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  • Looking For Guidance...

    Hey all, I'm new to this board so I apologize if I am posting this in the wrong section...

    Anyway, I am a soon-to-be 22 year old who just recently completed junior college. I have decided to hold off on transferring to a four-year university because I am very much interested in becoming a civil service employee. I have never had life long aspirations to become a cop but one day it just hit me that this is what I want to do with my life. I'm guessing maybe some of you guys had the same experience? I want to do something positive with myself and not have a routine job and I think being a police officer fits both of those bills. I am very much lost as to how to get my foot in the door however. Since I won't be attending school this semester I want to do as much as possible starting now to help prepare myself. I am an extremely hard worker with an outstanding work ethic and will bust my *** to get this. All I am asking for is a little help and direction from you guys.

    I have SOOO MANY QUESTIONS but I don't want to babble. I would first like to get some responses then ask my questions from there. Thank you very much for reading this and for any help you can provide me. I am also glad to be here and hope to learn a lot, thanks everyone!

  • #2
    i was at the cross roads too, instead of putting off college, i stayed with college, and became a reserve police officer, *not the kind that patrols and takes away job space for an officer, but the kind that rides along and acts as a supplement to the patrol officers (before anyone freeks out)*

    thousands of officers finish school after getting hired, but the ones that i worked with, had a hard time juggling work, school, court, school, overtime, school, extra job, school, you have plenty of time to get hired, take advantage of it and finish school if you want your bs. becoming a reserve not only lets you see what its about, but if you are a reserve for two yrs or so, it shows that youre not someone that just walked in off the street and decided to be an officer. i used my time as a reserve kind of like an internship,,

    good luck to you.

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    • #3
      This topic has been discussed a number of times and from what I gather volunteer work and education are valuable assets. I graduated with a 4-year degree in 2001. It wasn

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      • #4
        Originally posted by LawEnfWB
        If I were you I would look to get a 4-year degree majoring in criminal justice.

        Criminal justice degrees seem to be everywhere.. Maybe something you can use in other fields if you ever change your mind. ie- business, marketing, management etc. These will also help you if your trying to advance to an administration position later in your LE career.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by FutureLE
          Criminal justice degrees seem to be everywhere.. Maybe something you can use in other fields if you ever change your mind. ie- business, marketing, management etc. These will also help you if your trying to advance to an administration position later in your LE career.
          agreed, cj degrees are dime a dozen, and knowing that the quakers built the first prison doesnt mean youre a good officer, GET A DEGREE IN SOMETHING ELSE, you can minor in cj, but dont cut yourself short, like he said above, you might change your mind, *i did, and now i am changing it back* , plus you might get injured to the point that you cant patrol anymore, or any number of things, not only will it keep you horizon open, but again, like said above, it will help you into supervisor or administration role,

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          • #6
            Florida is a great place to start for a law enforcement career, or anywhere is good but seems like the southeast is really hiring. Might be a good idea to apply there whether it be state police, sherriff, city police, anything for experience. I was in the same boat not to long ago and had several offers from agencies but decided to stay home in Mass. Nothing beats experience and you can still take civil service exams while you live out of state. Also let the department pay for your college, granted if you get hiried. A associate degree is all that is required or 60 credits to get in the door so you probably have a shot somewhere if your BG is clean.

            Good luck

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            • #7
              I agree with gotthblues, stay away from a criminal justice degree. Suppose you get hurt on the job and are forced out of law enforcement? Like has been said on these boards time and time again, CJ degrees are a dime a dozen. Get something like Political Science or Public Administration, something that you can really use. Good luck to you.
              Why are there so many babies on O.com? Creole, you and your buddy JPSO Recruit help me out on this one....

              * "Preach always, if necessary, use words!" St Francis of Assisi

              * Luke Chapter 6, Verses 27-36

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              • #8
                i'll be another saying that a degree in CJ is pointless..look at what the FBI wants:

                *Accounting/Finance (Accounting/Finance Degree/CPA/or at least 2 years relative work experience)
                *Computer Science or other Information Technology specialties
                *Engineering
                *Fluent in a Foreign Language

                Having a background in something besides LE will open tons of doors and not just in the LE profession should u change your mind or retire and want to still work

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                • #9
                  I agree with what the others are saying about getting a degree. As a Northeast transplant to the South, I can tell you first hand that a college degree means absolute squat to agencies down here. There are some officers I work with that barely finished high school. I'm proud to say that I have a degree in B.A. But in the agency I work for it seems that the only way to get promoted is by who you know or who you bl**
                  ""Liberals are liberal until something happens to them or someone they love, then they want the rules to change"

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                  • #10
                    Soon to Retire

                    These guys have all got the good advice, I am getting ready to retire in a few months and can say from experience a CJ degree isn't worth the paper it's printed on. There are simply way too many of them out there. Get a degree in business or management, something you can use later on but also will correlate with police work. Just because you would be a cop doesn't mean you also can't have a law degree or accounting degree. A proffessional department will put it to use and believe me, after being on the street for 20 years you may want to try something else within your department. A degree in something other than CJ will only help you. Even basket weaving - it will be different and make you stand out. Look for departments that pay extra for degrees, most big ones do. The bigger the department the better chance for movement later on. Civil service is definately the way to go as well, protection and reasonable fair promotions, plus you may be afforded extra points on your test scores. The best thing I can say is stay in school and finish your degree. I have seen way too many guys get caught up in shift work, extra jobs, and the lifestyle who always meant to go back but never did. Then when they are in their 40's find themselves in pre-algebra with folks half their age wishing they did it right the first time. Crooks and Cops will be here when you are done. Don't be in such a hurry to get there. Ok, I'm off the soapbox - good luck

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                    • #11
                      Thanks for all the replies everyone and sorry I took so long to respond but I haven't been able to get online. I fully understand and fully agree with what you guys are saying about getting a degree. I am currently working towards a Journalism degree. The fact of the matter is that I won't be in school for the next few months (it's too late to apply for a four-year school). With that said, since I'm going to be away from school, I'd like to get my foot in the door as much as possible and take advantage of this time I have away from school and put it to good use. I would also like to take advantage of having the department pay for my schooling. I have a tremendous work ethic (I was working about 60 hours a week to help pay for school as well as going to school full-time) so I know I have it in me to put in the hard work and bust my ***.

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