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  • Career transition advice request from Ventura County agencies

    Good day to you all. I’m an accountant in my mid 30s. I am considering transitioning to law enforcement. Ideally, I think I would enjoy investigating financial crimes as a detective but am not sure how long the process would take. I am considering VCSD & VPD. Can any officers give me guidance on how long it would take to get to this point and whether my background would make me a good candidate? Am I too old? I also have an MBA—would this help me at all? In my case, which agency would be better (especially due to the years in custody requirement for VCSD)?

    Thank you for your time and God bless.
    Last edited by vcexec; 10-08-2017, 05:12 PM.

  • #2
    You are definitely not too old. While the median age in any academy class tends to be mid-to late 20s, you will find plenty of people joining at your age. I had two people in my class a few years ago who were in their late 40s. Having an MBA will definitely help you in the process. It's not the end all be all but it shows that you have advanced education and that you committed to the program and finished it.

    There is no magic number as far as years go to reach an investigative-type position. Usually it's between 5-10 years (ball park figure and depending on the agency) but when looking at VCSD, you have to factor in custody time. I don't know how long theirs is before they go out to patrol.

    I've said this before and I'll say it again. You can apply to all the agencies you want. But it's up to YOU to decide which agency will be better for you. Go on ride alongs and ask some questions. Get a feel for the agencies you're interested in and figure out which one seems more compatible to you. Based on the info you've provided, on paper you seem mature due to your age and education/work experience so don't worry about that.

    Comment


    • vcexec
      vcexec commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you. Much appreciated

  • #3
    Are you prepared to NEVER make detective and spend your entire career in Patrol?
    Now go home and get your shine box!

    Comment


    • vcexec
      vcexec commented
      Editing a comment
      Absolutely. It would be a privilege to serve my community in that capacity for the rest of my career.

  • #4
    VCSD custody time might be shorter due to retirements in the next few years. Small departments you will push the radio cars for awhile before moving up,just how they work. What you could do us work a police department then try for a district attorney investigator position with ventura or LA County. Both are sworn both have same powers as a deputy or officer.
    I'd rather be judged by 12 rather carried by 6.

    It should be noted that any and all post that are made are based on my own thought and opinions. And are not related or implied to represent the department I work for.

    Comment


    • #5
      Thank you!

      Comment


      • #6
        It's going to take a while.

        VCSD is going to be your best bet for doing this, at least within the county, but you're looking at probably 10 years or so before getting there. A few years in custody, followed by a few years in patrol. If you promote to senior deputy in that time, you get the privilege of going back to custody. AFAIK, financial investigations are handled by the major crimes detectives.

        VPD, as great as their detectives are, aren't handling complex financial investigations on a regular basis.

        moparfan is also correct, the VCDA's office has both a Major Fraud and Economic Crimes unit. But you're not getting a job there without at least 10 years of progressively responsible investigative experience, unless you're BFF's with the DA and/or senior staff.

        Your alternative would be federal agencies. IRS, FBI, Secret Service, all deal with financial crimes.
        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


        • #7
          I worked the forgery/fraud detail for LASD and it took me 18 years, 15 in patrol before I got transferred to the unit...At the time I was the first Deputy without detective experience to get transferred to that specialized unit, but I had developed extensive knowledge of financial crimes over the years...At the time I worked there we only had about 15 investigators for the entire dept and everyone had over 15 years on the dept...
          Retired LASD

          Comment


          • vcexec
            vcexec commented
            Editing a comment
            What extra steps did you take to develop the knowledge of financial crimes that helped you get the investigator position?

        • #8
          The desire to work in Investigations has changed in the past few years. I know of several departments I've talked to that actually have a difficult time getting anyone to apply. I have even started to see departments hiring for part time detectives. Of course you would need some actual patrol experience and the academy it might be a way for you to get your foot in? With your accounting experience you would be a good candidate as white collar crime is a major duty. Good luck

          Comment


          • #9
            VPD, all my friends are happy there, total opposite of my friends that went to vcsd and bounced

            Comment


            • #10
              What type of financial crime investigations are you thinking of? I ask because the State has the Dept of Insurance Detectives (Investigator CalHr classification) that routinely conduct complex and major insurance fraud investigations. These often result in hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars in fraudulently obtained income, which then results in large restitution fines and many years of prison time (at least on paper, usually still get kicked to probation). Most of the state jobs are hurting for people, so they will put people through an academy (even with no investigative experience).

              Comment


              • vcexec
                vcexec commented
                Editing a comment
                Im looking for any financial investigations units where I could serve as a sworn officer and utilize my business skills to shut down crime. I have a family and wouldn’t want to relocate so the other goal would be to have a local office. I also looked at FBI and IRS but I did not see that either of those agencies are hiring for those positions locally

            • #11
              I will say that major fraud investigations can be some of the most complex cases officers will ever investigate and I know in my 15 years in patrol I never wrote a report as long as some I wrote working fraud....My longest report was 238 pages (hand printed) How many street cops have ever investigated a theft of trade secrets case by a fortune 500 company where the trade secret was sold to China for millions of dollars.
              Retired LASD

              Comment


              • #12
                The federal side would be closing since the major players require age 37 or younger when hired. Remember Ventura county is small with limited PDs. The investigator gigs with LA County DA is great. I have a partner that went there and loves it. But you need patrol time. As mentioned above the state gigs are great. You would go through a full time academy and then go straight to investigations. Not a bad gig. I had 2 insurance folks in my academy. Pay is ok but they had take homes, even in the acadmey.
                I'd rather be judged by 12 rather carried by 6.

                It should be noted that any and all post that are made are based on my own thought and opinions. And are not related or implied to represent the department I work for.

                Comment


                • #13
                  Originally posted by moparfan View Post
                  The federal side would be closing since the major players require age 37 or younger when hired. Remember Ventura county is small with limited PDs. The investigator gigs with LA County DA is great. I have a partner that went there and loves it. But you need patrol time. As mentioned above the state gigs are great. You would go through a full time academy and then go straight to investigations. Not a bad gig. I had 2 insurance folks in my academy. Pay is ok but they had take homes, even in the acadmey.
                  State pay sucks donkey dicks
                  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 Blizz View Post

                    State pay sucks donkey dicks
                    Never said it was great. It's funny how the only pat worth a darn is CHP & CDC
                    I'd rather be judged by 12 rather carried by 6.

                    It should be noted that any and all post that are made are based on my own thought and opinions. And are not related or implied to represent the department I work for.

                    Comment


                    • #15
                      Originally posted by moparfan View Post

                      Never said it was great. It's funny how the only pat worth a darn is CHP & CDC
                      That's the power in a big union that actually yields some power.

                      Comment

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