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  • Am I doing this right?

    Hello all LEO and prospective LEOs'

    Background:
    I am currently a 27 year old student studying at a U.S. university in Tokyo, Japan. I also served in the U.S. Navy for 4 years with honerable discharge. At the end of current semester I will have 119 credits earned towards a B.S. in International Business (GPA 3.2). I have a Japanese wife and we have 2 children together.

    Question(Critique my plan):
    I am seriously considering a career in Law Enforcement and through research concluded that the best opportunity for myself and my family would be to make this pursuit in California. After this semester I plan to fly out to California and begin the process by taking the POST test and applying to multiple departments and sheriffs. I know that getting hired can be a long process so I will simutaneously inquire to academies that allow self sponsorship. I have given Southern California consideration and favor the Orange County Sheriffs academy. From research, OCSA seems to be a premier school but I would like to know if anyone could tell me how some Northern Cali academies stand up OCSA, such as Alameda, Contra Costa, and South Bay Regional. It is important to note that I would be using my G.I. Bill, and with this my housing allowance makes me favor N. California (APPROX. $2500vs.$3100-3800). How realistic is it to continue job hunting while actually attending an academy? I feel like I am a marketable applicant and being an academy attendee would only further that. Any advice or mentoring would be greatly appreciated. Thank you all for your time.

    I hope to continue this thread and maybe it will help others in similar situations.

  • #2
    When will you be done with your degree?

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks for joining the discussion just joe.

      At current semester end I would be 21 credits short of the degree. I am thinking that I would like to take the summer off of school and put in a leave of absense from the university to attend an academy. I know the benifits of just finishing the degree first, then start job hunting and/or enrolling in an academy. My gut though, is telling me "this is what you really want to do, so just go and do it." I feel like if I cannot get hired, or close to being hired, in the 6-9 months it would take to complete an academy, the plus of a degree would be marginally beneficial. I am also considering that most academy programs will give me additional college credits that will give me at least 140 credits. I have discussed this with many of my peers and they are all on the side of finishing the degree first. My brain is with them but my intuition is not. Thanks again for joining this discussion.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by ndsavoie View Post
        Thanks for joining the discussion just joe.

        At current semester end I would be 21 credits short of the degree. I am thinking that I would like to take the summer off of school and put in a leave of absense from the university to attend an academy. I know the benifits of just finishing the degree first, then start job hunting and/or enrolling in an academy. My gut though, is telling me "this is what you really want to do, so just go and do it." I feel like if I cannot get hired, or close to being hired, in the 6-9 months it would take to complete an academy, the plus of a degree would be marginally beneficial. I am also considering that most academy programs will give me additional college credits that will give me at least 140 credits. I have discussed this with many of my peers and they are all on the side of finishing the degree first. My brain is with them but my intuition is not. Thanks again for joining this discussion.
        Honestly, it really doesn't matter what academy you go to. Just find an area you can afford and were you'd like to work, and go there. Up here in the Bay Area we hire lots of academy attendees and of course people who've graduated.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by gregorydg View Post
          Honestly, it really doesn't matter what academy you go to. Just find an area you can afford and were you'd like to work, and go there. Up here in the Bay Area we hire lots of academy attendees and of course people who've graduated.
          Hello gregorydg, thanks for your post. My understanding was that usually academies have partnerships with ppolice departments and it would help with networking with prospective employers. Being a non-Californian I thought this would be important. Do you have recent experience getting hired in the Bay Area? If so, I'd love to hear about it. There are many attractive aspects about the Bay Area, but that can also be said for Southern California. Depending on how job hunting goes I would probably hop on the first job offer.

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          • #6
            I think you are being foolish to blow off a degree a semester short of graduation. I consider it to be poor decision making and I would hold it against you. Police jobs will still be here. Depending on seismic activity California may or may not be here, but there's the rest of the US to look at.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by just joe View Post
              I think you are being foolish to blow off a degree a semester short of graduation. I consider it to be poor decision making and I would hold it against you. Police jobs will still be here. Depending on seismic activity California may or may not be here, but there's the rest of the US to look at.
              Hey just joe, I appreciate this conversation but I think you are being a little harsh by saying I am blowing off a degree. I am not failing out and as i previously noted I am studying overseas so actively trying to get the job I want where I want requires me to be there. You are right that it is probable that police jobs will still be there after the 2 semesters it would take for me to earn my B.S. Likewise, I have the ability to put in a leave of absense from my university and those 2 semesters will be there if indeed that is the course I need to take. Unlike my peers, I do not have the desire to stay in Japan and network for a entry level marketing job where the measure of character is very shallow. I want to bring my family to the U.S. because I believe that is the best opportunity for us. I believe that the time in academy and during FTO will outweigh the remaining credits in a business degree. I am not looking for just a job, I am looking to make a life for myself and my family. Once again thank you for having this conversation with me. I very much appreciate the diologue.

              Comment


              • #8
                Going through the Academy and job hunting at the same time will be difficult. The Academy takes up all your weekday time and most weekend time because of studying/practicing that unless you get an agency that is willing to work around your schedule to set up interviews it is not going to be easy to get the ball rolling on getting hired.

                It's not impossible to do just difficult. If you have a clean background and even without the degree you can still get hired your military experience increases your chances. Some agencies like life experience more than some young gun with a degree. If you happen to graduate from the Academy as a non affiliate your chances of being hired by an agency increase even more. I am with a bay area agency you can pm me if you want more details.
                Last edited by savan; 02-14-2015, 10:50 AM. Reason: Sentence structure

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                • #9
                  But you are blowing it off. You are too impatient to start a career that is not going anywhere and, as a consequence, you are walking away from a degree when the finish line is right in front of you. I don't deny that the best opportunity for you and your family will be in the states, but to make the best of that scenario and to maximize your employment opportunities, you need to finish your degree. Assuming you get hired somewhere, it is going to take you 1 to 5 years to get a full time police job. During that time you need to support your family. It will be a lot easier to support your family if you have a degree. "Almost" having a degree is the same as not having a degree, and will automatically put you out of the running for a lot of positions. "Almost" having a degree doesn't count in the LE hiring process either.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ndsavoie View Post
                    Hello gregorydg, thanks for your post. My understanding was that usually academies have partnerships with ppolice departments and it would help with networking with prospective employers. Being a non-Californian I thought this would be important. Do you have recent experience getting hired in the Bay Area? If so, I'd love to hear about it. There are many attractive aspects about the Bay Area, but that can also be said for Southern California. Depending on how job hunting goes I would probably hop on the first job offer.
                    I think you'll be fine man. I was hired while going to a part time academy, by a department that wasn't even really that familiar with my academy. And the college thing is up to you. Just be ready to explain it when backgrounds come up. I honestly don't think it's a big deal though. If your background isn't so bad and your not crazy or too cocky, you'll have no problem getting hired out here. Maybe you could also try transferring to a college out here and start applying to places that will send you to the academy. Have you thought about doing that?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Having a degree increases your pay. Having the equilavent may not.

                      I would recommend not attending an Academy as a non-affiliate. Try to get hired by an agency who will send you to the Academy. Many of the bigger agencies will not consider non-affliates.

                      Several agencies in the Bay Area are actively hiring.
                      semper destravit

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by gregorydg View Post
                        I think you'll be fine man. I was hired while going to a part time academy, by a department that wasn't even really that familiar with my academy. And the college thing is up to you. Just be ready to explain it when backgrounds come up. I honestly don't think it's a big deal though. If your background isn't so bad and your not crazy or too cocky, you'll have no problem getting hired out here. Maybe you could also try transferring to a college out here and start applying to places that will send you to the academy. Have you thought about doing that?
                        Well the plan was to try and get the ball rolling getting hired before enrolling in an academy. Just looking at the POST website is seems there is a fair amount of angencies that show some preference to academy graduates and attendies. I mean it makes sense since it is going to save them tens of thousands of dollars and partly negates the risk of an academy dropout. Transferring to a different Uni has crossed my mind in the past but I think having a nice check coming in every month during academy would help a lot. I don't know how long it would take for an agency to sponsor me to an academy. Thanks for the advice.

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                        • #13
                          Finish your degree first.
                          Other officer: Oh that's right, I forgot, you're God's gift to police work.
                          Me: At least someone recognizes it.

                          Turns out basic police work isn't so hard, you just have to leave the station.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by just joe View Post
                            I think you are being foolish to blow off a degree a semester short of graduation. I consider it to be poor decision making and I would hold it against you. Police jobs will still be here. Depending on seismic activity California may or may not be here, but there's the rest of the US to look at.
                            I disagree. If he was a year or two in, it would look stupid but not at this point. I had a ride along once that was planning on becoming a cop after he finished his degree. He was very close as well but had a likely chance of getting hired by us if he applied at that time. I advised him to apply, get through the academy and probation, and then finish school. He did exactly that and had a good job while most of the guys in his CJ program couldn't get hired because hiring was frozen in the past few years.

                            Finishing a 21 units isn't that hard. If the OP can get hired now it makes perfect sense to take the job and finish his degree in the very near future.

                            It does not make sense to stop to self sponsor. Only if you have a job offer.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Your example is a completely differnt fact pattern than what the OP has presented. You had a local candidate and an active hiring process taking place. The OP is not local, nor is there a hiring process taking place.

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