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  • Best option for DEA/FBI experience

    Hello all,

    My dream job is to become a DEA or FBI agent. I meet all of the requirements and I have some extra extra abilities that are also marketable. I am in the process for San Diego PD and the United States Secret Service Uniform Division.

    I am wondering what would be the better choice to gain experience/favor in becoming a DEA or FBI agent.

    If I were to join the uniform division I would be in a federal job but would not get as much investigative experience as if I were in the SDPD.

    Could someone, who would know, give me some insight on what the DEA would rather look for?

  • #2
    Originally posted by yaneverknow View Post
    I meet all of the requirements and I have some extra extra abilities that are also marketable.
    Your profile states you're unemployed. Dare I ask, what "extra extra" abilities are you talking about?
    sigpic

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Kimble View Post
      Dare I ask, what "extra extra" abilities are you talking about?
      I would bet money that the "extra extra" abilities include mixed martial arts, an inappropriately-large gun collection, and perhaps even a criminal background (which is clearly good because his insider knowledge of the criminal world would help the FBI and DEA catch the bad guys).

      Interesting question though. I'm in the process for UD, but not with a view to using it as an intermediate step towards getting an 1811 job. Is there a huge difference between the amount of investigation a UD officer and a rookie cop will be exposed to? Wouldn't both have close to zero worthwhile investigative experience after a couple of years?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by mopper View Post
        Is there a huge difference between the amount of investigation a UD officer and a rookie cop will be exposed to? Wouldn't both have close to zero worthwhile investigative experience after a couple of years?
        Not exactly. While patrol officers are not detectives, they do get involved (if proactive) in field interviews, evidence recovery, records checks, and other preliminary steps that are most certainly investigative. I've even known patrol officers who applied for and obtained their own warrants. USSS UD officers' primary role is force protection (a fancy way of saying security), not street-level law enforcement.

        Neither a patrol officer or a USSS UD officer is an investigator, but from being a former patrol cop and knowing former officers with USSS UD, USCP, and several other federal uniformed LEOs, the opportunities to do preliminary investigative work are more prevalent (generally speaking) for local/state uniformed LEOs.
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        • #5
          Originally posted by mopper View Post
          I would bet money that the "extra extra" abilities include mixed martial arts, an inappropriately-large gun collection, and perhaps even a criminal background (which is clearly good because his insider knowledge of the criminal world would help the FBI and DEA catch the bad guys).

          Interesting question though. I'm in the process for UD, but not with a view to using it as an intermediate step towards getting an 1811 job. Is there a huge difference between the amount of investigation a UD officer and a rookie cop will be exposed to? Wouldn't both have close to zero worthwhile investigative experience after a couple of years?
          Wow, for someone who isn't even in LE himself, you sure like to talk. Until you are sworn, you, like the OP, are a wannabe.

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          • #6
            I work for a small police department, we have one detective who is on the verge of retirement and doesn't really care too much about the job anymore. When I go to a burglary complaint I handle everything, collecting evidence, taking evidence to the crime lab, interviews, interoggation, obtaining search warrants/arrest warrants, subpoenas, etc.

            I know bigger departments have detective divisions that handle a majority of their cases, but if you get small department experience, especially those with budget constraints (which is almost all), you will gain alot of experience in investigations. I wouldn't want it any other way personally...there is nothing mroe gratifying then working a case from start to finish.

            As far as actual investigations I think the PD would be more beneficial, however you can't beat the prior federal LE experience either when applying for another federal gig.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Kimble View Post
              Your profile states you're unemployed. Dare I ask, what "extra extra" abilities are you talking about?
              haha, I didn't realize I put "extra extra" like I'm some sort of doublemint gum.... anyway it's just language abilities and having been through an academy.

              someone mentioned it could help being in UD because its already federal... any idea how much that would help... is it similar to veteran preference points?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by yaneverknow View Post
                Hello all,

                My dream job is to become a DEA or FBI agent. I meet all of the requirements and I have some extra extra abilities that are also marketable. I am in the process for San Diego PD and the United States Secret Service Uniform Division.

                I am wondering what would be the better choice to gain experience/favor in becoming a DEA or FBI agent.

                If I were to join the uniform division I would be in a federal job but would not get as much investigative experience as if I were in the SDPD.

                Could someone, who would know, give me some insight on what the DEA would rather look for?
                Since your in SD I think you should look into the USBP. Many of our guys go on to work for the DEA and a number go on to FBI. Plain clothes investigative experience in the Patrol can come as early as two yrs in. And you will be doing mucho title 21 interdiction as a regular PA. If you have your heart set on the two jobs you mentioned, the PD is the only logical choice. SSUD is protection work. Good luck.
                Last edited by SHU; 09-11-2009, 12:09 PM. Reason: why not

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                • #9
                  someone mentioned it could help being in UD because its already federal... any idea how much that would help... is it similar to veteran preference points?
                  The biggest boost you're going to get when applying for a fed job and already being a fed employee is that you'll be able to apply for jobs that are open to fed employees, only (versus those open to the general public).

                  Since DEA and FBI almost always have their vacancies open to the general public, anyway, any advantage you realize there is going to be nil. Personally, I'd go with the investigative experience at as a local officer over UD if an investigative position with the feds is your ultimate goal.

                  I would not limit myself to FBI and DEA, either. There a TON of other fed agencies out there with similar (or completely different missions), all of whom are engaged in conducting investigations. What I mean is, there are lots of flavors of ice cream to consider before you decide - having never tasted any - which one you want to eat for the rest of your career . Don't limit yourself.
                  "Sir, does this mean that Ann Margaret's not coming?"

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by SHU View Post
                    Sine your in SD I think you should look into the USBP. Many of our guys go on to work for the DEA and a number go on to FBI. Plain clothes investigative experience in the Patrol can come as early as two yrs in. And you will be doing mucho title 21 interdiction as a regular PA. If you have your heart set on the two jobs you mentioned, the PD is the only logical choice. SSUD is protection work. Good luck.
                    +1, there are ex-BPA's all over the 1811 world, including a ton on my job and the DEA. The BP is awesome experience, if I could do it over again I would have applied to the BP right out of college.

                    USSS-UD is good if you want to be in the DC area, but I wouldn't move across the country just for that job. You'll get more investigative experience at the PD or the BP.
                    Before science, it was believed that autumn was caused by Chuck Norris simultaneously roundhouse kicking every tree on the planet.

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