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  • Federal Probation Officer

    To make an extremely long story short... I have worked for the Federal Government as a Customs & Border Protection Officer for over a year. Prior to doing this I was a Corrections Officer for a county government for 4 years. I have a Masters degree in CJ... so on and so forth.

    I got a little off track in my attempt to become a Federal PO by taking the first FLEO position that came available with hopes that it would get my foot in the door... which required me to move 5 hours away from home. I can't complain because CBP has been very good to me... but it’s not the field I want to put another 24 years in. Anyhow, I just went through a hiring process for a non-Fed position that would pay me more than CBP and is essentially the criminal justice administrator for a pretty big county in my hometown. Right when things were looking good... the Fed probation office in my hometown just called me for a test/interview. Now I am torn whether I should stay with the Federal government with hopes of getting the PO position (my 6c/12d coverage would continue) or I should continue through with the county job? I don’t want to give the impression that I am hopping job-to-job. And if I pass up the county job… what are the chances I will actually get the PO job (rhetorical question)? Would they rather me work as a county criminal justice policy administrator/writer or a FLEO?

    I understand that this forum probably won't resolve my dilemma... but any constructive advice from someone in the field would be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    Originally posted by gms632 View Post
    To make an extremely long story short... I have worked for the Federal Government as a Customs & Border Protection Officer for over a year. Prior to doing this I was a Corrections Officer for a county government for 4 years. I have a Masters degree in CJ... so on and so forth.

    I got a little off track in my attempt to become a Federal PO by taking the first FLEO position that came available with hopes that it would get my foot in the door... which required me to move 5 hours away from home. I can't complain because CBP has been very good to me... but it’s not the field I want to put another 24 years in. Anyhow, I just went through a hiring process for a non-Fed position that would pay me more than CBP and is essentially the criminal justice administrator for a pretty big county in my hometown. Right when things were looking good... the Fed probation office in my hometown just called me for a test/interview. Now I am torn whether I should stay with the Federal government with hopes of getting the PO position (my 6c/12d coverage would continue) or I should continue through with the county job? I don’t want to give the impression that I am hopping job-to-job. And if I pass up the county job… what are the chances I will actually get the PO job (rhetorical question)? Would they rather me work as a county criminal justice policy administrator/writer or a FLEO?

    I understand that this forum probably won't resolve my dilemma... but any constructive advice from someone in the field would be greatly appreciated.
    Honestly, you already have your mind made up as to what you're going to do, so why really ask the board a question we surely cant answer for you. Me personally, I would do whats best for my family. If the Administrator is a job you can see yourself doing, make it do what it do and take it, like you say, the PO gig isnt a sure thing. You're already a fed, so not accepting the administrator position wouldnt be too bad to try an wait on the PO gig. I say, do what your mind is telling you to do. Only you know whats best for you and your family. What I may do, may destroy your family, and keep mines together, vice versa. All I can tell you is good luck on your decision, but you have options, which is always nice
    God Bless America

    101st Airborne Division, Rakassans Air Assaultttttttt
    3rd Infantry Division, 2BCT

    ICE 1811
    Applied: 6/22/09
    Exam: 7/24/2009
    SI/WA: 3/2/2010
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    PRESIDIO BOUND!!!!!!!!!!

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    • #3
      Originally posted by gms632 View Post
      To make an extremely long story short... I have worked for the Federal Government as a Customs & Border Protection Officer for over a year. Prior to doing this I was a Corrections Officer for a county government for 4 years. I have a Masters degree in CJ... so on and so forth.

      I got a little off track in my attempt to become a Federal PO by taking the first FLEO position that came available with hopes that it would get my foot in the door... which required me to move 5 hours away from home. I can't complain because CBP has been very good to me... but it’s not the field I want to put another 24 years in. Anyhow, I just went through a hiring process for a non-Fed position that would pay me more than CBP and is essentially the criminal justice administrator for a pretty big county in my hometown. Right when things were looking good... the Fed probation office in my hometown just called me for a test/interview. Now I am torn whether I should stay with the Federal government with hopes of getting the PO position (my 6c/12d coverage would continue) or I should continue through with the county job? I don’t want to give the impression that I am hopping job-to-job. And if I pass up the county job… what are the chances I will actually get the PO job (rhetorical question)? Would they rather me work as a county criminal justice policy administrator/writer or a FLEO?

      I understand that this forum probably won't resolve my dilemma... but any constructive advice from someone in the field would be greatly appreciated.
      First of all, congrats on being a federal employee to begin with. That's a goal many of us on the board only strive to be, and are currently in the application process to become. What kind of contacts do you have with federal PO's? I spoke with one yesterday from Raleigh, NC, and needless to say, she expressed she was overworked and underpaid. Definately said the economy has negatively impacted the workload of a federal PO, and she is working major hours to complete the necessary work from week to week. If you want, you can send me a PM and I'll give you the contact information to the PO I spoke with. May provide some additional insight into the current status of the agency.

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      • #4
        In this present economy, I’m a firm believer in keeping what you’ve got unless your heart truly rests somewhere else. Federal Probation is an excellent position, but you will become an at will employee. I’m not 100% sure about CBP, but I believe that seniority would play into whom might be potentially laid off. As for the county administrator position, if it feels right then do it. But if you’re going to be thinking about something else a year into it, stick it out where you are until you can land a PO position. Ultimately my suggestion is do what will make you the happiest in the long run, but don’t hop on the first train out of dodge without taking all factors into consideration.

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        • #5
          I was a Federal P.O. in the Middle District of Florida for over 5 years. It is a very HARD job. When I mean hard, I mean having to deal with Federal judges who can be very demanding. Additionally, there is no overtime, and promotions are scarce. Lastly, their carry authority is limited to on-duty only. They can carry a personal firearm on their credentials off-duty though. I was a FLETC certified Officer Safety Instructor, but Federal P.O.'s are very non-law enforcement minded. Glocks are issued, but many don't carry them. If that is what you want, go for it. If you want law enforcement, CBP is the way to go, plus CBP gets up to $35,000 a year in overtime. I also believe CBP officers will be journeying at gs-12 soon, so if you don't mind shift work, it's a good gig.

          Look at the retirements. Federal retirement SUCKS! 1.1% a year for regular employees, versus 1.7% a year (for only 20 years, then 1.1% for years over 20) for law enforcement. I wish I had stayed an Orlando Police Officer. I would be getting 80% after 25 years, with a base pay on par with a GS-12.

          The only good thing is that I make 6 figures without overtime where I am now.

          Good Luck!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by FEDKNIFELOVER View Post
            I was a Federal P.O. in the Middle District of Florida for over 5 years. It is a very HARD job. When I mean hard, I mean having to deal with Federal judges who can be very demanding. Additionally, there is no overtime, and promotions are scarce. Lastly, their carry authority is limited to on-duty only. They can carry a personal firearm on their credentials off-duty though. I was a FLETC certified Officer Safety Instructor, but Federal P.O.'s are very non-law enforcement minded. Glocks are issued, but many don't carry them. If that is what you want, go for it. If you want law enforcement, CBP is the way to go, plus CBP gets up to $35,000 a year in overtime. I also believe CBP officers will be journeying at gs-12 soon, so if you don't mind shift work, it's a good gig.

            Look at the retirements. Federal retirement SUCKS! 1.1% a year for regular employees, versus 1.7% a year (for only 20 years, then 1.1% for years over 20) for law enforcement. I wish I had stayed an Orlando Police Officer. I would be getting 80% after 25 years, with a base pay on par with a GS-12.

            The only good thing is that I make 6 figures without overtime where I am now.

            Good Luck!
            Were you a supervision officer or PSI officer? I have an interview tomorrow for a Supervision officer in the Middle District of Florida.
            FLSTATE1 (FL - OTHER)
            TEST - 7/21/08 (89) W/O VET
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            NEW FIT TEST - 10/12/09 : PASSED
            Back in TSU again: 10/21/09
            EOD - ?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by FEDKNIFELOVER View Post

              Look at the retirements. Federal retirement SUCKS! 1.1% a year for regular employees, versus 1.7% a year (for only 20 years, then 1.1% for years over 20) for law enforcement. I wish I had stayed an Orlando Police Officer. I would be getting 80% after 25 years, with a base pay on par with a GS-12.

              The only good thing is that I make 6 figures without overtime where I am now.

              Good Luck!
              Federal retirement is 10x better than any of the retirements from my past employers who were private businesses. It is also superior to my retirement as a state corrections officer.

              Pensions are almost totally unheard of outside of government, so a small pension on top of the TSP is not a bad deal to me. I admit, I won't get a sweetheart retirement like some guys, but it's not bad.
              What is Perseverance?
              -Perseverance is commitment, hard work, patience, endurance.
              -Perseverance is being able to bear difficulties calmly and without complaint.
              -PERSEVERANCE IS TRYING AGAIN AND AGAIN.


              BOP - BPA - ICE

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              • #8
                Originally posted by flstate1 View Post
                Were you a supervision officer or PSI officer? I have an interview tomorrow for a Supervision officer in the Middle District of Florida.
                I was both at different times. Good Luck, but be prepared to be swamped with work. Say hello to Dep. Chief Penon, good guy!

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