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  • Ex-British Cop trying to get U.S. job

    I'm a Dual-National (British / American) who is moving to the U.S.A. in just 2 weeks time. I've got 24 years L.E. experience with various British agencies and have just completed a 1 year tour in IRAQ as an International Police Advisor, training / mentoring the Iraqi Police. I've been applying to various different U.S. agencies all over the country, as I have family all over the states (East coast to West) I've not had much luck, so far. So I thought that perhaps L.A. would be a good place to apply? (Got relatives there) And they always seem to be recruiting, heavily? However, I've just had yet another "knock back" from them, too. I applied for their combined recruitment for Airport / Harbor / General Services police officer positions. It was their joint application to all 3 departments. Anyway, the L.A. Public Safety Bureau told me that they only accept applicants with a U.S. High School Diploma. I told them that I wasn't educated in the U.S.A. so therefore didn't have this qualification. I did explain that I graduated from High School with a British G.C.E. (General Certificate of Education) which is equivalent to an American H.S. diploma, but was told that the City of Los Angeles didn't recognize "Non American" qualifications. I went on to say that I also had a 1 year Undergraduate Diploma (in Security Management) and have now just completed my Associate's Degree (in Crime Scene Investigation) I was told that they didn't recognize my College Diploma either, and would "probably not" recognize my Associate's as it wasn't from an American College? I couldn't believe what I was hearing... This is from a city that is supposedly "crying out for cops!" Not only that, but they make a big thing about "Equal Opportunities" on their website, saying that they don't discriminate on the grounds of National Origin + a load of other stuff!!! (Yeah right) To top it all off, the guy from H.R. told me that I should go and take one of those G.E.D.'s before I applied again. So let me get this right.... they want me to go and take High School classes (at the age of 41 years old) when I've already got a College Degree? They must be kidding, right? Unfortunately, no they're not....

  • #2
    P.S. I've noticied that some agencies in CA specify that applicants must have a U.S. High School Diploma, but that other departments simply say HSD or "it's equivalent" will be accepted. Does anyone know of any CA agencies that will accept the latter? In particular, departments that are actively recruiting large numbers of officers? Thanks in advance, for any pointers.

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    • #3
      My departments website and several others here in San Diego County also say H.S. Diploma or GED certificate. We have had officers hired who were from other countries and I dont think they were required to go back and obtain a GED. I would call each recruiter and talk with them. There are a lot of agencies in San Diego hiring right now...... here is a link (not from my department)that includes most city websites in San Diego....Good Luck

      http://www.ci.escondido.ca.us/links/index.html

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      • #4
        Hey thanks for your help Fuzz. I'll check it, now. Oh bye the way, I hear that S.D. is real expensive for house prices? (well all of S. Cal really) Can you pick up anything for around $ 300 K - average 3 bed family home? Or will I be "spitting against the wind" with that kind of money? Thanks for your advice, buddy. Jon

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        • #5
          Hi Britcop,

          The reason you are running into problems is that we have a number of "colleges" in the US that are merely diploma mills. Spend a day completing a questionnaire about your life experience and bingo, you get a bachelors, masters or doctorate degree (depending on how much you pay them). Back in the 1970s, a sham Arizona church school was offering a Doctorate of Divinity for only a $10 donation. Today the degree is on sale for only $222.50 (down from its normal price of $455.00). Many private companies simply look at a diploma and as long as it was not printed with crayons, assume it is legitimate and don't give it any further thought. OTOH, to avoid being duped, government agencies look a lot harder.

          The United States has no centralized authority over colleges or universities. To insure a level of quality in educational institutions and programs, peer review known as "Accreditation" evolved. Currently there are six regional accreditation councils that develop guidelines for education and assess whether or not these standards are being met by peer institutions. Institutions that apply for and meet the Accrediting Organization's standards receive accreditation from that organization. In short, if your college is not accredited by one of the six councils, your degree will not be recognized by most US government agencies. However, don't worry too much - there aren't that many law enforcement agencies in California that require more than a high school diploma or GED certificate for entry level hiring.

          As far as high school/GED is concerned, there is little to worry about. A GED certificate can be earned by taking a battery of tests that measure whether you possess the same level of knowledge as a high school graduate. Testing takes around 7.5 hours and costs around $100.

          To find our more about California's GED program, go to:

          http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/gd/gedfaq.asp

          As far as housing is concerned, the median price of a home in California has dropped and is now projected to be around $550,000 in 2007. Less expensive housing can be found outside of the major metropolitan areas. Your best bet here is to get a job as a special agent with the California Department of Justice. This will give you higher pay while allowing you to live in less expensive parts of the state.
          Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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          • #6
            While a state LE gig is not a bad idea, expect to be working in/around Sacramento for most positions with most State agencies.

            SoCal does have some good affordable housing (Think:Corona, San Bernardino, Riverside). I know of a guy named Smyth (Sm-eye-th) who worked the LASD Men's Central Jail in the 90's. He was as Scotch as could be, so I'm sure he wasn't US educated.

            FWIW,

            EDJ
            "It's a game of cat and mouse. It's a game of hide and seek. Albeit games with deadly consequences. Like most games-the better you know the rules, the more likely you are to win."

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by BritCop in Iraq
              Hey thanks for your help Fuzz. I'll check it, now. Oh bye the way, I hear that S.D. is real expensive for house prices? (well all of S. Cal really) Can you pick up anything for around $ 300 K - average 3 bed family home? Or will I be "spitting against the wind" with that kind of money? Thanks for your advice, buddy. Jon

              Thats a little low for anywhere in Socal....there are some "affordable" (I use that term loosely) housing as someone has mentioned though. A lot of the San Diego PD guys were living in Temecula,Murrieta and had about an hour drive to work. It might be a good idea to get your foot in the door somewhere even if you have a little longer commute and then look at transfering in a few years.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by ElDiabloJoe
                SoCal does have some good affordable housing (Think:Corona, San Bernardino, Riverside). I know of a guy named Smyth (Sm-eye-th) who worked the LASD Men's Central Jail in the 90's. He was as Scotch as could be, so I'm sure he wasn't US educated.

                FWIW,

                EDJ
                If his first name was "lee" (?) i think he started off as L.A. county Police ( Rio hondo County police academy ,class#23) then transferred to LASD( the guy was either an English or scottish "bobby" for 10 yrs prior)

                As for the education,my Dept had someone in the same position-she was a Thames Valley PC before coming over to the U.S. and applying for the city of L.A. Despite her college education,she too had to take the CA. GED before she was hired- it really isn't that hard( from what a parolee told me) good luck
                "we're americans ! We don't quit because we're wrong, we just keep doing it wrong UNTIL it turns out Right"...

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                • #9
                  I don't think there are many places in Calif at all with homes less than 400k... atleast nice homes in livable areas. Maybe the deserts. Even they are above 300k though.

                  Dont go SDPD and commute from Temecula. There are plenty of agencies that pay more in Riverside County and cheaper areas without a 1 hour plus commute. With your background you don't need to go for an easy agency. Find one you like in a city you want to work for an apply. Here are good so cal agencies to start with (with many more): Burbank, Glendale, Long Beach, Riverside Sheriff, Anaheim, Santa Ana, Costa Mesa, Hemet, El Cajon, Escondido.

                  Nor cal check out, Sacramento, Stockton, Modesto, Antioch, Vallejo, San Jose.

                  You can probably find one you don't need a GED for.
                  Get low, get ground, get tactical! Sprawl! Sprawl! Sprawl!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hey, thanks for all the great advice guys. I really appreciate it. I'll check out some of these places, you all mention. I'll be arriving in the U.S. on Feb 26 but initially staying in Florida. I'll probably come over to Calif some time March to stay with relatives. Thanks again, guys. Stay safe out there.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by DOAcop38
                      If his first name was "lee" (?) i think he started off as L.A. county Police ( Rio hondo County police academy ,class#23) then transferred to LASD( the guy was either an English or scottish "bobby" for 10 yrs prior)...
                      I don't know if his first name was Lee or not. He had a big head and a mustache that curled at the ends. He was a ****-salty ol SOB, very crusty but in a verly likable fashion. I guess a 4-letter word using crumudgeon would best describe him.

                      If you are looking at cities/counties in the NorCal area, don't neglect Redding and Shasta County, both good agencies with tons of SoCal refugees working them.

                      EDJ
                      Last edited by ElDiabloJoe; 02-11-2007, 12:49 PM.
                      "It's a game of cat and mouse. It's a game of hide and seek. Albeit games with deadly consequences. Like most games-the better you know the rules, the more likely you are to win."

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                      • #12
                        just a heads up, we carry handguns in the US.
                        kidding. i just had to.

                        good luck on the job search.
                        "In a bacon-and-egg breakfast, the chicken is involved, but the pig is committed." - Brian Billick

                        Be that pig.

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                        • #13
                          We carried Assault Rifles, Pistols and Smoke Grenades in IRAQ and travelled in Level 6 Amoured vehicles, so I guess I'll be OK over there (dogma vs karma) in the states?

                          Oh, and I also served in a few Armed Units (SWAT teams) in the U.K. over the years, too.

                          I reckon it's gonna be tough for me, but I'll just about manage to remember how those Glock 17's work?

                          The bullets go in the handle, don't they? In that magazine thing?

                          Only kidding...... dogma vs karma.

                          Yep, I'll be fine. I've actually carried guns for most of my career.

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                          • #14
                            Now you get to choose between a red state or a blue state, lol.

                            EDJ
                            "It's a game of cat and mouse. It's a game of hide and seek. Albeit games with deadly consequences. Like most games-the better you know the rules, the more likely you are to win."

                            Comment

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