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  • #16
    Get the 4 year degree....I was like you and just wanted to be a street cop and got the 2 year degree. I was happy (at the time) just working for a police department or sheriffs department. Because of a personal goal I set for myself I decided to get my 4 year degree at the age of 35. I just finished it up. Many more opportunities have opened and now I am in the hiring process for different federal jobs which means more money and many advancement opportunities.

    What I am saying is that when I was 24 I was happy with just the 2 year degree and getting into the field as soon as possible. Now that I am older, more mature, and more career oriented, I wish I would have gotten the 4 year degree right away and possibly even the Masters Degree or a law degree. Education opens alot of doors....don't sell yourself short.

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    • #17
      A lot of hiring processes are difficult for even the most qualified applicants. If you want to put yourself in a league of your own here is what I suggest.

      1. Masters degree
      2. OCS - Officer candidate school
      3. Self sponsor through a police academy
      4. Become a reserve/auxiliary officer or
      apply for an internship/become a police cadet

      Of course also do the prerequisites (no criminal history, no drugs, good work history, good credit).
      Those who believe, ye shall receive.

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      • #18
        Just wanted to give you my .02. If I were in your position, I would go to college (4 years) then decide what you want to do with your life. I have been in law enforcement for 7 years, and I've loved every minute of it. I was an unusual case as after just two years, I had good enough performance as a road officer that I got assigned as a detective to a very low profile state narcotics unit....low profile meaning.....well, I better not say. You'll figure it out. It's a really cool job....but I'm not tooting my own horn..I have a point here.

        Having the flexible schedule that I have, I have been able to return to college and obtain my Bachelor's degree in Public Admin. College really opens your eyes to all of the different career paths there are for public servants. Had I gone to college first, I'm not sure that law enforcement would have been my first choice of career path. There are many ways to serve at the local, state and federal levels....becoming a federal law enforcement agent is not the be all/end all. That being said, I wouldn't trade a day of my service in law enforcement...it has been a blast.

        But that's my advice to you....go to college, major in something that IS NOT criminal justice...maybe like political science or something...then decide what you want to do with your life. Also, I think ROTC or the National Guard is a great idea to help you get some "real life" experience while you are going to school. Then, after all that, if you decide that law enforcement is where you want to be, you are in a great position to get there. (And you won't be fr***led like me trying to work and go to school).

        On the flip side, if you go to college first, then get into law enforcement and decide you don't like it, you've got a degree in something other than criminal justice to fall back on.
        Last edited by Narc1896; 09-28-2009, 11:36 AM.

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