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That's it. I'm sick of working for peanuts. Suggestions?

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  • That's it. I'm sick of working for peanuts. Suggestions?

    I work for a city of around 100,000 in NC, at a dept of around 250 officers. I have been here for 4 years, have a bachelor's degree, am fluent in Spanish, hold an Intermediate LEO Certification, have had above average evaluations every year, and I make $17.66 an hour. About $38,000 a year. We have had 1 raise since I have been here.

    I get about 8 days of sick time and 8 days of vacation time a year, plus 11 holidays I think. I work 12 hour days, 84 hours every 2 weeks. No overtime until 86 hours in 2 weeks. I pay $400 a month for a crappy family insurance plan with a $4,000 deductible (have to pay 100% of every bill up to $4,000). I dropped vision and dental and went to this plan because it was costing me $700 a month in premiums. As it is I have to save $300 a month just for medical bills since I have to pay 100% of them. We have 30 year retirement.

    After reading about the pay and benefits in other cities, I feel like I am getting butt raped without lube.

    I have two small children and a wife, and I am the only paycheck coming in. We would lose money if my wife worked because of daycare. You see my $17.66 an hour, you can imagine what my wife would make in an entry level position anywhere around.

    I also work part-time as a paramedic. With 10 years of experience in EMS, 7 of them as a paramedic, and my education, I make a whopping $17.42 an hour doing that. And that's a high rate.

    I am having to work 60+ hours a week between the 2 jobs to get by right now. My take home pay decreased by 20% from my PD job last year because of an increase of insurance premiums and a switch to 12 hour shifts that killed our overtime, and everyday costs are going up. I don't have a boat, or a crazy car payment (used honda accord=$260 a month), or anything out of the ordinary for that matter. I am having to work my *** off, at least 60 hours a week, sometimes even 96 hours a week, to make less than $60,000 a year between the two jobs.

    It's effing stupid and I'm done with it. My family deserves to see me and my time is worth more than what I am getting paid.

    So I'm done. I have no ties to this area other than work. I am willing to relocate to just about anywhere except places where it's hotter than hell or colder than a witch's titty for most of the year. And I'd prefer a low rate of hippies.

    I see places like Austin TX where I could be making close to $80,000 in three years. I could never make that as an officer here...we top out at $55,000 after 15 YEARS!

    I understand cost of living plays a part. My 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 1,200 sq foot home on a tiny lot is about $150,000. Mortgage with insurance and taxes is $922 a month. My monthly utility bills are about $325-$400 (cable, water, sewer, power).

    Could some of the officers that work in places with a reasonable cost of living and good pay/benefits weigh in and tell me about their departments?

  • #2
    Unfortunately in the current economic situation the likelihood of realizing major bumps in base pay are likely limited.

    Have you looked at potential venues through the federal government? Given that I don’t know if you are past the cutoff age for certain covered positions (under 37) unless you have qualifying military service, I cant point you towards a criminal investigator (1811) position, but there are and will likely be a few police officer (0083) positions and security specialist (0080) positions that you would likely qualify for given your background. This is provided you want to stay in a LE centric position. If you are willing to expand your career horizons, there are related positions in the inspection and compliance fields with the fed that you may find of interest and may qualify for.

    Pay a visit to http://www.usajobs.opm.gov and search around. The updated search interface and reforms to the hiring process make searching for, applying to and potentially landing a federal position quite easy.

    If you are set on staying in municipal law enforcement, start looking at reciprocity for your law enforcement and medic certifications. Some states such as Florida will allow you to transfer your certification and take the state certification exam after attending one of the many academies for high liability subject areas. Texas has a similar program and does Virginia.
    Originally posted by SSD
    It has long been the tradition on this forum and as well as professionally not to second guess or Monday morning QB the officer's who were actually on-scene and had to make the decision. That being said, I don't think that your discussion will go very far on this board.
    Originally posted by Iowa #1603
    And now you are arguing about not arguing..................

    Comment


    • #3
      I am 28 years old. I think I would like to stay with a municipal police department, but I have considered a federal 1811 position.

      But I'm looking for states that aren't as humid as NC

      Comment


      • #4
        Just remember, according to some, unions that fight for better wages/benefits are evil!
        For the cops out there: You are an adult. If you want to write someone, write them. If you don't want to write someone, then don't write them.

        "Jeff, you are the best cop on this board"-Anonymous Post

        Comment


        • #5
          Always remember:

          There are people who are a lot more worse off than you.
          CBP Officer
          Initial Application: 11/16/10
          Test Exam: 12/13/10
          Notice of Results: 1/25/11 (GS-07: 92)
          New Geography (SWB): 9/14/11
          Tentative Offer: 9/29/11
          Medical/PFT1: 10/25/11

          Comment


          • #6
            Well that's a pretty stupid thing to say. No ****, there are lots of people that are worse off than I am. Maybe if I leave they can take my spot, but that's not what I am talking about here.

            Maybe if people would come with helpful information to this thread the people who are worse off than I am would get some ideas of the better places to apply, so they wouldn't find themselves in a situation where they are working twice as many hours for less than half the pay that they could be earning. I'm sorry I want something better for myself and my family.

            Comment


            • #7
              Florida is miserably hot and humid, but Tampa/St. Pete pd are always hiring and the pay is pretty good.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by aewegner View Post
                Florida is miserably hot and humid, but Tampa/St. Pete pd are always hiring and the pay is pretty good.
                I thought about that, my sister lives in St. Augustine and my mother in central FL, but the weather is just like it is here.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Las Vegas Metropolitan Police. Were still the only one's hiring in southern Nevada. Great pay, bennies, retirement. New computer based OT system started today, but I signed up and ended up getting two jobs, so OT is there. #1 in foreclosures, so you can find decent houses dirt cheap. No humidity, just hot as hell from June-Sept. We just tested recently, so testing may not open again for another few months, but the process moves fast. I was in the same boat as you for a dept in the NE before I made the move. While every dept has there own issues, I dont regret my decision.

                  Protectthecity.com
                  lvmpd.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I'll have to give this some thought. Right off the top of my head, Texas is doing a lot of hiring, but it is too hot there for me (and I'm assuming you). The places that have all four seasons and a reasonable cost of living (Midwest) just aren't hiring for crap, or in ones and twos. A lot of places won't waste their time if you are not certified in their state. I do suggest that (if you haven't done so) you expand your list of potential employers to include airport police, park police, university police, etc. Most people don't think about non-traditional law enforcement agencies and some of them pay very well.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      PA State Police are hiring a ton of people for next 2 years, starting pay is almost 60 and PA isn't very expensive...great department.

                      www.patrooper.com

                      I'd also check out NH State Police and some of the county depts in Maryland...they pay better than MSP

                      Originally posted by just joe View Post
                      I'll have to give this some thought. Right off the top of my head, Texas is doing a lot of hiring, but it is too hot there for me (and I'm assuming you). The places that have all four seasons and a reasonable cost of living (Midwest) just aren't hiring for crap, or in ones and twos. A lot of places won't waste their time if you are not certified in their state. I do suggest that (if you haven't done so) you expand your list of potential employers to include airport police, park police, university police, etc. Most people don't think about non-traditional law enforcement agencies and some of them pay very well.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by UD4LIFE View Post
                        PA State Police are hiring a ton of people for next 2 years, starting pay is almost 60 and PA isn't very expensive...great department.

                        www.patrooper.com

                        I'd also check out NH State Police and some of the county depts in Maryland...they pay better than MSP
                        Unless I'm mistaken, NH State Police will also accept an out of state certification, so you'll save yourself the misery of a second academy.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          http://www.pstc.nh.gov/faqs.htm


                          Q19. I am a certified out-of-state officer. Can I be hired in New Hampshire without going through the entire Academy?



                          A19. If you are currently serving as a certified, academy-trained, full-time police officer in another state, you may be eligible to have some subjects waived in our Academy and only attend about 100 hours of commuter “New Hampshire Law Package” training, and pass tests on these modules. You still must meet all the pre-hiring and background investigation requirements, pass the medical and psychological exams and the physical fitness test. You will also be required to pass the on-going physical fitness test every 3 years to maintain your New Hampshire certification. We are reciprocal with all other states in the US and recognize their training if it is at least equal in scope to ours. Any classes you did not have in your state of origin, you may be required to take in our Academy. If your First Aid/CPR certificate has expired, this training will also be required. If our analysis of your out-of-state training requires you to take the equivalent of 30% of our total Academy hours, you will be required to attend our entire Academy. NOTE: The Corrections Academy is not reciprocal with any other state, and you must take the entire 9-week course here, if you move in from another state. Also some New Hampshire police departments, as a matter of their own policy, will require you to complete the entire New Hampshire Police Academy.

                          Originally posted by Fuerza View Post
                          Unless I'm mistaken, NH State Police will also accept an out of state certification, so you'll save yourself the misery of a second academy.
                          Last edited by UD4LIFE; 08-16-2011, 02:39 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I do know that the Houston Police Department has just opened up a new announcement for a December Academy. I am not sure of any lateral academy dates. I've worked HPD as a civilian radio and computer tech for over 5 years now and my father (Captain) and grandfather (Sgt.) retired from HPD. There is a lot of room for advancement in the department. Many of my friends transferred off of patrol after 2 years to other divisions such as: tactical, narcotics, homicide, CSU, and SWAT. All-in-all it isn't a bad PD to work for if you can put up with the humidity and the flatness (I noticed that you didn't want the humidity). Cost of living is good and pay is about equivalent to Austin PD. My friends don't work the crazy hours that you have been doing with your PD either...those are some pretty rough hours.

                            You can check the career website out at. http://www.houstontx.gov/police/career/index.htm

                            According to the Austin PD website, they will be taking applications in late September but no classes are going to be scheduled until late 2012 or early 2013.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Pobrecito, I think you have to look out west - like AZ and NV when the hiring picks up again. Most departments have slowed way down since the hiring hey-days of 2004, but just to give you an idea of the lowdown at the biggest dept in AZ, which sounds like it's at least 10 times as big as yours.

                              A know-nothing booter starts at about $25/hr, but tops out around 80K a year after 7-8 years.

                              Work shifts are 4 10's, 1200 bucks a year uniform allowance, 9k a year tuition reimbursement, and an extra 10 bucks/hr if you're speaking Spanish. Family Cigna/Bluecross HMO premium is about 130 bucks a check. Retirement is still 50% at 20, but is the big issue in state politics now. Don't expect that it'll be around too much longer - probably move to some type of defined contribution/401K plan.

                              Houses are inexpensive, taxes likewise, the hippie factor is low, and practically no humidity.

                              Plus - it's a dry heat.


                              http://phoenix.gov/joinphxpd/salary.html

                              Comment

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