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  • Personal Dilemma

    Hey Guys/Gals,

    So I have a problem that I would love some advice on. I believe that a little background is in order to give a better idea of the situation.

    When I was in high school I interned with a local PD my senior year and loved it. After I graduated from HS I worked an IT job for about a year and a half while volunteering on a local search and rescue team. While their I obtained my EMT-B and EMT-I and went on to work for an amublance company that ran 911 calls with SLC here in Utah. I got married and adopted my wifes little boy. We ended up having another little girl so I decided to try to be home more with my new family and accepted a job at the IT department of a large bank in the area. I have been here for almost a year and a half and recently move to the IT security team which I was hoping would give me a bit more of the drive and excitement I was hoping for.

    The problem is that I still miss the street. My wife teases me thatabout acting like our 3 year old when I see squad cars and fire trucks rolling 10-39. I finish my BS in IT in November and was planning on starting my MS in Information Security in December. The problem I face is:

    A.) I miss feeling like I am making a difference. I mean I know my job is important and vital to my organization that I am with but I wish I was doing more to impact peoples lives. I miss that about working EMS.

    B.) My wife and I are having a third child and with my job at the bank she has been able to stay home and not have to work. So when I talk about leaving she thinks I am nuts. I do enjoy that our kids get to be raised by their mother. I dont mean to sound like I am complaining we are very blessed. In fact she only stays home because we have a small house and no loans on our vehicles.

    So I have basically broken it down to a few options:

    1.) Look into volunteering as a local forensics/disaster recovery agent/officer for free at a department.
    -Is this something that deparments might consider seriously?
    -Would they be willing to sponser me through the academy in trade for free/volunteer professional qualified IT forensics expertise?

    I should add that during my masters program I will be put through a Certified Ethical Hacking certification, Certified Forensics Investigator cert, Certified Disaster Recovery cert, etc. The overall program will cost me about $20k in student loans so I feel I would need to stay at the bank to be able to best repay them.

    2.) Dont get my masters degree, leave banking and find a department to go full time at. This would probably take a year or 2 to happen because we would want our 3rd to be old enough to be going to day care so my wife can work.

    3.) Win the lotto, quit my job. (Jk! I know the odd's. Not gonna happen )

    Again I am not trying to complain but I really feel like I should be doing more for my community and miss the camaraderie that I had with the sheriffs office and fire departments when I was there. Thanks for your time.
    Last edited by delta_juliet; 02-18-2010, 05:13 PM.

  • #2
    1.) Look into volunteering as a local forensics/disaster recovery agent/officer for free at a department.
    -Is this something that deparments might consider seriously?
    -Would they be willing to sponser me through the academy in trade for free/volunteer professional qualified IT forensics expertise?
    This is an idea that you may want to look into a little more. A number of states like CA, NY, AZ, and MI require individuals doing private sector computer forensic work to be licensed through the state as a professional investigator. In those instances, practicing without a license may be a felony (check your local laws). I know you want to volunteer with a LE department, but if you are not an employee you may be liable. Just something you should look into before you start.

    What software are you thinking of using? EnCase and AccessData seem to be most widely used in law enforcement, however there are a number of other programs out there. AccessData is located in SLC, so you could save some $$$ on traveling to and from training. If you decide to go with them look into getting FTK version 1 or version 3. FTK2 was a nightmare.

    If you have any questions feel free to ask.

    edit: found the Utah law.

    Utah Code -- Title 53 -- Chapter 09 -- Private Investigator Regulation Act

    (17) (a) "Private investigator or private detective" means any person, except collection agencies and credit reporting agencies, who, for consideration, engages in business or accepts employment to conduct any investigation for the purpose of obtaining information with reference to:

    (i) crime, wrongful acts, or threats against the United States or any state or territory of the United States;
    (ii) the identity, reputation, character, habits, conduct, business occupation, honesty, integrity, credibility, knowledge, trustworthiness, efficiency, loyalty, activity, movements, whereabouts, affiliations, associations, or transactions of any person or group of persons;
    (iii) the credibility of witnesses or other persons;
    (iv) the whereabouts of missing persons or owners of abandoned property;
    (v) the causes and origin of, or responsibility for a fire, libel, slander, a loss, an accident, damage, or an injury to real or personal property;
    (vi) the business of securing evidence to be used before investigating committees or boards of award or arbitration or in the trial of civil or criminal cases and the trial preparation;
    (vii) the prevention, detection, and removal of installed devices for eavesdropping or observation;
    (viii) the business of "skip tracing" persons who have become delinquent in their lawful debts, either when hired by an individual, collection agency, or through the direct purchase of the debt from a financial institution or entity owning the debt or judgment; or
    (ix) serving civil process.
    looks like you will need to get licensed or get a department to hire you as an employee.
    Last edited by Cuchulainn; 07-25-2010, 02:59 PM.

    Comment


    • #3
      That is very good info about the PI license requirements. I didnt realize that it would fall into the same category. Thanks for the info. To be honest I have been using Helix as my Forensics tool, because I am a cheap college student. I didnt realize that Access Data is in SLC.

      Comment


      • #4
        I wish I could give you an answer that would part the clouds and let the lights of heaven shine down, but I can only give you an answer based on my experiences.

        I served in the Marines and loved most every minute of it. I met my wife while I was serving and when re-enlistment came around, I decided I was ready to try something a little more "family" friendly. My wife was very excited about this. I got a double major in economics and accounting and struck out into the wonderful world of corporate accounting. Every so often I had the urge to get involved in something again. I did the same thing as you, signing up for volunteer forces and trying to satisfy my itch. I never found anything that gave me that sense of satisfaction. I watched Katrina, War on Terror, etc. seeing everyone ship out and give of themselves selflessly while I sat in the comfort of my living room.

        The only thing I can say is that once, you commit to something larger than yourself, it is hard to ever look back. I hate to tell you, but the urge will never go away. Those who are drawn to these lines of employment may step away but always seem to find their way back.

        There is a quote that states:

        "For those who have fought for it, freedom has a special flavor the protected will never know."

        I think this applies as much to first responders as it does military men and women.

        I applied for some Federal position here and there, which usually resulted in me receiving a letter that the hiring announcement had been scrapped or the positions filled. I was ready to accept my fate as a lifelong bean counter. I had taken a test for Customs and Border Protection Officer back in 2008. One day a packet shows up on my door with a tentative offer of employment. I got all giddy with excitement before I realized the offer was for Texas and we currently live in Tennessee. I hesitantly showed it to my wife. After some discussion, my wife told me that I would regret it if I did not try and I knew she was right. So here I am, waiting for CBP to give me a call. I cannot give you an answer as I am in the same boat as you for the most part. You know your situation best and what is going to be best for you and your family. If you think you can return to a first responder position without creating hardship for your family, then what is the harm in applying for a few positions. You can always turn it down and it may make it easier for you to see value in your current position if you know you are there by your own choice. If you do nothing, you will always have that "what if" floating around in the back of your head. As you said, take comfort in the fact that whichever road you chose, you will be able to provide a comfortable life for your family.
        CBPO East Texas
        TO: 3/3/09
        Pre-Emp Forms: 3/26/09
        Fitness: 4/6/09 -Passed
        Medical: 4/6/09 -Passed
        VBT: 4/7/09 -Passed
        Quals: (GS-7) 4/10/09 -Verified
        Drug Test: 4/17/09 -Passed
        BI: 8/27/09 -Cleared
        TSU: 8/27/09
        FCRA: 05/19/10
        BI Update: 6/16/10

        Comment


        • #5
          Very well said, USMC0844.
          Sure, that badge will get you midgets, but those midgets will get that badge!

          The more I learn about people, the more I prefer the company of my dogs.

          Comment


          • #6
            Wow! Thanks for your post USMC0844! I think you are very right. Well I think I will start looking at applying at some of the larger cities that would probably appreciate my degree a little more and then go from their. Thanks again!

            Comment


            • #7
              DJ,

              you may want to look into the FBI. With an IT degree, you will be ahead of the game for the new wave of computer forensics and cyber terrorism, etc. I would seriously look into it. If you must stay local, larger PD's generally (in my experience) appreciate education a little more, in the way of pay.

              Best of luck to you.
              Discombobulatory Accountable Volunteerism.

              Comment


              • #8
                I actually was just looking at their listings on USAJobs. Any idea what the demand is for their cyber agents?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hackers in Europe and China successfully broke into computers at nearly 2,500 companies and government agencies over the last 18 months in a coordinated global attack that exposed vast amounts of personal and corporate secrets to theft, according to a computer-security company that discovered the breach....

                  "It highlights the weaknesses in cyber security right now," said Adam Meyers, a senior engineer at government contractor SRA International Inc. who reviewed the NetWitness data. "If you're a Fortune 500 company or a government agency or a home DSL user, you could be successfully victimized."
                  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...834150536.html

                  I would say the demand for cybercrime investigators is favorable.

                  Last edited by Cuchulainn; 02-18-2010, 11:07 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by delta_juliet View Post
                    I actually was just looking at their listings on USAJobs. Any idea what the demand is for their cyber agents?
                    Extremely high. When most job announcements open, they will usually list critical skills needed. Most of the time you are going to see IT included. Your skills put you in a really good spot. I'm sure you noticed the latest round of cyber attack information released today. The cyber world is quickly moving to the front lines of the War on Terror. FBI and DHS are always looking for cyber guys. DEA is currently accepting applications. Don't know your current age situation. They like people who can follow the money. Your banking IT experience would be good here. CIA and NSA are other agencies that have a high demand for IT people. Check with your local guys at the Utah Bureau of Investigations. You may be impressed with what you find there. Tennessee has TBI which operate much like their federal counterparts, but at the state level. Some say it is even better because the state guys can get stuff in a day that it takes the federal guys a week to get.

                    Edit to add: Here in Memphis the Police Dept. has added a Real Time Crime Center. I am willing to bet that most larger police departments are getting similar facilities.

                    https://kiosk.memphispolice.org/realtime/
                    Last edited by USMC0844; 02-18-2010, 11:25 PM.
                    CBPO East Texas
                    TO: 3/3/09
                    Pre-Emp Forms: 3/26/09
                    Fitness: 4/6/09 -Passed
                    Medical: 4/6/09 -Passed
                    VBT: 4/7/09 -Passed
                    Quals: (GS-7) 4/10/09 -Verified
                    Drug Test: 4/17/09 -Passed
                    BI: 8/27/09 -Cleared
                    TSU: 8/27/09
                    FCRA: 05/19/10
                    BI Update: 6/16/10

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Just want to add my two cents, because I believe it deeply: Those who serve in law enforcement (like few other careers) know for a long time it's what they want to do. I've said for years that "We're cops before we ever get that first badge. 'Cop' is a state of mind, a way of life, a sense of personal responsibility and ethics."

                      So, whether you tote around a badge or not....you're a cop, and you know it. The uniform and badge is just an visual aknowledgement to others of what you've known all along.

                      That said, I believe without actually being a cop, you deny yourself true realization of who you are as a person. And thus, pure happiness is far less likely to be attained.
                      "You can just go ahead and common sense your way out of this conundrum!"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by GentleGiant View Post
                        Just want to add my two cents, because I believe it deeply: Those who serve in law enforcement (like few other careers) know for a long time it's what they want to do. I've said for years that "We're cops before we ever get that first badge. 'Cop' is a state of mind, a way of life, a sense of personal responsibility and ethics."

                        So, whether you tote around a badge or not....you're a cop, and you know it. The uniform and badge is just an visual aknowledgement to others of what you've known all along.

                        That said, I believe without actually being a cop, you deny yourself true realization of who you are as a person. And thus, pure happiness is far less likely to be attained.
                        ^^^^^THIS

                        I highly disagree with.

                        There are SOME people that have personality traits which steer them toward law enforcement. Some like the appeal of variety of the work. Some do it because there isn't another job in their area with as much pay and benefits. Many get out of the military and don't know what else to do, so screw it! I'll be a cop! Heck, I know one person who wants to be a cop just because it's a job where they can work with dogs.

                        Not everyone is forged in the fires of Good vs. Evil and must wear the shield lest they feel worthless and beneath all other men.
                        NRA Life Member

                        The police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence. - Sir Robert Peel

                        Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats. - H. L. Mencken

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Thanks guys! I did just hear about the latest cyber attacks. It made for great news as for current job security. I wasnt sure though with the current economic situation if the government would be looking for more agents. I am sure that they wouldn't try to put aside security. This is all great info Thanks!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I'd try getting on as a reserve officer somewhere. As has been stated, once you are married and have kids, your dreams aren't the ones that really matter anymore.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by delta_juliet View Post
                              Thanks guys! I did just hear about the latest cyber attacks. It made for great news as for current job security. I wasnt sure though with the current economic situation if the government would be looking for more agents. I am sure that they wouldn't try to put aside security. This is all great info Thanks!
                              Screw all that non-sense above. Go see your friendly Marine Corps recruiter, tell him you want 0311 or nothing.

                              Seriously, I know how you feel. I left my first love (combat arms in the Marines) for a intelligence gig with the Navy, where I sit in a dark room all day and violate global rights to privacy. Intel, while interesting at times, isn't where my heart is. Which is why I applied to USSS, DEA, ATF, and NCIS. Some people enjoy desk jobs, as for me, a part of me is still sleeping in a shallow trench (fondly known as my grave) outside of Fallujah using an MRE heater to keep warm in the ice cold rain.

                              I've never been a cop, but I've done my share of foot patrols in what you could call high crime areas (IEDs, RPGs, and the occaisonal lost soul brave enough to engage with small arms fire). So I'm going for the badge and gun deal...riding a desk 365 isn't for me.

                              My advice is to go for whatever makes you happy...but keep in mind that you only own a fraction of your happiness, your wife owns the rest. If she isn't happy, then you aren't going to be happy. Make sure you include her in your decision making process, lest you become involuntarily celibate
                              Big Brother is watching

                              Comment

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