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I want to be a law enforcement officer

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  • I want to be a law enforcement officer

    I'm 22 years old and I recently discovered that I want to be a cop. I am currently serving in the United States Army about to go on my second deployment to Iraq. I'm in the combat arms branch, specifically field artillery. Unless I'm mistaken, law enforcement does not use howitzers but I am trained and proficient in almost every small arms weapon the Army uses including the M9, M16, M203, M4, M60, M249, M240B, M2 .50, and MK-19 grenade launcher. I'm also a certified unit level armorer. I have been cross-trained and certified as a radar operator. It is not my intent to post a resume here, but I'm simply curious as to what my options may be in law enforcement and what steps I should take to pursue it once I get out of the Army. I'm due to get out around May of 2009.
    And shepards we shall be for Thee my Lord for Thee
    Power hath decended forth from Thy hand that our feet may swiftly carry out Thy command.
    So we shall flow a river forth to Thee and teeming with souls shall it ever be.

  • #2
    Get out of the Army when your time is up. Enlist in 4 years of college on Uncle Sam. Get hired by an agency. The sky is the limit when you hold that Bachelors or Masters degree and have a good amount of service time.

    Good luck my friend, and be careful in the sandbox.
    Invisible cows control my mind.

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    • #3
      While you are down range you need to start doing your homework. You need to answer the following questions:

      1. Where do you want to live/work? This narrows down your search for potential agencies.

      2. Start looking up those departments web pages and find out their entrance requirements. Many smaller departments don't have a web page or don't post hiring info on their web page, so you need to contact them directly. The best way to find agencies in any given area is: http://www.usacops.com/ It allows you to search by state and county. You may find departments you didn't know existed like smaller towns, college PDs, etc. Many agencies require 60 credits or an AA degree. Some will waive that in lieu of military service (which you have) some even require BA degrees. Having at least some college is a very good idea as Phlip said but I can understand your desire work. Just be aware that not having a degree will hurt you down the road when it comes time to get promoted. You can also use your GI Bill to pay for a police academy as some states (California for example) allow applicants to get themselves certified and then apply.

      3. Start applying a year before you get out. I was able to set up my leave dates for my mid tour leave so I was able to do the hiring process over leave.

      4. Get points of contacts from your NCOs and officers. Before leave active duty make sure you have PERSONAL contact info for your team, squad, plt NCOs and officers these will make excellent references. If you only have military contact info what if they get get off active or PCS, you will never be able to find them?

      5. As you get closer to applying start gathering your personal paperwork. Drivers licenses, DD214, Military awards, Official state birth certificate, social security card, HS Diploma, any college transcripts, letters of recommendation.

      6. Be aware there is a lot of competition for entry level law enforcement positions. The hiring process of testing, interviews, polygraph, psych, etc can take months to complete. Some agencies only test once a year or once every few years. Know when those testing dates are and have leave socked away so you can test.

      Your military experience will be a good stepping stone for a career in law enforcement. But remember you will start over as a boot. The info you posted other then being a certified armorer is not relevant. No one cares that you can field strip a Mk-19. You need to play up your responsibility, ability to think coolly and quickly under stress, management and team leading skills, ability to follow orders and work within a Chain of command. Your ability to work independently and as part of a team, your ability to work without constant supervision. Harp on the maturity and sense of professionalism serving your country has instilled in you and your desire to serve your community.

      Good luck and stay safe.
      Last edited by tgmoore; 08-30-2007, 12:56 PM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by 13B to 13D View Post
        I'm 22 years old and I recently discovered that I want to be a cop. I am currently serving in the United States Army about to go on my second deployment to Iraq. I'm in the combat arms branch, specifically field artillery. Unless I'm mistaken, law enforcement does not use howitzers but I am trained and proficient in almost every small arms weapon the Army uses including the M9, M16, M203, M4, M60, M249, M240B, M2 .50, and MK-19 grenade launcher. I'm also a certified unit level armorer. I have been cross-trained and certified as a radar operator. It is not my intent to post a resume here, but I'm simply curious as to what my options may be in law enforcement and what steps I should take to pursue it once I get out of the Army. I'm due to get out around May of 2009.


        I just wanna Thank You for serving and protecting our country!!

        There is a severe shortage in law enforcement around the country due to the War and the other stuff going on.......if the war don't mess you up mentally...you should find a job purdy easy when you get out....good luck and keep your head down!!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by lcpdwannabe View Post
          I just wanna Thank You for serving and protecting our country!!

          There is a severe shortage in law enforcement around the country due to the War and the other stuff going on.......if the war don't mess you up mentally...you should find a job purdy easy when you get out....good luck and keep your head down!!
          Why would you say the war "If the war don't mess mess you up mentally"? That is BS soldiers as victims hippy horse crap. Post traumatic stress disorder has remainded at a pretty constant below 10%.

          I served in Iraq as a Infantryman in OIF III 2005-2006. Don't stigmatize combat veterans with mental illness. Most are certainly better prepared for stressful/violent encounters in law enforcement then civilians.

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