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  • New guy here with a few questions.

    First, a little bit about me. I'm a 19yr old college student attending Cal State Fullerton in my second year. I've always had an interest in law enforcement and made it my goal to become a LEO once I chose my major, which is Criminal Justice.

    Now I have a predicament. I am very eager to jump right into law enforcement. Is it necessary for me to complete my degree to increase my chances for hire? What if I finish my second year and attempted to go straight into a department? Would a kid like me stand a chance at all in being hired? How much longer should I wait before attempting to look for a job in law enforcement?

  • #2
    Here in California, a minimum education standard is set for the job. For the majority, that standard is a high school diploma or GED. A few departments may require an AA or 60 units of college, a few others may require a Bachelors degree or 120 units. You either meet the standard or you don't. Extra points are not awarded for education beyond the minimum standard, what your grades are, or what school you went to.
    Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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    • #3
      Originally posted by L-1 View Post
      Here in California, a minimum education standard is set for the job. For the majority, that standard is a high school diploma or GED. A few departments may require an AA or 60 units of college, a few others may require a Bachelors degree or 120 units. You either meet the standard or you don't. Extra points are not awarded for education beyond the minimum standard, what your grades are, or what school you went to.
      I figured as much. However, completing 2-4 years of college would therefore expand my range of departments correct?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by The Cable Guy View Post
        I figured as much. However, completing 2-4 years of college would therefore expand my range of departments correct?
        No really. I can only think of a couple of departments that require more than a high school diploma or GED.
        Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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        • #5
          Originally posted by The Cable Guy View Post
          I figured as much. However, completing 2-4 years of college would therefore expand my range of departments correct?
          Let me revise that last post. If you want to go directly into plain clothes investigations, a number of state and federal investigative agencies require a degree. Some require a degree and prior law enforcement experience, But if you are looking at city police/county sheriff, the majority are high school diploma/GED.
          Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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          • #6
            Originally posted by L-1 View Post
            Let me revise that last post. If you want to go directly into plain clothes investigations, a number of state and federal investigative agencies require a degree. Some require a degree and prior law enforcement experience, But if you are looking at city police/county sheriff, the majority are high school diploma/GED.
            Ahh, that makes sense. Thanks for clarifying.

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            • #7
              Many departments, like mine, have a cadet program that allows you to work part time until you are in your early 20's as long as you are attending college. This would expose you to law enforcement and give you a leg up when trying to be hired. As a cadet you wont be wearing a gun or kicking doors or anything exciting. You will be taking reports at the front desk and doing assistance for officers and detectives. But it will help you learn some of the harder aspects of the job so you can concentrate on other things during your early training phase. A lot of people only think about geting hired. That is not the end of the process. You will have a very difficult academy and FTO program, that many fail, (Even those with degrees).

              The issue with you right now is not your education but rather your age. You cant be a cop until you are 21 so you can spend the next two years finishing your degree while working at a PD. Cadet work may be boring but it affords you an opportunity to distinguish yourself in the department of your choice, But be carefull it also afords an opportunity to give yourself a bad rep, so be eager, respectfull and work hard.
              Originally posted by FJDave
              GM, you have just set the bar that much higher for the rest of us in our witty, sarcastic responses. I yield to you! Good job, kind Sir!

              District B13
              "We are not cops nor Feds." yet he still poses as an officer Hmmmm


              Grant us grace, fearlessly, to contend against evil and to make no peace with oppression.--WWII memorial

              "I have loved justice and hated iniquity, therefore I die in exile."

              Pope Gregory V II

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              • #8
                Also a lot of departments pay more the higher your education is. So it might be to your advantage to get your BA to obtain a higher pay when you do get into a LEO Position.

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                • #9
                  Stay in school and get your degree... Though it may not be a requirement to be hired, it will definatly be to your advantage if you wish to promote through the ranks of a department.

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                  • #10
                    Also consider the possibility that you WON'T/CAN'T get hired. It sucks thinking about it, but it would be foolish to not have some sort of 'back-up' plan.

                    To be honest, the CJ degree doesn't have much worth outside of...CJ. If you cannot get into law enforcement, what then?

                    The valuable degrees now and as of late are Math and Engineering degrees. Even just generic "Business" degrees are practically worthless, because the job market is swimming with them.

                    I honestly hope you make it in with no problems (I'm working on it right now...), but please do yourself a favor and consider the possibility that you might not be able to get into law enforcement - and plan accordingly.

                    Either way, finish your degree. You'll regret it if you don't. Good luck!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Look into becoming a Deputy Assistant. Gain valuable experience and get paid!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Bosss Hog View Post
                        Look into becoming a Deputy Assistant. Gain valuable experience and get paid!
                        So how would I be able to get into these Cadet or Assistant programs? They sound pretty interesting and probably beats my current desk job. How's the pay in these types of positions?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by The Cable Guy View Post
                          So how would I be able to get into these Cadet or Assistant programs? They sound pretty interesting and probably beats my current desk job. How's the pay in these types of positions?
                          Some are volunteer and do not compensate. Most are very low wages, minimum wage at most agencies. Most of these positions are also part time, because they are designed to work around a full-time student's schedule. Given the current economy, most of these positions are being eliminated to save on budget.

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                          • #14
                            I watch "The Academy" (I know it's TV and not %100 accurate), how can some of those people make it and others don't. Please note, I am sure most of the people from that class are good LEO's, just making a point.

                            They just passed the academy, they haven't made it yet, they still have a LONG way to go.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              [QUOTE=Up_On_Base;1522703]
                              Originally posted by Garbage Man View Post
                              But it will help you learn some of the harder aspects of the job so you can concentrate on other things during your early training phase. A lot of people only think about geting hired. That is not the end of the process. You will have a very difficult academy and FTO program, that many fail, (Even those with degrees).

                              QUOTE]

                              Gotta ask, I read several different forums and I notice that a lot of new Officers in CA and Vegas fail FTO/Break In.

                              What is the reasoning, are some people that clueless and can't hack it? The parent agency already invested a ton of money/time in these recruits, how did they graduate the academy?

                              I watch "The Academy" (I know it's TV and not %100 accurate), how can some of those people make it and others don't. Please note, I am sure most of the people from that class are good LEO's, just making a point.
                              Thats a a good question actually. I have seen way too may people fail the FTO program and many of them, I thought, had what it took to be good cops. I think it has to do with self confidence. The academy gives you the information in a classroom but it feels irrelevent when you are out in the field somehow. Its not, many new guys have all the info they need to get it done but they freeze when all the screaming starts. They lose confidence then decide they have no idea what to do. FTO has to step in past the blue suited statue and bring calm to chaos.

                              Its not that they make mistakes, we all do everyday. Its that they dwell on their mistakes and convince themselves they cant do it. When they let me out of training I was convinced they made a mistake, because I didnt have a clue. Soon I was watching all the new guys wondering why they found the job so hard.

                              I would recommend that any one who wants to be cop thinks about themselves and how quickly they learn. It takes a quick study and fast learner to go from citizen to cop in the normal way. Some people learn slower but more completely. For them I would recommend a slower aproach, starting with reserve then officer. Also dont be so quick to think you want the shortest FTO program possible. For many a one year FTO is ideal.
                              Originally posted by FJDave
                              GM, you have just set the bar that much higher for the rest of us in our witty, sarcastic responses. I yield to you! Good job, kind Sir!

                              District B13
                              "We are not cops nor Feds." yet he still poses as an officer Hmmmm


                              Grant us grace, fearlessly, to contend against evil and to make no peace with oppression.--WWII memorial

                              "I have loved justice and hated iniquity, therefore I die in exile."

                              Pope Gregory V II

                              Comment

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