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Loss prevention experience - good gig while in college?

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  • Loss prevention experience - good gig while in college?

    wolf-man here always trying to get more ammunition for my eventual LE application. I'm a young college sophomore in the National Guard and my dream is to be an LAPD officer one day. I recently got into this Loss Prevention program 5 weeks of paid training then I start the job (store detective) and I'm wondering with a year or 2 experience how much will that help me when I apply for an actual PD?

    I picked the job for 3 reasons
    1. Catching thieves is simply my idea of a good time
    2. Might gain some investigative/surveillance experience
    3. In the course of my work might gain some useful contacts in Law Enforcement that will help me down the line

    Realistically would experience in loss prevention put me over any of the other candidateswith corporate work experience or just college? I know it's not real LE work but it is closely related

  • #2
    It wont help you one way or the other here.....any more than any other security type job will.

    Most agencies could care less about what type of employment you had before applying.....what they are interested in is this: did you show up on time?.....did you do what you were hired and paid to do?.....did you get along with your coworkers?
    The posts on this forum by this poster are of his personal opinion, and his personal opinion alone

    "Politicians are like diapers. They need to be changed often and for the same reason"

    "We fight not for glory; nor for wealth; nor honor, but only and alone we fight for freedom, which no good man surrenders but with his life"

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    • #3
      Ahhh I figured even with experience in loss prevention I'm still compared to a guy who worked at McDonalds...

      Oh well still should be interesting and fun

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Wolf Man View Post
        Ahhh I figured even with experience in loss prevention I'm still compared to a guy who worked at McDonalds...

        Oh well still should be interesting and fun
        It can be interesting.....I did it for 2 years part time before I got on with LASD.....

        Its all fun and games until somebody sticks a gun in your face after you try and stop them after they walked out with a large Craftsman tool set.....
        The posts on this forum by this poster are of his personal opinion, and his personal opinion alone

        "Politicians are like diapers. They need to be changed often and for the same reason"

        "We fight not for glory; nor for wealth; nor honor, but only and alone we fight for freedom, which no good man surrenders but with his life"

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        • #5
          I would strongly advise anyone contemplating a law enforcement career from entering into this type of vocation for several reasons; the one at the forefront is potential liability. While I certainly appreciate your desire to catch bad guys, there is far too great of an opportunity for you to step over the line, albeit unintentionally and end up on the wrong end of the law. I would continue by saying that despite the impression you have that the experience you could possibly garner in such a position would benefit you in a later application with a police department; it is not the case. While there could be incidental benefits such as those contacts in the LE community you noted; the potential to present a bad first impression is too great.

          Now before anyone rails against me for saying an applicant/law enforcement hopeful should never work in a security or related position, this is based on experience I have had over the course of many years in the business. While this is not the universal rule, I have seen more hopefuls on the DQ list who ran afoul of the law in a security or closely related position. This includes loss prevention, body guards, bounty hunters, private investigators and the like. Again, this is not to say folks who were in those vocations before applying to a department never made it; just that in my opinion the risks are far too great when you could garner truly appreciated skills in different fields such as customer service, IT or such. Those skills being: effective communication, problem resolution, technology and the like.
          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..................

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          • #6
            Doesn't count anymore than any other job. I've done it part time for about seven or eight years and I'm getting ready to pull the plug. Depending on your comapny, training may be minimal, liability is high, and the risk of injury is always present.

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            • #7
              Its give and take, and it DEFINATELY varies from company to company. Some companies have a "Recover the Merchandise at all costs" point of view that will more than likely create problems for you pursuing a career in LEO. Not to mention the liability portion, Bad Stops are not impossible, and having to put on your PD Application that you were fired from K-Mart for a bad stop doesnt look that great. I did in store detective(plain clothes) and then Market investigations through college for a very well known retailer, training was top notch, as far as investigations, non-violent crisis intervention skills and I was fortunate to have worked multiple LARGE ORC cases with local FBI agents. Point blank.. will it hurt your chances.. maybe. Did it give me first hand look into, and a vision of some of the people LEO meet with on a daily basis before i got in the field.... yes sir. Would i do it again... Yes sir!! I dont think it put me any further ahead in the hiring process than any other person with a very strong resume and work ethic, because the things i learned during that time you learn in the academy. Go with your gut, because in reality its a job in your field of study, so depending on where you apply, and the way it is in hiring these days, it may get your app that second glance to get noticed. Just my .02 cents

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              • #8
                Good luck to you, just don't turn into one of those tacticool nut jobs with enough gear to outfit a swat team. Don't become "that guy".
                "Naw officer, I was hanging with my cousin"

                "Sooo, real cousin or play cousins ?"

                Originally posted by JasperST
                I'm thinking a battalion of menstruating bearded women could kick some serious booty!

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                • #9
                  It can be very good experience if you dont take it too far and become Paul Blart. I did it for a few years then became a manager doing it before I got a fed LEO gig. You can gain very good communication skills, conflict resolution and decsicion making skills.

                  I recommend getting into a luxury retailer like a Saks Fifth Avenue or a Neiman Marcus. They allow you alot of leeway making aprehensions and you become involved in alot more tasks then just watching cameras and apprehending shop lifters. I.e Credit Fraud investigations, Internal investigations, and training employees.

                  Also pay is always more in luxury retailers pay more than a Macy's or Sears.

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