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Working in large agencies

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  • mih pihsrow
    replied
    So I may repeat some things that have been said above so I apologize in advance. I offer my .02 because I have recently been through this. I started with a big department but moved to a smaller department due to family issues in terms of money (the smaller offered me a huge pay increase and my wife was going to grad school so she wasn't working).

    Here is what I have found out. Had it not been for the dire need for the increase and for me to support my family I would have moved back to the bigger agency. I too thought being just a number was a bad thing but I quickly found out that s*** rolls down hill a lot faster with fewer bumps (people) to buffer the decent.

    Eventually with a big department you name will be known, rather good or bad. It just takes more time. With a smaller department the way people view you and your personality will affect your job, not so much in a bigger department. In the smaller dept peoples gossip will taint others views a lot faster seeing that it doesn't have far to go so be careful. It doesn't matter how much of an awesome officer you are someone is not going to like your for whatever reason.

    Also and you mentioned this before bigger departments have more specialized units to transfer to. My small PD only has VICE, Street Crimes, CID, FTO and school resource officers. In a PD with 245 sworn, it will take some time to finally make it out of patrol. The old agency I worked for had all that plus CCRT, CRT, Fugitive task force, TNT just to name a few.

    Hope this helps man and good luck. Don't let people get you down about your age. I had a buddy of mine in the academy with me who was 21 and he turned out to be a great officer. If your not mature when you take the badge, it will make you mature fast. You either realize the real world is a dangerous place and the things you see make you mature or you screw up and lose your job and you gain a hard lesson from it.

    Leave a comment:


  • sanitizer
    replied
    Originally posted by Esco View Post

    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.
    I agree with above, Lieutenants and in many cases Sergeants can make life miserable.
    Best wishes for a successful career.

    Leave a comment:


  • mayburymh
    replied
    Originally posted by mikeymedic View Post
    In my experience, my BA (which I earned this year after nearly 5 years OTJ) helped mostly with getting promoted within my agency. Although I don't make more for just having the degree, I do appear (on paper) to be more promotable than those without.
    This, IMHO, is the biggest benefit to having a degree. Many agencies that I have experience with either do not require a degree at all to be hired, or the degree requirement can be waived with a few years of military service. That's to be hired, though. Degrees definitely become far more important when trying to promote once you've already been on the job for awhile.

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  • mikeymedic
    replied
    In my experience, my BA (which I earned this year after nearly 5 years OTJ) helped mostly with getting promoted within my agency. Although I don't make more for just having the degree, I do appear (on paper) to be more promotable than those without.

    Leave a comment:


  • UD235-86
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Trevian
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • beachcop05
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • Wemotonyaie
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


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

    Leave a comment:


  • Trevian
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Trevian
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Wemotonyaie
    replied
    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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  • UD235-86
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • JI603
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Wemotonyaie
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:

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