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  • Take Home Vehicles?

    I am from Florida and starting to apply to several departments in the Denver metro area. What is the common theme regarding agency take home cars throughout the state...? Thanks!

  • #2
    Unless it’s a very small agency, youi’ll probably have to be OTJ for quite a while before you’re issued a take home vehicle.
    Getting shot hurts! Don't under estimate the power of live ammo. A .22LR can kill you! I personally feel that it's best to avoid being shot by any caliber. Your vest may stop the bullet, but you'll still get a nice bruise or other injury to remember the experience.

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    • #3
      Outside the metro areas very common.
      Insode the metro area very uncommon
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      • #4
        Loveland and Ft. Collins are the only agencies of significance that have a take-home program. Not sure how Denver works, but most major metro agencies have a vehicle split between 2 officers. So you'll have the same car during your workweek and on your days off it'll be assigned to someone else, with maybe an overlap day if your agency works 4/10s.

        Most rural sheriffs depts in the eastern plains have take-homes, along with the PDs in those areas. Some of the mountain towns as well, but I wouldn't say most mountain towns. Unless you get on with Loveland or Ft. Collins you'll definitely be sacrificing some serious pay in exchange for that take-home.

        Another thing to look at is benefits and retirement. A lot of states have a standard defined benefit which all or most agencies subscribe to, this is NOT the case in CO. Most agencies only have a money purchase options, similar to a 401K, although usually generous compared to the private sector, it's just not the same as a defined benefit. The larger agencies usually contribute 8-11% with employee match of the same, the smaller and more rural depts may only contribute 3-5%. This is HUGE if you plan on staying at a dept for an entire career.

        It's worth noting the metro/major agencies that do have a defined benefit:

        CO State Patrol and all other state agencies = PERA

        Westminster PD = FPPA
        Edgewater = FPPA
        Thornton PD = FPPA
        Denver PD = FPPA
        Colorado Springs = FPPA Hybrid (part defined benefit, part money purchase)
        Pueblo Police = FPPA (no lateral entry)

        I know this post is about take homes, but the latter part of my response is an attempt to get you or anyone else to look beyond them due to more important benefit concerns. Additionally, A LOT of smaller or more rural depts that are not as well funded only have high deductible PPO health plans, this means even though you pay a monthly cost for them, they usually won't start paying for any medical expenses until you pay your yearly deductible in full. The smallest I've seen of these HDHPs is $1500. Big deal if you have a family or ongoing maintenance health issues of your own.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by FrontRangeCop View Post
          Loveland and Ft. Collins are the only agencies of significance that have a take-home program. Not sure how Denver works, but most major metro agencies have a vehicle split between 2 officers. So you'll have the same car during your workweek and on your days off it'll be assigned to someone else, with maybe an overlap day if your agency works 4/10s.

          Most rural sheriffs depts in the eastern plains have take-homes, along with the PDs in those areas. Some of the mountain towns as well, but I wouldn't say most mountain towns. Unless you get on with Loveland or Ft. Collins you'll definitely be sacrificing some serious pay in exchange for that take-home.

          Another thing to look at is benefits and retirement. A lot of states have a standard defined benefit which all or most agencies subscribe to, this is NOT the case in CO. Most agencies only have a money purchase options, similar to a 401K, although usually generous compared to the private sector, it's just not the same as a defined benefit. The larger agencies usually contribute 8-11% with employee match of the same, the smaller and more rural depts may only contribute 3-5%. This is HUGE if you plan on staying at a dept for an entire career.

          It's worth noting the metro/major agencies that do have a defined benefit:

          CO State Patrol and all other state agencies = PERA

          Westminster PD = FPPA
          Edgewater = FPPA
          Thornton PD = FPPA
          Denver PD = FPPA
          Colorado Springs = FPPA Hybrid (part defined benefit, part money purchase)
          Pueblo Police = FPPA (no lateral entry)

          I know this post is about take homes, but the latter part of my response is an attempt to get you or anyone else to look beyond them due to more important benefit concerns. Additionally, A LOT of smaller or more rural depts that are not as well funded only have high deductible PPO health plans, this means even though you pay a monthly cost for them, they usually won't start paying for any medical expenses until you pay your yearly deductible in full. The smallest I've seen of these HDHPs is $1500. Big deal if you have a family or ongoing maintenance health issues of your own.
          Thank you for the detailed reply! In Florida, a take home is common practice so that's why I was curious how Colorado departments operated. It is a nice benefit, however not at all a necessary one especially when considering other benefits such as retirement like you mentioned. Unfortunately, I haven't had a chance yet to fly out and ride along with prospective departments. I've spoken with several recruiters to try and get a real perspective about the departments (calls for service, morale, crime rate etc..). Arvada, Thornton, Westminster, and Jeffco are my top four picks thus far. Any additional local insight you can provide to me about these agencies?
          moffoaj
          Forum Member
          Last edited by moffoaj; 12-10-2017, 07:57 PM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by moffoaj View Post

            Thank you for the detailed reply! In Florida, a take home is common practice so that's why I was curious how Colorado departments operated. It is a nice benefit, however not at all a necessary one especially when considering other benefits such as retirement like you mentioned. Unfortunately, I haven't had a chance yet to fly out and ride along with prospective departments. I've spoken with several recruiters to try and get a real perspective about the departments (calls for service, morale, crime rate etc..). Arvada, Thornton, Westminster, and Jeffco are my top four picks thus far. Any additional local insight you can provide to me about these agencies?
            I'm a little biased as I work for Thornton, but I'd recommend you try for either Thornton or Westminster. Thornton is a little larger than Westy but otherwise we're about the same. Jeffco has bad pay compression issues and most people start in the jail, we've hired several people from Jeffco but none go the other way. Arvada is ok and the pay is good, but there isn't much going on there IMO, it's pretty sleepy.

            Thornton is projected to be the 4th largest city in Colorado by 2025. Thats Denver>Colorado Springs>Aurora>Thornton. It's growing very quick and annexing a ton of land. Two years ago we only had 176 authorized sworn positions. Now we're at 242. By 2025 we're projecting to be at nearly ~400 sworn. So you'll see a lot of movement both vertical in promotions and horizontal in specialty positions. We have very dense areas with section 8 housing where your district is only about 1sq mile that stay very busy. Other northern districts spread out containing mainly upper middle class areas where your patrol area could be 8-10sq miles.

            We're hiring non-certified recruits right now to put thru a POST academy. Recruit pay is around $28. We top out in 5 years, or 2-3 if hired as a lateral. Lateral and POST certified position will open in January.

            Adams County is also a decent agency although pay is lagging. Some people go with them to get a foot in the door then lateral to Thornton.

            Littleton is hiring non-POST recruits at the moment too, they pay well and have a good rep.

            Longmont is a good agency with a supportive chief and union.

            Let me know if you have any other questions.

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            • #7
              I was looking at Colorado, coming from California, for me the draw back was the pay, retirement and medical. As stated above your have to pay into the medical on top of having an average of a $20 copay for doc visit and pharmacy. Plus what was stated above.
              moparfan
              Forum Member
              Last edited by moparfan; 12-10-2017, 09:30 PM.
              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.

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              • FrontRangeCop
                FrontRangeCop
                Sworn Officer
                FrontRangeCop commented
                Editing a comment
                Those medical plans I speak of usually just apply to the smaller or less well funded departments. Larger metro agencies have good HMO/PPO plans with no deductible.

              • moparfan
                moparfan
                Forum Member
                moparfan commented
                Editing a comment
                I was looking up at the northern part of Colorado, large departments north of Denver. I have family in Ft Collins, Springs, Denver and Pubelo.

            • #8
              Originally posted by FrontRangeCop View Post

              I'm a little biased as I work for Thornton, but I'd recommend you try for either Thornton or Westminster. Thornton is a little larger than Westy but otherwise we're about the same. Jeffco has bad pay compression issues and most people start in the jail, we've hired several people from Jeffco but none go the other way. Arvada is ok and the pay is good, but there isn't much going on there IMO, it's pretty sleepy.

              Thornton is projected to be the 4th largest city in Colorado by 2025. Thats Denver>Colorado Springs>Aurora>Thornton. It's growing very quick and annexing a ton of land. Two years ago we only had 176 authorized sworn positions. Now we're at 242. By 2025 we're projecting to be at nearly ~400 sworn. So you'll see a lot of movement both vertical in promotions and horizontal in specialty positions. We have very dense areas with section 8 housing where your district is only about 1sq mile that stay very busy. Other northern districts spread out containing mainly upper middle class areas where your patrol area could be 8-10sq miles.

              We're hiring non-certified recruits right now to put thru a POST academy. Recruit pay is around $28. We top out in 5 years, or 2-3 if hired as a lateral. Lateral and POST certified position will open in January.

              Adams County is also a decent agency although pay is lagging. Some people go with them to get a foot in the door then lateral to Thornton.

              Littleton is hiring non-POST recruits at the moment too, they pay well and have a good rep.

              Longmont is a good agency with a supportive chief and union.

              Let me know if you have any other questions.
              Once again thanks for the reply. I actually submitted an app for the Thornton recruit position last week and this post has solidified my choice. Looks like Chief Nelson has been with the department for a long time so I would imagine he's very supportive?

              I like the growth potential of the department/city and the opportunity for movement. My local Sheriff's Office here is around 400 sworn and the call volume is very similar. Anyways, I am excited to start moving through the process!

              In addition, to anyone reading this I spoke with someone at Westminster who mentioned they plan to open a non-certified recruit position in January.

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