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  • becoming a police officer

    First of all i would like to say hi to everyone
    i would like to ask if anyone can guide me in the right direction,i am a US citizen but i have been living in Greece the last 20 years and i just moved back to the States about 6 months ago and i live in Zephyrhills Florida.
    I have military background (in the Greek military) and i was working after that as a private contractor doing security in Somalia for merchant ships for the last 9 years,i have some VIP close protection experience as well.
    Is there a possibility for be to become a police officer or any type of law enforcement officer here in the States and is there any department i could get some info on how to go on with it?
    thank you in advance.

  • #2
    This may sound like a strange question, but from where did you graduate high school? (I have a reason for asking.)
    Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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    • #3
      i graduated high school in Greece

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      • #4
        You are a US citizen who served in a foreign military. That’s an issue right there.
        Now go home and get your shine box!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by CCCSD View Post
          You are a US citizen who served in a foreign military. That’s an issue right there.
          its not an issue if its not a foreign country which is in conflict with the USA

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          • #6
            Originally posted by greekman View Post
            i graduated high school in Greece
            I see a couple of issues (and welcome to your first lesson in bureaucracy).

            Most states have a minimum education requirement of high school graduation or possession of a GED (General Education Development) certificate. In my state (and I suspect many others) it is required that the high school you graduated from be recognized by one of several national institutes for accreditation. It is rare that a foreign high school can be found on their list of accredited schools. Depending on how much of a stickler the state you apply is, you may need to first take and pass the GED test just to apply.

            The second issue deals with your military service. A U.S. national’s employment, after attaining the age of 18, with the government of a foreign country or a political subdivision thereof is a potentially expatriating act pursuant to Section 349(a)(4) of the Immigration and Nationality Act if the individual is a citizen of that foreign country or takes an oath of allegiance to that country in connection with such employment.

            No doubt you took an oath of allegiance to Greece when you served in their military. As a US citizen, this may cause the status of your citizenship to be in question with any agency you apply with. Some may make the lengthy effort to sort things out while others may not want to waste their time, disqualify you as lacking the minimum qualifications for the position and leave it up to you to establish through the US State Department that your citizenship is still intact.


            Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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            • #7
              Originally posted by greekman View Post

              its not an issue if its not a foreign country which is in conflict with the USA
              Yes, yes it is. As L1 pointed out.
              Now go home and get your shine box!

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              • #8
                The issue is, words are not something you speak without meaning - words actually mean things. And when it comes to oaths of allegiance, governments take them very seriously.

                I believe your oath to the Greek military pledged to (among other things) never desert the comrade at whose side I stand, but I will defend our altars and our hearths, single-handed or supported by many, to obey whoever is in authority, and submit to the established laws and all others that the people shall harmoniously enact, and If anyone tries to overthrow the constitution or disobeys it, I will not permit him, but will come to its defense single-handed or with the support of all.

                Now, in becoming an American police officer, you will have to take a similar oath, pledging to defend the interests of the United States. What happens when (if) a situation arises where complying with your two oaths poses a conflict? Is it likely to happen in our lifetime? Probably not. But the potential is there and one cannot depend on an employee who has pledged their loyalty to two different sovereigns.

                There is also another issue I did not touch upon. That is the hiring procedure. We do not hire police applicants who just walk in off the street. Hiring is done through a competitive testing process that measures your ability to actually perform the duties of the position you are seeking. There is a written and an oral exam. You will have to score high enough to be considered for the limited number of job openings. From there you will have to pass a background investigation, medial exam and a psychological exam. On average, only about 2 to 3% of those who apply get hired.

                With regard to the written exam, you either have the skill or you do not. The oral is a little different. it looks at things like:
                • Experience – assesses your ability and experience in accepting responsibilities and performing assigned tasks as demonstrated through achievements in work, school, and other activities.
                • Problem Solving – assesses your reasoning skills in developing timely, logical responses to a wide variety of situations and problems.
                • Communication Skills – assesses your oral communications skills, which includes speaking, listening, and non-verbal communication.
                • Interest/Motivation – addresses your interest in and preparedness for the peace officer job. It includes an assessment of your general level of interest, initiative, and goal orientation.
                • Interpersonal Skills – assesses many facets, such as social knowledge/appropriateness, social insight, empathy, social influence, social self-regulation, sociability, team orientation, social self-confidence, conflict management skills, and negotiating skills.
                • Community Involvement/Awareness – focuses specifically on your experiences and interest in community issues, as well as your interest in and ability to fill multiple roles and serve a diverse community.
                Many of these traits are unique to American culture, so I'm not sure how this will work for you.

                Please don't misunderstand the tone of my post. I am not trying to discourage you. By all means, give it a try. I'm just attempting to point out some the hurdles you may face. It may be in your best intereste to apply in cities that host large Greek communities. The fact that you speak the language and know the culture would be looked at as a benefit, plus, fellow Greeks on tyhe department make be of assistance in dealing with the military/oath issue.





                Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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                • #9
                  I would like to thank you all for you info

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                  • #10
                    I would shop around some, it may be not as big a deal as some are saying. I went through the academy with a guy from a neighboring department who was Brazilian military police for a few years.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by STG2_W View Post
                      I would shop around some, it may be not as big a deal as some are saying. I went through the academy with a guy from a neighboring department who was Brazilian military police for a few years.
                      thank you STG2_W i really appreciate your effort !!!! i have done some research as well and i don't think its that big of a deal...
                      Last edited by greekman; 11-01-2019, 12:27 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by STG2_W View Post
                        I would shop around some, it may be not as big a deal as some are saying. I went through the academy with a guy from a neighboring department who was Brazilian military police for a few years.
                        I made a friend in the corrections academy. The guy was a Russian cop before coming over. He was hired by a police department before I was.

                        Make sure your citizenship is squared away. Good luck.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Being a foreign national is vastly different than being a US citizen and serving in a foreign military.
                          Now go home and get your shine box!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            OP, did you join the Greek military with the intent to relinquish your US citizenship?

                            If the answer is 'no', then you're fine.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by not.in.MY.town View Post
                              OP, did you join the Greek military with the intent to relinquish your US citizenship?

                              If the answer is 'no', then you're fine.
                              Yes.. this is accurate. Plus, the presumption to that answer is "no," unless it's a country engaged in hostilities against the U.S.

                              From the US State Department website (with particular emphasis on the bolded portions):

                              Although a person's service in the armed forces of a foreign country may not constitute a violation of U.S. law, such action could serve as a predicate act for the relinquishment of U.S. citizenship under 349(a)(3) of the INA [8 U.S.C. 1481(a)(3)] under two circumstances. Section 349(a)(3) provides for loss of U.S. nationality if a U.S national voluntarily and with the intention of relinquishing U.S. nationality enters or serves in the armed forces of a foreign state engaged in hostilities against the United States or serves in the armed forces of any foreign state as a commissioned or non-commissioned officer. Note that the administrative presumption of intent to retain nationality does not apply to voluntary service in the armed forces of a state engaged in hostilities against the United States, and thus such action could be viewed as indicative of an intention to relinquish U.S. nationality, although each case is examined on its own with a view to the totality of the circumstances. Military service in a foreign country is not an expatriating act if service is as a soldier who is not an officer, unless the foreign military is engaged in hostilities with the United States. Further, foreign military service usually does not cause loss of nationality since an intention to relinquish nationality normally is lacking. In adjudicating loss of nationality cases, the Department has established an administrative presumption that a person serving in the armed forces of a foreign state not engaged in hostilities against the United States does not have the intention to relinquish nationality. One who voluntarily serves as a commissioned or non-commissioned officer in the military of a country not engaged in hostilities with the United States will lose one’s U.S. citizenship only if one intended to relinquish U.S. citizenship when he/she served in the armed forces of a foreign state.

                              If you want to be extra safe, perhaps you can contact USCIS and ask them to provide you with a letter of some kind to have with you while applying for local PD's, because there is a chance that the person handling the application will not know the nuances of federal immigration law. Best of luck to you!
                              Last edited by waffledog47; 11-01-2019, 03:57 PM.

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