General Forums >> Law Enforcement Careers >> What am I doing wrong?

+2

What am I doing wrong?

2,074 Views
43 Replies Flag as inappropriate
182315_10100114173208105_1428975201_n_max50

35 posts

back to top

Posted almost 2 years ago

 


Can someone please tell me what I’m doing wrong? 


I am a white female born and raised in South Africa who can speak another language. (I throw this in here for demographic purposes).


 I knew I wanted to be a police officer from the age of 5, I climbed on my uncles police bike and started taking steps towards this passion burning inside of me


 I have done everything I could think of to make myself marketable by police agencies.


I started as a police explorer and volunteered all my time for every event for two years.


 I have a double major and a double minor. (Criminal Justice/Psychology and Social Work/Sociology). I was President of the Honor Society as well as volunteered my free time working with the Boy Scouts.


After I graduated University I went to the police academy and graduated second highest, missing the highest by .5 %.


While in university I Picked up three internships with the Sheriff’s Office which I received certificates for outstanding achievements


I volunteered with the public defender’s office and state attorney’s office.


Currently I am a director of security on a 750 acre property and manage 50 plus guards. We generate about 800 incident reports a month.


I also work part time as an armed guard and direct traffic on the weekends......


 I don’t have debt, paid my school loans off and I have never gotten a traffic violation.


 I also was recognized by the Florida Police Commission for saving someone’s life...


No matter how many applications I put out I still get denied.


I’m heart broken with each letter that comes in the mail stating that they have decided to pursue better applicants!!


What more can I do? Any advice will help at this point... got another rejection letter today.......

Profile1_max50

118 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted almost 2 years ago

 

 LE is a tough field to break into. You could consider widening your applications to more agencies (if you're just applying to just one). I hope you didn't write your applications like that.... 


"Any sudden hand movements will render your birth certificate a useless piece of scrap paper."

Fall_2007_027__2__max50

200 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted almost 2 years ago

 

Mandy,


It sounds like you have a great background...but how far in the application process are you getting?


The application process typically has several stages:


1) Written test


2) Oral board interview


3) Medical review (health, vision, hearing, etc)


4) Pyschological evaluation


5) Physical agility test


6) Background investigation


7) Polygraph examination


At which stage are you getting passed over?

Gator_max50

5495 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted almost 2 years ago

 

Mandy have you really looked at pay for LEO's in Florida? If you're director of security of 750 acres, it is probably a lot more lucrative and you might want to be careful what you wish for. If you got a LEO itch go try to join an auxillary unit with some department. Trust me, LEO's in Fl are hurting.

Silver_warrior_max50

1464 posts

back to top
+1

Rated +1 | Posted almost 2 years ago

 

mandy1eigh007 says ...



 Can someone please tell me what im doing wrong? 


I am a white female born and raised in South Africa. i new i wanted to be a police officer from the age of 5. i have done eveythinv i could think of to make myself wanted by police agencies. i have a double major and a double minor. president of the honor society. graduated second highest in the police academy. was a police explore for two years. did three internships with the sheriffs office. volunteered with the public defenders office and state attorneys office. currently i am a director of security on a 750 acre property and manage 50 plus guards. we generate about 800 incident reports a month. i dont have debt. i dont have a speeding ticket. i also was recognized by the florida police commission for saving someones life... and i still get denied denied denied. im heart broken with each letter that comes in the mail stating that they have decided to pursue better applicants!! what more can i do? and ohh yeah i work part time as a armed guard and direct traffic on the weekends......


any advise will help at this point... got another rejection letter today.......



Like PCSO_Explorer said, it's a tough world out there right now.  With the diminishing funding and the over abundance of candidates. . . . .employers of ANY business have the ability to be VERY picky about who they hire.  Due to the lack of income from those that WERE paying taxes and now are not. . . . . .many departments are finding it difficult to find funds to keep. . . .much less hire new officers.  On top of that, those officers that got the boot, having done nothing to deserve the boot other than being the last in the department (you know, last in . . . . first out), since they have already been trained AND experienced, many departments that are hiring. . . .are looking to these cast aways so they don't have as much in training as someone that has had no experience just starting in.


Remember, even with your police academy training. . . . .there is further training that most departments will put you through. .  .i.e., FTO training.  After the FTO training, there is the time it takes for a new officer to get their feet on the ground so in realty, WITHOUT having to go to an academy an officer is still not actively contributing to their department for a minimum of 5 months and as much as. . . . .well, believe it or not, there are officers out there that NEVER get their feet on the ground to be able to contribute to their department.


While it may not be what you want to hear, I hope it at least gives some explanation to your frustration.  If you don't mind a little critique. . . . .to start, I am in no way perfect in everything I do. . . .just most things I do (kidding here. . . a little bit).  I see that you make reference to your current position as the director of security of a 750 acre property with 50 employees.  If you will re-read your post here from the point of view of management. . . . .what would you be thinking of the individual that wrote it?  Yes, I understand that this is not of a business nature and we sometimes relax when we are not in a business atmosphere.  However, as a police officer, attention to detail not only shows your professionalism to those that would read your reports. . . . .but more importantly in the immediate sense. . . .keep you alive!  Remember that there are people (officers) that will read this, and other posts, and at some point COULD be in charge of your background for a department.  What type of impression do you wish to give them?  I say all of this not to criticize you, only trying to assist you in improving your chances at proffering yourself for consideration as a polished, professional individual on your next application.


I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people and I expect the same from them.

John Bernard Books, from "The Shootist"

Screen_shot_2011-04-10_at_8

999 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted almost 2 years ago

 

It is a tough profession in general. But for a female it is a bit harder in certain areas. You have several qualifications, maybe more than what a patrol officer would need to get their foot in the door. Lulusgt is right, be careful of what you wish for, the LE profession is not well paid, nor is it well respected. The job is a way of life for those of us who bleed blue. And if that is something that you want then suck it up girl. It took me 5 years to get to patrol. And it has been a fight everyday to prove to them that I am good at what I do. But if I had faltered even once then they would never have given me a chance. I had to prove that I was a female worth the risk. I sleep well at night knowing I worked hard and stayed dedicated to earning the job. So with every rejection letter, use it to drive you to work harder. Pay for some training, fire arms, street fighting, report writing, anything else you can find for a civilian. Keep the certifications up for everything. Start looking outside of Florida. There are several areas that are in need of qualified women for this profession. Find a way. Don't be discouraged at the rejections, be inspired to show them what they are missing.



~~T_9

Gresh-amp-zo-are-people-gronked-out_max50

35 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted almost 2 years ago

 

This probably isn't it but I thought of it when reading the post. I could be wrong but maybe the accrediation of the police academy that you went to has something to do with it. I am not sure about Florida but I know in Missouri that the academies are different.  The one closest to me is only regionally accredited and not national but the Saint Louis County one along with the STL city one is national also.  Some are longer than others.  

Andrea_and_i_max50

1374 posts

back to top
+1

Rated +1 | Posted almost 2 years ago

 

I will try and put it into perspective as I have noted over the past year or two: More and more agencies downsized, hence more experienced officers out in th job market trying to get into a new slot, including myself. About 10 years ago I could walk into nearly any agency and start work a few days later. Now I have to compete with 100s of other guys who are just trying to stay in the Blue. Don't get discouraged. Things will work out if you have the drive. Best of luck to you.


 

182315_10100114173208105_1428975201_n_max50

35 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted almost 2 years ago

 

PCSO_Explorer says ...



 LE is a tough field to break into. You could consider widening your applications to more agencies (if you're just applying to just one). I hope you didn't write your applications like that.... 


 


No I did not write my applications like that!!! I have applied to 13 different agencies so far. 


182315_10100114173208105_1428975201_n_max50

35 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted almost 2 years ago

 

MetroRW30 says ...



Mandy,


It sounds like you have a great background...but how far in the application process are you getting?


The application process typically has several stages:


1) Written test


2) Oral board interview


3) Medical review (health, vision, hearing, etc)


4) Pyschological evaluation


5) Physical agility test


6) Background investigation


7) Polygraph examination


At which stage are you getting passed over?


 


I am not getting anywhere. I get denied straight off the bat. I get a letter in the mail stating that they have decided to purse other applicants. I dont have a chance to have an interview. 


182315_10100114173208105_1428975201_n_max50

35 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted almost 2 years ago

 

Beowulf_7 says ...



mandy1eigh007 says ...



 Can someone please tell me what im doing wrong? 


I am a white female born and raised in South Africa. i new i wanted to be a police officer from the age of 5. i have done eveythinv i could think of to make myself wanted by police agencies. i have a double major and a double minor. president of the honor society. graduated second highest in the police academy. was a police explore for two years. did three internships with the sheriffs office. volunteered with the public defenders office and state attorneys office. currently i am a director of security on a 750 acre property and manage 50 plus guards. we generate about 800 incident reports a month. i dont have debt. i dont have a speeding ticket. i also was recognized by the florida police commission for saving someones life... and i still get denied denied denied. im heart broken with each letter that comes in the mail stating that they have decided to pursue better applicants!! what more can i do? and ohh yeah i work part time as a armed guard and direct traffic on the weekends......


any advise will help at this point... got another rejection letter today.......



Like PCSO_Explorer said, it's a tough world out there right now.  With the diminishing funding and the over abundance of candidates. . . . .employers of ANY business have the ability to be VERY picky about who they hire.  Due to the lack of income from those that WERE paying taxes and now are not. . . . . .many departments are finding it difficult to find funds to keep. . . .much less hire new officers.  On top of that, those officers that got the boot, having done nothing to deserve the boot other than being the last in the department (you know, last in . . . . first out), since they have already been trained AND experienced, many departments that are hiring. . . .are looking to these cast aways so they don't have as much in training as someone that has had no experience just starting in.


Remember, even with your police academy training. . . . .there is further training that most departments will put you through. .  .i.e., FTO training.  After the FTO training, there is the time it takes for a new officer to get their feet on the ground so in realty, WITHOUT having to go to an academy an officer is still not actively contributing to their department for a minimum of 5 months and as much as. . . . .well, believe it or not, there are officers out there that NEVER get their feet on the ground to be able to contribute to their department.


While it may not be what you want to hear, I hope it at least gives some explanation to your frustration.  If you don't mind a little critique. . . . .to start, I am in no way perfect in everything I do. . . .just most things I do (kidding here. . . a little bit).  I see that you make reference to your current position as the director of security of a 750 acre property with 50 employees.  If you will re-read your post here from the point of view of management. . . . .what would you be thinking of the individual that wrote it?  Yes, I understand that this is not of a business nature and we sometimes relax when we are not in a business atmosphere.  However, as a police officer, attention to detail not only shows your professionalism to those that would read your reports. . . . .but more importantly in the immediate sense. . . .keep you alive!  Remember that there are people (officers) that will read this, and other posts, and at some point COULD be in charge of your background for a department.  What type of impression do you wish to give them?  I say all of this not to criticize you, only trying to assist you in improving your chances at proffering yourself for consideration as a polished, professional individual on your next application.


 


 


 


Thank you for your advice. I wrote this post from my phone and I should have known better. I am now infront of a computer and have a bigger than 3pt font. 


182315_10100114173208105_1428975201_n_max50

35 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted almost 2 years ago

 

T_9 says ...



It is a tough profession in general. But for a female it is a bit harder in certain areas. You have several qualifications, maybe more than what a patrol officer would need to get their foot in the door. Lulusgt is right, be careful of what you wish for, the LE profession is not well paid, nor is it well respected. The job is a way of life for those of us who bleed blue. And if that is something that you want then suck it up girl. It took me 5 years to get to patrol. And it has been a fight everyday to prove to them that I am good at what I do. But if I had faltered even once then they would never have given me a chance. I had to prove that I was a female worth the risk. I sleep well at night knowing I worked hard and stayed dedicated to earning the job. So with every rejection letter, use it to drive you to work harder. Pay for some training, fire arms, street fighting, report writing, anything else you can find for a civilian. Keep the certifications up for everything. Start looking outside of Florida. There are several areas that are in need of qualified women for this profession. Find a way. Don't be discouraged at the rejections, be inspired to show them what they are missing.


 


Thank you T_9. Your post means a lot. I will keep fighting. I have always bled blue. I cant describe the feeling that comes knowing one day I will be out there to serve my community. I owe a lot to this Country for giving me an opportunity to pursue my dream. There was no way I could do this in South Africa. To fill out another application agian.... 


182315_10100114173208105_1428975201_n_max50

35 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted almost 2 years ago

 

Gronked says ...



This probably isn't it but I thought of it when reading the post. I could be wrong but maybe the accrediation of the police academy that you went to has something to do with it. I am not sure about Florida but I know in Missouri that the academies are different.  The one closest to me is only regionally accredited and not national but the Saint Louis County one along with the STL city one is national also.  Some are longer than others.  


 



Thanks Gronked!!! But what I have seen with the Academy is that they have one of the Highest Accreditations. We go for 6 months (Full time) or 9 months (Part Time).


I have known a few out of state police agencies that sought out Florida Certified. (Or so the recruiters told us) 



 


Fall_2007_027__2__max50

200 posts

back to top
+2

Rated +2 | Posted almost 2 years ago

 

I take it from your reply that you are getting rejected after submitting a written application, and without any testing being done?  See if someone from the recruiting office where you have applied would be willing to discuss the application with you.  Approaching them with an attitude that conveys that you are not challenging the decision, but rather are very committed to seeing this dream come true...and you are wanting their feedback concerning steps you can take to make yourself a "must have" candidate.


I doubt your filling out the paperwork with a crayon...so other than missing a cut-off date, it's hard to know why your not even getting to the first testing phase.


 


mandy1eigh007 says ...


I am not getting anywhere. I get denied straight off the bat. I get a letter in the mail stating that they have decided to purse other applicants. I dont have a chance to have an interview. 

Th_policeavatar_2__max50

734 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted almost 2 years ago

 

I see a twofold dilema. The first is that you were not born in the U.S. . I know that sounds prejudice but departments will be afraid you might decide not stay after spending time and money on you. The second and most probable in my opinion is too much education, training and accreditation accomplishments even before someone hires you. It scares any department. You have done more before being a cop than most cops I know in their career. It's just too much. I applaud you for your accomplishmnents but thay may work against you.


""Life is a storm.. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes"
Alexander Dumas-The Count of Monte Christo

182315_10100114173208105_1428975201_n_max50

35 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted almost 2 years ago

 

Thank you SGT405.


Do you mind explaining a little more why it would scare a department for having accomplishments?


I am a little excited right now. I just got off the phone to schedule an Oral Board interview on the 19th!


 


 


SGT405 says ...



I see a twofold dilema. The first is that you were not born in the U.S. . I know that sounds prejudice but departments will be afraid you might decide not stay after spending time and money on you. The second and most probable in my opinion is too much education, training and accreditation accomplishments even before someone hires you. It scares any department. You have done more before being a cop than most cops I know in their career. It's just too much. I applaud you for your accomplishmnents but thay may work against you.


-24 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted almost 2 years ago

 

I totally concur with SGT405.I believe you are possibly WAY over qualified.Tis easy to detect,by your posts that you're extremely brilliant,over trained and over loaded with degrees ,which,to a certain extent, is commendable.It is only human nature that the powers that be will see you coming and be justifiably concerned for their own positions.---Allow me to give two examples just off the top of my head.One of my nieces graduated from high school at fifteen years of age and was granted a full scholarship to the university of Israel.One of six youths ,of Jewish decent ,from this country who are yearly awarded this.She graduated from the university of Israel in three years,continued on and recieved a Masters degree and a Doctorate.She is a member of Mensa.Sadly,she has never been able to secure a viable job for years.A good friend of mine,also brilliant is blessed with a bachelors and masters in Mechanical Engineering;he has been a bagger at a grocery store for thirty years.


   Much good fortune to you and I see a brea through for you soon.

182315_10100114173208105_1428975201_n_max50

35 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted almost 2 years ago

 

Sorry to hear about your niece!!!


Im going to keep trucking along and hope that someone will one day realize my potential. 


Everything deep down says its going to happen!!!!


Im just hoping this burning feeling comes to light and as I have said before, "I just need someone to give me a chance."


Thank you for your comment and kind words. 


 


ssu459 says ...



I totally concur with SGT405.I believe you are possibly WAY over qualified.Tis easy to detect,by your posts that you're extremely brilliant,over trained and over loaded with degrees ,which,to a certain extent, is commendable.It is only human nature that the powers that be will see you coming and be justifiably concerned for their own positions.---Allow me to give two examples just off the top of my head.One of my nieces graduated from high school at fifteen years of age and was granted a full scholarship to the university of Israel.One of six youths ,of Jewish decent ,from this country who are yearly awarded this.She graduated from the university of Israel in three years,continued on and recieved a Masters degree and a Doctorate.She is a member of Mensa.Sadly,she has never been able to secure a viable job for years.A good friend of mine,also brilliant is blessed with a bachelors and masters in Mechanical Engineering;he has been a bagger at a grocery store for thirty years.


   Much good fortune to you and I see a brea through for you soon.


Th_policeavatar_2__max50

734 posts

back to top
+1

Rated +1 | Posted almost 2 years ago

 

Think of it this way. Those in high level positions do not want to hire anyone they think is smarter, more qualified than they are. Yes it is petty. It is called job security. They see you as a threat. Most cops take years or decades to achieve what you have already so those in the police hierarchy are safe.


""Life is a storm.. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes"
Alexander Dumas-The Count of Monte Christo

Silver_warrior_max50

1464 posts

back to top
+1

Rated +1 | Posted almost 2 years ago

 

Getting away from the pettiness of the higher ups. . . . .if I were in human resources and saw someone overqualified to do a certain position other than a menial position with a high "expected" turnover rate, I would be concerned that the person would soon be bored with their position and go one of three ways, 1) ladder climber (which affects the upper management)  2)  quickly move on to something else that may be a bit more challenging which means the company has to spend more money to replace them  3)  mischievous behaviour that cause upper management headaches.


I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people and I expect the same from them.

John Bernard Books, from "The Shootist"

182315_10100114173208105_1428975201_n_max50

35 posts

back to top
+1

Rated +1 | Posted almost 2 years ago

 

Okay, 


So let me ask you something.


Ladder climber... Isnt everyone a ladder climber? 


But in regards to climbing the ladder, wouldnt madatory retirment take care of that? Lets just say I was someone who wanted to climb the ladder, but the time I got anywhere, wouldnt upper managment be in the drop?


Something more challenging?


Thats the best thing about LE? That there is so much out there. Let say you get picked up from an agency and they have a need for someone to have a certain set of skills. Promoting or training within is only benifitial to the agency?


Mischievous behavior?


What do you mean? Being so bored that you go out and do stupid things?


 


 


Beowulf_7 says ...



Getting away from the pettiness of the higher ups. . . . .if I were in human resources and saw someone overqualified to do a certain position other than a menial position with a high "expected" turnover rate, I would be concerned that the person would soon be bored with their position and go one of three ways, 1) ladder climber (which affects the upper management)  2)  quickly move on to something else that may be a bit more challenging which means the company has to spend more money to replace them  3)  mischievous behaviour that cause upper management headaches.


182315_10100114173208105_1428975201_n_max50

35 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted almost 2 years ago

 

Do you think going federal will solve this?


SGT405 says ...



Think of it this way. Those in high level positions do not want to hire anyone they think is smarter, more qualified than they are. Yes it is petty. It is called job security. They see you as a threat. Most cops take years or decades to achieve what you have already so those in the police hierarchy are safe.


Th_policeavatar_2__max50

734 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted almost 2 years ago

 

mandy1eigh007 says ...



Do you think going federal will solve this?


SGT405 says ...



Think of it this way. Those in high level positions do not want to hire anyone they think is smarter, more qualified than they are. Yes it is petty. It is called job security. They see you as a threat. Most cops take years or decades to achieve what you have already so those in the police hierarchy are safe.



 


That would be my advice.


""Life is a storm.. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes"
Alexander Dumas-The Count of Monte Christo

White_shirt_max50

4951 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted almost 2 years ago

 

I concur with SGT 405. When I retired (30 years) as chief of police and three degrees and tons of management education, I attempted to land a reserve position in order to maintain my peace officers license. My phone calls were not returned and paper work lost many times. Open positions were quickly filled when I finally communicated. I was not treated as a brother but as a distant cousin.LOL. Finally two years ago a good friend was appointed as chief and brought me on board as a captain. You are feared. Concentrate on the Feds. I wish you well.

Thumbnail_max50

1317 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted almost 2 years ago

 

 Mandy,


You are getting some great sound advice here.  With your qualifications, a lot of upper management staff at departments will most certainly be scared of you taking their jobs.  That could be why a lot of them are not even giving you a chance.  I would agree with SGT405 and uncledennis, I would also suggest going federal.  You have a lot of what they are looking for.  Best of luck to you whichever route you take.  


I saw where you received a call about an oral interview for the 19th.  I wish you good luck with that.  Keep us posted?

182315_10100114173208105_1428975201_n_max50

35 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted almost 2 years ago

 

 Thank you for all the advice you have all given me. It puts a lot into perspective in regards to my next step. I was thinking about starting to check out of state to apply. Does anyone know how the market in Boston is?


FEDS = Scared out of my mind to apply.


 

182315_10100114173208105_1428975201_n_max50

35 posts

back to top
+2

Rated +2 | Posted almost 2 years ago

 

I PASSED MY ORAL BOARDS TODAY!!! GREATEST CHRISTMAS GIFT EVER!!!!

Silver_warrior_max50

1464 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted almost 2 years ago

 

CONGRATULATIONS!  Just remember, you do not have it wired until you are off probation!  Keep up the good work.


I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people and I expect the same from them.

John Bernard Books, from "The Shootist"

100_1750_max50

1068 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted almost 2 years ago

 

 Congratulations:-) 

Redhatpicmay25-2_max50

626 posts

back to top
Rate

Rate This | Posted almost 2 years ago

 

 Congratulations!! Good luck and keep up that positive attitude.

Next Page >