouble voicing it.

  15. #35
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    Young man you have been given quite the fair shake here if you want the truth. Relax your nerve a bit and either answer the questions without the dander up or stop asking them. Remember, you asked. If you can't handle this type of conversation then how will you be able to handle a defense attorney grilling you seven ways to Sunday in open court? You have some issues to work out. So what? You want real world advice? Well that is what you are getting.
    First things first. Stop trying to prove anything to anyone else but yourself first. It's going to be a little difficult to convince others if you can't convince yourself. You simply seem indecisive concerning the information in your posts.
    Although the Peace Corp is an honorable venture, I'm sure, it may not be something that some police agencies are looking for. A college degree certainly shows determination and the ability to complete an objective. However a Masters degree may not be required for the position you are looking for. Research and find a law enforcement position that interests you, what it requires and make that the goal.
    By the way, your position of perfect cops is a little distorted. There is no such thing. There are good one and there are great ones but no perfect ones. It may also be a decent idea to get the chip off your shoulder when replying to people you have solicited information from. It sounds like you are not getting the affirmation you are seeking and therefore aren't satisfied with the responses and I have no trouble voicing that. This is a cop board. The people here are walking the walk and talking the talk. Don't just read what these folks post. Comprehend it.
    Carry on and good fortune in your endeavor.
    Do not war for peace. If you must war, war for justice. For without justice there is no peace. -me

    We are who we choose to be.

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


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    Maybe I need to take a step back and read everything again, including what I wrote.

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    Good idea.

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    Ugh.... there I go again.

    I think if nothing else, this thread proves that I have a ways to go. If I applied today I wouldn't be ready, not by any means. However, I also hope it proves that I can get there if I do what I need to do. If anyone else has anything they'd like to add, please do, but I've heard all I need to hear really. Unless anyone has anything new that already hasn't been said, or something else that I need to hear.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PlatoKnowsBest View Post
    And I don't know how much you remember about being young, but an extra 3 years from 21 to 24 is a lot.




    What most of the folks here are telling you is BECAUSE we remember being 21, and most of us would carve off an arm to get to go back to 21.
    I'm your huckleberry...

    Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentus telum est!

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    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...



  20. #40
    Jks9199 is offline The Reason People Hate Cops & Causer of War
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    Nobody has said that you have to be perfect. If you've read that in the replies -- you've missed something.

    You don't have to be perfect to be a cop. In fact, it helps NOT to be perfect.

    But we are damn picky about the people we work with. For a very, very simple reason: OUR LIVES ARE ON THE LINE. Every time I work as a field trainer, every time my opinion is asked about a potential recruit, every time I'm assessing a recruit when I'm serving as an adjunct instructor at our academy -- I ask myself one simple question: Is this person someone I want backing me up on the street? Will I put my life in their hands? Because that's what it comes down to... I've even had the wonderfully fun experience of telling a recruiter that he doesn't want to hire one of my oldest friends -- because, as much as I trust him, he wouldn't (in my opinion) be a good cop, and while I'd trust him with my life -- I wouldn't want to see him backing me up on a call.

    Law enforcement is not a job. It's not just a career. It's a calling. The pay doesn't offset the shit of the job. There's nothing that can make up for the missed holidays and family times. There's nothing that that can undo what happens inside you when you deal with an abused kid. What makes it worth it is the stuff that you can't measure or label so easily; it comes from within you and from the sense of accomplishment and personal satisfaction of doing the job 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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    All opinions expressed are my own and are not official statements of my employer.

 

 
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