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  • Service Aggrements

    I’ve noticed a few agencies have implemented 2-3year service agreements. Where if you voluntarily separate from the agency before that time you’ll have to repay that agency for training etc.

    Do agencies really stick to that policy? What really could
    be the cost to the individual?

    I’m in the process with multiple agencies but I’m in no position to turn down any offer. My concern is a accept my second choice only to have my first choice offer me a job a few months later.

    Any advice is appreciated!

  • #2
    I’ve never seen it enforced and I know plenty of individuals who’ve signed service agreements and left during or right after completing the academy. They all lateraled to another federal agency, so not sure if that’s the loop hole because you’re still a federal employee.

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    • #3
      I interviewed with an 0083 recently -- before the panel interview, they made me sign a form that outlined the costs of training if I left during certain time benchmarks. The highest benchmark was right after training completion, with the cost being around $35,000 owed. I did not receive a copy of this signed form.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Sports21 View Post
        I’ve noticed a few agencies have implemented 2-3year service agreements. Where if you voluntarily separate from the agency before that time you’ll have to repay that agency for training etc.

        Do agencies really stick to that policy? What really could
        be the cost to the individual?

        I’m in the process with multiple agencies but I’m in no position to turn down any offer. My concern is a accept my second choice only to have my first choice offer me a job a few months later.

        Any advice is appreciated!
        I don't have any personal experience with this but I keep hearing horror stories about agencies with service contracts. Most of them stem from toxic leadership, small agencies that have a first line supervisor or chain of command that are out to get/throw patrol officers under the bus if it avoids themselves from looking stupid.

        I always take these stories with a grain of salt BUT if any agency has a service contract, beware of them and do your best to dig into why the contract exists to begin with, as there can be a myriad of reasons. Is it because of a toxic supervisor? Low pay? Unfair admin/IA? Poor equipment? Bad/no benefits?

        Most on this forum, including myself, will say if you get an offer, take it, grind out your 2-3 years, then transfer to a better agency to avoid your wallet from crying in pain if they decide to gouge you for leaving early.
        Last edited by COMoparfan392; 11-08-2019, 10:29 AM.
        "It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived."- George S. Patton Jr.

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        • #5
          I'm surprised more agencies don't do this to be honest. Like someone said above, many agencies that do have one are for a pretty good reason, such as high attrition (USSS has one), but it would make sense for every agency to do one with the financial investment they make into new hires that have to go to academies, background investigations, etc.
          UNITED STATES BORDER PATROL
          "90 years of tradition unhindered by progress!"


          honor first

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          • #6
            We had an officer who allegedly had to repay a previous employer for the cost of training. As I understand it, he was paying on an installment basis.

            More recently, a Police Corps hire from another agency had them come after her for repayment. Police Corps was a whole other animal so her experience may not be typical. She has since moved on to a destination agency.

            I agree with 392 that one needs to carefully research an agency requiring a contract. It may be purely financial or agency climate may contribute. I'd look at mandatory overtime, disciplinary process, and transfer policies. Do some ride-alongs and perhaps talk to the FOP or other labor organization,

            John from Maryland

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            • #7
              On the federal side, the only agency I have heard of doing that is the USSS. I have never heard of a federal agency actually enforcing it. It would be very interesting to see how that would go, especially if the new agent/officer challenged it in court. If you already completed CITP for USSS and now get hired as an add on for HSI, do they make you payback CITP? Would HSI cover the bill? What would they do with the money if 100 new agents/officers quit? Give it back to congress? What if it's a new fiscal year? I really think it is more of a deterrent than anything else.

              Ultimately, would you turn down your dream agent gig because of $35K (or whatever the cost)? Plenty of people take pay cuts larger than that to take these jobs. I say take the first job that comes to you, and everything else will work itself out.

              Comment


              • Kmiech
                Kmiech commented
                Editing a comment
                NCIS does it as well.

            • #8
              Where I'm at, most of the agencies that required contracts had working conditions so toxic they may as well have hung a sign overt the station's employee entrance the said Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here. Most applicants considered them the agency of last resort and with the turnover they had, mandating contracts was the only way they had of keeping training costs in line, because they were unwilling or unable to remedy their internal problems.

              Look carefully and do your homework before applying to one of these agencies, lest you become stuck in a place you do not want to be.
              Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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              • #9
                All of the DOD-PDs (NSA, NGA, DIA, CIA etc) require repayment contracts.

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                • battlewagon
                  battlewagon commented
                  Editing a comment
                  This. Also I've seen other small 1811s mention it in announcements, as well as other agencies when paid moves and or relocation expenses are authorized.

              • #10
                As more training time and higher salaries/benefits packages have evolved, I expect to see more of this in the future. Academy programs of 4 to 6 months are fairly common, followed by OJT periods of a year or more before a new officer is deemed ready to assume full duties. Thus we are talking about tens of thousands of dollars in public funds invested.

                The only experience I have with this issue was back in the 1970's. My department needed another polygraph operator, and polygraph training took a year and cost about $25,000 (at a time that I earned about $13,000 as a detective). The city required a 4-year contract before assigning one of us to the training school. I did not participate, but I did not think it was an unreasonable requirement (given the fact that certified polygraph operators were in high demand and able to earn large incomes at the time).

                Later, as a small town chief I operated on a very limited budget, so I gave strong preference to those who were already certified before employment. The alternative was paying for the academy training, plus salary and benefits, for 6 months before I could fill a position on the duty schedule.

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                • #11
                  I know a couple OIGs that have it, but it is very negligible, like I'm talking 6 months after CITP graduation or something in that ballpark. Basically designed so that you don't just take a job to go to CITP and then bail on graduation day,

                  Comment

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