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  • Working in large agencies

    Hello everyone,

    I am currently on the road of getting my bachelors degree and then going into the law enforcement academy.The differences between the small PDs and the much larger sheriffs office are vast and these differences are making me think how the size of an agency will effect me as a possible LEO with them.

    I have been working hard for a while in pursuit of a career in law enforcement and I want to see which type of agency would be the best for me. I will have my bachelors degree when I start applying places but at smaller agencies its hard to move up in the ranks. Large agencies are great as well but is so large that I face the possibility of getting "lost".

    I want to make law enforcement my lifetime career and want to choose the best sized agency. Do any officers or deputies have any advice on the best size of an agency to pursue?

    Thank you all
    Last edited by Wemotonyaie; 01-31-2014, 04:51 PM.

  • #2
    Pursue them all and focus on simply being hired. Once you're sworn and getting some experience under your belt you can start looking at possibly transferring to another agency that might be a better fit. It's not at all unusual for officers to transfer to other departments during the course of their career.

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    • #3
      Thank you very much. I am very much considering going to the agency that I am with as an explorer. I really just want to get started and go through the academy now but I know getting my bachelors while I am still at home with my parents and dont have too many obligations would be better than the stress of getting it while already full time with an agency and on my own.

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      • #4
        Pursue your dreams. Before going federal I worked for the largest police agency in that state. I truly enjoyed my years with that agency. Don't worry about large or small or "getting lost". Your a young adult and if u get the police job u will have daily decisions that effect others life's. you will have to empose your will on citizens everyday. You will have to grow up fast. "Getting lost" shouldn't be an issue on your mind.

        Now. Lets say u work for a large dept and your watch commander(LT) hates your guts. You can transfer to another watch/unit or across town no problems. You **** off a higher up at a small dept u might find yourself out of a job. Food for thought. Good luck on your career.

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        • #5
          Thank you very much. I absolutely cannot wait to start whenever I am actually hired somewhere. Any job that I get will make my dreams come true. As far as my bachelors degree goes, I understand I will be paid a bit more for having it at some agencies yet what else has anyone else been rewarded for having it or how has it helped you all in a pursuit for a job.

          Thank you
          Last edited by Wemotonyaie; 01-31-2014, 04:53 PM.

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          • #6
            I am not a fan of 21 year old cops, and I am surprised that you already know that you want to make LE a lifelong career, but nevertheless... Get a degree. This is no longer a blue collar job, walking around alleys at midnight with a big stick. You need to be good at speaking to people, and writing reports to justify the actions you took, or did not take.

            Gone are the days of, "saw drunk, arrested same."

            Learn to write, how to speak and relate to people- perhaps a second language- and the hardest thing for young guys- learn that not everything is black and white.

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            • #7
              My two cents is go for your state police. They will have a bigger budget for hiring and more specialized units for you to advance into. Most states also have state troopers/investigators assigned to some Federal Task Forces so that is something to work into as well. The pay may not be the best at first but it will be solid law enforcement training and experience plus state wide jurisdiction. Easy to get on with Feds too if that is also an aspiration. Good luck and also go for your Masters.

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              • #8
                I do want to be in LE one day yet I am not overly concerned with moving up the chain of command. I simply want there to be wiggle room to possibly move up for when I gain more experience and years under my belt. I want to be on the street for my whole career be that as a supervisor or road patrol, warrants, ect. I believe that any position you can hold is still LE but I still do want to be on the road. Also, I believe that officers should be at least 23-24 when they start and when I finish up my bachelors and the academy I will be 23 and hopefully hired around 24.

                I just want opportunities to find my true fit in LE and as of now I think that road patrol will suit me and I truly want to pursue it. Also, I just got the rosetta stone program for spanish so I can learn another language. I will be finishing my A.S. this Fall if all goes to plan and then I will be starting my bachelors degree. I do want LE to be my lifetime career but no one can ever be completely sure of what they will do in their lifetime so for now I can say that I truly do want it to be my career. I feel that from being in the LEO Academy Track (which leads to the Academy and gives you an A.S.) along with being an explorer and experiencing an internship with a sheriffs office, It would be a good choice for me to pursue being a LEO. Thank you all again.
                Last edited by Wemotonyaie; 08-07-2013, 07:21 PM.

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                • #9
                  Ah, I remember being 21...
                  You will change your position on a ton of things, trust me.
                  Just keep an open mind and remember it's not like the brochures.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by UD235-86 View Post
                    My two cents is go for your state police. They will have a bigger budget for hiring and more specialized units for you to advance into. Most states also have state troopers/investigators assigned to some Federal Task Forces so that is something to work into as well. The pay may not be the best at first but it will be solid law enforcement training and experience plus state wide jurisdiction. Easy to get on with Feds too if that is also an aspiration. Good luck and also go for your Masters.
                    I'm going to respectfully disagree. The quality of experience you get in a busy city or county to me, is much greater than being a trooper and running up and down the highway all day writing tickets. You will be exposed to much much more in a more urban setting.

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                    • #11
                      To be a local and get on a federal task force your gonna have to put in 7 plus years. Some agencies much longer.

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                      • #12
                        Ok thank you all, I will be applying to many different agencies as I know it is difficult to get a job now-a-days. After I complete my degree and get more proficient in spanish I am hoping to be a good candidate. I cannot wait to experience my first LE job and find my fit within the agency.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Trevian View Post
                          I'm going to respectfully disagree. The quality of experience you get in a busy city or county to me, is much greater than being a trooper and running up and down the highway all day writing tickets. You will be exposed to much much more in a more urban setting.
                          Agreed

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Esco View Post
                            To be a local and get on a federal task force your gonna have to put in 7 plus years. Some agencies much longer.
                            Also true, and I also disagree with the prior post about how being a trooper makes it "easy to get on with the feds." I don't think that's true at all (not to mention there is nothing that makes it easy) I'm an 1811 and for every coworker I have that's a former trooper, there are 20 who were former city/county officers. Former troopers are by far few and far between in my agency.

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                            • #15
                              I understand what you mean. In my agency we have several prior troopers and state investigators so it is really up to your organization and their hiring standards. As far as easier to get foot in door, I was simply saying if you are a on a local task force with feds that will hold more merit if you would like to make the jump to 1811. I do agree with you that nothing makes it easy to get on with feds. You are competing with thousands of people across the country with diverse backgrounds and experience levels. Sorry to mislead.

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