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  • Unique applicant looking for opinions on chances.

    First of all, sorry for the length of this post; it's a bit complicated with me. I'll try for as much brevity as possible. I'm just not your typical 20-something asking for opinions on chances etc... Let me give you the vitals and condensed life story.
    I'm 40 and living in Orange County, CA. Grew up in Chicago and lived there for 35 years before moving out to SoCal with my wife of 12 years. We just wanted to get away from the horrible weather there. Love it here. I come from a strong police family. My father was CPD, as was/is my uncle, three of my cousins, friends, etc... (you get the gist). Ever since I can remember, I had strong aspirations of a law enforcement career. When I was 20, (1995) I entered the USAF. I completed Basic Military Training School and two weeks of their Security Police Academy before I was told my "GUARANTEED MOS" (job) was no longer there. The Air Force admitted fault, resulting in my chance to take an ENTRY LEVEL SEPARATION. I served just under 4 months. Completely on the level, nothing was my fault. On my DD214, the reason for separation is listed as "Defective Enlistment Agreement." After that experience, CPD changed their policy of educational requirements from H.S diploma to 60 semester units. Rather than start college and rack up debt, I began working to earn a paycheck, eventually landing at a law firm in Chicago becoming an assistant office manager. Got married, fostered and adopted 6 special need dogs and cats. We have no kids but still have the pets. My wife is a corporate real estate attorney, so her salary was always more than enough to support us. Because of this, I quit working (had 10 years of various work experience by that time) to take care of and manage all aspects of our household to take any extra pressure off of her. Her jobs is extremely stressful. Her normal workday is usually 14 hours. I've done this household work for the past 12 years. While I've been at home, I also wrote a couple screenplays to keep extra busy. I was a semi-finalist in a couple of international screenwriting competitions the last few years. Nothing really panned out there but I took it seriously. I also managed and played semi-pro baseball for 5 years. Does all of this constitute decent "life experience?" Who knows?

    Anyway, I've never forgotten about my desire to pursue a law enforcement career, knowing I'm also getting older and older unfortunately. Two months ago my father passed away and it really made me realize I need to attack this thing now. Also, my wife is now close to retiring and I will not need to manage the household in her absence soon. So, basically in the past, the timing and circumstances weren't quite right for various reasons but things are becoming different now.

    Some more pertinent information: I have a spotless criminal record. Never did any drugs. Clean driving record. Solid credit history. I'm also in very good shape for my age. I work out 6 days a week, have a very low bodyfat % and good muscle size. I have some college from Chicago and am currently enrolled at Palomar College to finish my AA Degree. I am planning on self-sponsoring at Palomar Police Academy in next year's class. I know self-sponsoring is taking a chance but I don't have the overall pedigree right now to realistically think I could apply to any department and get hired and then sponsored by them with so many more qualified current and younger applicants. This seems like the best path.

    I'm ready to give every drop of blood, sweat and tears to get hired. Some may be more qualified but nobody will outwork me. I'm not hellbent on strictly a police officer appointment. I would take a corrections post, probation, humane officer etc... provided it's law enforcement. I realize that I'm not your typical applicant as I said, so I'll take anything provided it's in SoCal (my wife and I do not want to leave this area). Also, level of pay is not relevant because as I mentioned, we are set financially. I am doing this for every other reason than money. So that's it in a BIG nutshell. Any and all opinions, guidance and suggestions are very much appreciated. Thank you all so much!

  • #2
    Is your military discharge marked as Honorable?
    Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

    Comment


    • #3
      Self sponsering is cool, but make sure they have a hiring pipe line, with the down economy and all. If u applied to large dept without an age restriction you'd get hired in 6 months. Do some research, save your $$$, and goto a large dept. More experience, high learning curve. You sound real eager remember being police isn't about cracking heads, but treating people fair, and listening. Trust you'll have plenty of time and opportunities for going "hands on".

      Comment


      • #4
        Good Lord, is there a question in there somewhere?

        You are not as unique as you think.

        I know we hired a guy with an entry level separation before because a branch of the service could not or would not honor his contract.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by L-1 View Post
          Is your military discharge marked as Honorable?
          L-1-- An Entry Level Separation is not a discharge. It's a completely different kind of release. Since I served less than 6 months, my service is considered "uncharacterized." Basically it's as if I was never there. Not good, not bad, not anything. That's how it was explained to me at the time anyway.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by just joe View Post
            Good Lord, is there a question in there somewhere?

            You are not as unique as you think.

            I know we hired a guy with an entry level separation before because a branch of the service could not or would not honor his contract.
            just joe-- Sorry, I did ramble there. I guess the biggest question is concerning my age. I've been told here and there that applying "over 40" could have a negative stigma (fair or not) attached by some departments. Was just wondering how older-aged applicants are viewed by departments.

            Comment


            • #7
              You should be hired as long at the dept. does not have a age restriction. Some do and some don't. Don't worry about the entry level separation it doesn't mean much. Just explain what happened and you should be good.

              There are many LEO'S out there that are retired from something else and were older then you when they started. Don't let age stop you. Just apply to agencies with a higher age limit or no limit at all. I have also heard the age limit is due to the dept. retirement policy, and some will let you apply but not be in the retirement. I don't know anyone who has done that, but I heard that somewhere so don't hold me to it.
              Last edited by usetobe; 05-03-2014, 03:15 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by jojogunne View Post
                L-1-- An Entry Level Separation is not a discharge. It's a completely different kind of release. Since I served less than 6 months, my service is considered "uncharacterized." Basically it's as if I was never there. Not good, not bad, not anything. That's how it was explained to me at the time anyway.
                There should be a reentry code on your ELS docs. Can you tell me what it is? That will determine whether you might have an issue.
                Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by L-1 View Post
                  There should be a reentry code on your ELS docs. Can you tell me what it is? That will determine whether you might have an issue.
                  It's 4M.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by jojogunne View Post
                    It's 4M.
                    Reenlistment codes that start with a 4 usually signify that reenlistment is prohibited, which requires further investigation during the background. An AF 4M code signifies breach of the enlistment agreement. As long as the AF confirms it was their breach and not your misconduct it should not pose an issue.
                    Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by L-1 View Post
                      Reenlistment codes that start with a 4 usually signify that reenlistment is prohibited, which requires further investigation during the background. An AF 4M code signifies breach of the enlistment agreement. As long as the AF confirms it was their breach and not your misconduct it should not pose an issue.
                      Thanks, L-1. Yes, it all can be proven by my original contract that the AF promised something (my guaranteed Security Police job) that they ultimately could not provide months later when I was in training, due to no misconduct or fault on my part. Good thing I saved those papers these 20 years

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by usetobe View Post
                        You should be hired as long at the dept. does not have a age restriction. Some do and some don't. Don't worry about the entry level separation it doesn't mean much. Just explain what happened and you should be good.

                        There are many LEO'S out there that are retired from something else and were older then you when they started. Don't let age stop you. Just apply to agencies with a higher age limit or no limit at all. I have also heard the age limit is due to the dept. retirement policy, and some will let you apply but not be in the retirement. I don't know anyone who has done that, but I heard that somewhere so don't hold me to it.
                        Thanks for the input, ustobe. I'll be applying anywhere I still qualify for by age standards. The retirement reasoning does make sense as to why some departments might use it. FEDS come to mind especially, but thankfully in CA, only CHP has max age limits in applying from what I've researched.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by just joe View Post
                          You are not as unique as you think.
                          We're all individuals. There's nothing unique about being unique.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by DOA-DOL-DOJ-DHS
                            Do you REALLY want all opinions? Is so, your statement "I'm ready to give every drop of blood, sweat and tears to get hired. I'm not hellbent on strictly a police officer appointment. I would take a corrections post, probation, humane officer etc... provided it's law enforcement. " doesn't really make sense to me.

                            What is your definition of law enforcement? Does it need to have a gun? Arrest authority? What?

                            You have had what I call an easy life, your choice. Could you honestly in your mind shoot someone? Could you, when your out for dinner with your family get involved in a dispute between 2 people if it was escalating? Would your wife understand the working all different mid nite hours, weekends and holidays?

                            This career is more than a job, it's a life style that breaks apart many marriages.
                            I appreciate your feedback, DOA-DOL-DOJ-DHS, as I did ask for any and all opinions.

                            I'm very familiar with the life-style, having grown up with (among other extended family members) a Chicago Police Officer father every single day for 21 years. Many nights (and some early mornings) I was there with him at home after he had been shot at, involved in riots, fights, hi-speed car chases, ugly department politics etc...

                            Also, the breaking apart many marriages aspect-- I unfortunately know about that too, due to my own parents separating when I was 18. It's a very demanding profession that creeps into homelife sometimes. I've discussed this career very much with my wife and the hardships of the job are what they are. Our marriage is strong and we are prepared for the job's impact. I also have no doubt I could do what is needed to perform under unfavorable circumstances. To me, if you didn't feel you could, you have no business pursuing this line of work.

                            Don't quite know what you mean by "easy life" but I assure you I worked very hard and had many challenges to get where I am today. Not trying to offend at all, and yes, I put a few details of my life down here but you don't really know me, so that was a bit of a leap on your part, IMO.

                            I wasn't necessarily soliciting an examination of my life or people's opinion on it's difficulty, merit and whatnot, but merely some different voices about how LE agencies and departments view older applicants that don't necessarily fall into the standard 20-something, fresh out of college or military category. I probably didn't make that very clear in my original posting, which as I mentioned earlier, tended to go a little long. My apologies for that confusion.

                            As to my definition of "law enforcement?" I guess what I meant was not boxing it into strictly a police officer or deputy sheriff position. So, since you asked-- power of arrest, peace officer status or at least authority while on duty. No, carrying a gun is not a necessity. There are many more diverse opportunities out here in California as opposed to Chicago, where for the most part, you are mainly looking at municipal police officers, county deputies and the ISP. That's what I was pointing to with the earlier comment.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Well, looks like I'll have to work that much harder to overcome some of my shortcommings. Thanks for the honesty, sir.

                              Comment

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