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  • holycrikey
    replied
    Originally posted by Winter_Patriot View Post
    I read nearly every post in this thread but still had a couple questions.

    1) Do you think I'm competitive as an attorney? I have been a lawyer for seven years, with half of that as a defense attorney and the most recent few years as a county prosecutor. My most relevant criminal experience relates to making bond/release recommendations to the court, and handling post-conviction review hearings occasionally. I spent about two years doing civil commitment cases, where I'd have to interview family members and mental health experts, before making a release recommendation in court. I have no experience as a probation or parole officer though.
    Competitive? Possible. Depending on the district. I've come across several USPOs in other districts who had a J.D. The in-depth knowledge of the law is a great asset. I will say that my district has hired about four different attorney's within the past five years and not a single one of them last over about a year. They end up moving back to law because it's more lucrative. Can't say I blame them, but our district has been somewhat burned by them.

    Originally posted by Winter_Patriot View Post
    Someone suggested a book on evidence based practices, which I'll be buying soon. Any other things I should do to make up for my lack of direct supervision experience?
    Read up on the Federal Probation Journal. Not many applicants are even aware of it's existence. It's free and goes over a ton of what we're doing at the national and district level. Access it here: https://www.uscourts.gov/statistics-...bation-journal

    Leave a comment:


  • Winter_Patriot
    replied
    Will keep the income tax in mind. You're right that WA has no income tax for most people.

    Thanks to everyone who replied to my post or sent me a PM.

    Someone suggested a book on evidence based practices, which I'll be buying soon. Any other things I should do to make up for my lack of direct supervision experience? Generally I was interacting with case managers, social workers, and the hospital, but rrely had direct contact with the patient/defendant/offender. I would consider all that info and then make my argument to the court, so it was a bit indirect.

    I am open to doing local probation for a year or two to gain better experience, but I just don't know if I can afford to do it very long, because Washington apparently pays 20% less than most states.

    Any tips about the interview or test would also be helpful, although I know every district will be different.
    Last edited by Winter_Patriot; 09-09-2019, 08:52 PM. Reason: typo

    Leave a comment:


  • 9L81
    replied
    Don't know about the development range. Also don't forget about CA state income tax, IIRC WA doesn't have any.

    Leave a comment:


  • Winter_Patriot
    replied
    Originally posted by 9L81 View Post
    Feds in general want to get out of the Bay Area due to the outrageous cost of living among other Bay area issues. If you already live here then you know, if not then you will fully appreciate it soon enough. Recruiting for fed jobs in the Bay is quite difficult. LA has similar problems. Don't know much about the current work life balance but my supervisor at a previous federal job was a USPO in SF and I don't recall any issues with that. But he left that office nearly 20 years ago. There are many attorneys who work in federal LE but I have not known any who became PO's.
    Thanks for the update. I would normally not be able to make the salary work in SF as someone with a lot of debt. I work in Seattle now, which is a bit overpriced already. I'd be taking about a 20-35% pay cut to work as a USPO, but I also have free housing in SF, so I think I could get by. Do you know how long the development range is in that office?

    Leave a comment:


  • 9L81
    replied
    Feds in general want to get out of the Bay Area due to the outrageous cost of living among other Bay area issues. If you already live here then you know, if not then you will fully appreciate it soon enough. Recruiting for fed jobs in the Bay is quite difficult. LA has similar problems. Don't know much about the current work life balance but my supervisor at a previous federal job was a USPO in SF and I don't recall any issues with that. But he left that office nearly 20 years ago. There are many attorneys who work in federal LE but I have not known any who became PO's.

    Leave a comment:


  • Winter_Patriot
    replied
    I read nearly every post in this thread but still had a couple questions.

    1) Do you think I'm competitive as an attorney? I have been a lawyer for seven years, with half of that as a defense attorney and the most recent few years as a county prosecutor. My most relevant criminal experience relates to making bond/release recommendations to the court, and handling post-conviction review hearings occasionally. I spent about two years doing civil commitment cases, where I'd have to interview family members and mental health experts, before making a release recommendation in court. I have no experience as a probation or parole officer though.

    2) What are the San Francisco and LA offices like in terms of work-life balance? Do they tend to be more social work or law enforcement oriented? I've applied to both but have heard that people often want to transfer out after a couple years, and that there is high turnover. I'm trying to decide if I would want to give up my current job to work in one of those offices (if offered), or if I should be more patient and wait.

    Leave a comment:


  • brownj21
    replied
    Originally posted by Hoppyandiknowit View Post
    I scored myself an interview and am overthinking everything already LOL! Anyone have any pointers ?!
    Every district does interviews differently.
    But if it were me, I would be prepared to discuss my strengths and weaknesses. I would have a few real life experiences/situations that I could discuss where I handled conflict or a high stress situation.

    Leave a comment:


  • Hoppyandiknowit
    replied
    I scored myself an interview and am overthinking everything already LOL! Anyone have any pointers ?!

    Leave a comment:


  • COPO85
    replied
    Originally posted by brownj21 View Post

    Wow. This is wayyyyy more than was done for mine.
    Lucky me lolol.

    Leave a comment:


  • brownj21
    replied
    Originally posted by COPO85 View Post
    Medical Exam Full Experience:

    Figured I'd memorialize my medical exam experience for all future USPO's, in the hopes of allaying any fears or addressing the unknowns of this "physical." I have not yet received any adjudication on if I passed. This just speaks to how the exam itself went. Process took 3 hours from walk-in to walk-out.

    1) At 8am I went to the QTC provided urgent care to do the exam. Fasted 8 hours, stayed hydrated. Brought all paperwork sent to me from QTC, along with lots of supporting pre-existing medical documents and doctors letters. This was in the hope of mitigating the need for a second opinion, etc. (we'll see how that goes). Physician assistant was asked if this is overboard and she stated that it is actually good and more info for the FOH the better... Fingers crossed on this one. Filled out a short informational packet (name, emergency contact and consent) and waited in lobby.

    2) Brought in for exam. I was asked to stand maybe 20 ft from the Snellen chart and asked to read the smallest letters I could and to tell the nurse what colors are on it and position (green and red), which I answered correctly, despite being color deficient (I can see all colors just not pass the Ishihara test).

    3) I was asked to provide a urine sample. Did that and nurse used a dipstick with colors and matched them to the color chart on the bottle. Said all looked good. Will send to lab.

    4) I was brought into a sound proofed room and then asked to go into a sound proof phone booth. I was told to place the headset on and then told to hold a "Jeopardy" buzzer and after each 3 beeps in either ear, click the buzzer. Did that in both ears. All went fine. Nurse said very minor hearing loss in left ear but still well within range. I think that was actually me imagining hearing the faintest of sounds and clicking, rather than hearing loss. It was so silent in the booth I could hear the blood rushing through my head and my heartbeat. Easy to confuse the ringing in ears of silence to a faint ringing test sound. Either way, it was fine.

    5) I was then taken to a depth perception Titmus machine with 9 yellow quadrants of hexagon shapes and 4 circles in each hexagon. Each hexagon has one circle that is raised. First 3 were easy, next 3 a tad harder and the last 3 were almost impossible to tell. I was able to make out the last 3, however, and the nurse exclaimed that in her entire time doing these exams she's never seen a perfect 9/9. For what it's worth, the last 3 were really hard to tell. It proves that you don't need a perfect score on this to pass. All fine.

    6) Hooked up to EKG on table. Nurse had me lie there, did EKG. Another nurse walked in and made noise. Nurse said it looked good but the interruption made the EKG look funny but it was still normal. Nurse decided to do another printout and stated it looked wonderful, so she used that one. All looked good. Printed.

    7) Nurse took blood pressure 122/70 and blood samples, like 4 vials. Took resting heart rate 64. Temperature 98.3. Looked into ears, mouth eyes. Then did single shot of TB test. Bubbles the skin and they check if the bubble is gone in 2 days.

    8) Nurse did Ishihara color vision test. I got 4/14. Explained to nurse I can see all basic colors required. Nurse seemed unconcerned and said her brother is colorblind and she has trouble with the Ishihara test herself. I provided nurse with optometrist letter stating I was tested in her office on various colors and could see all "primary colors." Nurse also had me read very small paragraphs with each eye covered. Even the smallest letters were easy. I have 20/15 near vision though, so I'm better at this. I think that is why I have great depth perception? All seemed fine.

    9) Breath test machine handed to me. Handheld device blew 3 times as hard as I could. No issues. All fine (non smoker, no asthma).

    10) Handed off to physician assistant for doctor exam. Checked eyes, ears, throat etc. again. Asked about previous high cholesterol and if I needed medication for it. Explained no and it is normal range now. No further questions. Asked about a surgical procedure I had listed having 4 years ago. Provided medical docs and letter from doctor stating all ok. Physician checked site and stated looked all healed with no issues. Lastly, spoke about history of general anxiety/mild OCD and fact that I was prescribed Zoloft. Physician seemed unconcerned and asked if I had any outstanding side effects and stated nothing. Provided her with diagnosis, notes and letter from current and past doctor stating dosage, outlook and no work limitations. They are looking for anything showing a history of suicidal thoughts IMO. Seems fine and happy with this.

    11) Physician assistant went over all area's needing to be filled out on paperwork and listed nothing other than my surgery and that it was well healed. Then she listed on significant findings that "Patient appears to be in good physical and mental health without any disqualifying conditions."

    12) Physician assistant asked me to stand up and move head around, arms around, jump on one foot, jump on the other, tough my toes, lean all back, walk in a straight line, move wrists, walk on tippy toes. All easy. This may be difficult with someone with motor disability issues but still possible to do. Nothing too crazy.

    13) Physician assistant went over all limiting factors with me and asked if I had any limitations, i.e., lifting 45 lbs, going without food, working in hot conditions, handling firearms, ability to see basic colors. She listed all findings as having "no limitation." I asked if she sees anything that will cause me issues and she stated "not at all, looks healthy." See what FOH and AO thinks...

    14) Placed into lobby while paperwork filled out by doctor and provided copies of all filled out forms. Told to come back in in a couple days for TB result reading. They will send overnight to QTC once TB results done.

    Left urgent care to do drug test. Funny story, but I ate an everything bagel the morning before like an idiot and then worried about the poppy seeds! My co-workers and family are giving me a good ribbing for this "Seinfeld" incident lol. Research shows that the government in '98 raised the morphine/opiate limit from 300ng to 2,000ng, thus, illuminating the poppy seed false-positive. Never the less, I'm sweating a little lol. Didn't have many poppy seeds on bagel anyway because our work cafe is cheap with everything, including toppings.
    Wow. This is wayyyyy more than was done for mine.

    Leave a comment:


  • COPO85
    replied
    Medical Exam Full Experience:

    Figured I'd memorialize my medical exam experience for all future USPO's, in the hopes of allaying any fears or addressing the unknowns of this "physical." I have not yet received any adjudication on if I passed. This just speaks to how the exam itself went. Process took 3 hours from walk-in to walk-out.

    1) At 8am I went to the QTC provided urgent care to do the exam. Fasted 8 hours, stayed hydrated. Brought all paperwork sent to me from QTC, along with lots of supporting pre-existing medical documents and doctors letters. This was in the hope of mitigating the need for a second opinion, etc. (we'll see how that goes). Physician assistant was asked if this is overboard and she stated that it is actually good and more info for the FOH the better... Fingers crossed on this one. Filled out a short informational packet (name, emergency contact and consent) and waited in lobby.

    2) Brought in for exam. I was asked to stand maybe 20 ft from the Snellen chart and asked to read the smallest letters I could and to tell the nurse what colors are on it and position (green and red), which I answered correctly, despite being color deficient (I can see all colors just not pass the Ishihara test).

    3) I was asked to provide a urine sample. Did that and nurse used a dipstick with colors and matched them to the color chart on the bottle. Said all looked good. Will send to lab.

    4) I was brought into a sound proofed room and then asked to go into a sound proof phone booth. I was told to place the headset on and then told to hold a "Jeopardy" buzzer and after each 3 beeps in either ear, click the buzzer. Did that in both ears. All went fine. Nurse said very minor hearing loss in left ear but still well within range. I think that was actually me imagining hearing the faintest of sounds and clicking, rather than hearing loss. It was so silent in the booth I could hear the blood rushing through my head and my heartbeat. Easy to confuse the ringing in ears of silence to a faint ringing test sound. Either way, it was fine.

    5) I was then taken to a depth perception Titmus machine with 9 yellow quadrants of hexagon shapes and 4 circles in each hexagon. Each hexagon has one circle that is raised. First 3 were easy, next 3 a tad harder and the last 3 were almost impossible to tell. I was able to make out the last 3, however, and the nurse exclaimed that in her entire time doing these exams she's never seen a perfect 9/9. For what it's worth, the last 3 were really hard to tell. It proves that you don't need a perfect score on this to pass. All fine.

    6) Hooked up to EKG on table. Nurse had me lie there, did EKG. Another nurse walked in and made noise. Nurse said it looked good but the interruption made the EKG look funny but it was still normal. Nurse decided to do another printout and stated it looked wonderful, so she used that one. All looked good. Printed.

    7) Nurse took blood pressure 122/70 and blood samples, like 4 vials. Took resting heart rate 64. Temperature 98.3. Looked into ears, mouth eyes. Then did single shot of TB test. Bubbles the skin and they check if the bubble is gone in 2 days.

    8) Nurse did Ishihara color vision test. I got 4/14. Explained to nurse I can see all basic colors required. Nurse seemed unconcerned and said her brother is colorblind and she has trouble with the Ishihara test herself. I provided nurse with optometrist letter stating I was tested in her office on various colors and could see all "primary colors." Nurse also had me read very small paragraphs with each eye covered. Even the smallest letters were easy. I have 20/15 near vision though, so I'm better at this. I think that is why I have great depth perception? All seemed fine.

    9) Breath test machine handed to me. Handheld device blew 3 times as hard as I could. No issues. All fine (non smoker, no asthma).

    10) Handed off to physician assistant for doctor exam. Checked eyes, ears, throat etc. again. Asked about previous high cholesterol and if I needed medication for it. Explained no and it is normal range now. No further questions. Asked about a surgical procedure I had listed having 4 years ago. Provided medical docs and letter from doctor stating all ok. Physician checked site and stated looked all healed with no issues. Lastly, spoke about history of general anxiety/mild OCD and fact that I was prescribed Zoloft. Physician seemed unconcerned and asked if I had any outstanding side effects and stated nothing. Provided her with diagnosis, notes and letter from current and past doctor stating dosage, outlook and no work limitations. They are looking for anything showing a history of suicidal thoughts IMO. Seems fine and happy with this.

    11) Physician assistant went over all area's needing to be filled out on paperwork and listed nothing other than my surgery and that it was well healed. Then she listed on significant findings that "Patient appears to be in good physical and mental health without any disqualifying conditions."

    12) Physician assistant asked me to stand up and move head around, arms around, jump on one foot, jump on the other, tough my toes, lean all back, walk in a straight line, move wrists, walk on tippy toes. All easy. This may be difficult with someone with motor disability issues but still possible to do. Nothing too crazy.

    13) Physician assistant went over all limiting factors with me and asked if I had any limitations, i.e., lifting 45 lbs, going without food, working in hot conditions, handling firearms, ability to see basic colors. She listed all findings as having "no limitation." I asked if she sees anything that will cause me issues and she stated "not at all, looks healthy." See what FOH and AO thinks...

    14) Placed into lobby while paperwork filled out by doctor and provided copies of all filled out forms. Told to come back in in a couple days for TB result reading. They will send overnight to QTC once TB results done.

    Left urgent care to do drug test. Funny story, but I ate an everything bagel the morning before like an idiot and then worried about the poppy seeds! My co-workers and family are giving me a good ribbing for this "Seinfeld" incident lol. Research shows that the government in '98 raised the morphine/opiate limit from 300ng to 2,000ng, thus, eliminating the poppy seed false-positive. Never the less, I'm sweating a little lol. Didn't have many poppy seeds on bagel anyway because our work cafe is cheap with everything, including toppings.
    Last edited by COPO85; 09-03-2019, 06:59 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • afoutlaw163
    replied
    Does anyone have information about the Western District of New York? I would like to PM you some questions that I have. Thank you in advance.

    Leave a comment:


  • COPO85
    commented on 's reply
    I feel like some on this thread have said the Southern District of CA is not great. Maybe I'm wrong?

  • ecg14
    replied
    I have been considering applying to the San Diego office for quite some time now and would be moving across the country, which is not an issue for me. Does this office consider out of state candidates? I have five years experience in probation at the state level and experience managing specialized cases. I am not really worried about the high caseload issue everyone talks about due to the fact that my numbers are astronomical now. If anyone could shed a little more light on why there is so much turnover there I would really appreciate it. Thanks!

    Leave a comment:


  • holycrikey
    replied
    Hey guys,

    As a current USPO over the past 5+ years, I figured it might be a good time to make this comment. Probably 90% of posts are guys asking "what does XYZ district look for in a candidate?" Although I fully agree that some districts can look like polar opposites, I would feel confident saying that 99% of districts want the following in a supervision officer (I can't really speak for the other side of the coin, presentence/pretrial officers)...

    1.) Some/any history of caseload management, regardless of field.
    2.) Involvement with "involuntary clients", whatever they may be (probation, corrections, treatment, etc)
    3.) Balanced personal philosophy (history of law enforcement coupled with some type of social work is almost universally seen as a good thing)
    4.) Willingness to be coached and adaptable to change.
    5.) Leadership qualities (all districts are self-sufficient and because of this, need line officers to step up to be firearms instructors, ORT/defensive tactics instructors, policy experts, etc etc).
    6.) Education (advanced degrees are almost universally liked, but absolutely not necessary).
    7.) Not an *******. Most districts are on the smaller scale, unless you're in the few large metro areas. A lot of districts want someone who jives with the other officers because most offices can be small so overbearing personalities can be a problem. Laid back but professional when it counts (court, interactions with probationers, etc) seems to be a universal likable quality.

    I feel like if you can present the above qualities, almost any district will find you as a desirable candidate. If you don't have those qualities? Look for ways to develop those qualities in your current job.

    This is just my advice from speaking with a variety of people across the country. Best of luck to all who come to this thread for advice. The fact that you're researching things is a good quality.

    Leave a comment:

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