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  • HELP! Some Questions from an Applicant

    Hello,

    I just found this website, and I hope that I can use this if I become an police officer. If possible, I would really appreciate it if I could get some anwsers to some of my questions:

    1. I am applying to LAPD and I am no longer going for Covina PD because I hear from friends that LAPD has more career options. Some people say if you work for a small city, the pay is better but you could get burnt out, and further along in your career you could be doing the same things since the duties are on rotation. Have I made a correct decision? I read on some other thread that some people prefer working in Beverly Hills, Torrance, etc. because the pay/retirement plans are significantly better and that the city budget in LAPD could be unstable in the future. I think this is important because you dont want to retire at 50-55 and find out there is no pension left.

    2. How are officers (LAPD) compensated? Do they have a pay scale based on tenure, just like teachers have? If so, is there a scale that I can download somewhere to see the steps and salary caps? Also, how do you get judged by performance on the job and not just tenure? What things can you do to increase your salary other than learning a language or joining special divisions such as SWAT?

    3. I read that only after 4 years of duty can you apply for detective or Sgt. I was wondering if I went to school for a masters degree, could it expedite this process if I wanted to become a detective?

    4. I read that after the probation period, officers can apply for specialized assignments other than patrol. What are some of the divisions and positions that are available?

    5. I am working out by myself because the Candidate Assistance program is too far for me as I am still working full time. I cut my time to a bit under 12 minutes for a 1.5 mile. I can do ~75-90 pushups at once, but I really have no endurance after that. I can do about 12-15 pullups. I think I was training incorrectly since LAPD does 2 minute biking, cable pull, and side steps.

    6. Lateral - If you change over to another PD or even join something like the sheriffs, do you lose your pension or does it continue?

    7. Academy - do you sleep over like boot camp or do you drive to the training 5 days a week? I was never in military and I am worried that I might not know what to expect.


    I need these questions answered to make sure my decision in career change is the right choice for me.

    Thank you ahead of time!

  • #2
    Wow, so many questions....here you go:

    1 - Only time will tell if your decision is the correct one. You make your career a blessing or a curse, depending on what you do with it.

    2 - We are paid very well. I'm not aware of where you can download the pay scale. There are "step increases" along the way as you gain tenure/longevity, but no increases based upon output. There are language bonuses. There is bonus pay for Air Support, Haz-mat, bombs, motors, and SWAT. Having a degree will start you out at a higher rate than classmates who do not have a degree. I see some who criticize our pension plan, but let me tell you that you're also encouraged to enroll in deferred compensation plans, socking away up to $300 a month will put you on rather easy-footing when you retire.

    3 - No, we want people with patrol/field experience before they promote...and let me tell you, confidentially...the majority of us think anyone who thinks they are better than us street coppers by becoming dets/sgts after such little time in the field are major, annoying pains-in-the-*****.

    4 - Traffic (as collision investigators), gang enforcement, narco.

    5 - You are not wasting any effort doing what you are doing.

    6 - Not quite sure...sorry. I don't know what the pension rules are for new hires. I'll ask and get back to you.

    7 - Nope, you don't sleepover here. You go home at night and return in the morning.
    Last edited by Kieth M.; 09-14-2006, 12:51 AM.
    "You're never fully dressed without a smile."

    Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

    Three things I know for sure: (1) No bad deed goes unrewarded, (2) No good deed goes unpunished, and (3) It is entirely possible to push the most devoted, loyal and caring person beyond the point where they no longer give a 5h!t.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thank you for taking time in responding to my questions!

      I just like making a good evaluation. I come from an Asian family, and generally those families are really against their kids joining law enforcement.

      I've always wanted to do investigative work, but gave the business field a try for the past 3 years. I just dont know if I will like patrol long term (I'm sure it will be exciting the first 3 years).

      No, I dont think I'm better than anyone, but I am competitive as I believe all police officers are. I just think that becoming a detective or other specialty might reduce the chance of getting hurt or killed. I also hear that many patrol officers get burnt out or have family issues in the long run. Thats why I want to know a career path that will help my chances to stay in this career for at least 20 years. Also, I'm not a super athlete or big guy (just 5'7" 163).

      I found out about the lateral question from the hotline. He stated LAPD does not recognize other pensions and therefore other departments respond likewise. So you cannot leave LAPD before 20 years, or you risk losing the pension. If you leave before your 55, you cannot add to your current pension. I wonder how the money you invested is allocated if you leave, do you get exactly what you put in or is there interest on it? I know people jump around but I wonder if they consider their pension, or if its not really a big deal.

      I know I have not even received an offer to join, but I want to make sure that I go with the best opportunity and I hope to be able to make a difference in the location I selected. I have not applied anywhere else besides LAPD and the FBI. I am reading on these threads about many issues that have people lean to other agencies/cities.

      Comment


      • #4
        "if you are concerned with a paycheck ,you are looking in the wrong career..."

        Chedda- thats the "problem"-I read your profile-"analyst"? you are trying to tie in the white collar world as a example of what to expect in L.E. All I see in your post is that you are talking about $$$ ,retirement, that you are physically wimpy,etc. Keith M is being "nice" to you but I'll just come out and say it- STAY IN THE "9-5" world.WE,in policing , need people dedicated to being "cops".This isn't corporate america, and people who aspire to be "desk jockeys" are looked down upon because, unlike working in the cubicle you probably have,cops get hurt and sometimes KILLED,and may have to do the SAME to other people-whats the worst you deal with -smudged copies, PC crashing,spilled coffee????? I had to watch as a pregnant woman burned to death in a wrecked vehicle, and i've chased armed carjackers at 2am when "office drones" like you were sound asleep.I've taken sexually abused and runaway children into custody from airline terminals, and made sure they got a decent hospital bed to sleep in-I wasn't "concerned" about a "detective spot or how much my retirement was at during any of those incidents.If all you care about is the $$,retirement,a promo- stay where you are ,max out your 401K, buy an insurance annuity,and try stock options when you land a bigger office or find a new "company" to work for. this job takes"heart".Sorry- you don't sound like you have the "mindset" to be a police officer -anywhere.


        Maybe the FBI will take you as you seem fixated on issues, that while important, are not what makes up the reasons why many of us joined.I see far too many of people like you coming onto the job as it is(they can't "make it" in the White collar world, so they think that a degree and office skills make them superior candidates for a dumb old "police job")- useless in the field,can't relate to the people they SERVE( I heard a probie at my Dept with your similar background complain that she "didn't want to be near Blk male gangmembers 'cause they are soo dangerous and scare her"). And all they want is to get in as "easy" as they can,some " office job" they can tool around as "Jr executives in suits" in ,not giving a damn about the real purpose we exist as police officers.These are the people who are contemptous later on of the community and their fellow officers,but make sure they get every degree and specialized job they can in the Dept so they can "look good" on a resume ,and promote to leadership( and currently thats NOT the kind of officer needed)-we are societies "keepers"-we put this city and county to "bed" at night, and we try to abate the misery of crime and cruelty of evil people.

        But with the interference of the "PC" crowd in civilian mgm't,we'll continue to collect "wastes of uniforms" with attitudes like yours who can " charm" clerk typist supvs and mgm't analysts in a "POLICE" interview-people like you who have no understanding or desire to do the job as a "police officer". Do yourself a favor and avoid heartache- if you are serious about being a "police officer",take an admin .justice class or two(Rio hondo CC, or Mt SAC college),visit Academies like rio hondo or LASD STARS in Whittier to see what young people going for the job have to endure,do some ridealongs with your local dept,volunteer for a yr or so for a PD or Non Gov't organization that serves the community you want to be a cop in.We NEED people dedicated to making the community and the job better, not those who are dedicated to their pocketbooks,or having a "title"...........
        Last edited by DOAcop38; 09-14-2006, 01:41 AM.
        "we're americans ! We don't quit because we're wrong, we just keep doing it wrong UNTIL it turns out Right"...

        Comment


        • #5
          Well, I understand your viewpoint, and I can assure you that I'm your "white collared" yuppy. I always wanted to get into law or law enforcement and those "desk jockeys" you refered to are just as important as the field people. The fact is you only need "grunts," but also intelligent people who can try to break up the bureacracy and try to bring efficiency, direction, and community sensitivity. I actually have a successful career and I make a good salary and bonus. However, I'm finally looking into this because I know I am not passionate in this industry, and I am tired of people telling me what I should do in my career when I know I want to get into law enforcement where everyday you make a difference - not matter what level/position you have (everyone, dispatch, forensics, etc.).

          I am more than willing to put in the years pay my dues, but that doesnt mean that I want to stay in the field. People have different personalities and some are more gung ho than others. All I wanted to do from this site is figure out if this can be a managable career if I ever decide to have a family. If I can match some of the the 250+ career fields. I'm sure everyone such as yourself has a salary "threshold" and if your salary or overtime is taken away, I am very sure you would find employment elsewhere. I wasnt concerned about compensation/retirement until I found this site. Thats why many of my questions are focusing on these because they are new to me.

          Anyhow, I hope to be accepted by LAPD (or other agency) and maybe when I have a decent work history we can meet me an know that I'm not who you assumed or judged me to be.

          Comment


          • #6
            Also, I keep seeing that there is major turnover through California. That worried me because I dont know why they are leaving. I was trying to figure out why. Is it the danger, burnout, compensation, or the people they work for. I think that will be critical - what type of people I will be working for... bullies, jocks, adrenaline junkies or good, intelligent people.

            As will all jobs you never know this until you work and get to know the agency. That is why I liked Covina, it seems like a family orient agency.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by cheddaman
              Well, I understand your viewpoint, and I can assure you that I'm your "white collared" yuppy. I always wanted to get into law or law enforcement and those "desk jockeys" you refered to are just as important as the field people. The fact is you only need "grunts," but also intelligent people who can try to break up the bureacracy and try to bring efficiency, direction, and community sensitivity.
              ..Still not feeling you.What do you KNOW about the citizens or communities that make up L.A.?All you se and keep reinterating is the "different" job classes to get in.It all starts as a patrol officer -P-1/P-2,for LAPD.And what you don'rt seem to understand is that when you make comments about places like Covina PD, you might actually be a more functional officer in that Dept,as well as have the opportunities you might not see in LAPD .bigger doesn't mean "better" nor does it promise you the same experiences you will have in a smaller agency.CRIME is the same throughout L.A. county- you will run into armed gangbangers in The SGV just like you will in so.central L.A. and the danger of dealing with them is NO different ,just check out the recent West Covina and Whittier PD pursuits.

              And your comment on the "grunts"? 80% of the "police work ,investigation to arrests ,even warrant and follow up invs, are DONE by the GRUNTS.you have to be intelligent and quick on your feet to formulate a field inv, and follow it through to an arrest ,even before a Detective gets their "coffee swilling,my chair isn't comfy enough" hands on your cases.Dets spend a crap load of time at desk trying to put together junk rpts and ****poor arrests for filing BEFORE they can ever get to the juicy,exciting stuff- and most of the crap reports and invs, are by"90 day wonder" guys who think that "anywhere but in uniform" is where they want to be in a yr or two. It takes (5) yrs to produce a functional police officer, and some of the BEST cops and "investigators" I know are "slick" sleeve LAPD P-2s and 15-20 yr LAPD P-3s(FTOS).Desk riders neither break the "bureaucracy",nor bring efficiency to the "system",nor do they roll out and solve the Big ones like on TV! its the Line rank and file ,from lowly P-1 to Field Sgt that make the action that brings about change.I have watched far too many Dets sit in their "pens",(desk areas)staring at that F*CKING CLOCK and hoping some "bright eyed" P-2 doesn't bring them a caper that will hold them from getting home to their 2nd wife and a crappy chicken parmesean dinner.P.S. "grunts" refers to Vietnam Vets- and its a cynical view of the fine soldiers who fought there- it means someone who can take abuse and misery,but without making alot of noise or crying about it.It has nothing to do with describing an avg patrol officer in regards to his or her intelligence, or abilities.Every Det WAS a patrol officer,EVERY Sgt was a Patrol officer.Darryl Gates,Bernard Parks ,Bayan Lewis,Mark Kroecker were all Chiefs of LAPD and were once patrol officers........

              I actually have a successful career and I make a good salary and bonus. However, I'm finally looking into this because I know I am not passionate in this industry, and I am tired of people telling me what I should do in my career when I know I want to get into law enforcement where everyday you make a difference - not matter what level/position you have (everyone, dispatch, forensics, etc.).
              Again ,what do you want to do, and who will you serve?Find out if it really is being a police officer that you want.don't go chasing a "pipe dream" becuase you think its "Cool" or adventurous -this is a life long commitment.And bottom line- if you are ALREADY making "good" money", why risk it to pursue a job that will shorten your life span,subject you to potential physical harm , and public ridicule/ lawsuits? if you were that altruistic ,you'd be talking about being a "reserve".I suggest you go to a local "civilian police academy" and learn a little more about this career field first,then decide if you should apply.

              I am more than willing to put in the years pay my dues, but that doesnt mean that I want to stay in the field. People have different personalities and some are more gung ho than others. All I wanted to do from this site is figure out if this can be a managable career if I ever decide to have a family. If I can match some of the the 250+ career fields.
              You may join LAPD,or another Dept, and have NO choice but stay in the field.you will be competing against hundreds of competent ,intelligent officers, some will have better street skills, education , and interpersonal skills than you,which could make them the "better" candidate for alot of those 250 jobs you remark about.what do you do in that eventuality? **** and moan becuase you have to wear a blue wool uniform??? you might go from 4 yrs on to 14 yrs before you see that "opportunity"- sure its available, but that doesn't mean because you think you've "paid dues" you'll get it. and on ANY job,after a couple of yrs, you have the opportunity to start adjusting your home and work life.My H.S. buddy drives for a bread company and has been working 4am to 4pm shifts for the last 17 yrs-he's top step in pay+ commission,union with great benefits and decent retirement, gets his weekends off and holidays (paid) and still makes about $75-80K.yr.nobody has ever swung a bat at him, pulled a gun on him or been HIV + and tried to bite him on the neck like I've dealt with .when he goes to work,he has to only be concerned with making the deliveries-I have the potential to be dead or to kill someone everyday I go in......

              I'm sure everyone such as yourself has a salary "threshold" and if your salary or overtime is taken away, I am very sure you would find employment elsewhere. I wasnt concerned about compensation/retirement until I found this site. Thats why many of my questions are focusing on these because they are new to me.
              .. nothing wrong with researching the jobs out there. but one thing I learned from my academy squad advisor,Ted Hunt of the LAPPL- " you can never put a dollar amount on what it takes to do this job". I agree that everyone takes a job to gain pay and better their lives, but when I came on the job ,there wasn't this "buyers' market" of L.E. job offers.these Depts lie to the "naive" like you,posting ads with smiling faced "model like officers",doing smiling job details like leisurely bike rides by idyllic sunsets on the beach,or "high fiving " little kids- they don't show you tired 20 yr coppers in worn uniforms , shot up homeboys on the curb bleeding out and his bowels releasing everything he ate last,nor officers getting reemed for driving 5 mph over the speed limit by "PC" ctzns who wants them suspended. i took the job BECAUSE I WANTED THE JOB- the pay was what it was,and I didn't "shop" around like an MBA holder does for fortune 500 companies to fatten his pocketbook.nor do I kick if the city sez' it is broke and can't give me a raise for another 4 yrs-i make more than the avg ctzn who works a "broom swinging" job without benefits, and i never forget that when I'm on patrol.

              Anyhow, I hope to be accepted by LAPD (or other agency) and maybe when I have a decent work history we can meet me an know that I'm not who you assumed or judged me to be.
              ...I only assumed that you didn't really grasp what you were thinking of getting into.Go check out the Depts,including Covina PD that you "think" you really want to work for, learn their demographics and community concerns before you "blindly" apply- you may NOT be the ideal candidate for that Dept ,and you might not be happy a yr or two down the line there.Apply to (5) but know that those (5) are on your main list and that you can see yourself,5-10 yrs from now ,in a uniform at that location.......
              Last edited by DOAcop38; 09-15-2006, 03:51 PM.
              "we're americans ! We don't quit because we're wrong, we just keep doing it wrong UNTIL it turns out Right"...

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by cheddaman
                I think that will be critical - what type of people I will be working for... bullies, jocks, adrenaline junkies or good, intelligent people.
                You say some really odd stuff. So jocks or adrenaline junkies can't be good, intelligent people? You have way to many sterotypes in your head to be a cop. Pray tell how you are going to stand having to even speak to some of the less intelligent then you citizens on the street (for your planned 12 months of street time)?

                You have some really messed up views of policing and the culture of law enforcement. I would advise as others did. Be a Cadet, Volunteer, etc before wasting your/our time.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by hbliam
                  You say some really odd stuff. So jocks or adrenaline junkies can't be good, intelligent people? You have way to many sterotypes in your head to be a cop. Pray tell how you are going to stand having to even speak to some of the less intelligent then you citizens on the street (for your planned 12 months of street time)?

                  You have some really messed up views of policing and the culture of law enforcement. I would advise as others did. Be a Cadet, Volunteer, etc before wasting your/our time.

                  Hey,'Liam- have you made the decision yet to go full time? If more folks like you "locked up" the jobs,we wouldn't get so many "cheddaman" types-at least LBPD isn't as "PC" as LAPD and LAXPD( we have to be even more "PC") are.
                  One of my Sgts said he went thru a whole day of interviews with potential applicants(24).I told him about this post here by that "chedda" guy, and he laughed,telling me- "thats the type of people applying".He also told me that out of the (24 ) he and another Sgt interviewed,only (3) were worth a damn ,with the worst two being seriously clueless-one applicant said that he felt that $55K/yr is NOT enough to handle diseased people and that his skills lie in mgm't, and a female applicant that kept talking about her "plans" as she got pay increases! I've said it before- now that alot of folks think that the "standards" are lower ,they have come out of the woodpile like mice and think that L.E. has become like the first "Police academy" movie........

                  And unlike municipal agencies, we "district " police Depts get a crap load of "lummy" applicants who are clueless-they can't get on to a regular Dept,or think that somehow we're some "beatlemania" version of police( had a ride along actually tell me that he'd " rather come here with you guys than work the REAL Police").They apply ,some actually make it far along the process and still some even get into the academy-but by the time they reach the academy,they "realize" that we might be "just as real" as any other police Dept. For those who still haven't sobered up to reality, theres the FTO program,and even as weak as my Depts FTO program is ,often it is enough to run these "blocks" out of L.E. permenently........
                  Last edited by DOAcop38; 09-15-2006, 03:59 PM.
                  "we're americans ! We don't quit because we're wrong, we just keep doing it wrong UNTIL it turns out Right"...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by DOAcop38
                    Hey,'Liam- have you made the decision yet to go full time? ..
                    Applied yesterday.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      About time!!

                      Originally posted by hbliam
                      Applied yesterday.
                      "Respect for religion must be reestablished. Public debt should be reduced. The arrogance of public officials must be curtailed. Assistance to foreign lands must be stopped or we shall bankrupt ourselves. The people should be forced to work and not depend on government for subsistence." - Cicero, 60 B.C.

                      For California police academy notes go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CABasicPolice/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by pkagel
                        About time!!
                        I had to have over 2000 hours of reserve time to apply where I wanted. Thus the wait..

                        Comment

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