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  • United States recruitment drives?

    Sorry if this is being posted in the wrong place.

    I'm currently undertaking a Bachelor's Degree in Justice Studies (Policing) which will allow me to become a police officer in the NSW Police Force. So far, I'm enjoying every minute and can't wait until I can start working the front line.

    Before I was accepted into the degree, I was lucky enough to be able to take part in a cultural exchange trip to the United States (specifically visited Anaheim, California (and said G'day to two patrol officers right out front of our hotel!) and Seattle, Washington) which was when I became hooked on wanting to one day migrate over as a dual citizen (from what I've read, this can still be done...).

    I would like to remain as a police officer (regardless of rank) as it's something that I've wanted to do since I was a kid, and I was wondering (when I've done four or five years here) whether there would be an avenue to "transfer over"? If any state allowed international officers to do a bridging course and join there. I guess citizenship would be the biggest hurdle as I'm only an Australian Citizen and I don't have any family that can sponsor me for permanent residency status; but I don't know the exact in's and out's of the immigration policy in the United States. Maybe I'm missing something.

    I'm not trying to jump the gun or anything like that, just curiosity got the better of me.

    Thanks guys!

  • #2
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    Last edited by formerFAM; 05-20-2008, 04:01 PM.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Thunderbolt View Post
      Sorry if this is being posted in the wrong place.

      I'm currently undertaking a Bachelor's Degree in Justice Studies (Policing) which will allow me to become a police officer in the NSW Police Force. So far, I'm enjoying every minute and can't wait until I can start working the front line.

      Before I was accepted into the degree, I was lucky enough to be able to take part in a cultural exchange trip to the United States (specifically visited Anaheim, California (and said G'day to two patrol officers right out front of our hotel!) and Seattle, Washington) which was when I became hooked on wanting to one day migrate over as a dual citizen (from what I've read, this can still be done...).

      I would like to remain as a police officer (regardless of rank) as it's something that I've wanted to do since I was a kid, and I was wondering (when I've done four or five years here) whether there would be an avenue to "transfer over"? If any state allowed international officers to do a bridging course and join there. I guess citizenship would be the biggest hurdle as I'm only an Australian Citizen and I don't have any family that can sponsor me for permanent residency status; but I don't know the exact in's and out's of the immigration policy in the United States. Maybe I'm missing something.

      I'm not trying to jump the gun or anything like that, just curiosity got the better of me.

      Thanks guys!
      I think it can be done. Your biggest hurdle will be your citizenship. As is, I believe most agencies here in the US require US Citizenship. However, there is a bit of movement to allow non-citizens to be police. The Montgomery County, MD (Maryland) Police Department was reviewing this possibility not too long ago. I would say post in the state forums and see what you can find. For Federal law enforcement, citizenship is a must. For state and local, I think it may depend on local laws but most rely on citizenship.

      Best of luck.

      Comment


      • #4
        Unfortunately, while your training and experience 'Down Under' would be a plus, you cannot go directly on the street, you would have to go through another academy.

        As to dual citizenship, when you become a U.S. citizen, you swear to give up any foreign allegiances. So, you can be one or the other, but not both.
        "A man who has nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the existing of better men than himself."
        John Stuart Mill

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        • #5
          I'm a dual citizen from an EU country and work as a cop here in the US. You can be both, trust me.

          Foreign experience though won't transfer directly, as our laws are so different even from state to state, nevermind country/country.

          Most states (we have 50) regulate the licensing of police officers through a body called POST (police officer training/standards) and the vast majority of them require US citizenship. There are a handful .... 4-7 states which allow green card holders/permanent residents to become police officers. Some require that you be in the process of citizenship application, and others don't directly address it. For what it's worth, it took 1.5 years for my citizenship application to be approved 10 years ago, and I'd lived here for 10 years as a permanent resident before that, and was a US Army vet.

          Good luck - it's very difficult. Your first hurdle is acquiring permanent resident status, and after 5 years of that, you can apply for citizenship. If you don't know already, a green card is very hard to come by unless INS is still running lotteries, or generous with the 'exceptional foreign worker' classification.

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          • #6
            Ouch.
            Thanks for that though. I'm still highly optimistic (one has to be right? ) and I will be keeping a close eye on it.
            I don't suppose you know which states only require permanent residency? I wouldn't mind working in Washington State (love Seattle) or California, but any point of entry would be a start. Maybe at least one state will start a drive like Western Australia currently has. I'm not too sure that the New South Wales Police Force (which I'm currently in the process of joining) does this.

            What if I could get a department to sponsor me for permanent residency status? A long shot, but worth researching.

            I don't mind going through the academy again. In fact, I'd prefer it as I already know that policing here and in the United States are fundamentally two very different things; so that would be an advantage, but I'm hoping that previous experience will be taken into account. That and I get to mingle with "our own kind" for a bit before working the streets. Does each state run their own academy? That might be a silly question, but one of our lecturers told us that the only silly question is the one that wasn't asked. That's how it works here, the academic part has been somewhat outsourced to Charles Sturt University through two civilian campuses (which I'm on one now, the other being in Sydney) and at the Police College itself, where all of the core policing subjects (and training) are taught.

            My Bachelors Degree is a bit more drawn out than the Associate Degree (direct entry) offered for the NSW Police Force, as it goes into a lot more depth with sociology, psychology, and more philosophical aspects of policing; rather how to do X, Y and Z on a job, which is primarily what the Associate Degree offers. That comes much later.

            Come to think of it, could one get away with a studying visa for entry to an academy?

            I've just been doing a quick once-over on Wikipedia about US Citizenship and applying for Permanent residency status and I congratulate them on making it quite difficult.
            The article says that US Law does accept dual citizenship, but has tried to reduce as many avenues as possible. It also says that while I have to take an oath of allegiance, I don't have to sever my heritage with Australia ("Although naturalizing citizens are required to undertake an oath renouncing previous allegiances, the oath has never been enforced to require the actual termination of original citizenship"(1)). Not to offend anyone here, but I don't want to give up my Australian heritage. I can accept permanent residency status if that's the case, I'll just have to be mindful that I can loose permanent residency. Can someone clarify the exact word about the whole citizenship thing?
            As far as I can tell, I can apply for a Diversity Lottery Visa but I won't be guaranteed a visa; so that would be why it takes so long? Then comes the problem of finding a department/service/force that will accept an Australian police officer (with an accent, that should be interesting... ) with the minimal need to go through the academy, as I'll need to stay a permanent resident; and to do that, I'll need to work. Though I'll be clarifying all of that, when the time comes.

            This is going to take a lot of time, effort, money and research; but it's something that I want to do. Come hell or high water. Anyone want to sponsor me in a few years time?

            Thanks for your replies guys, they help a lot.

            Sources:
            (1) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/US_Citizenship (Accessed: 6th March 2008)
            (2) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_..._Resident_Card (Accessed: 6th March 2008)
            (3) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oath_of...ited_States%29 (Accessed: 6th March 2008)
            Last edited by Thunderbolt; 03-05-2008, 10:51 PM. Reason: Added sources.

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            • #7
              1. For the true word on Immigration, go to the Customs and Border Protection website, and start your research there. It should take you to the immigration web site, where you can plow through the actual government regulations, rather than the "interpretation" on Wikipedia. In matters like this, it helps to go direct to the source. Make sure you have all the facts before approaching any department.
              In order for a department to sponsor you, it must show you have certain skill, not available in the U.S. Knowing the difference between a Wombat and a 'Roo is not qualifying. Some officers from Hong Kong got sponsored because they spoke/read Chinese, or had specialized knowledge of Chinese gangs.

              A student visa does not allow you to work here, and visa fraud can get you deported, with almost no hope to return.

              2. Most departments run their own academy, or the local Sheriff's Department runs one. There are also some state academies. With something like 20,000 police departments, we are a darned independent bunch, with different ways of getting from A to B. Most states have standards set by the Police Officer Standards and Training (POST) committee, but implemented by each academy. Most academies do not confer a degree, just state certification.

              Best of luck
              Sleuth
              Last edited by Sleuth; 03-06-2008, 11:57 AM.
              "A man who has nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the existing of better men than himself."
              John Stuart Mill

              Comment


              • #8
                One additional note: We all (except our Indians .... er, Native Americans) came here from someplace else, and we are proud of our various heritages. My Grandparents came here from Russia, Circa 1910. No one will ask you to give that up - heck, that's what makes America, the great melting pot, great!
                But if you become a citizen, rather than a resident, we expect your unqualified loyalty.
                Last edited by Sleuth; 03-06-2008, 12:27 PM.
                "A man who has nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the existing of better men than himself."
                John Stuart Mill

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Sleuth View Post
                  In order for a department to sponsor you, it must show you have certain skill, not available in the U.S. Knowing the difference between a Wombat and a 'Roo is not qualifying. Some officers from Hong Kong got sponsored because they spoke/read Chinese, or had specialized knowledge of Chinese gangs.
                  Bugger, thought that would have come in handy. That is, dealing with Australians abroad.
                  I have been thinking of taking up a second language (like Spanish), but since Mexico is a lot closer; it wouldn't be seen as a 'certain skill' (i.e. more officers speak Spanish)?

                  Originally posted by Sleuth View Post
                  A student visa does not allow you to work here, and visa fraud can get you deported, with almost no hope to return.
                  Ah, that is definitely something new to me. Our student visas allow some work provisions, but I'm not too clear what they are. The visa fraud penalties here are pretty harsh; and I wouldn't dream of breaking visa regulations if I was subject to them.

                  Originally posted by Sleuth View Post
                  Most departments run their own academy, or the local Sheriff's Department runs one. There are also some state academies. With something like 20,000 police departments, we are a darned independent bunch, with different ways of getting from A to B. Most states have standards set by the Police Officer Standards and Training (POST) committee, but implemented by each academy. Most academies do not confer a degree, just state certification.
                  Ah ok. Thanks for that. I wonder if this degree would work to my advantage? Considering it isn't all procedural stuff, that it could be viewed as a higher qualification.
                  Maybe I'm thinking too hard.

                  Originally posted by Sleuth View Post
                  But if you become a citizen, rather than a resident, we expect your unqualified loyalty.
                  Absolutely. I would expect the same for anyone else when becoming an Australian citizen. It's kind of difficult to explain. Basically, I would give loyalty to both countries; but the oath doesn't make it sound like that. It helps that we have good diplomatic ties. I think I worry too much. Anyway, that whole prospect is a long long way away; so I'll jump that hurdle when I come to it.

                  Originally posted by Sleuth View Post
                  Best of luck
                  Sleuth
                  Once again, many many thanks.
                  Last edited by Thunderbolt; 03-06-2008, 08:30 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    If you do a search for citizenship all your questions will be answered as they have all been asked before. The bottom line is, marriage to a US citizen is the easiest way to get here. It takes 3 years to get citizenship if you marry a US citizen (not five). Sponsorship to a PD is doable, but expensive and time-consuming. You would need to have been a police officer in Oz for about 5 years, with a degree(at minimum), with instructor status/time with a specialist unit before a US dept would consider you for sponsorship. You should definitely study spanish as it is used everywhere. Your degree will have to be equivalentized, and it may or may not be an advantage as some depts here require a bachelor's degree as a minimum for employment. (These are the depts which will consider sponsoring).

                    There are 14 states which will take police officers who are not citizens, Napes posted a list of them about two years ago. No dept will allow you to do a bridging course but you could qualify as a lateral transfer to some depts, meaning you would go through the recruiting process, a full academy and then an FTO program, but be hired at a higher rate (always nice)! It is no issue to hold dual citizenship.

                    You might want to wait a while to see if policing is your thing. Being a cop in NSW isn't easy (Bankstown, Mt Druitt, Redfern) and you may find it isn't all it was supposed to be with paperwork, lack of resources/training, low pay, lack of judicial support etc.

                    Finally, don't forget Canada. Our northern neighbors sponsor international officers regularly. (Calgary and Edmonton PD's). If you want more info, PM me.
                    It is not the critic who counts...

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                    • #11
                      Thanks mate, much appreciated.

                      I was thinking Blue Mountains area, but I might change my mind and swing somewhere out country (as I'm a country boy ). It's starting to sink in now, I've started to fill out the professional suitability application. It's pretty in depth.

                      Never really considered Canada either. I'll give that a look too.

                      :: Edit ::
                      Here's the thread with that list for anyone who's interested.
                      http://forums.officer.com/forums/sho...ht=citizenship
                      Bottom post.
                      Last edited by Thunderbolt; 03-10-2008, 08:23 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        We have a female deputy in our county that is from NSW. She went through naturalization and still holds dual citizenship. On top of that, she works the roughtest side of the county, weighs maybe a buck twenty dripping wet and can handle herself with any of the big boys! Always funny to see the bad guys reaction to her Aussie accent!
                        Matthew 5:9 "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be known as the children of God."

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                        • #13
                          To be a police officer in California you must be a citizen of the United States or a permanent resident alien who is eligible for and has applied for citizenship. The one exception is California Highway Patrol officers, who must be US citizens at time of appointment.

                          Your NSW training will not be recognized and you will have to attend a full California POST academy.
                          Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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                          • #14
                            You mentioned Seattle. You have to be a US citizen to be a Seattle Police Officer.
                            SEATTLEPOLICEJOBS.COM

                            HONOR, COURAGE & COMMITMENT

                            Testing monthly... apply online

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                            • #15
                              Actually for residency or citizenship you need to go the the home page for CIS-Citizenship & Immigration Services. This is the dept that handles all services matters within DHS.
                              Last edited by ICE Offcr; 03-11-2008, 09:20 PM. Reason: spelling

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