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CPD vs. Burb's PD


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  • CPD vs. Burb's PD

    PURPOSE: the purpose of this message is to get your guys opinoins, attitudes, and experiences to this dilema of mine.
    Here is a dilema that i have been struggling with for the past few months, im going to lay out MY pro's and con's for each (my pro's may be your con's or vice versa and I may not even be correct), this is just in general what i think. Feel free to disagree with me or correct me. I cannot figure out what to go for i've been debating to either join the chicago PD or the suburban PD's. I feel each have pro's and con's but i just can't come to pick one over the other. For example, im a young guy and i want to be exposed to various parts of law enforcement. Simply put i want to bust drug dealers, i want to deal with gangs, and i want action...however i know down the line when i get married and start a family that i may regret coming to chicago, due to the danger level and the requirment of living in the city. That is just one example..let me try to make it as simple as possible below..


    Pros: exposed to various elements of LE, growth oppurtunities, great training, various units (vice, tactical, undercover), deal with things sububurbs never see, OT availibilty, good pay (however higher cost of living), backup is always close by(more officer in a smaller area than suburbs), more of an old school PD (older officers know what im talking about)...

    Cons: mandatory living in city limits, higher danger level, growth oppurtunities available if you know a SOMEBODY (from what i've heard), difficult hours, higher cost of living (than most suburbs), the grind of city life (that might just be me), to much politics........

    Suburban PD
    PROS: more simpler style of living, close knit departments, good pay (may vary), lower danger level (than CPD), lower cost of living, nicer equipment (thats provided!), long term wise it is easier on the family, no living requirments, overall less *******s to deal with,...

    CONS: less growth oppurtunity (due to the size of department), less exposure to action (thats my main one...I need action, that why im switing fields from business, i don't need constant action, but i don't want to write parking tickets all day), some places have difficlut probationary periods,...

    These are just some of my reason of the top of my head, im sure yours are different or you may disagree totally, and im sure theirs no right or wrong answer to this, I just want to know what you guys think and if your already officers in Chicago or the Suburbs, than do you regret it?...what would you have done differently?.....(sorry I know it long...for those that got through it, your obligated to post something!)

    Thank You

  • #2
    As far as your perception of Suburb departments goes it might be a little off. There is a lot of OT. There are opportunities for various units. The departments deal with the same crap that CPD does just on a smaller scale. My backup was always close. The pay is great in the burbs as well as the training. As far a danger level. It is going to be dangerous where ever you are. The LE field is dangerous no matter what department you work for. Example my third day off of fto I was responding to backup my buddy who was fighting for his life at a dv. I got there just seconds after he shot and killed the suspect. Now this was a town where people said nothing ever happens. Well they sure were wrong. Crap is coming and has come to the burbs. As far as the hours go, it does not matter what department you work for your hours are going to suck. One last thing politics are every department in this field. Well thats my two cents. Hope it helped.


    • #3
      I totally agree with the above post. I work for a large SW suburb (but worked many years on a smaller Burb that directly bordered Chicago) so I talked to PLENTY of CPD, some of which I went to High School with. Here is the reason I never went for CPD to add to the above statements. Affirmitive action and all the other PC BS is way too alive and well out there. Look at how CPD is being looked at now as a result of that drunk CPD Ahole beating the bartender. Yes, it is one out of 13,000 but it doesn't take much to have the image tarnished. Why would I want to work for a mayor and a City that really couldn't give two craps about you. Also, I don't want my SUpervisor being some Juice Baby that was owed a political favor. If you think it is hard getting into specialized units on the 'Burbs, the City is just as bad or worse. S.O.S. wasn't nicknamed Sons of Supervisors for nothing. To each his own, but IMHO a PROGRESSIVE 'Burb beats the City hands down everytime. Better pay, equipment, training and fellow co-workers and conditions. But don't get me wrong, CPD wasn't for me, but it might be for you, only you can decide.


      • #4
        Some suburban departments don't have a lot of overtime, the pay isn't great, don't deal with the same crap CPD does (of course we all deal with Domestics BAH), and don't have a lot of back up.

        Danger is a relative in that I believe that every one of us is in danger every time we make a stop or go to a call.

        Statistics bear out that most line of duty deaths do not come from large departments but rather mid-size departments like many suburban departments.

        People I know that have worked both in CPD and the Suburbs tell me that the pre-service training for CPD is better but that the suburbs have got CPD beat when it comes to in-service training post academy and training opportunities once done with the academy.

        People need to be aware that on paper our salary looks higher than it is. The problem is that our top salary requires 25 years of sevice to obtain where most suburbs top out in 5-10 years.

        Our top scale is higher than most suburbs but it takes 25 years to get that and most of our payroll is not getting that top scale.
        Last edited by SeVere; 03-31-2007, 10:55 AM.


        • #5
          The advantage with the CPD in my opinion, and I'm just a hopeful right now, but it seems that your chances of being hired by the CPD are greater then a Burb...seems like suburban dept are looking for 2 or 3 officers, while Chicago hires in greater numbers...the CPD process is just a lot longer...I'm married with kids so the advantage for the CPD is that I can go home every night during the academy, while a suburban dept may have to stay in Champagin during the week and be away from home for 3 months...


          • #6
            Having worked city, urban- suburb, "rural"-suburban, and college police depts., there are pros and cons to each. I understand the "action" part, but believe me, it does get old after a while and you have to look out for you and your family. There still are good places to live in the city, although for the life of me, I don't know how the newer guys can afford a house in them. More people in number are promoted/ in units in the city than the burbs, but they aren't all the "best" that are promoted. We never see a promotional list posted with scores at city hall, like you do in the burbs, whose promotion processes are far more above board than ours (usually).

            You can get on one of the smaller, crappier departments, get the action you want ("runnin' and gunnin"') out of your system, and then test for a nicer area, somewhere you want to raise a family. A lot of those places will look at the experience you got from working those places, and your academy and grab you. Even in a nice burb, there are a lot of those task forces made up of coppers from numerous burbs. You can be a copper in Crete, but be part of a team investigating a murder in Harvey, or hitting dope joints in Dolton.

            The thing I've seen is that if you get on the city, you don't tend to leave, then after 10 years or so, if you're working a fast Dist., you get burned out, and your over the age limit, too late to test for somewhare nicer.

            Even in the nice, quiet, suburban areas, shyte is only a couple of expressway exits away from bringing their Englewood /Fillmore mayhem to your town.


            • #7
              You should apply to both and see what happens.


              • #8
                Also, we need to apply apples to apples. Garbage place like Harvey, etc, of course CPD is MUCH better. So need to compare good, progressive 'Burbs to CPD to be fair. CPD is better than ALOT of suburbs too...


                • #9
                  ChiTownDet has made some excellent points

                  ....I have also struggled with the question....CITY or SUBURBAN...well, I chose a suburban dept. My reasons for this came down to being comfortable with my family and my environment later on down the road with my career. I work in an area that is 3-5 minuets away from where I grew up. I am very comfortable with my decision. I am honestly happy and pleased right now. As far as salary, I started off in the 40's..(Im not sure what CPD starts at anymore) in addition to this, overtime is available to whoever wants it..(I had 42 overtime hours last check and 33 on this pay periods check) our healthcare and retirement benefits are awesome.

                  Training is awesome...I have been to all types of different classes that I dont know for sure CPD sends guys to. I live in the town I work in...not by policy but by choice, I can literally see the station from my bedroom window, I walk to work. I agree that promotions can come fairly faster with CPD because of the greater number of employees but I dont want to be answering to some one thats an *** and is only in that supervisor position because of his family.

                  As far as action, My town rocks and rolls at times...we have great generally peaceful areas of town and then we have a part of town that...well... I wouldn't live there. My schedule is beautiful....4 days on, 2 days off. My first week out of FTO, I was the reporting officer for an agg bat w/firearm. So its not all smiles and hand-waves.

                  However, I have freedom to do what I wish(reasonably) on duty. If I want to get out the car and initiate things, stay aggressive and things along that line, I can....I mean theres always SOMETHING to do. but if Im having a bad day or im dogging it, Im not required to do anything extra..just respond to calls. My dept isn't small but we couldn't respond alone and have 20+ officers on scene like cpd does to a 10-1. I do like that there is a lot more manpower in cpd.

                  Um...politics can be everywhere...we border a town that had the chairman of police and fire board of commissioners that was an ***....only had the position because he was buddy buddy with the mayor...never was a policeman, fireman, or a paramedic...just a good friend to the mayor. way or no way type of um...yeah, politics can be anywhere...I know a Sgt...that, while a sgt was arrested for felony retail theft in a close by town....only was suspended for a couple days...then, after that, business as usual because of who this sgt knows....

                  It is usually(depends on the dept) easier to get hired by CPD..I didn't say quicker..just easier...I had a buddy that was shot down by at least 5 depts....but his 1st attempt with cpd, well, he starts next month.

                  so, sk797, I wish you the best of luck out there....I hope that the decision that you come to, you will be totally comfortable in that decision...not just today but for the rest of you and your families life...I hope that I was able to shed a bit of light on this topic for you from the suburb side of things...

                  CPD officers rock. They are great guys/girls, it was just not the best move for my family and I.

                  Stay safe.
                  I LOVE the smell of flashbangs in the morning.....dont you?

                  si vis pacem para bellum


                  • #10
                    I appreciate all of your guys posts, they were very helpfull......i've already tested for suburbs..and made it to their lists..but i haven't tested for CPD...i will the next time they test though...i guess each person must decide what he truly wants....but thank again guys...


                    • #11
                      Just don't waste your time with Evanston. I haven't heard anything good about that department at all....not to say that it's a bad one. I know some cops who left that department after just a short time.
                      Last edited by SnakeEater; 04-05-2007, 06:42 PM.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by SnakeEater
                        Just don't waste your time with Evanston. I haven't heard anything good about that department at all.
                        I have relatives that work there......and I have never heard them talk smack about the PD........and they have both been there over 15 years.....


                        • #13
                          I spoke with a Willowbrook officer last night about this subject. He said to me in so many words, "It depends on where you are and what you want in life and a career." He said that he passed up Chicago because the wife didn't want to move into the city amongst other factors.

                          I think it also depends on if you have a wife/kids. If you do, they might not like to live in the city. Plus, the cost of living in the city can be quite high.


                          • #14
                            Just my two cents. Yes, the suburban departments offer many training opportunities, including various certifications that the CPD does not. In addition, the politics of my job- the CPD- can be overwhelming. Sometimes, it's absolutely mind boggling concerning some of the people who get promoted because of the politics involved. Finally, it costs a fortune to live in this city. If you have a wife and kids, it will definitely cost you a pretty penny to life in the city.

                            That said, our department has the greatest camaraderie out there. We are truly a brotherhood. We live in very tight knit neighborhoods where pretty much everybody is the CPD or the CFD. We are a very proud group, and nobody can ever take that away from any of us who run down dark alley's chasing thugs with automatic weapons. I understand that danger can happen anywhere and it often does. However, the level of danger here in this city is on another level- a level that only other CPD officers can truly understand and comprehend.

                            Here at the CPD, many of us have lost friends in the line of duty, and it's absolutely heartbreaking at our wakes/funerals. However, these are the times that bring us together and, again, our camaraderie is second to none. All in all, I've done just about everything on this job and I still love it.

                            God Bless You and Be Safe,



                            • #15
                              How long do you have OTJ CPD007?


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