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attn: Police officers, advice needed

Discussion in 'Jobs & Careers' started by Jeffy likes tassels, Nov 15, 2009.

  1. Nov 15, 2009 at 9:30 PM
    #1
    Jeffy likes tassels

    Jeffy likes tassels [OP] Right way/Wrong way/Max Powers way

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    Since high school I have known that I would go 1 of 2 paths after finishing college. Either education, or law enforcement. Long story short I have decided that going back to college and finishing is not quite as doable as I had hoped and after a long hard thought process over the last few weeks I have decided to start applying with various police departments.

    Now for the advice I seek. I know there are several people in this forum who have found a very rewarding career in law enforcement. Is there any knowledge you could share with me as I enter the application process? I go in for a physical and written test with the city of Salem, OR police department in a few weeks.

    Your advice will be graciously noted.

    Thanks,
    Jeff
     
  2. Nov 15, 2009 at 9:40 PM
    #2
    shook0002

    shook0002 "The Fuzz"

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    If you have a oral interview remember police departments hate liability and love officer safety. So gear you answers on not getting hurt so they won't have to pay for injuries on duty, and anything you could do to cause them to be sued is the liability part. Basically the minimal amount of force necessary to effect a lawful arrest. The hardest part is scoring high enough to place high on the list, with smaller departments your up against hundreds of people for only a couple of positions. Expect the process to be long and drawn out.
     
  3. Nov 15, 2009 at 9:44 PM
    #3
    Stillfly199

    Stillfly199 ( . )( . )

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    When I went throught the process in CA for the CHP they asked a lot of scenario questions, which if you get that think about the safest answer possible. My opinion is to try to do some ride alongs to get some information from the officers. It will make it so much easier on you.
     
  4. Nov 16, 2009 at 3:50 AM
    #4
    Robocop

    Robocop Well-Known Member

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    I can not speak for all agencies however with 13 years on the force I know many departments are structured basically the same. Hiring is a touchy issue for most departments as they could be liable if they allowed a known sub-par person on the force who later shows poor judgement on a crisis situation. They will screen you very much before you are hired so believe me they will know most of your history if not all of it.

    Now having said that I found it is most important to always be honest when answering questions on a police application. Most recruits will tend to "bend" the truth when answering the tough questions. I knew one recruit who had been arrested when he was 15 for simple shoplifting. He plead out as a juvenile offender and paid a fine and walked clean....or so he thought.

    While he was not jailed he was charged and actually arrested. After the paid fines and 3 months probation he was cleared. Now fast forward 15 years later and he was asked in his interview if he had ever been arrested and he said no thinking it would not be found. He was terminated from the hiring process immediately not because of the arrest but because he lied.

    I also know an officer who was charged and arrested on a drunk and disorderly charge 7 years before he was hired. This was a misdemeanor and he was 18 years old. He did community service and was cleared after. He told the truth when asked and said only that it was a mistake from an 18 year old kid. He was hired as he had proven to be honest and had no further trouble after the drunken arrest.

    Most places will terminate you for a lie rather than a past mistake. It does not sound as if this will be a problem for you however again always be honest as you may also be asked to take a poly-graph test before being hired....My class had 48 recruits and 2 failed out on the poly-graph test.

    The best advice I can give as far as the actual working environment would be to look into doing some ride-alongs. Most departments will allow civilians to ride with a street officer and it is really fun for a civilian. This will give you a first hand look at a day in patrol. The radio will be spitting out calls and you can actually learn signal codes and other procedure. This is how I started my career as I must have done 5 ride-alongs and was hooked on the adrenaline.

    Also if you do enough ride-alongs with the department that you plan to apply for you may have an advantage. You may impress the recruiter if you already know the signal codes, patrol area, rules and regulations, procedures....etc:

    Good luck and you sound like you will be just fine. As far as your college is concerned most departments pay extra for a degree. The better part is that many of them will pay some or even all of the cost for you to complete your education. Many of my co-workers have done this all on-line for their 2 year degree.

    The pay issues that most places complain of are slowly changing. Departments are hiring nationwide and are slowly learning that to get, and retain, the better recruits they have to offer more pay. My pay is topped out and I get an extra 5 % for being a training officer. My pay scale has increased maybe 30 percent over the last 3 years and a few years past I never thought this would ever happen however I am actually very happy with my pay. In a Department of maybe 900 sworn officers 62k per year is pretty damn good for police work and many others pay more.

    Again good luck and sorry for the way too long reply. I am always eager to help anyone who wishes to become an officer and sometimes just can not shut up....:D
     
  5. Nov 16, 2009 at 2:39 PM
    #5
    Jeffy likes tassels

    Jeffy likes tassels [OP] Right way/Wrong way/Max Powers way

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    Gentlemen,

    I feel the notes you have given me will prove to be very crucial to my success. My first order of business will be to go on a few ride-alongs as you have pointed out.

    After testing myself against the pars of the physical test I feel more confident everyday, and plan to not only meet them, but exceed them by far come Dec. 3rd.

    I will keep you informed on if I make it past the first screening!
     
  6. Dec 16, 2009 at 4:33 PM
    #6
    Slotback

    Slotback Triple Option

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    Bottom line is to be 100% truthful on all of your paperwork and in the interviews. Take what Robocop said to heart. You will get run off for not telling the truth or the complete truth. You won't get run off for telling the truth about whatever stupid things you did in the past-to be sure you might not get hired in one place for something you did, but in another they might not care.

    And keep copies of all of your own applications/personal history statements/etc. It may be something that comes into play down the line.
     
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