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Thread: Hopefully part of the club soon
04-10-07, 03:08 AM #1Rookie
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Hopefully part of the club soon
I'm not sure if this is where I should be posting- or in a different part of the forum- so if this is the wrong place forgive me.
I'm a 22 year old male in the Western U.S., out of high school for almost four years now, and I've wanted to be in law enforcement since I was in junior high. In high school I worked for a retailer and got into Loss Prevention, which I thought might be just as satisfying for me as a career as being a police officer would since it involved crime prevention/apprehension and also retail- which I seemed to enjoy. Three years later I realize that LP is not the career for me- I feel like an underpaid watchdog for corporate funds rather than truly making any kind of a difference- especially when we're told to ignore stuff that's right under our nose out of fear of lawsuits. I'm also convinced that there are a few people on death row that have been convicted with less evidence than what I have when I have to let a shoplifter walk due to missing out on 21 seconds of their journey from the area of theft to the front door. I'll quit ranting now, but needless to say I am ready to put the LP career behind me and move into real law enforcement. I also don't want to sound like a general LP officer who's "gonna be a cop someday" as those type seem to be a laughingstock.
Anyway, I have researched a couple of cities I would like to work for in my area and our state's fitness standards and am working towards getting in tip top shape. I think I could probably pass all needed physical requirements right now, but I'd rather be at my absolute best before I go try to bust speedfreaks and the like.
I have a couple of questions and concerns that I couldn't find in my research or didn't have definitive answers that I thought you folks may be able to help me with.
1) Being that I have no military experience, would an associate's degree in criminal justice, (or working towards one when I apply) help to become hired as a general patrol officer or is this considered a must only for higher-level positions? Either way I'd like to have it but I'd like to go to work sooner rather than later and am not crazy about the thought of putting off what I hope will be my new career for another two full years.
2) Due to an accident (I was hit by a car during a persuit of a shoplifter and was subsequently laid off and unable to find comparable pay right away) at a previous employer that led to me being unemployed for a period of time, I have a couple of bad marks on my credit. However, other than 1 speeding ticket, I have no other misdemenor or felony criminal charges either filed or convicted. In general I have a solid work history and have passed many background checks including a state-issued one when my ex-girlfriend temporarily took custody of her niece and nephew and I had to pass a Dept. of Family Services background. Would the credit or the accident be an issue on a background check?
Also, just in general, I would like to learn anything I can that will help me in my journey. So any and all comments are welcome.
Thanks alot, and god bless all you guys out there defending us regular joes.
04-10-07, 10:25 AM #2
Josh, first off welcome to LEF. You'll surely enjoy it here.
I believe that most departments these days require some type of college or military in order to apply. Around here, it's generally 30 credits with 2 years of military or 60 credits to even apply. Then, without a Bachelor's degree you'll never be ranked higher than a Corporal. Your best bet in figuring out what you need is contacting the departments who interest you most and seeing what they require.
I personally don't think the credit problems will be too big of an issue. Yes, they will look into it because it shows responsibility and whatnot. Considering it sounds like you don't have much else to worry about, I personally wouldn't be too worried about it unless it's some substantial debt or something.
Hope that helps a little bit...Calm Like A Bomb...
“A pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. An optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty.”
04-10-07, 11:45 AM #3
And for the record.......Its not a club, Its a calling.
I didnt say that to bash you or anything, just setting it straight."An Unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it." Jeff Cooper
Some people are meant to be the police......Some people are meant to call the police!!!
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04-10-07, 11:48 AM #4
04-10-07, 12:06 PM #5Rookie
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Thank you all for the warm welcomes and the advice so far. Really appreciated. And yes I definately mis-spoke when I said "club" instead of calling, calling really is the best word I can think of to describe how I feel about (hopefully) going into this career.
The two departments I want to work for are in smaller towns, right around my area, and to hire they do not require military or college, but I assume (and it looks like rightly) that those things probably secure you a much higher possibility of being hired.
I am planning to start online courses in the late summer on a associate's degree and hopefully by the time I am ready to apply I will have accumulated credits that add up to showing the department I am serious about this endeavor. The credit issue isn't astronomical, like a car repo or anything, so I hope that doesn't interfere and I'm re-assured after talking to you guys. LP background checks, while I'm sure are not nearly as intense as law enforcement, do check for credit and I just passed one of them at my new job in October. I'll try not to sweat the small stuff.
I'm really glad I joined- it looks like this is a great place for support and I'm sure all you guys will prolly be sick of hearing from me by the time I get everything in line and am hired. :-D
Take care everyone!
04-10-07, 12:20 PM #6
Try not to worry so much about backgrounds....whatever happened, happened. Every agency has their criteria, and so does every background investigator.
Just document everything, and have a clear idea of why it happened, and how you are sorting it out.
Try to get a ride-along with the agencies you are interested in, it's a great way to see something of what happens, and ask questions in person.Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.
Do not puff, shade, skew, tailor, firm up, stretch, massage,
or otherwise distort statements of fact.FBI Special Agent Coleen Rowley
04-10-07, 12:42 PM #7
Hello and welcome!
04-10-07, 01:03 PM #8
Josh, Do some research.. there are alot of dept.. mine included that you can work for with only a High school diploma and then once on the dept... you get a HUGE cut in your education expenses and can get your associates through the dept. There are many I work with who are doing this and its saved them alot of money with the education.
as far as your ticket and credit... that would pass in our dept as well... if things can be explained usually its ok if it is reasonable.
anyway, welcome to the site and good luck to you.http://www.allpoetry.com/Grunts%20Girl
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04-10-07, 04:14 PM #9
04-10-07, 07:44 PM #10
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04-10-07, 08:10 PM #11
i smell something
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04-10-07, 08:47 PM #12
its not necessarily about financial responsibility, so much as it is about being a possible liability. we often times run into situations where we are dealing with large sums of money, or are inside people's houses around their valuables without them being there. many departments see a police officer in serious uncontrollable debt as one that might be more easily tempted to take a little for himself when noone is looking to help eliminate that debt.in the warriors code there's no surrender, though his body says stop, his spirit cries...NEVER. deep in our souls, a quiet ember, knows its you against you, its the paradox that drives us all. its a battle of wills, in the heat of attack, its the passion that kills, and victory is yours alone.
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04-10-07, 08:50 PM #13
04-10-07, 09:42 PM #14
04-11-07, 12:10 AM #15Rookie
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- Rock Springs, Wyoming
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Thanks again for all the welcomes and advice.
I contacted my local dept. about a month ago about ride alongs, funny you should mention it. No response yet, (I just shot them an email) but I will probably look into it again when I get closer to being charged up, in shape and ready to apply sometime early next year.
I was going to post a question earlier that related to possible tuition assistance if I was hired and then decided to persue the education. That is interesting and it's something I will have to ask about.
I am hopeful that despite not having military experience, the Loss Prevention experience will help me somewhat.
I can understand about the money issue... was discussing that with a co-worker today actually, as I live in Wyoming, and our troopers just seized $3 million worth of drug money that was located in suitcases in the back of a Dually pickup truck. It is good to know that it is more an outstanding debt issue than a credit one as I am slowly but surely getting the bills paid off. Harsh lesson of what unemployment and living at your means instead of below them can bring. The credit reports unfortunately won't improve for a few years yet but I will have the debt at least paid off.
We have about eight officers ready for retirement, although none are scheduled to do so this year, so I'm hoping 2008 will be a good time to go full speed ahead. Until then I'm focusing on getting in shape and learning all I can.
04-11-07, 12:23 AM #16
good luck with whatever steps you decide to take!YEAH, IM THE BERRIES, AND CHERRIES IN YOUR REAR VIEW MIRROR.
Handle every stressful situation like a dog.
Eat it, Play with it, or piss on it, and walk away!
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04-11-07, 12:32 AM #17jrae Guest
welcome and good luck to you
04-12-07, 11:11 AM #18
Somewhere in Ohio
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04-12-07, 12:29 PM #19
04-13-07, 05:19 AM #20
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