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  • Thinking lateral, looking for ideas...

    I am looking for some advice from guys around the country who are currently employed law enforcement - no offense to others, but I want up-to-date and accurate info.

    I am an experienced patrol officer, detective, and FTO (over six years of law enforcement experience) working for a small municipal agency in NC. I love the agency for which I work, but I simply can't live off the pay here. I am making $30K and having trouble keeping up with my school loans. We haven't had a raise in four years and we just found out that next year will be the same. I'm 27 years old, so moving to another state may not set me back very far in terms of retirement since NC is still on the 30 year program. My entire family moved out of state last year, so I no longer have roots here in NC.

    I am single, unattached, and willing to go anywhere for the right department. I have a B/S in Multidisciplinary Studies (Accounting and CJ) and a M/A in Business Management - both of which I completed while working full time while in patrol and CID. I specialize in financial crime and have carved out a niche here as the local go-to detective for white collar investigations (can't call myself an expert yet, but I'm getting there). I have a strong personnel that includes a medal and several awards over the past few years (2009 Customer Service Excellence award, 2010 local emergency services Hero award [didn't actually do anything heroic...just a hard worker], etc). I am the youngest detective, supervisor and SRT member in my agency. In all, I feel that I am a strong candidate for lateral transfer to most municipal agencies.

    I was in the process with two federal agencies until recently when both turned me down. The letters I received were pretty standard, so I think I may have had bad timing with the federal budget issues. I am not interested in going through another federal process, so I decided that it's time to look into some local agencies around the country.

    I would like to find a large agency (let's say 500+ sworn) with a decent pay scale relative to the cost of living (subjective, I know) and decent agency morale (yep, also subjective). Pay is not my highest priority, but it is important in light of my student debt. The culture of the department is also important - being a young, educated, single guy doesn't help me blend in at a small-town southern PD (that's not to say my education makes me smarter or better than my colleagues - I have learned a lot from some top-notch cops here - but it can be difficult working for a chain of command that simply doesn't value higher education, especially after working so hard to earn one).

    Clear as mud, right? Fire away...

    Thanks in advance,

    TL

  • #2
    Do you want to stay away from completing another academy? If not, I would suggest the Syracuse Police Department in upstate NY. However, you're NC certification will not transfer here.

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    • #3
      I would definitely give priority to any states to which my certification would transfer. I am prepared to attend a lateral academy - an abridged basic that familiarizes officers with the area and local/state laws. I'd like to avoid starting over totally. I'm not against working my way up, but if I can avoid starting as a true rookie, that would be preferable.

      I will keep SPD in mind, though. If the pay and the department are worth it, I might be willing to bite the bullet and head to rookie school again. Thanks for the info.

      -TL

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      • #4
        Can't get much larger than LASD....good pay, really good bennies, but probably another academy in your future (unless you take the Calif POST waiver course/test). Call 1-800-ADeputy and ask. It couldn't hurt. Good luck either way!
        sigpic
        Originally posted by Smurfette
        Lord have mercy. You're about as slick as the business side of duct tape.
        Originally posted by DAL
        You are without doubt a void surrounded by a sphincter muscle.

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        • #5
          I would look at the King County Sheriffs Office in Washington. I looked at it not long ago and it seemed like they have a great lateral transfer program.
          http://www.kingcounty.gov/safety/she...y/Lateral.aspx

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          • #6
            Burlington VT - http://www.police.ci.burlington.vt.u...ers/index.html
            Vermont State Police - http://vsp.vermont.gov/employment
            NH State Police - http://www.nh.gov/safety/divisions/n...cruitment.html
            PA State - patrooper.com

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Love_276 View Post
              I would definitely give priority to any states to which my certification would transfer. I am prepared to attend a lateral academy - an abridged basic that familiarizes officers with the area and local/state laws. I'd like to avoid starting over totally. I'm not against working my way up, but if I can avoid starting as a true rookie, that would be preferable.

              I will keep SPD in mind, though. If the pay and the department are worth it, I might be willing to bite the bullet and head to rookie school again. Thanks for the info.

              -TL
              SPD makes good money. $80,000-$90,000+ if you want overtime. Cost of living, including housing, is very fair too.

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              • #8
                TAMPA Police Dept. Excellent pay and 20 year retirement at 75 % 985 sworn wonderful year round weather, hiring starting pay fo prior LE experience approx 53-55 COL isn't high and you can live up to one hour outside the city

                and.. Florida has a two week prep course to take state exam so no addition academy..

                I could go on and on...
                PT!!!! Who do you think you are joining? There are two groups of agents at FLETC. The ones pulling Gators down the road with instructors yelling at them are U.S. Marshals. The ones hanging out on the balcony drinking beer and laughing at the U.S. Marshals are us (and most of the other agencies).-jb74

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                • #9
                  Thanks for the info guys. I'll look into each of these. It sounds like there are some excellent agencies out there.

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                  • #10
                    An excellent department I looked into was Irving PD in Texas. Great lateral process, pay is well beyond any agency I have seen thus far in local law enforcement. I had considered them if I was going to go back to the local police side. Their recruitment Officer is very friendly and helpful. Definitely check them out. Here in Georgia, Sandy Springs is the best paying and and medium sized department. Atlanta PD is always looking for good officers and will give you a salary based on experience and your degree.
                    God created some police officers perfect, the rest he put in cars.

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                    • #11
                      Why not apply fed?
                      "Would I ever leave this company? Look, I'm all about loyalty. In fact, I feel like part of what I'm being paid for here is my loyalty. But if there were somewhere else that valued loyalty more highly, I'm going wherever they value loyalty the most. " --Dwight K Schrute (The Office)

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                      • #12
                        I'm also a NC cop and am going through the same problem-getting sick of working for peanuts with no improvement in sight.

                        Denver is where I plan on applying when there are openings. Probably Fort Collins. 55% less crime than the city I work in now, with 100 less cops and 50,000 more citizens. And a crapton more $$.

                        But I am still looking around.

                        And to about fed: Why apply Fed when you could get on quicker with a department that pays as much or nearly as much, and you get to do real police work in a place you choose, with no chance of having to move in 3 years. And you only work 40 hours a week for that pay, rather than 50-60?

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                        • #13
                          Also found that Oregon State Police pays well and hires laterals to complete an abridged Trooper school. Oregon State Police have a very nice salary. Florida Highway Patrol will also take a lateral however their salary is peanuts, and you have to complete the lateral training prior to applying if you want to be considered as a lateral hire with them. New Mexico State Police also have a lateral program, but it is sporadic. They pick and choose when they will hire laterals.
                          God created some police officers perfect, the rest he put in cars.

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                          • #14
                            Don't be too quick to consider 'Fed' as the be all, end all. Plenty of schmoe local cops make more than your average GS 9/10, plus we usually get dental insurance too. I turned down a Fed job to stay here, because the money's too good, and you can't beat 4-10's with a stick.

                            If I were of the mercenary type, single, footloose and fancy-free, I'd look to San Fran, Seattle, or the like. I can work around granola and patchouli for 100 grand a year.

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                            • #15
                              FHP is one the lowest paid, least likely to get decent raises in the entire state as with ALL other state agencies minus FDLE not to mention they still work some crazy backward rotating 8 hour shift that changes monthly...
                              PT!!!! Who do you think you are joining? There are two groups of agents at FLETC. The ones pulling Gators down the road with instructors yelling at them are U.S. Marshals. The ones hanging out on the balcony drinking beer and laughing at the U.S. Marshals are us (and most of the other agencies).-jb74

                              Comment

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