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Suggestions for future LEO

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Posted over 2 years ago

 

I am currently in the Army but will be getting out in about a year or so. I just want to have myself prepared, that's why I'm asking questions now.


I am a Sergeant and hopefully be leaving as a Sergeant promotable. If not, I made Sergeant right at my 2 year mark (the earliest I could possibly make it).


I am just about finished with an Associates Degree in Criminal Justice and will easily have it done before I leave the Army, and hopefully somewhat started towards a Bachelors.


I am looking for suggestions of what positions I should look into (police officer, border control, corrections, etc) and what areas I should look at. I am really looking for anywhere on the east coast preferably.


Thanks.

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Rate This | Posted over 2 years ago

 

Your sergeanting in the military will assist in preferential hiring during the application process for most agencies.


Complete your B.A. This will provide you good leverage for hiring and subsequent promotions in the future. Most agencies are now requiring at least some college, while others may require an actual B.A.


As far as law enforcement, it's really up to you. Big City PD, Small City PD, Tiny Hamlet PD, County Deputy, DHS Border Patrol, .... the career choices are wide open. At this time, there is a trend in hiring new officers, when in the last few years hirings were generally lean. In the U.S., most agencies are small: Up to 20-30 officers. NYPD is of course the anomaly with about 30,000+ sworn.


You have to figure out if you will like working in a rural or urban environment, where you want to raise a family, what kind of salary you'll take, and it goes on and on and on. You have to narrow down what kind of weather you will tolerate: Working in snowy conditions, 100% humidity (like Florida), moderate to hot-hot temps. Keep in mind, you'll be wearing a ballistic vest your entire road/street/patrol career.


To be clear, a Corrections position is generally not a sworn officer/deputy position. Salaries and retirement plans may be commensurate with that distinction alone.


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Rate This | Posted over 2 years ago

 

I am originally from Michigan, so used to snow. Also, being in military, I have experienced varied weather climates...Oklahoma, Georgia, Texas, and Kuwait. As far as my family, we like more rural...but not a place to where we'd have to drive 30-45 minutes to the next major city. I will have the associates done for sure, and plan to try to take a classes while being employed as well for my B.A. As far as pay, im generally looking to get what I make from the military now, which calculated out is roughly $3300 a month (just about $21 an hour if my calculations are right for a 40 hour work week).

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Rate This | Posted over 2 years ago

 

Make sure you take into account cost of living if salary is one of your deciding factors. 21 dollars an hour is a pretty small paycheck in New York, but in Montana, it'll get you a pretty nice living. You mentioned "we" in your post. If there is a wife involved, I'd choose a location close to her friends and family. She'll need a good support system with you being a new officer.


 

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Rate This | Posted over 2 years ago

 

Yes, I have a wife and a daughter who turned 1 last month. 99% of my wifes friends and family is in Michigan, where we're from, but she doesn't want to move back to Michigan.

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Rate This | Posted over 2 years ago

 

I guess that solves that!