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  • City of Alpharetta to Test Police Candidates on May 14

    Alpharetta Department of Public Safety will conduct testing on May 14th.

    Applicants must:
    • be a Georgia certified officer, or
    • a certified out-of-state officer, or
    • be currently enrolled in a law enforcement academy.



    Click here for more information

  • #2
    You read my mind, I was actually getting ready to post a thread about this. I am out-of-state certified with seven years experience and am seriously considering lateraling to the Atlanta area. I have been looking at Alpharetta, Marietta, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Cobb County, and Gwinnett County.

    I have found a complete lack of information when it comes to salary pay scales in any of these departments. The dept webpages give a basic starting salary, but no information about step pay or grade increases. They also seem to be lacking detailed info regarding retirement and pensions. If you work for Alpharetta, would you mind providing pay scale and retirement info? Or do you have any links or sources that would help with the other agencies? I would greatly appreciate any help with that.

    Also, I have some other questions regarding Alpharetta if you don't mind my prying:

    1. How many officers are they looking to hire?
    2. What kind of "work environment" is it? (I know it is a smaller town, but what kind of violent crime are we talking about?)
    3. What is the morale of the line officers?
    4. Is "micromanagement" a problem?
    5. Do you guys have to wear smokey hats on patrol? (Silly question, I know, but it's a complete deal breaker for me and I know some other depts require them...)
    6. What is the secondary employment (aka off-duty jobs) policy and availability?
    7. How is the city doing financially, and have there been any significant cutbacks/changes that affected the dept?
    8. Do you guys process your own felonies, or do they all get supp'd by a detective?
    9. What kind of treatment does the dept get from the local media?
    10. How much traffic enforcement is expected of regular patrol, and are there any quotas for tickets?

    I have literally a million questions I want to ask, but that is a good starting point. I am hoping to fly out for ridealongs sometime soon at which point I plan on being a nonstop chatterbox for info. Thanks again for any help.

    Comment


    • #3
      I'm glad i found this thread... I work for a dept. in MS and looking to take the test in May. I only have three questions: (1) Do i need to complete the ga post EOT before the testing day? (2) does Alpharetta require out of state to go through full academy or is it just a refresher and (3) the obstacle course.. i read on the their site what it entails but is there more to it, especially in between the 20 yard sprint and 40 yard sprint?

      any input would be greatly appreciated. thanks

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Bunk View Post

        Also, I have some other questions regarding Alpharetta if you don't mind my prying:

        1. How many officers are they looking to hire?
        2. What kind of "work environment" is it? (I know it is a smaller town, but what kind of violent crime are we talking about?)
        3. What is the morale of the line officers?
        4. Is "micromanagement" a problem?
        5. Do you guys have to wear smokey hats on patrol? (Silly question, I know, but it's a complete deal breaker for me and I know some other depts require them...)
        6. What is the secondary employment (aka off-duty jobs) policy and availability?
        7. How is the city doing financially, and have there been any significant cutbacks/changes that affected the dept?
        8. Do you guys process your own felonies, or do they all get supp'd by a detective?
        9. What kind of treatment does the dept get from the local media?
        10. How much traffic enforcement is expected of regular patrol, and are there any quotas for tickets?

        I have literally a million questions I want to ask, but that is a good starting point. I am hoping to fly out for ridealongs sometime soon at which point I plan on being a nonstop chatterbox for info. Thanks again for any help.
        I am not an officer, but I know a few things about it. I lived and had a business in the city awhile back. Great city to live in although some of the un incorporated parts of alpharetta have now become other cities. We used to have a resident Alpharetta officer on here, but I haven't seen him in awhile.

        2. They have a huge shopping district with many other smaller areas to go with it. The residential area is mid-upper class. You get the typical violent crimes that come with a mall area... robberies, drugs, etc. They get in their fare share of chases too. They have plenty of specialized units and I think they're part of a few federal task forces. You won't be driving around rolling up on drug dealers though..

        3. I've met a few. I've also heard from other guys who know some. They are all happy and love their job.

        4. Don't really know that. The government is small and I'm sure they intermingle, but it's my understanding the chief stands with his officers. If memory serves, I think Alpharetta has produced some plenty of chiefs for other departments.

        5. No hats. Not too many around Atlanta require them. It's mostly a trooper thing around here.

        6. Plenty. Once again because of all the stores.

        7. All cities in metro Atlanta are hurting, but they don't seem to being too bad. I don't know of any furloughs or big cuts happening up there.

        8. I don't have a clue.

        9. Atlanta news outlets are very anti LE. However, on a local level, the residents are pro LE. Alpharetta has a fairly active community and the department is appreciative of it. Locals seems to like the department.

        10. They are a very pro active department. I have been pulled over a few times late at night for the whole crossing the line... never had a bad experience with them though. You can stay busy if you chose to.. you aren't bouncing from call to call with no down time like many other departments around here. You also have a large highway (GA 400) that gets a lot of traffic.

        Overall, I think they're a good department to apply for. I believe you get a take home. Their equipment is top notch. However, I wouldn't get your hopes up for them though because it was my understanding that it's one of those you places you gotta have an 'in' to get on with them. Maybe it's changed over the past few years though. All of the other departments you mentioned are great choices too... I wouldn't be disappointed to work for any of those guys. It seems you've already done your homework which is rare on here these days.

        Best of luck to you.

        Comment


        • #5
          jannino, thanks for the reply. I appreciate input from anyone. You pretty much confirmed by perception of the dept, which is that it is a good dept with a middle to upper class citizenry, and relatively good community support. I would love to actually work for a dept with modern, maintained, quality equipment, that is not just a result of the lowest bidder providing the most minimal piece of garbage available. It would also be great to work alongside other qualified, motivated, happy (heck, content even) officers who enjoy their job and are competent at what they do. These traits would apply even more so to supervisors.

          Personally, I think Alpharetta is in the perfect location for my lifestyle. It seems to be about halfway between downtown Atlanta and the mountains. Plenty far enough from downtown to not be the ghetto, yet close enough to have easy access to urban activities. And quick access to the mountains is a must, because I am an outdoors junkie.

          I have read previous posts about it being a difficult dept to get hired onto, with other people saying its "who you know", as you mentioned in your reply. That does somewhat concern me, but I would like to think that they take only those people who are best qualified. I'm not GA POST certified, so that seems to be my biggest potential barrier. Oh well, I'm not losing any sleep over it. Although I would definitely be frustrated if I spent all the time and money to fly down there multiple times for testing only to find out that I don't have a chance because I don't have an internal connection.

          I have another post going about Atlanta area payscales, do you happen to have any additional info on Alpharetta's pay?

          Comment


          • #6
            The only thing I know about agency's pay scales are what they have on their website and I'm sure you've already checked that out.

            Your thoughts about Alpharetta seem to be on point. There is nothing wrong with the other departments you listed. Gwinnett, Cobb, Sandy Springs all have top notch equipment and training. I would rate Roswell and Marietta as above average. I don't even think being without a GA POST cert is more of a problem than just the local competition. You have some departments that are really struggling and have many great officers jumping ship left and right.

            Alpharetta is about an hour from the blue ridge mountains. The wifey and I have a cabin we get in Dahlonega frequently. I don't know if the mountains in north GA are anything compared to where you live though.

            What is bringing you to the metro Atl area?

            Comment


            • #7
              1. Currently we don't have an opening. A list will be formed from the testing, and the list will be good for a year. We usually hire around 5 officers per year.
              2. We don't get as much violent crimes like Atlanta, Sandy Springs, and Roswell do. Major crimes we have are entering autos and burglaries due having many shopping centers, restaurants, hotels, and a large mall.
              3. It's good. No fourlough days like alot of agencies around here have been doing.
              4. No
              5. No
              6. We have alot, but not as many as we use to because of the economy. We have a large ampitheatre here thats open from April-November that brings in alot of extra jobs.
              7. The city seems to be doing a little better. We usually get performance raises every year, but for the past three years we haven't until recently. In saying that we never were asked to take days off.
              8. Yes we do. Our call volume isn't bad. We have many officers working per shift, so we usually process our own felonies unless its a major felony that would take longer to investigate. Then a detective will take over.
              9. Nothing bad. We have a good working relationship with our media.
              10. With the calm volume not has bad you're able to be more proactive in traffic if you would like. There are no ticket quotas. There are standards but nothing that will upset you.

              Starting salary for lateral is around 40 or so. Depending on experience etc.... We have take home cars as long as you live within 30 minutes from headquarters. Great equipment and great training. If you put in for training you usually get it. As far as retirement. You have a 457 that you contribute too. The city matches 5% which goes into your 401. Most officers have pensions at 2.5, however, I think for the new hires in the last year the retirement has changed. You would have to get with Lt.Robinson, who's in charge of hiring, if you have any retirement questions.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by jannino View Post
                The only thing I know about agency's pay scales are what they have on their website and I'm sure you've already checked that out.

                Your thoughts about Alpharetta seem to be on point. There is nothing wrong with the other departments you listed. Gwinnett, Cobb, Sandy Springs all have top notch equipment and training. I would rate Roswell and Marietta as above average. I don't even think being without a GA POST cert is more of a problem than just the local competition. You have some departments that are really struggling and have many great officers jumping ship left and right.

                Alpharetta is about an hour from the blue ridge mountains. The wifey and I have a cabin we get in Dahlonega frequently. I don't know if the mountains in north GA are anything compared to where you live though.

                What is bringing you to the metro Atl area?
                Mountains are subjective. Yes, the Rockies are massive and put the Appalachians to shame in terms of sheer size, but I would disagree completely when it comes to the utility and "enjoyment" of the mountains. I spent a great deal of my youth around the Blue Ridge and Appalachians (although more in the North Carolina/Virginia area) and they they are unmatched when it comes to beauty. The hiking there is especially amazing. The Rockies on the other hand are, well, just plain massive. Beautiful, for sure, but it can be overwhelming. Climbing a 14er can bring you about as close to the sun as you can get in the continental US. I'm not really a skier, so the mountains are useless to me during the winter. Even in the dead middle of August there are still snow-capped peaks. I enjoy warm weather, and that is a very short season in the mountains here.

                As for why I wanted to come back to Atlanta, the reasons are too numerous to list. I actually have a handwritten list of Pros/Cons for Colorado and Georgia, and I have put so much work into it that some of the entries are just downright ridiculous (for instance: Georgia has lane reflectors on the highways, Colorado does not... you Georgians take it for granted how helpful those things are in a rainstorm! And yes, I do in fact have this much free time on my hands). Overall though, the biggest factors are weather, cost of living, and culture.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Bunk View Post
                  Mountains are subjective. Yes, the Rockies are massive and put the Appalachians to shame in terms of sheer size, but I would disagree completely when it comes to the utility and "enjoyment" of the mountains. I spent a great deal of my youth around the Blue Ridge and Appalachians (although more in the North Carolina/Virginia area) and they they are unmatched when it comes to beauty. The hiking there is especially amazing. The Rockies on the other hand are, well, just plain massive. Beautiful, for sure, but it can be overwhelming. Climbing a 14er can bring you about as close to the sun as you can get in the continental US. I'm not really a skier, so the mountains are useless to me during the winter. Even in the dead middle of August there are still snow-capped peaks. I enjoy warm weather, and that is a very short season in the mountains here.

                  As for why I wanted to come back to Atlanta, the reasons are too numerous to list. I actually have a handwritten list of Pros/Cons for Colorado and Georgia, and I have put so much work into it that some of the entries are just downright ridiculous (for instance: Georgia has lane reflectors on the highways, Colorado does not... you Georgians take it for granted how helpful those things are in a rainstorm! And yes, I do in fact have this much free time on my hands). Overall though, the biggest factors are weather, cost of living, and culture.
                  LOL. You definitely have a good head on your shoulders and you would be an asset to any department down here, IMO.

                  Road reflectors? Seriously? What about pot holes? Do you have issues with them?

                  Weather is definitely better here. I agree with you.. I hate the cold. Cost of living can be relative. Remember starting salary at most departments is going to be around 35K. Houses are definitely easy to come by as the market is absolutely horrible here.

                  Culture? Well, that is entirely dependent upon what you're looking for. Personally, I feel there isn't much culture here at all. There is no tradition or solidarity around Atlanta. But if by culture do you mean is there all types of people, most definitely. Atlanta is one huge melting pot.. no one is ever from here which is why we have no professional loyalty to our sports teams.

                  I have some family visiting from New Orleans and they were talking about wanting some mexican food because they just don't have any around where they live whatsoever. Not the case with Atlanta, you can find almost anything you want. We have a market for everything.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by alpha123 View Post
                    1. Currently we don't have an opening. A list will be formed from the testing, and the list will be good for a year. We usually hire around 5 officers per year.
                    2. We don't get as much violent crimes like Atlanta, Sandy Springs, and Roswell do. Major crimes we have are entering autos and burglaries due having many shopping centers, restaurants, hotels, and a large mall.
                    3. It's good. No fourlough days like alot of agencies around here have been doing.
                    4. No
                    5. No
                    6. We have alot, but not as many as we use to because of the economy. We have a large ampitheatre here thats open from April-November that brings in alot of extra jobs.
                    7. The city seems to be doing a little better. We usually get performance raises every year, but for the past three years we haven't until recently. In saying that we never were asked to take days off.
                    8. Yes we do. Our call volume isn't bad. We have many officers working per shift, so we usually process our own felonies unless its a major felony that would take longer to investigate. Then a detective will take over.
                    9. Nothing bad. We have a good working relationship with our media.
                    10. With the calm volume not has bad you're able to be more proactive in traffic if you would like. There are no ticket quotas. There are standards but nothing that will upset you.

                    Starting salary for lateral is around 40 or so. Depending on experience etc.... We have take home cars as long as you live within 30 minutes from headquarters. Great equipment and great training. If you put in for training you usually get it. As far as retirement. You have a 457 that you contribute too. The city matches 5% which goes into your 401. Most officers have pensions at 2.5, however, I think for the new hires in the last year the retirement has changed. You would have to get with Lt.Robinson, who's in charge of hiring, if you have any retirement questions.
                    Thank you, it is great to hear this directly from the source. It seems like it would be EXTREMELY competitive to get hired by you when you are only taking in ~5 new bodies a year. From a financial standpoint, it probably wouldn't make any sense to hire someone who's not GA POST certified, because then you would have to pay for the academy and other training, correct? I imagine you have SWARMS of qualified lateral applicants that are already GA certified, and can be easily absorbed with minimal training costs.

                    Everyone keeps saying that you have great equipment and training. I would love that! I have to purchase all my own gear, which can be nice in the sense that you don't have to settle for whatever the city provides at lowest-bid, but the costs really add up over time. Our patrol cars are run well over 100k miles, and receive only basic maintenance. The suspensions are NEVER replaced during that time. If the car receives body damage, it is not repaired unless it actually affects the ability of the car to move. Shattered taillights, headlight out, massive dents in fenders, 3sq/ft swaths of missing paint, one working rotator in the lightbar, back seat covered in blood and vomit... live with it, the city ain't gonna fix it. I am telling the 100% God-honest truth, no embellishment, when I tell you that one patrol car's front push bumper was being held on by paracord... and only because the officer driving it was sick of it listening to it drag on the asphalt. As for other equipment issues, our MDTs are ancient, our paperwork stock will go empty for months without resupply, security gates at stations are broken and just have to remain open, the radio system is outdated and in serious need of upgrading, on a good day there are only four working computers in the entire station, and ammo... oh, let me tell you something about ammo! The ammo rationing here has taken "conservation" to a whole new level! If the firearms unit states that some duty ammo is available, cops come running like a UNICEF truck rolling into an Ethiopian refugee camp.

                    I am also thinking that Alpharetta did in fact do away with pensions for their new hires. I didn't find any mention of it on their webpage, and a pension is the kind of thing you would expect them to advertise heavily. It looks like it is just a city matching contribution to a 457 plan.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      You would never see that with Alpharetta. Your place sounds more like Dekalb.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by jannino View Post

                        Road reflectors? Seriously? What about pot holes? Do you have issues with them?
                        Pot holes? YOU wanna talk to ME about pot holes?! The annual temperature out here fluctuates from -20 to +105, and YOU wanna talk to ME about POT HOLES?!?!?! I could conceal a Crown Vic in some of the "pot holes" out here!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Jannino,

                          Yes, I have heard plenty of horror stories about Dekalb, and I think that is a perfectly acceptable comparison. I have only been looking at depts on the NORTH side of Atlanta for a reason. I also remember a couple years ago when there was an incident in one of the counties to the south of Atlanta where the newly elected sheriff decided to fire half of the force, and was even courteous enough to give them an armed escort as they left the station. Good 'ol Atlanta politics in action! Rest assured that those kinds of things could NEVER happen in a dept with civil service and a union.

                          As for culture, I used the term in a very broad sense. I like the fact that so many different lifestyles and activities can be grouped so close together. Living in Alpharetta, you could easily go for a hike in the mountains in the morning, be downtown for a Braves game in the afternoon, and then hit the urban nightlife all in the same day. And there are tons of different people from all sorts of different backgrounds, so it is not a boringly homogenous population. As for relocatees from other states, Colorado is just as bad. EVERYONE here is from somewhere else, so it is a very transient population. It actually is kind of funny because we have such an influx of people coming from California who are trying to escape the political culture out there, and as soon as they get here the first thing they do is start complaining about how we're not California . With regards to sports teams, I could easily see myself becoming a Braves fan... but you couldn't get me to root for the Falcons if you held a gun to my head. Ughhh.

                          Comment

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