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What PDs in California Hire Non-Laterals Without Prior Experience or a College Degree

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  • What PDs in California Hire Non-Laterals Without Prior Experience or a College Degree

    This past year I had what many of us refer to as 'the calling' to join the force in California. I never in my life thought I'd become a police officer, however after careful and thorough thought on the subject I have come to the realization that Law Enforcement is one of the best ways I can be of service to the community and to do good for my fellow mankind. I have thus far only applied to ONE department, The Beverly Hills Police Department. My application was accepted. I then took the Written Exam, and passed. I then took the PAT (physical agility test), and passed in flying colors. I was then scheduled for the Oral Review by two sergeants at which point I was informed by the 'gate keepers', after a lengthy interview that the BHPD only accepts applicants with a College Diploma, which I lack. I could have been denied for alternative reasons as well, however, the absence of a College Degree was the most obvious reason, and the only one I was given. This brings me to my question: 'What police departments (or sheriff's departments) do not require a College Diploma.' I would prefer a "nice" area of California, one that is somewhat clean, in a smaller department that pays fairly well. That being said, it's important to note that I am not in any way wanting to become a police officer because of the paycheck, it is much more than that. However, I know how good of an officer I will be, and how much I am going to put my blood, sweat, and tears into my duty, and I, as well as my fellow officers, deserve to be well compensated for doing so. My area of preference by the way is the Los Angeles area (not LAPD, but I'd be open to a smaller department like Santa Monica, or Culver City), or the SF Bay Area (again, not a huge department like SFPD, but maybe something like Marin County, or Santa Cruz).... Any help, pointers, direction I can receive from anyone on here would be most appreciated. I am looking to be of service, and I honest hope that someone on here and assist me in that process.

    Thank You, and God Bless ∆
    Last edited by AaronLAW; 05-26-2014, 10:06 PM.
    ∆ As a Law Enforcement officer, my fundamental duty is to serve mankind;... I recognize the badge of my office as a symbol of public faith and I accept it as a public trust... ∆ "Treat your fellow officers with love and respect like your life depends on it, because in fact, it does." -AaronLAW ∆

  • #2
    Originally posted by AaronLAW View Post
    This brings me to my question: 'What police departments (or sheriff's departments) do not require a College Diploma.' I would prefer a "nice" area of California, one that is somewhat clean, in a smaller department that pays fairly well.
    lol

    Comment


    • #3
      All of the departments you described don't have to hire people like you because the are highly desired agencies. Why would they hire you when they have plenty of applicants with experience and education, it just won't happen unless your dad is the chief or something. Does it happen? Yeah sometimes but your best bet would be a department like LAPD but even departments like that have plenty of veterans applying that will stand a better chance than you. This seems like it would be pretty obvious. In short the answer to your question is no department like you described will hire you without some form of relevant experience or education. If this is what you really want to do then you have to demonstrate that desire by doing something to prepare for it.

      Comment


      • #4
        At the very least you could start taking a few college courses in criminal justice, get a job at a security company, join the reserves as a military police officer, do volunteer work for the police department and start networking....or just put yourself through the police academy.
        Last edited by NCOForever; 05-27-2014, 03:51 AM.

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        • #5
          Ummm... Honestly, with the way that it is looking now with today's competition. You're going to have no choice but to get military experience and/or college under your belt, before ANY Police Department looks at you.

          The departments you are particularly looking at, is a dice roll for non-lateral applicants (even with a degrees). Like the above poster said, why would they hire Joe Blow who is unproven without experience or a degree compared to Officer Jack Black who has 2+ years of experience from a bigger city.

          To give you some insight..... I graduated from a regional academy in southern California. It was integrated with various county agencies, including the Sheriff Department. EVERY SINGLE person had military or a college degree, if not both. Even the 5 open enrollees...
          "The only easy day was yesterday"

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          • #6
            Originally posted by IroqouisB View Post
            Ummm... Honestly, with the way that it is looking now with today's competition. You're going to have no choice but to get military experience and/or college under your belt, before ANY Police Department looks at you.
            ^^^THIS^^^ AND you must always use paragraphs.

            “Truth is not what you want it to be; it is what it is, and you must bend to its power or live a lie.”

            Miyamoto Musashi

            “Life Is Hard, But It's Harder When You're Stupid”

            George V. Higgins (from The Friends of Eddie Coyle)

            Comment


            • #7
              Okay, so do you think I should to pay my own way through a Police Academy, and then apply for a position in Law Enforcement, or do you think it'd be better to attain a Criminal Justice degree, and then apply for a position in Law Enforcement?
              ∆ As a Law Enforcement officer, my fundamental duty is to serve mankind;... I recognize the badge of my office as a symbol of public faith and I accept it as a public trust... ∆ "Treat your fellow officers with love and respect like your life depends on it, because in fact, it does." -AaronLAW ∆

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by IroqouisB View Post
                You're going to have no choice but to get military experience and/or college under your belt, before ANY Police Department looks at you.
                It is a tough market; make yourself marketable.
                Originally posted by IroqouisB View Post
                The departments you are particularly looking at, is a dice roll for non-lateral applicants (even with a degrees).
                This is insightful.
                Originally posted by IroqouisB View Post
                why would they hire Joe Blow who is unproven without experience or a degree compared to Officer Jack Black who has 2+ years of experience from a bigger city.
                The answer is: They wouldn't hire Job Blow when Jack Black is available and the market is full of Jack Blacks now.
                Originally posted by IroqouisB View Post
                To give you some insight..... I graduated from a regional academy in southern California. It was integrated with various county agencies, including the Sheriff Department. EVERY SINGLE person had military or a college degree, if not both. Even the 5 open enrollees...
                This is even more insightful.
                Originally posted by AaronLAW View Post
                Okay, so do you think I should to pay my own way through a Police Academy, and then apply for a position in Law Enforcement, or do you think it'd be better to attain a Criminal Justice degree, and then apply for a position in Law Enforcement?
                Get a degree in something you can use until you get hired on. With that same degree, you should be able to find a career in case the cop thing doesn't work out.

                Use the search function to find out how well CJ degrees work out for the majority of candidates.

                “Truth is not what you want it to be; it is what it is, and you must bend to its power or live a lie.”

                Miyamoto Musashi

                “Life Is Hard, But It's Harder When You're Stupid”

                George V. Higgins (from The Friends of Eddie Coyle)

                Comment


                • #9
                  *"I would prefer a "nice" area of California, one that is somewhat clean, in a smaller department that pays fairly well."

                  Sir,....Please be aware that Officers get killed in "nice" areas. Don't limit yourself. My recommendation is to try and get hired on by a larger department that hires in massive amounts. You would benefit from a variety of calls and gain more experience. Good luck!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by phil 15 View Post
                    My recommendation is to try and get hired on by a larger department that hires in massive amounts. You would benefit from a variety of calls and gain more experience. Good luck!
                    Excellent advice! This may well be the 'shortcut' the OP is looking for.

                    “Truth is not what you want it to be; it is what it is, and you must bend to its power or live a lie.”

                    Miyamoto Musashi

                    “Life Is Hard, But It's Harder When You're Stupid”

                    George V. Higgins (from The Friends of Eddie Coyle)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      That is very true. There would be much experience to gain in the case of a larger department. I will take your words to heart and apply to one or several larger departments.
                      ∆ As a Law Enforcement officer, my fundamental duty is to serve mankind;... I recognize the badge of my office as a symbol of public faith and I accept it as a public trust... ∆ "Treat your fellow officers with love and respect like your life depends on it, because in fact, it does." -AaronLAW ∆

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Nope. We, as a board, will not do your homework for you. YOU need to hit the hiring boards and look for the "perfect" place for you. Not everyone gets to work in Beverly Hills, Roseville, or Sunnyvale.

                        Do not get a Criminal Justice/Administration of Justice/whatever of justice degree. It's a waste of your time, as the courses are overly broad (i.e. cover laws and theories that do not apply in California) and you will be taught EVERYTHING you need to know in order to be a proficient Police Officer/Deputy Sheriff/whatever in the academy and field training.

                        I would also recommend that you think long and hard about what it actually takes. Most of the candidates I talk to and who ride with me believe that this job is nonstop arrests, chases, and fights. It's very boring at times and monotonous at others. Not to mention, you have to be mentally (more importantly psychologically) prepared to end another human being's life at the drop of a hat.

                        Think about all of that before you continue, I hate seeing people get all the way through to field training only to quit because "it's not the right fit."

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Sierra, your information was direct, to the point, and completely applicable to my initial question. I am compelled to thank you sincerely for taking the time to answer my question. I am online now researching what departments might be the right fit. Also, I do understand that no place is "perfect", I mean, nothing is perfect in this life anyways, and I am taking that into consideration. As for ending the life of another, I am applying to join the force to save lives, not end them, however, if taking a life would result in the saving of other lives then I would, of course, take the appropriate action.

                          I also realize that due to the fact that although I do have some security training and background, I do not have a CJ degree (however useful/non-useful that may be), I am not a veteran, and I am not a lateral officer, therefore I will have to study much harder for the Written Exam, perform much better on the PAT, and really give it my all in the Oral Interview if I even want to stand a chance at being allowed the opportunity to serve.

                          All of that being said, taking into account the feedback I've received here, I think that SFPD might be the right direction for me. It is a large and diverse department, with a unique demographic civilian population, and offers an interesting environment that will provide many challenging experiences that may give me much needed lessons that will be useful if I ever decide to lateral to a different agency.

                          Again, thank you SO much for your words, it's good to know there are fellow men, and experienced officers out there that are responsive to the questions and inquiries of the prospective rookies that come to these forums for directions and advice.

                          Thank You,

                          &

                          God Bless.
                          ∆ As a Law Enforcement officer, my fundamental duty is to serve mankind;... I recognize the badge of my office as a symbol of public faith and I accept it as a public trust... ∆ "Treat your fellow officers with love and respect like your life depends on it, because in fact, it does." -AaronLAW ∆

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