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advice from any LEO's please

Discussion in 'Jobs & Careers' started by tacosupreme54, Oct 26, 2010.

  1. Oct 26, 2010 at 1:57 PM
    #1
    tacosupreme54

    tacosupreme54 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Here's the background: I'm 19, have been to 3 different colleges my first 3 semesters, with 3 different majors. I have finally made my mind up that I want to be in law enforcement. Specifically, I want to be a state level law enforcement officer. Probably starting at Georgia State Trooper and then work up to GBI, SWAT, US Marshalls, or something to that nature; special ops. I am currently working on a Criminal Justice degree. I am also a part time employee at a local Home Depot, which pays next to nothing. But basically I'm on the right track, correct?

    The reason I'm posting is because I want advice. First off, I know that to get on with a state level law enforcement agency, you most likely need some experience with a smaller department like a local PD (city, county, etc.). It's pretty unlikely to get the job with the Georgia State Troopers without some experience or connections. Well I have none. I don't really want to finally get this degree and then have to work at a small local PD for a few years to get some experience. Then finally have the criteria to get a job with the Georgia State Troopers. I would love to be able to go into the Troopers soon after finishing my degree. Having this degree will give me an edge, because it's not required and some experience will also help out a lot too. I wouldn't mind working at a local PD while I'm in school at all, I just don't want it as my career. The thing is that most local PD's require an academy and lots of training. That equals time, which I don't have. I would not mind at all to go to the academy and train, but I am a full time student and can't just drop my life, education, and current job for a few months to do that.

    So I'm kind of confused as to what I should do. Georgia State Trooper is my current goal, but I don't really know what steps to take. I'm not saying that a local PD is a bad job, it's just not what I want to do. The age to apply for the Georgia State Patrol is 21 and I will be 20 in March. I will also be done with my Criminal Justice degree about the time I turn 21. So I have less than 2 years before I can apply. I would like to get as much of a resume built up as I can by then. Since it's not really possible for me to get on with a local PD because I don't have the spare time to train, I have few options for a job in law enforcement. The only opportunity that I see is with my county sheriff's department. There is not as much training required for a sheriff's deputy compared to a regular PD to my understanding. You do not have to go to an academy. Basically you get your training to use your firearm, taser, and mace. Does this seem like a bad idea to work for the local sheriff's department? I will be getting better pay than the Home Depot, I will have some experience with law enforcement which will look better than none, I won't have so much training that it will interfere with school, and it will be a start towards Georgia State Trooper.

    Are there any better options that I could work while in school? Jailer? dispatcher? anything?

    Any advice about a law enforcement related job I could work will be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Oct 26, 2010 at 2:11 PM
    #2
    JimBeam

    JimBeam BECAUSE INTERNETS!! Moderator

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    Here in SC...when theyre hiring...prior experience isnt an issue to get on with SCHP...

    All LE is going to require an academy and training...and probably require you to be 21

    complete your degree...and when youre finishing up...start applying

    Apply to as many departments as you can...even if its not what you want to do right now...apply to local PDs...sheriffs depts...etc...including GSP...

    That way if GSP doesnt hire you right now...you can go thru the academy...get a job...and get some experience under your belt...then in a couple years re-apply with GSP...
     
  3. Oct 26, 2010 at 2:26 PM
    #3
    tacosupreme54

    tacosupreme54 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Well I actually know a couple of guys that are also 19 that work at sheriff's departments. One in my county and the other in a bordering county. They also have not been to an academy. I asked one of them if they had been to an academy and he looked at me like he had no clue what I was talking about. So I don't think this department requires an academy, at least for the sheriff's department. He did say that he was not certified yet. So I guess that basically means that he just pretty much rides along, but he does get paid. I'm not really sure.
     
  4. Oct 26, 2010 at 3:34 PM
    #4
    Kilo22

    Kilo22 Member

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    Anything you do in LE is going to require training. And of course, experience will help in anything you do. A guy at our department started out as a dispatcher. As soon as he turned 21, they hired him as a LEO. Plus, his 2 years of dispatching gave him an idea of how we operate. Alot of guys at our SO started out in the jail. Im not sure how old you have to be to be a jailer, but any LEO is gonna be 21. Its really gonna be hard to do anything LE related and go to school full time. Try an internship at your local PD. Good luck.
     
  5. Oct 26, 2010 at 3:44 PM
    #5
    Mr. Brown

    Mr. Brown Well-Known Member

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    Us marshals hires with a degree. If that is your ultimate goal why not just go for it now?
     
  6. Oct 26, 2010 at 4:26 PM
    #6
    tacosupreme54

    tacosupreme54 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I know i can't go to school and do this full time. I just figured that there might be some type of position in the system that I could have; jailer, inmate transport, or even dispatcher like you said. I want some type of position that can get my foot in the door with law enforcement but that doesn't require so much training that I cannot do it while in school. Thanks for the good luck.
     
  7. Oct 26, 2010 at 4:33 PM
    #7
    tacosupreme54

    tacosupreme54 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    U.S Marshalls still requires "one year of specialized experience at or equivalent to the next lower grade" according to their criteria. so it's still something you can't jump right into.
     
  8. Oct 26, 2010 at 4:45 PM
    #8
    Caduceus

    Caduceus Well-Known Member

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    Sounds to me like you want it all without putting your time in. Really? That attitude won't get you far when you interview.

    At least in Los Angeles (yeah, not GA, sorry), the sheriff's run the jails for 2 years before they get on the street (unless prior LEO). Certain departments do hire right away, but they put you through their own academy. Pretty much, you're going to one. Get used to the idea. Not like a pretty piece of paper makes you suddenly, magically qualified to be in a squad car.

    Is that 19 year old working, or an Explorer? Some departments have that program. Also check with your campus security. I know the Univ. of CA school system hires undergrads as security guards, which may at least help. Plus it's work-study, which is kind of nice.
     
  9. Oct 26, 2010 at 4:57 PM
    #9
    tacosupreme54

    tacosupreme54 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    No. It sounds to me like that I am a full time student working towards my degree and asking for advice of what I should do and steps I should take. I am not by any means trying to cut corners or not put effort or time in. I am putting time towards this by getting a degree right now. As I am doing this, I am basically wanting to know what the best part time job (law enforcement related) I could work on the side would be. Yes, I am limited to what I can do because I have over half of every week dedicated to getting an education in this field and another great portion dedicated to homework and studying. I am no idiot and know that there will be lots of time dedicated to this, including the training and academy. I understand that you don't just become a certified officer overnight. I simply was asking if anyone knew of anything I could do on the side that would get my feet wet in law enforcement and help pay the bills. I appreciate that you gave some input, but you did not have to be a dick or make assumptions.
     
  10. Oct 26, 2010 at 5:03 PM
    #10
    ImpulseRed008

    ImpulseRed008 Gone But Not Forgotten

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    Best of luck to you. We need more good folks to be LE.
     
  11. Oct 26, 2010 at 5:08 PM
    #11
    jrdbrn

    jrdbrn Borne Fishing

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    Hate to break it to ya bud, but you can't go to the top from the bottom without taking steps. You aren't the only "full time student". I was a full time student and it took a while to get the job I wanted.
     
  12. Oct 26, 2010 at 5:09 PM
    #12
    tacosupreme54

    tacosupreme54 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thank you Susan.
     
  13. Oct 26, 2010 at 5:11 PM
    #13
    tacosupreme54

    tacosupreme54 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I realize that you don't just sign up and they hand over the weapons, patrol car, and good salary. I am simply asking everyone's advice of what to do next. Why is everyone convinced that I think it's easy or that I'm trying to jump to the top right off? I just want to know what to do to put me in good position for a good job.
     
  14. Oct 26, 2010 at 5:16 PM
    #14
    ImpulseRed008

    ImpulseRed008 Gone But Not Forgotten

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    He's not looking to skip steps. He just needs help figuring out what steps to take to get him where he wants to go.
     
  15. Oct 26, 2010 at 5:32 PM
    #15
    tacosupreme54

    tacosupreme54 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Yes, exactly.
     
  16. Oct 27, 2010 at 6:39 AM
    #16
    Caduceus

    Caduceus Well-Known Member

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    Agreed, that's what he's looking for. But that's not how he presented himself:
    ...
    [I dropped his intro paragraph]

    The reason I'm posting is because I want advice. First off, I know that to get on with a state level law enforcement agency, you most likely need some experience with a smaller department like a local PD (city, county, etc.). It's pretty unlikely to get the job with the Georgia State Troopers without some experience or connections. Well I have none. I don't really want to finally get this degree and then have to work at a small local PD so basically, you want your dream job right off the bat for a few years to get some experience. Then finally have the criteria to get a job with the Georgia State Troopers. I would love to be able to go into the Troopers soon after finishing my degree even though you just admitted you'd need some experience. Having this degree will give me an edge, because it's not required and some experience will also help out a lot didn't you just say you didn't want to go straight in? too. I wouldn't mind working at a local PD while I'm in school at all, I just don't want it as my career wait, now it's OK to work a small department; you even said it'd be a good jumping off point, so why is it suddenly a career thing?. The thing is that most local PD's require an academy and lots of training. That equals time, which I don't have news flash, you'll have to go through it anyway - unless you're talking about working while in college (which, I have to admit, it doesn't necessarily sound like). I would not mind at all to go to the academy and train, but I am a full time student and can't just drop my life, education, and current job for a few months to do that sure you can, just take a semester off. Heck, they might give you credits for it if you ask around.

    So I'm kind of confused as to what I should do. Georgia State Trooper is my current goal, but I don't really know what steps to take it sounds like you do, but that you don't want to. I'm not saying that a local PD is a bad job you make it sound that way, it's just not what I want to do fair enough. The age to apply for the Georgia State Patrol is 21 and I will be 20 in March. I will also be done with my Criminal Justice degree about the time I turn 21. So I have less than 2 years before I can apply. I would like to get as much of a resume built up as I can by then. Since it's not really possible for me to get on with a local PD because I don't have the spare time to train, I have few options for a job in law enforcement sort of - certainly few opportunities in a squad car. The only opportunity that I see is with my county sheriff's department. There is not as much training required for a sheriff's deputy compared to a regular PD to my understanding. You do not have to go to an academy. Basically you get your training to use your firearm, taser, and mace. Does this seem like a bad idea to work for the local sheriff's department? Nope; but I bet it's still more training than you anticipate I will be getting better pay than the Home Depot, I will have some experience with law enforcement which will look better than none, I won't have so much training that it will interfere with school, and it will be a start towards Georgia State Trooper.all good pro's for looking into it more!!

    Are there any better options that I could work while in school? Jailer? dispatcher? anything? they require training too, but anything that'll get your foot in the door is a start. They're all good options.

    Any advice about a law enforcement related job I could work will be greatly appreciated.

    ...

    Back to me! The way I read your first post, you really come off with an attitude - I know that I'll probably need to work first, but I don't want to work for local PD, I just want to get in with State. If you had dropped the attitude that the second paragraph is full of, you'd be golden. Even if you're not meaning to, you come off as it. And appearances matter - if/when you interview, check ALL your attitude at the door. You want the job, you're willing to train up to it, your degree makes you a good candidate, but you don't know everything. That's going to be even more important while a probie - just shut up, head down, and do what you're told.

    I'm sure you've heard this already, but that college degree means less and less every day. Depending how departments hire, prior experience may mean more than a degree. So, military folks, or people doing lateral transfers, may actually score higher than you. Good on you for trying to get some experience. But, you may end up (proverbially) shoveling shit before you ride the horse.

    One more thing. There may be other state-level law enforcement agencies. Like I said, in California the University of California schools have their own campus PD - they're all actually "state trooper" status. I mean, it's not the same as CA Highway Patrol, but it's something. And if nothing else, it's more experience. Also, don't count out the bigger cities. I'm sure Atlanta has SWAT and all the other high-profile stuff too.
     
  17. Oct 27, 2010 at 10:27 AM
    #17
    tacosupreme54

    tacosupreme54 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    The reason I'm posting is because I want advice. First off, I know that to get on with a state level law enforcement agency, you most likely need some experience with a smaller department like a local PD (city, county, etc.). It's pretty unlikely to get the job with the Georgia State Troopers without some experience or connections. Well I have none. I don't really want to finally get this degree and then have to work at a small local PD so basically, you want your dream job right off the bat (who wouldn't? i know it's not likely, but i am wanting to know what to do to increase my chances of getting on sooner) for a few years to get some experience. Then finally have the criteria to get a job with the Georgia State Troopers. I would love to be able to go into the Troopers soon after finishing my degree even though you just admitted you'd need some experience (by "soon" i meant a couple of years or so. it is possible to go without previous experience, but the experience does help). Having this degree will give me an edge, because it's not required and some experience will also help out a lot didn't you just say you didn't want to go straight in? (i want to do a job while in school) too. I wouldn't mind working at a local PD while I'm in school at all, I just don't want it as my career wait, now it's OK to work a small department; you even said it'd be a good jumping off point, so why is it suddenly a career thing? (it is ok to work there if i can do it while in school, i just don't want to do it the rest of my life). The thing is that most local PD's require an academy and lots of training. That equals time, which I don't have news flash, you'll have to go through it anyway - unless you're talking about working while in college (which, I have to admit, it doesn't necessarily sound like). (i do realize that training is required for any job, even at mcdonald's. i know i will have to do it sooner or later, but right now i want to stay in school to keep good grades and get this degree. and yes, i am talking about working while i am in school. apparently you can't read well.) I would not mind at all to go to the academy and train, but I am a full time student and can't just drop my life, education, and current job for a few months to do that sure you can, just take a semester off. Heck, they might give you credits for it if you ask around. (i want to stay in school to get it over with. I know it is hard for people to start back after they stop school, so i don't want to be in that situation)

    So I'm kind of confused as to what I should do. Georgia State Trooper is my current goal, but I don't really know what steps to take it sounds like you do, but that you don't want to (i was simply asking for your advice, not constant criticism, judgment, and assumptions. i know for the most part, but i just wanted to hear from some law enforcement guys; and i do want to, but i want to finish this degree first while working some type of job that will give me experience and that i will be able to do while in school. that's basically what the whole thread is about, i have no idea why you haven't picked up on that yet). I'm not saying that a local PD is a bad job you make it sound that way (well sorry, didn't mean it like that), it's just not what I want to do fair enough. The age to apply for the Georgia State Patrol is 21 and I will be 20 in March. I will also be done with my Criminal Justice degree about the time I turn 21. So I have less than 2 years before I can apply. I would like to get as much of a resume built up as I can by then. Since it's not really possible for me to get on with a local PD because I don't have the spare time to train, I have few options for a job in law enforcement sort of - certainly few opportunities in a squad car (i'm not saying that i think i can just apply somewhere and get a car, gun, suit, the next day. i know that takes training. I am not that stupid and you are insulting me by acting like i am. i was just asking for suggestions of a simple job that i may could work while in school that will have me in the environment of law enforcement.). The only opportunity that I see is with my county sheriff's department. There is not as much training required for a sheriff's deputy compared to a regular PD to my understanding. You do not have to go to an academy. Basically you get your training to use your firearm, taser, and mace. Does this seem like a bad idea to work for the local sheriff's department? Nope; but I bet it's still more training than you anticipate (any other suggestions then?)I will be getting better pay than the Home Depot, I will have some experience with law enforcement which will look better than none, I won't have so much training that it will interfere with school, and it will be a start towards Georgia State Trooper.all good pro's for looking into it more!! (thank you)

    Are there any better options that I could work while in school? Jailer? dispatcher? anything? they require training too, but anything that'll get your foot in the door is a start. They're all good options. (i realize that any job now will require training, i'm just asking for suggestions)

    Any advice about a law enforcement related job I could work will be greatly appreciated.

    ...

    Back to me! The way I read your first post, you really come off with an attitude - I know that I'll probably need to work first, but I don't want to work for local PD, I just want to get in with State. If you had dropped the attitude that the second paragraph is full of, you'd be golden. Even if you're not meaning to, you come off as it. And appearances matter - if/when you interview, check ALL your attitude at the door. You want the job, you're willing to train up to it, your degree makes you a good candidate, but you don't know everything. That's going to be even more important while a probie - just shut up, head down, and do what you're told.

    If there is an attitude, I didn't realize it. I was just letting everyone that read know where I stand and where I want to be. I wanted to know what actions to take to put me in better position for the State Patrol down the road. I do realize that it is not something you just sign up for and then get called to do the next day. I know that it is possible to work your way up quickly and I just wanted to know of anything I could do to be able to do that. I honestly do not have an attitude. I am one of the most passive and laid back people you could meet. I am by no means the brat kid who thinks they can have whatever they want, that you are portraying me as. Excuse me if my choice of words made it seem that way. I realize that a degree doesn't make me a police officer, or better than someone who already is. I will just understand the law, system, and criminal justice in general better than I did before. Experience and physically doing something beats book smarts any day; I know that.

    I'm sure you've heard this already, but that college degree means less and less every day. Depending how departments hire, prior experience may mean more than a degree. So, military folks, or people doing lateral transfers, may actually score higher than you. Good on you for trying to get some experience. But, you may end up (proverbially) shoveling shit before you ride the horse.

    I know that degrees are losing value, but it can't hurt anything. I know that an experienced officer will get the job over a person fresh out of school that knows a ton. I know that there aren't really any shortcuts either. Even if I somehow got on with the Georgia State Troopers right off, I would start as low as you can get.

    One more thing. There may be other state-level law enforcement agencies. Like I said, in California the University of California schools have their own campus PD - they're all actually "state trooper" status. I mean, it's not the same as CA Highway Patrol, but it's something. And if nothing else, it's more experience. Also, don't count out the bigger cities. I'm sure Atlanta has SWAT and all the other high-profile stuff too.

    I am not aware of a ton of state level agencies, but I have been looking in the past few days since I've thought about this more. And yes, there are a few SWAT teams throughout the state. I just wanted to know if there are any positions in or around law enforcement that I could hold while taking my classes. I realize that it's hard and that you can't just jump to the top. That's why I wanted some suggestions about what I can work while I'm in school; something that can get me a feel for this field, to pay the bills while I'm in school, and that I can realistically train for and do without hurting my grades. Sorry for however I came off, but I'm pretty sure that I made it clear that I just wanted some suggestions, help, and mainly advice for a 30-40 hr/wk job in law enforcement. I don't know why you want to be so hard on me. I'm just trying to learn.
     
  18. Oct 27, 2010 at 10:33 AM
    #18
    HomerTaco

    HomerTaco Grill Sergeant Vendor

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    Best of luck to you brother! :thumbsup:
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  19. Oct 27, 2010 at 10:38 AM
    #19
    tacosupreme54

    tacosupreme54 [OP] Well-Known Member

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  20. Oct 27, 2010 at 1:27 PM
    #20
    Caduceus

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    Oh, I can read just fine. I rit pruddy goole tue. Been doing it since before you were born ;)

    It certainly sounds like you know the gist of what you have to do. And like I said, minus that second paragraph, you sound pretty realistic about it. But you weren't all that clear in wanting a part time job while in college (at least initially, in your first post). You made it like you were just wanting to get your degree and expected departments to bend to your will. As long as you realize that's not going to happen...

    Don't count out other agencies, btw. Coast Guard, ATF, DEA, Border Patrol... all have lots of "fun" jobs, police-type action, lots of action, and let's face it, are a hell of a lot more secure than state or local jobs in today's economy. They're not GA State Police, but... well, like you and I have said, you need to get experience and pay your dues. You may just find you like your first "starter" job too. Anyway, I think I've said enough.
     
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