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  • Police Departments Hiring Non-Certified

    Hey Guys,

    So I've been looking around the state for a little while now, and I've applied and spoke with tons of people and recruiters. Just wondering what it's looking like for non-certified guys out there right now? Talking to a few cops they said 5 years ago they couldn't even get enough guys through the academy to fill the streets. Now with the economy how it is, it seems like everyone wants to be a cop now. Also, with so many guys using their GI Bills to pay for the academy, there are tons of unexperienced "certified" cops coming out of the wood works every few months.

    I know St. Pete and HCSO have been hiring for a long time now, but I'm looking to stay close to home. I'm in Jacksonville now where I went to college, but I'm originally from Ft. Lauderdale (who I've applied with recently). After talking with their recruiter he really opened my eyes to the whole getting hired fiasco that's going on right now. I've been given the advice by him, and a few other individuals, that I'm such a quality prospect that I should hold out a while because a PD or SO will hire me and put me through the academy no problem. I was actually going through the process to be admitted to the academy here in Jax, and was accepted, but after talking with my family and these officers, decided that it's a foolish financial decision to self sponsor.

    A little more about me, I'm 23 now with a B.S. in accounting. I was a 5-year division 1 football player through college. I've taken the CJBAT, and scored a 97% just going in a taking the test with no prep. I've taken physical and swim tests around the state, and blown them away (actually had a good time on the obstacle courses lol). I've got no arrests, no DUI's, no record. A few speeding tickets, but so far none of that has given me any problems with any applications.

    Let me know what you guys know about any agencies hiring, about what you think of the advice I've gotten, or if you just have anything to say. Thanks y'all.

  • #2
    There are very few agencies out there that hire non-certified applicants, and that's a direct result of the way that law enforcement training is done down here in Florida. Why would a department pay to put someone through the academy and have to wait six months to get them on the street? If you consider any agency specific post-academy training and the FTO program, it will be a year before that officer is solo. There were people paying their way through my academy class with bachelor's and master's degrees, military officer experience, and reserve law enforcement experience. Some of those folks got hired, some never did. I was lucky that I got sponsored and paid to go to the academy, but that's mainly because I was in the right place at the right time.

    As far as being "such a quality prospect," that's in your mind. You're out of college with a degree and no work experience. To be quite honest, people like you are a dime a dozen. That's why many agencies that do sponsor (HCSO as an example) require a bachelor's degree as a minimum requirement. At my agency we wouldn't even dream of hiring anyone without prior experience if they don't have a bachelor's degree, and we don't sponsor anymore either. Also, you mention the GI Bill. Many departments would take someone out of the military before someone out of college if they had their choice. The military prepares you more for a career in law enforcement than accounting classes do.

    There's nothing wrong with holding out and trying to find an agency that will sponsor you, but you're really limiting your choices of agencies. This is especially true if you want to stay in one specific geographic area. Remember that your pension is based off of your years of service, so the quicker that you can get the job with the agency you want to spend your career, the more money you will make when you retire. If spending a few thousand dollars now will get you hired a year sooner by a better agency then in the long run it's worth it.

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    • #3
      I completely agree with Delta. Guys like you are a dime a dozen and your really not as competitive as you think, no offense. I think you made a mistake by not going to that academy in Jax. It's true what you heard though. Since the economy tanked, EVERYONE and their grandmother wants to be a cop now all of a sudden. I remember in my academy class, there was only five of us that TRULY wanted to do this since we can remember. All the other guys were there because they were laid off from their job or they wanted to do a "career change" because it was easy money to them (their exact words).


      Its certainly not like it was a few years ago when they were hiring by the droves because the economy was good and everyone had jobs. People never thought twice about being in LE because why risk my life for so little when I can get paid a lot more in a nice job. So now you have all of these people that are competing against you for the job that you have always wanted to have and chances being they will get it before you do. As in my class again LOL, the guys that never wanted to do this job were the first ones to get picked up among us. Here I'm, I've always wanted to do this job and I'm having an extremely hard time getting on anywhere. I'm even thinking about going to the Fire academy if things don't work out for me soon with FLPD that I'm trying to get on with. So ANYTHING you can get under your belt is an asset for you at this point. Don't ever think that you are an awesome applicant and you are a good prospect because chances are, theres someone whose A LOT better than you are and is bringing A LOT more to the table than you.
      Law Enforcement is a career like none other. You face challenges everyday and you get rewarded in the sametime. Thats why LE work is the best career an individual can ever choose. - Me

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      • #4
        Another reason agencies stopped putting guys through is the fail out rate as well. I heard some crazy numbers, and it was a money pit for those agencies. That's just a reason why already going through college with a "quality" degree could help I feel like. I forgot to add this at first too, I don't mean to talk myself up, but it was eye opening to go to these physical tests and such other prerequisites. So many of these people it seemed were out there with it in their minds, "well for $15 let's go see how I'd do as a cop". I'm talking guys couldn't finish, couldn't meet the times, and so on. These just aren't people I see protecting society, but somehow I've seen guys like that who make it through. Guess it really is, "being in the right place at the right time".

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        • #5
          A physical test is pass or fail. It's not graded. If you're testing for a large agency then you're just a number and nobody will remember how you did on the physical test--only if you passed or failed. Being able to run a couple minutes faster than the next guy or lift more weight isn't going to make you a batter cop, and that's why the physical is pass-fail while things like oral boards and written tests are graded.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by E NORM S View Post
            Another reason agencies stopped putting guys through is the fail out rate as well. I heard some crazy numbers, and it was a money pit for those agencies. That's just a reason why already going through college with a "quality" degree could help I feel like. I forgot to add this at first too, I don't mean to talk myself up, but it was eye opening to go to these physical tests and such other prerequisites. So many of these people it seemed were out there with it in their minds, "well for $15 let's go see how I'd do as a cop". I'm talking guys couldn't finish, couldn't meet the times, and so on. These just aren't people I see protecting society, but somehow I've seen guys like that who make it through. Guess it really is, "being in the right place at the right time".



            You have NO IDEA my friend. Wait until you go to the academy. Two things are going to go through your head while your in the academy. First thing its going to be, damn these exams gotta pass, gotta pass. The second is going to be, how the **** did all these idiots get selected to come to my academy. LMAO
            Law Enforcement is a career like none other. You face challenges everyday and you get rewarded in the sametime. Thats why LE work is the best career an individual can ever choose. - Me

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            • #7
              I'm aware that they are pass-fail, but being physically fit as an officer is of utmost importance. It is literally the difference in life and death out there. Being that much bigger, faster, and stronger than the next guy, (who could be a criminal you face one day), makes one that much more prepared for the job. That is one thing I liked about the jax academy's admitting process, their physical test was graded on a scale up to 100%. Now that I think of it, that's how it should be everywhere else too. Just another way to weed out and separate those who'll excel.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by NavCop22 View Post
                You have NO IDEA my friend. Wait until you go to the academy. Two things are going to go through your head while your in the academy. First thing its going to be, damn these exams gotta pass, gotta pass. The second is going to be, how the **** did all these idiots get selected to come to my academy. LMAO
                Wow, already reading my mind ahaha...trust me, some of the people I saw at the jax academy is a part of why I re-evaluated whether I should be putting myself through.

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                • #9
                  The academies are all run by the community colleges, and all they care about is getting your money. After they get your money they couldn't care less whether or not you even pass the academy, never mind getting hired. The academy has no vested interest in your success whatsoever. There are way more people graduating from the academy these days than there are police jobs, but the academies are still churning them out. Given the relatively lax background investigations and entrance requirements to get into the academy, it's really no wonder that many of them won't get hired.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Delta_V View Post
                    The academies are all run by the community colleges, and all they care about is getting your money. After they get your money they couldn't care less whether or not you even pass the academy, never mind getting hired. The academy has no vested interest in your success whatsoever. There are way more people graduating from the academy these days than there are police jobs, but the academies are still churning them out. Given the relatively lax background investigations and entrance requirements to get into the academy, it's really no wonder that many of them won't get hired.



                    Yep........what he said. That pretty much sums it all up.
                    Law Enforcement is a career like none other. You face challenges everyday and you get rewarded in the sametime. Thats why LE work is the best career an individual can ever choose. - Me

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Damm Delta, it really is a messed up system that's going on...there's so many things that come to mind to fix it, but I'm sure the Comm. Colleges are very pleased with the money they're rounding up.

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                      • #12
                        Yeah, it really sucks that it can't be like in other states up north. Take Indiana for example, you aren't allowed to go to an academy unless you are sponsored by an agency. I think it should be one or the other. Meaning, that if they (the State) allow open enrollment academies. Then agencies shouldn't or wouldn't have to sponsor anyone because of the open enrollment academies. Or only allow sponsored academies where you can only go if you are actively sponsored by an agency. Right now its such a cluster**** with Certified and Non Certified applicants that its crazy. The State is overrun by Certified applicants running around the State to get hired. That's why I said, if you can get anything under your belt that can make you stand out, DO IT. It's only going to benefit you in the long run. By what you've said, you would make a heck of a good officer. If I were in an agency, I'd like you to be my back up lol. What position did you play? What college? if you don't mind me asking.
                        Law Enforcement is a career like none other. You face challenges everyday and you get rewarded in the sametime. Thats why LE work is the best career an individual can ever choose. - Me

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I was a Quarterback at Jacksonville University...nice little program here in Jax

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