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From Military to Police: Are You Ready?

John C. Ricke

you nearing the end of your military service contract/career and considering a new career in law enforcement?

Police Officers and Military Personnel are a special breed of people. For the most part, we have an attraction to action, conflict, and non-simplistic lifestyles where everything can change in a moments notice. We also like working in structured environments where we often form close bonds with our fellow employees.

However, in our worlds, our co-workers are not just “fellow employees” and we don’t have “regular jobs”. Our chosen careers are a huge part of our lives and our co-workers are more like brothers and sisters. Our very lives are often placed in each others hands.

Is it the right fit? →


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    DURKEE_CM

    about 4 years ago

    4 Comments

    I leave for my second combat deployment in a few months, after I get back and EAS I want to attend college and study criminal justice. I am extreemly eager to get the ball rolling in the next chapter in my life. I have allways wanted to go into law enforcement and am currently gathering as much information and advice as possible. Any suggestions?
    2/1 USMC 2111 "Keeper of the cold steel"

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    LMS_Tactical

    over 4 years ago

    12 Comments

    I took the written exam for the LAPD right after my ETS and have never looked back! I enjoyed a rewarding career with the LAPD and am now a Federal law Enforcement Firearms & Tactics Instructor. How cool is that? Bottom line here is..... the police world has changed throughout the years, just as the military and society in general. if you want to go out and crack skulls and shoot up the bad guys as a cop.... you missed your time. That was Pre Rodney King! Police Departments now want (and deserve) calm, thinking, professional and tactically sound officers. Of course, I am biased and believe that the LAPD is the very best department in the country. In reality, there are many great big city departments and that is what I would suggest for a career. there are many reasons, but some of the important ones are:
    .- Big City departments (Los Angeles, Dallas, N.Y., etc.) offer more room to move around. Should you work in a twenty officer dept. and piss off your Captain, you are stuck! In a bigger dept., you can slide across the city and change the people you report to.
    .-There are more opportunities for specialized units. SWAT, Vice, TRAP, CRASH, etc.... are fun assignments and will keep you fit and motivated. Hooah?
    There are many more, but to close... I say this. hats off to all of our nations Warfighters and Law Enforcement officers. Anyone who believes otherwise or has bad things to say about cops, is a fool and I would not urinate on them in a forest fire!
    Stay Alert!
    Stay Alive!
    Airborne out!

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    kboet

    over 4 years ago

    4 Comments

    As a Viet-nam Era Veteran and a Retired 23yr Veteran Police Officer. The LE community is under paid and just a glorified position which a lot of young bucks abuse with their badge and gun. Being military combat veteran you will be "Scrutinized" very closely when involved in any thing that has to do with physical defense in the line of duty or off duty. They (the civilian community first thought) call it PTSD. Some smaller department as well as some large departments try to shy away from combat veterans of the Iraq and Afghan Era due to all the bad pubulicity over the past few years. The MEDIA is definitely not your friend. The media will screw you for life. Remember the public only believes what they hear and see on the news these days. Sad but true. So, when you become a member of the LE community and something happens, you as a military combat veteran will have to fight twice as hard to prove yourself. Also, on the ending note: The civilian community is nothing like military life. I found it to be very disorganized. No structure! It either their way or the highway. The civilian community does not want to hear how you did it in the military or war zone. Good Luck. Remember: "Smoke Is On the Water. It Clouds and Covers What You Can't See."

  • Forged_from_the_deckplates_max50

    jayfrom716

    over 4 years ago

    2 Comments

    I took the PD to MAA route and I must say that I am pleased with my decision!

  • P23-2_max50

    kevw25

    over 4 years ago

    1298 Comments

    What about from PD to military? I am a PT police officer actively applying to the US Army Reserve. I hear not too many people take this route in life lol

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    secrtstlr

    over 4 years ago

    4 Comments

    I sat on applicant review boards for many years. I always looked for those guys with military service. Especially if they had some sort of speciality designation. ie Ranger, Force Recon, Seal or something along those lines. This showed me they had the drive and determination to suceed. However military service is not a given that the applicant will prove to be a sucessfull police officer, but they suceeded more than most. Plus I always felt they deserved a closer look than others because of their service. I would encourage anyone with military service to also get as much education as possible because most agencies have some sort of college requirement. Former military and college = a very good candidate. Good luck to those of you that want to enter law enforcement. Remember this is a calling not a job. As the article stated the demands on you time, family, and your body are tremendous. Only those truly committed will make it. I was fortunate to find a career early on in my life that was the right fit. I'm in my 29th year with about four more to go. Even now I still work out and and shoot way more than the average officer. Good luck.
    Sgt. Steve Riley McKinney Police Department

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    gramps

    over 4 years ago

    26 Comments

    Yes the fit is right, however, after spending 20 years of my life in the US Navy and the Navy having a poor physical fitness program it was tough for me in the police academy. Yes I was very much out of shape and while in the academy I had to struggle to keep up with the young kids and physically fit marines that got out of the Corp and went to the same academy I did. I weighted 175 pounds out of the Navy and upon graduation from the academy I was down to a very fit 149 pounds at a age of 38. On the days that we ran I alway tried to be at the very front of the group, even had another unfit Navy vet and he also joined me at the front, we decided that with us at the front we could set the pace for our run. That really helped us out because the fit youngsters had to stay behind us. The rest of physical training was in the gym and I had to set my own pace. So like I said 175 pounds going into the academy and 149 upon graduation. It was a real struggle at times but it was fun. My Navy rating was called Master-at-Arms, (MA-1). MA1 was Master at arms Petty Officer first class...The Master-at-Arms rating is the Navys Law Enforcement rating. On my last ship I was the Navy police officer enforcing all Military rules and regulations.. Also what helped me was while in the Navy I was a full time Reserve Police Officer and a full time Reserve Deputy Sheriff...With already having a working knowledge of Police codes, Misdeameanor and Felony codes that helped me with tests etc....I got started as a reserve officer in Lakehurst, NJ. and with other military transfers I would work everything around my Navy career. Upon my retirement from the Navy I was hired as a Stanton, CA Police Officer so I stepped out of one uniform and climbed into another one and with a very nice pay raise. Also upon graduation I got another pay raise. I was with Stanton PD for a year then moved back down to San Diego and was hired by Coronado, CA PD. I was there until I got a knee injury and had to take a medical retirement. I couldn't chase crooks any more as I would tweek my knee so I was pretty much done for as a Cop so I am now enjoying retirement in Colorado Springs, CO. Don't be afraid to go into the Police Academy at an early age of the middle thirties. San Diego PD hired a officer who was in his fifties, made it thru the academy and onto the streets in patrol....Thanks and enjoy your great life as a COP.

  • 2010-10-03_17

    Migs

    over 4 years ago

    1274 Comments

    Its a good transitional article for the young boot coming out of active duty.

    Personally, I spent 6 years in the Marine Corps Reserve and it counts for nothing any time I have brought it up. Agency's are looking primarily for active duty members of the military as an MP. A lot of agencies fail to tell you that minor detail. Just and FYI

  • White_shirt_max50

    uncledennis1

    over 4 years ago

    23336 Comments

    Very well written. A military background is a good fit for law enforcement.

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