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FHP or Stay up North?

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  • FHP or Stay up North?

    Greetings Everyone,

    I applied for the Florida Highway Patrol several months ago and after a grueling process filled with a battery of tests (physical, polygraph, psychological, medical, etc), I've been accepted!

    The only thing is all of the negativity surrounding the FHP has now caused me to sit back and think. I attended a Criminal Justice fair where I spoke to several troopers from the NYSP, Connecticut SP, Vermont State Police and Rhode Island State police. They are all hiring and encouraged me to stay up North and go through their process.

    My question is this: Should I take an already guaranteed job as a State Trooper with Florida (even though morale and pay are low--remember, I'm only 21 years old--this may only a stepping stone--or I may take the career route and promote all the way to major), or should I go for the gold and apply with a higher paying agency such as Connecticut, Rhode Island or New York?

    I am a few classes away from a Bachelor's Degree and have knowledge of written Arabic, spoken/written Spanish and spoken/written German. My ultimate goal is to go Federal, but if I find my niche in a State Police Agency/Highway Patrol, I'm not averse to promoting.

    Any and all advice is greatly appreciated.

    Be safe out there!

    Mike

  • #2
    Fhp?

    I am a Florida Law Enforcement Officer (17 years) and I work for a retired FHP trooper. Just from what little you have stated about your background I would suggest looking for a Department that is going to utilize your language skills more than the Highway Patrol.
    FHP is a good agency but has the same problems that all Florida Departments have low pay etc.
    With the language skills that you mention I would look for a State Police Agency (If state agencies are what you are looking for) that performs criminal work and not just traffic.
    Good Luck

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    • #3
      I second that:
      I'm a 5 year FHP Trooper and you sound like a great candidate for us.
      However, you have some good language skills that could be very useful in the Dept Of Homeland Security.
      FHP's low morale stems from out low pay. We are a big traffic unit and for the most part that's what you'll be doing most of your career (even the Colonel comes out during long weekend holidays to write tickets and work the road-not because he has to but because he is leader by example and traffic is what we do).
      On a side note: I was in the process with CTSP, MASP, NYSP, and FHP back when I was applying. FHP hired me first and I moved down here to take the job. Not a single regret there. This is the best job there is in my opinion, we just need a good pay raise....

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks for replying to my thread you guys. I agree with the language skills being more applicable to a Sate Police Agency or the Feds, but I am nowhere near *proficient* in Arabic and German. I need time to hone these skills and since FHP has given me the opportunity to attend their academy, I'm very inclined to take it while the other State Police Agencies put me through their process.

        Connecticut's PAT is next month, but Im not sure how long their process is--I'm just very confused right now.

        I guess I have a list of questions swirling around in my head regarding FHP practices and policies....if you could shed some light on those--it would really help me get my head together. There is no particular order--I'm just writing them as they come to me (some are quite random--please bear with me).

        Questions:

        -I weigh 150 lbs but have a solid frame and am quite muscular. Will I have any trouble going through the academy?


        -During my FTO phase, am I allowed overtime at all (SOAR, hireback, any other form of OT)? So I guess this begs the question--what is the maximum salary I can make as a first year trooper (including FTO)? I have student loans that range over 100K and I need to make sure that I will be able to sustain myself down there with renting an apartment as well as paying my student loans.

        -Do you ever use your take home cars for errands here and there? I understand the policy refers to designated places (school, work, gym, etc.), but if you wear your uniform and go to the supermarket, would that be allowed? (stupid question--but I had to ask)

        -Which type of overtime is counted towards your retirement? I know a trooper who makes about 62,000 a year, but all of that does not count towards his pension.

        -Speaking of pension, is it more beneficial to choose investing/stocks rather than a standard pension payable monthly and receive a lump sum upon retirement?

        -How difficult is it to obtain a position in a special dignitary protection unit (i.e., for the Governor)? This is my primary interest and I'm sure the positions are limited and based on *who* you know, not what you know or how well you do in the field...

        -When I graduate from the academy where will I most likely be stationed? (I hear Miami and Tampa as the two more frequent stops for rookies--would I be able to rent a decent place around there with the salary provided by FHP?)

        -How many crashes do you work per week? I'm interested in traffic (which is why I applied with FHP), but I also want the liberty to be proactive and catch speeders, etc.

        -Any points for FTO process? What should I absolutely avoid?

        This is all that is bubbling in this crazy head of mine--but I will probably have more later. Any advice you can give me is greatly appreciated.

        Be safe!
        Mike

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