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  • Best PD in metro atlanta area

    Hi. I am new to the forum. My name is Robert. I am 31 years old male, live in Gwinnett County. I have worked for Gwinnett Fire Department for 3 years. I also served 4 years in the Marines, and in the past 3 years I have been working indirectly for U.S. Department of State in Iraq. I hold a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, and Master of Science in Management with concentration in Homeland Security.

    I am considering a career as a police officer in metro-Atlanta area. I am doing some research on my own on various county and city police departments in the area. It would be very helpful to hear from current and former police officers from any of the law enforcement agencies around Atlanta. I would like in depth information regarding work environment, retirement benefits, career advancement opportunities, and any advises. Thank you.

  • #2
    With your background, go Federal.

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    • #3
      That's alot to take in. What are your priorities? Retirement plans? Nice Equipment? Call Volume? Advancement potential? High crime vs low crime? University Policing? City? County? Transit?
      Judge me by the enemies I have made----Unknown

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      • #4
        Thank you, Zeitgeist. I would say advancement potential would be the most important factor for me. I would like to work as a patrol officer for no more than 3 years before becoming an investigator, instructor, SWAT member. etc. The crime rate, level of government or agency, call volume are not as important for me.

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        • #5
          I'd say best pay would be Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Sandy Springs. Morale for SS seems to be pretty good. Atlanta PD is nowhere near the top in pay or morale. Morale is the lowest it's been since I've been here but the bright spot is at least we're not on furlough again. If you're lucky enough to actually run into a true veteran, (I consider a veteran to be 8+ years) they are pretty demoralized by the lack of pay and poor treatment of officers, not to mention corruption at the top of the food chain, that they don't want to get out of their squad cars. Turnover rate is extremely high and the ones that do stay tend to stay for the "Extra Jobs" but there's nothing extra about them when you take home two thousand dollars per month. "Extra Jobs" are a major problem with the department because they pay better and are an officer's only hope to make a decent living. This comes at the price of officers working too many hours, causing their performance to suffer while on city time. There is no overtime here so you will work for comp time but don't work too many hours over or you will lose time at the end of the year because you can only roll over so many hours. BUT don't use too many comp hours or you will likely suffer in your performance evaluation. You have to be Mayor Reed's inner circle to ever get paid overtime masked as personal "hardship" pay. With your background I urge you to stay away from APD unless you plan on getting your feet wet and going Federal. Or better yet, marry a rich woman

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          • #6
            Just read your last post, I guess I just really wanted to rant. I highly doubt you'd be able to make Investigator, SWAT, or Academy Staff at APD after three. (Although I have seen it done through magic and other forms of sorcery). I think there are places where you can make CID Investigator as a lateral transfer (meaning no pay raise) within three years. For APD it's a small pay raise and it would probably take 5-7 years minimum realistically. On the other hand, it should be very easy to advance in APD in the coming years as there will continue to be a high rate of those leaving for greener pastures and those being forced out. They may end up having to drop standards for promotions and specialized units officially. I know they have already done it unofficially for some people. That's that magic and sorcery I mentioned.

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            • #7
              tbl87, thanks for your input. Now I have a more realistic expectation of what I will have to deal with before reaching one of my desired positions. I understand how frustrating it can be to have corrupt leadership, so I think I will probably stay away from APD.
              I would love to work for a Federal agency, but most of them are not hiring and it would be unfair for my wife if we had to constantly move.

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              • #8
                So far I have applied to Gwinnett, and Cobb county PD and they contacted me with instructions for completing a physical fitness assessment. I will proceed only with Gwinnett because Cobb county is too far for me to commute to every day. I also have applied U.S. probation officer position for U.S. Department of Justice and they have scheduled me for a test.

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                • #9
                  You want to work? My agency is hiring. Clayton county police.

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                  • #10
                    They are I applied & received a letter to take the compass test but I missed the deadline but I just did the oral board with another agency so if all fails I'll apply again when I can.


                    Originally posted by rob_fleming79 View Post
                    You want to work? My agency is hiring. Clayton county police.

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                    • #11
                      U.S. probation sounds like a good way to get your foot in the door w the Feds before you're too old. As an after thought, I made Investigator at 10 yrs. As tbl87 noted, I didn't have any sorcery/magic. Lol.
                      Judge me by the enemies I have made----Unknown

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                      • #12
                        10 years? So my goal of becoming an investigator within 3 years is very unrealistic. I thought it was relatively easy because many federal agencies recruit college grads without any LE experience as special agents. If I am hired as a U.S. Probation Officer, I would work there until retirement.

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                        • #13
                          I didn't know Feds hired inexperienced college grads. If you're already in the system, ie: a Federal job. You get the inside info of upcoming job openings. You also don't have to worry about the age limit. I'd start applying soon as the process can be time consuming.

                          Some places may promote faster. A lot of what took me so long was that I had a great assignment, good hours, off days etc. I took the Exam for Detective at 3 yrs and didn't make it.
                          Last edited by Zeitgeist; 12-10-2014, 09:12 AM.
                          Judge me by the enemies I have made----Unknown

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                          • #14
                            In my opinion, and I know it sounds crazy, but three years is not enough time to know/understand Policing enough to become an Investigator. Just a few years ago I will admit that I had the outlook that most "millennials" have. Went to college, served as an Infantry Officer, and got hired by a large-medium agency with a very high call volume (prob similar to S. Fulton/Dekalb/Clayton/Gwinnett). Being honest with myself a lot of that was to "check the box" to go work for the Feds. I mean FBI, DEA and ATF do the real policing right? Now I realize how naive I was...

                            It takes a "minute" before you really understand the streets. Crack users in the inner city have a different culture than crack users in the county. The meth culture is completely different and can even be broken down between the Hispanic influence vs. the shake and bake culture; Don't forget the nightclub folks with their Molly, Ex and shrooms, and we haven't even touched the heroin scene. Suburbia vs projects; trailer park vs hotels...all have different ways of interacting, different slang, and different values that are always changing and take forever to understand.

                            But before you can even hope to be proactive you will need to have a grip on calls for service. Every call is different than the last call you were on or the call you are about to go to. Even when the calls seem similar, there are always going to be little things that are different. What if the victim is 16 and wants to drop charges but the mother doesn't? Does the stepfather have custodial rights? What about when the victim uses a weapon for protection...but he is a convicted felon? Not to mention the laws and policies are always changing.

                            In MY OPINION you need to have a decent understanding of all of this stuff before you can be an effective investigator. Was it a crazy home invasion by some hardcore gang members (like the movies), or was it just some meth head looking to grab whatever he could pawn at the local pawn shop? Was it a suicide or was it a "hot rail" gone wrong? When "Trap" explains that the guy who "dealt with" that girl is the same guy that "pushes dog food" out of "The District" do you know what that means? Have you ever been there?

                            Maybe I'm over exaggerating and completely wrong, but either way the trend here is that you will need to do some time as a property crimes investigator before you are able to go to the sexy stuff like Armed Robbery, Violent Crimes, Autotheft, Homicide etc... That is something else to think about.

                            Don't confuse Probation with Policing. All those street folks are nice to you because they are sober when you talk to them and their future is in your hands.

                            Now that I have a couple of years under my belt I realize that I don't know anything and that I was pretty spoiled in the Army.
                            Last edited by chapmanp1; 12-10-2014, 02:47 PM.

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                            • #15
                              I am with Chapmanp on this

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