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What's the best way to get into law enforcement?

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Odmp_max50

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Posted over 7 years ago

 

What's the best way for someone to get into law enforcement for the first time?


Chris Cosgriff
Executive Director
The Officer Down Memorial Page, Inc.

Zzzzzzznypdflag_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 7 years ago

 

The best thing to do is get as much college as you can. Computers are very important today so if you get a degree in that area of study it will pay off later. You could get a major in computers with a minor in police science. Degrees in management or forensics can be very useful. Go as far as you can, even a Master's Degree.
When you have your college or you are about to finish, do your homework. Check out Federal, State and larger local departments. Talk to members of the different departments and agencies. Beware of the one or two members of a department with sour grapes. The law enforcement profession has so many paths to follow you can get confused. Remember, everyone has to pay their dues. One rarely starts out in specialized duty (unless you have something very special to offer).
Once you decide where you want to go, start the application process for that department or agency. Good luck. pdpatches, ret. sgt.

Coin_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 7 years ago

 

I agree with PDPatches; education is key these days. Law enforcement used to hire more muscle than brain but fortunately we now emphasis brain as well as common sense. Sarge also has another great point, we in the field sometimes have a lot of time on our hands and tend to whine and complain about things that don't affect us. Stay as far away from the bad energy as you can. Law enforcement is the best career going; it is fun, interesting and different everyday and different everyday. First determine what you want to work, local, county, state or federal. Then go to a department that interests you, do some ride-alongs, volunteer to help out if you can so that everyone gets to know you. Start off as a dispatcher, a part time officer or in any other position if they have those positions, just to get your foot in the door. And last but not least, don’t get disappointed. If you don't get on first time, continue trying, ask someone, usually above the rank of Sergeant how you can prepare for a career in your state. Good Luck!

Rappellling_bank_tower_011_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 7 years ago

 

THE CHIEF AND PDPATCHES HAVE TOLD YOU WELL BUT I'LL ADD A LITTLE. SOME DEPARTMENTS SUCH AS MINE USE A CIVIL SERVICE EXAM. YOU CAN GET BOOKS TO HELP YOU STUDY IF YOU REALLY ARE INTERSTED. A POLICE OFFICER IS A POLICE OFFICER NO MATTER WHERE THEY WORK BUT THINK ABOUT WHAT YOUR FUTURE GOALS ARE AND CHOOSE YOU DEPARTMENT WISELY. I'LL GIVE AND EXAMPLE, IF YOU LIKE SPECIALTY TEAMS MAKE SURE THAT DEPARTMENT OFFERS THEM MOST DECENT SIZE DEPARTMENTS HAVE THEM BUT IF YOU GO TO A LARGE DEPT. THE AVERAGE TIME OF SERVICE TO GET ON THEM IS 15 TO 20 YEARS OF SERVICE. SOME SMALLER CITIES 40000 TO 70000 RESIDENTS HAVE ALL THE SPECIALTY TEAMS AND BECAUSE OF THEIR SIZE OF DEPTS. YOU CAN GET ON A TEAM WITH AS FEW AS 3 YEARS.REMEMBER LAW ENFORCEMENT CAN BE A GREAT CAREER BUT AT THE END OF THE DAY LEAVE IT AT WORK DON'T TAKE IT HOME TO YOUR FAMILY! THAT IS A COMMON MISTAKE I HAVE SEEN ALOT OF PEOPLE MAKE AND IT IS ALSO WHY POLICE OFFICERS HAVE SUCH A HIGH DIVORCE RATE. GOOD LUCK!

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Rate This | Posted over 7 years ago

 

I agree with everything said. Each of us has probably taken a different path to starting in the business. I personally did the miltary then college route.

Many state agencies, and even some large cities, require you to go through their academies, and they pay you for it. A trend in California is to hire someone who has put themselves through the academy, and this is getting more popular all the time. It cuts down on the departmental cost of sponsoring, and there's no risk in non-completion when the department isn't footing the bill. Of course there is no guarantee that a local department will hire you even with your basic academy certificate, so think about that. Speak to some officers from prospective departments. Request ride alongs (if available) to see if it truly interests you.

Obviously, and most importantly, lead a good life. Take care of your responsibilities, your credit, YOUR BACKGROUND, and generally make any type of effort you can that can show you've attempted to prepare for this carreer field.

Bbqxena_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 7 years ago

 

You can also check the national census if you're looking for advancement or specialized positions. If you do your research correctly, you can find the fastest growing cities in America. We ranked #1 a few years back and believe me, nothing but opportunity here... don't get in a hurry and do your research.........If you're really serious about this line of work I would also take the words above mine very seriously because when you finally make that step, you'll understand why they call it a Police Culture. Goodluck to ya...

Policelinkbadge_max160_max160_max30_1__max50

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Rate This | Posted over 7 years ago

 

I am new to this site, so i will first introduce myself as Keith. I have been in Law Enforcement for 10 years now. I agree with everything said to answer this question. The route that i personally chose to take was Corrections. I started off in the County Jail and after 2 years, was promoted to the road. Being in Corrections not only taught me faces of the people i would most like ly deal with on the street, but also built up my Interpersonal skills as well. We all know that there are times when things end up fist to cuff with the bad guy, but for the most part, if you have good verbal skills, your Use of Force incidents will be minimal, which keeps you out of law suits and in good with the boss. Just my 2 cents worth.

Limo-cruiser_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 7 years ago

 

I want to add just one point: "be a cop if u really love the job"

If u dont love it and want it just for the uniform or anything for living, dont go for it...

The secret of success is doing what you love..

Oprah said once, that she did what she loved (shows) and she didnt know that she would gain all this money!

Each one has a duty in this life, and th elove of this duty is built in.. so search for ur most loveable job and do it..

Good Luck!


Problems are gifts to make u stronger and wiser..

Life is hard when u resist it..

Submit to God and gain peace of mind...

Picture_174_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 7 years ago

 

I agree that the military is a great route to take also. They will pay for most of your college so you can kill 2 birds with one stone. The military will also teach discipline, and you will have experience working in a structured enviroment. In my state, a lot of departments that require a 2 years degree will waive that if you were honorably discharged from the military within 3 years of applying.

Photo_user_blank_big

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Rate This | Posted over 7 years ago

 

Education is the key. Today, majority of your law enforcement officers have a masters degree or are currently working on one. Try and become well rounded... what I mean by this is volunteer in your community by becoming an EMT, local firefighter or assist with the elderly. There are many organizations who need assistance. Good luck and stay out of trouble.

Photo_user_banned_big

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Rate This | Posted about 7 years ago

 

Take as MUCH education as as you can, it is almost impossible for a woman to get in.