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Am I doing the right thing?

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Suit_max50

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Posted over 1 year ago

 

 I thought I was ok with my decision, but I'm prone to overthinking and second guessing myself.  So now I am looking for outside opinions from my borthers and sister in blue from this site.


I have spent nearly my entire life walking along the thin blue line whether it was volunteering, hanging out, helping out, or anything else that keeps me in law enforcement.  I was a police explorer for 3 years.  I spent another 3 years and $40K in education and training trying to put myself further into this careeer, nay lifestyle.  I have applied to nearly 35 different police departments in the state of Florida (somewhere near 50 if you count repeat applications).  I have been on many ride alongs and have participated in events to help the local department ( putting on the bite arm and chased by the K9, participated in scenarios to help trian the new recruits, even as far as helping with the boring part of paperwork to make sure it gets done right and quickly).  My entire life has been devoted to law enforcement, and now after all this time........I plan on giving it all up.


I will say not completely however.  I'm going back to school for a Cyber Security degree.  It may not be where I wanted to go with my life, but it still follows the same idea (especially since the constant rise of crimes being more and more done electronically).  My issues is that although I see this as a good path, I wonder if it's the RIGHT path.  I didn't go into this profession for a paycheck (I applied to non-paying reserve postions), to be the super cool SWAT guy you see in hollywood, the job security (because with budget that's not always the case), or to walk with swag because of the power and I get to carry a gun (because that's just the worse reason to be one).  I went for this profession because I wanted to protect, serve, and help the ones that can't help themselves.  To right the wrongs that have presented themselves in our everyday life.  I know it sounds like I'm just getting on ym high horse, but this is how I actually feel and why I'm so conflicted in my decision.  I can help in Cyber Security but not in the same way.


So, what's your thoughts on my delemia?  Sorry for the long read.

Vpsomourningband_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 1 year ago

 

 No one can tell you if this is the right decision for you.  All I can tell you is to never give up on your dreams.  You may have to take a different path until you get where you want to be.  


DL

02/03/2013


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~I wondered why somebody didn't do something, then I realized I was somebody. ~ unknown

Rcsd04_max600_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 1 year ago

 

 Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. I have been your position for the last 5-6 years. I have applied to the same agencies multiple times with the same people giving the test and interviews. I have a whole folder filed with rejection letters. Also I've been a reserve for almost 3 years. Also have taken multiple online classes and have two years in college. I cannot even transfer to another agency close to home. I drive 100 mi one way to work with a PD. There have been many times that I have wanted to give up, move onto something else. I still to this day think to myself if its worth it, but I just keep plugging at it and hope for the best.  Doing Cyber Security may not be what you want to do, but it may lead to something in the future. Me pesonally I would not give up if it is something that you truly a job you want to do. 


You wouldn't go in there for a million bucks...A Cop does it for less...A Reserve does it for free....

Wredcedar_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 1 year ago

 

I would talk to SkoolCop and see what he has to say, he is the poster boy for determination.

Ba_old_glory_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 1 year ago

 

I know this will sound trite but here goes...Your dilema is you are not deciding, you are vascillating. If you love what you do don't give up too easily. Can you work and go to school on line? Can you look at out of state agencies? Simply put, have you exhausted all your options? If you have, then go back to school and give it your best shot. I wish you the very best.

Suit_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 1 year ago

 

Jonas says ...



I know this will sound trite but here goes...Your dilema is you are not deciding, you are vascillating. If you love what you do don't give up too easily. Can you work and go to school on line? Can you look at out of state agencies? Simply put, have you exhausted all your options? If you have, then go back to school and give it your best shot. I wish you the very best.



I'm actually going to school and working now.  I've looked out of state but I can never qualify whether its no BA degree, no experiance, location requirement, etc.  I also just learned a coupld of minutes ago is that I have less than a year until my certification runs out and I have to recertify.  I'm not quite sure how to do that without employment to an agency without going through all 770 hours of the academy all over again (would really like to avoid that).

Ba_old_glory_max50

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Wow I didn't realize all that. Perhaps then if no doors are opening try a different hallway. Whether it's cyber security or anything else make sure there's a market out there and go for it.

White_shirt_max50

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I am certain that many rejections are difficult. The problem is it may be something so minimal that is holding you back. I would seek a BS/BA Degree to compete. Have you considered the military? The option you mention may be worth the pursuit. I wish I had the answer you are seeking. I sincerely wish you well no matter what path you take. If you have any officers in your area you are friends with a sit down may help to vent and receive some advice.

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I tried several times and was shot down. Finally I became a reserve officer. After five yearsand making Reserve Lt. someone noticed me and asked me to apply fulltime. If it's the same people during the selection process, see if one of them will off the record give you a straight answer as to why the constant rejection letters. If it's something you can fix; fix it. If you need to go knock on different doors, expand the list of departments where you apply.

Suit_max50

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uncledennis1 says ...



I am certain that many rejections are difficult. The problem is it may be something so minimal that is holding you back. I would seek a BS/BA Degree to compete. Have you considered the military? The option you mention may be worth the pursuit. I wish I had the answer you are seeking. I sincerely wish you well no matter what path you take. If you have any officers in your area you are friends with a sit down may help to vent and receive some advice.



All my officer friends are retired sitting on the beach of wikiki lol.  I will adimt I have some pitfalls that I'm working on: my weight isn't perfect but beter than when I was in the academy, and although I can talk normally to anyone with a normal conversation I don't do so hot in the Oral Boards because I see them as a test and end up getting test anxiety with it.  I have looked into the military but with me being in the shape I'm in and constantly reading about them getting rid of more than theyre taking it might not work (plus I may still have exercised induced asthma which would DQ me immediately).  One of the things I am starting though to help me out is I'm starting to learn spanish.  As for the BA, I have 89 hours towards a Criminology degree but when I tell them that I get the "And...?" response.

2007-2008_114_max600_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 1 year ago

 

50 rejections?  Why?


Have ASP will travel.

Justice is the one thing you should always find, you gotta saddle up your boys you gotta draw a hard line.

When the gun smoke settles we'll sing a victory tune and we'll all meet back at the local saloon.

And we'll raise up our glasses against evil forces singing whiskey for my men beer for my horses.

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NYTRDT1 says ...



50 rejections?  Why?



I was wondering the same thing.


You can't cure stupid.

Rcsd04_max600_max50

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ajsdaddyCCSO says ...



NYTRDT1 says ...



50 rejections?  Why?



I was wondering the same thing.


I am going through the same thing as the OP with trying to go full time. Reasons could be anything from not having a degree to not having the right qualifications or someone has better qualifications or a better degree or a higher degree. Here in the south when a position opens up in law enforcement you can expect around 50+ applicants for just one spot.



You wouldn't go in there for a million bucks...A Cop does it for less...A Reserve does it for free....

Bronzestarribbon_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 1 year ago

 

Cyber Security may be the option that God is placing you in? Computer examination from the Forensic side, Computer Forensics is another avenue that has taken a few of our officers and put them in lucretive positions for life after the LEO. Best of luck in your choice, but the bottom line is that it is your choice and if you don't like it don't do it because you gotta be happy in life or it becomes mundane. Jus sayin...

Wredcedar_max50

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StrykerBrig21 says ...



ajsdaddyCCSO says ...



NYTRDT1 says ...



50 rejections?  Why?



I was wondering the same thing.


I am going through the same thing as the OP with trying to go full time. Reasons could be anything from not having a degree to not having the right qualifications or someone has better qualifications or a better degree or a higher degree. Here in the south when a position opens up in law enforcement you can expect around 50+ applicants for just one spot.



Only 50+, back when I got int LE there were usually 100+  for one spot and one highly regarded dept. got over 800 applications for one spot.  One problen now is that previously laid off LEO's are usually preferencelly hired over those with certifications and no experience.

25-1-13-a_1__max50

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Cedardale says ...



I would talk to SkoolCop and see what he has to say, he is the poster boy for determination.



I was just made aware of this thread and read with interest your dilemma.  As Cedardale stated, I guess I seem to be the consummate poster boy for determination.  As most of us here on PL have seen time and again, a new member shows up only to become disenchanted with the length of time of the process, only to go down in flames.  Some have tried second and third times, each time going down in flames with each seemingly valiant effort.  I shake my head in wonderment because when they came here, they stated their life long dream was to become LE........ only to give in to defeat so easily.  Why?  Who knows..... as they end up anonymous here never to be heard from again.


Cmmo7r, I know that you have read my story as have others, some who have sent me PM's for me to view and respond to this thread.  You know that for me, the process took me down an approximately 15 year path of disappointment.  I had applied with so many agencies, been on ride-a-longs and like you, have volunteered where-ever I could to show my desire.  Finally after the first 3 1/2 years and at the advice of a very good friend of mine, I planned for and attended a police academy on my own dime.  Surely this would show my desire and my abilities.  I watched as cadets wearing patches of the agency that hired them (and receiving paychecks to be there) walked off of the hill, never to be seen again.  At times I wondered why they would give up so easily.  I guess they thought that because they had been hired, they shouldn't get yelled at.... who knows?  What it did was to continue to feed my own fire of determination.  I was not going to walk off of that hill and I was not going to let them force me off either.  I watched as department representatives came in and hired my peers while I only received a sniff here and there.  And yet I continued.  This was what I wanted to do.  This was my calling.  Just prior to graduation, we received our final reviews from the staff.  I was told that neither one of the staff members could figure out why I had not been hired by that point.  They proceeded to point out the things that they had seen that really impressed them.  One of the biggest being that if I saw one of my fellow cadets lagging behind on a run or in several other areas of the academy from PT to academics, I was there to provide encouragement and push (or pull if necessary) that cadet so that he or she would also finish and not give up.  One staff member who was a Sgt with an Orange County agency told me specifically that if his agency were hiring, he would want me for a partner.  The academy credentials are only valid for three (3) years.  I thought certainly that I would be hired by that point.  It was not to be.  Not then and not for several more years.  It was not to be in that time frame either.


As time went on, I worked several security jobs, went back into locksmithing and volunteered for the first ever LAPD All Citizen Volunteer group out of the Harbor Division.  I put in many hours, including going in at approximately 0 dark hundred (0445 hours) about 15 minutes after the Northridge Earthquake to relieve the officer(s) at the desk so they could get an extra couple of units out on the streets checking for damage and injuries around the division.  While I impressed many, still I got seemingly nowhere.  Life had happened during that time and I had to pull myself out of the muck of a relationship gone way south.  My reputation had been damaged by a what turned out to be a liar, allegations that I knew would have to be explained and proven to be what I knew them to be...... FALSE.  I knew that I was on a long road to right the wrongs and rebuild in the aftermath.  I had people in my ear all the time that didn't understand the hiring process, believing it to be the same as applying for McDonald's.  I had people tell me that they (the departments) just simply didn't want me.  I know discouragement more than most.  I know the frustration more than most.  It hurt every time I would see a marked patrol car driving down the street, sometimes knowing and sometimes not, what call they were responding to.  All I wanted was for someone to give me a chance.


The chance finally came September 2001..... Some 10 plus years after I had graduated from the academy.  In January 2000, I went with the wife to a job fair.  Not for me, mind you.  I had given up on those things as they only served to fuel the discouragement.  I went in support of the wife who had recently received her BA degree and was in search mode for a job.  While she looked, I walked by the usual tables of State, County and local city LE departments who were recruiting.  I walked away with the same disappointment that made me stop going to the job fairs in the first place.  I found the wife at a table and while waiting, saw a school district that I knew had its own police department.  I gave it the "what the heck" try and walked over to the table.  I was told that there were no current LE positions available but that there were openings for "Campus Security."  My mind flashed back to my high school days and the image of two of our security / narcs came to mind.  The image was a BAD attempt to look the part plain clothes and ended up, the two of them looking like a dumb and dumber version of Starsky and Hutch.  However, when the district HR rep gave me the job description and stated that we worked with the district police department, in full uniform (minus the firearm), I had to give it a serious look.  My background took a little under a year and a half and then came the telephone call. I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing.  The Chief's secretary called and told me that I had passed my background check and that I had been given a start date to coincide with the beginning of the 2001 school year.  I worked several assignments in the next two years, having informed the Chief that I wanted to start looking at the promotion to a full time sworn position.  In the middle of the second year, I was sent to the Orange County Sheriff's Academy to re-certify my original academy credentials and certificates.  The process was approximately 6 weeks.  Upon completion, I finished up the end of the 2002-03 school year.  High school graduations were on June 19th and the morning of June 20th 2003, I was pinned with a badge and sworn in.


The culmination of approximately 15 years of hard work, dedication, ups, downs, potential promise, disappointment and frustrations..... Finally being able to wave a one finger salute to all of the naysayers.  In the end, victory was mine.  What's the message?  How bad do you you really want it?  What are you willing to do (legally of course)?  Are you going to continue getting up and dusting yourself off with each fall or are you going to walk off of the hill in defeat?  My recommendation would be to look at the area that you mentioned as it would be a valuable asset to any department.  If you haven't been through an academy, look into a pre-service academy program if one is available in your state.  Ultimately the decision is yours and yours alone to make.  For me, ultimate failure was not an option.  To this day I would have been kicking myself in my own fleshy hindquarters if I had given up.  I can tell you that you will certainly do the same.  That's what I took from my time on the hill.  I would, as I did in my academy and with my fellow cadets, continue to push you along and encourage you not to give up on your dreams and your goals.

Rcsd04_max600_max50

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Cedardale says ...



StrykerBrig21 says ...



ajsdaddyCCSO says ...



NYTRDT1 says ...



50 rejections?  Why?



I was wondering the same thing.


I am going through the same thing as the OP with trying to go full time. Reasons could be anything from not having a degree to not having the right qualifications or someone has better qualifications or a better degree or a higher degree. Here in the south when a position opens up in law enforcement you can expect around 50+ applicants for just one spot.



Only 50+, back when I got int LE there were usually 100+  for one spot and one highly regarded dept. got over 800 applications for one spot.  One problen now is that previously laid off LEO's are usually preferencelly hired over those with certifications and no experience.


Bump! Also LEO's wanting to transfer from one dept to another or from one state to another are getting the first pick. 



You wouldn't go in there for a million bucks...A Cop does it for less...A Reserve does it for free....

Suit_max50

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 Thank you SkoolCop for the long, but very informative, reply.  Some of the things you mentioned did remind me of my hike on the hill (seeing others get in/take for granted, having friend officers look dumbfounded when I said I wasn't picked, etc).  I have been through the academy and I have the student loan payments to prove it.  I did look for sponsorship of course, especially from one that I put so many volunteer hours for, but was told they weren't sponsoring anyone for some time if at all; then about a month or two later they sponsored and hired a friend of mine (that was my biggest discouragement because although it's not what it was, it felt like they were telling me to go jump in the river).


When you mentioned that when you'd see a cruiser go by, you would wonder what call they are going too, and I have caught myself doing the same.  When I'd see an officer doing a traffic stop alone (especially at night) I want to back him/her up incase something goes wrong; but some of them here are so high strung (some reasonable some not), that I feel I would either be a bother or they'd try to charge me with interfering.


Another thing I found myself doing, that shows me this is the right job for me, is when I witnessed an accident the academy training kicked in and I instantly tried to take charge of the situation (cops weren't there yet so I wasn't stepping on any toes).  The only other person that was giving more than just saying "are you ok" was someone trian in EMT training.  I never had an oral  board or application after that till now so It was never mentioned to any departments.  The best I could give then was me hoping a fence to get to the back of a burning house to see if anyone was inside through the porch window.


But I soilder on although I've been weighing the cost affectiveness of going through the EOT and taking the test again (on top of work, school, learning other things like spanish and code/signals (which werent taught in the academy)).


________________________________________________________________________________________________________


As for the 50+ rejection question, there have been theroies: no experiance, no military, no BA just a year more than an AA, I will say my weight had a slight factor in the matter but that's why I did so much to compensate for it while I tired to get in better shape.  Now a good majority of the rejections consist of me sending in the application and getting a "thanks but no thanks" letter a couple weeks later; only about a 1/4-1/3 I actually was able to do more.  And also, like I said, a lot of those were repaet applications.  I tried listing them in another thread at one point but the forum didn't want me to paste it and it was just way too much to type at the time.  Maybe if I have some time at work tonight I'll type it manually into this one (I usually don't have anything better to do at work).

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 I also forgot to mention about the files that are kept at the academy I went to.  You had mentioned about departments going to the academy to find things out about you and make some decisions there.  The academy I went to has files on us that are kept for the 4 years (or longer if you renew) and inside it they keep a log of who has requested/looked at the information inside it.  The last I checked it which was maybe August of last year...no one has touched mine but the dust bunnies.  Ya, my heart stopped and dropped for a couple of seconds when I heard that.

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 I know I said that I was goign the cyber security route as an alternative, but after a semester of this I found this is not fun for me at all and kinda want to torch every computer and drop the creator of linux into a volcano.  It's making me remember why I enjoyed law enforcement and not only is it the only thing I know how to do but its something I CAN do.  So I think I'm going to take the collective advice from everyone and finish my BA in Criminology and then go apply to departments outside the State of Florida (because I seriously hate this place).  I know I've heard CA and TX as good places but I have heard nice opportunities in GA, and the fact with GA I'm not risking so much as would apply clear across the country.  I'm just on the fence about letting my FL cert lapse because I know with a BA some other departments will open up for me (Jax SO, Broward SO, some others that require a BA without military/experiance).

Redhatpicmay25-2_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 1 year ago

 

 Don't give up! My route was also a long one, not as long as SkoolCop's, but a six and a half year route, with application after application filed, test after test taken, and, despite finishing near the top in nearly every one, rejection after rejection following. In the Dark Ages when I first applied, you HAD to be sponsored by a department to be admitted to the municipal police training academy (today, you can send yourself, and most departments here in Pennsylvania will not even consider an applicant who does not have the academy....too expensive to send them), so going on my own was not an option. And to top it all off, women candidates were few and far between. It was a long and arduous process before I finally was second on the list, and when #1 took a job with another department, was hired. That was many years ago; I served 31 years with the same department, retiring in 2011 ( the last 11 years were served as Chief of Police). Keep your eye on the prize....it is so worth it!