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  • Former/Current CPD Officers: Advice Needed

    I recently got out of the academy, and I'm close to my one year anniversary, which means I can head back to school on the city's dollar and add on to my associates degree. I was looking for some suggestions as to the different types of fields I can study, that are related to law enforcement, and where they possibly could lead me. For example, what type of education background would I need in order to help my chances of getting into forensics investigation whether it be with the CPD or in an outside department.

    Has anyone here started as a CPD Officer then went back to school and used that education background to get into a different sub-field of the CPD? Or for that matter, has anyone here taken the education offered by the city and left the CPD Dept altogether to work with an outside dept, or somewhere not related to law enforcement?

    I'm just looking for ideas / suggestions.

    thanks

  • #2
    Originally posted by rashowlist
    I recently got out of the academy, and I'm close to my one year anniversary, which means I can head back to school on the city's dollar and add on to my associates degree. I was looking for some suggestions as to the different types of fields I can study, that are related to law enforcement, and where they possibly could lead me. For example, what type of education background would I need in order to help my chances of getting into forensics investigation whether it be with the CPD or in an outside department.

    Has anyone here started as a CPD Officer then went back to school and used that education background to get into a different sub-field of the CPD? Or for that matter, has anyone here taken the education offered by the city and left the CPD Dept altogether to work with an outside dept, or somewhere not related to law enforcement?

    I'm just looking for ideas / suggestions.

    thanks
    To be a foresnic investigator with CPD, you must first be an E.T. In order to be an E.T. you must pass a competitive exam. Either you get made off of the list or you get made an E.T. "Meritoriously."

    Forensic Investigator is obtained by competitive testing with other E.T.'s and I am sure "Meritorious" appointments.

    Your education will not qualify you for the job but might impress someone enough to want you "Meritoriously."

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    • #3
      Although it would take longer, my suggestion would be to go for the Bachelor's. Even the Bachelor's are becoming quite common these days. I believe in the not too distant future, most departments will require a 4 year degree or x number years of active military service. A few departments are already requiring that.

      There are a lot of schools in Chicago. I'm sure one of them will fit your needs. That's one of the biggest reasons why I want to get onto CPD, I would like to go back for my Master's degree.

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      • #4
        I know u can get on the CPD with Military over College, but is it hard to be promoted without any higher education?

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        • #5
          Get your degree! Get as much education as you can!!! Use it all before you lose some or all of it. There are many retirees who could remember when the city paid all of their health insurance. The point I am making is if there is a benefit offered by the city use it, before you lose it. You have attended the academy, you have the basic tools the city needs for you to do the job. Go and educate yourself on the City's dime and get a degree in something besides Criminal Justice. If you believe a degree will be required later for promotion or lateral movement then you will have it. If something happens where you cannot be a cop anywhere you also have equipped yourself with a "plan B".
          You cant arrest me...I know my Commandments!!

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          • #6
            Aren't degree's required for certain promotions?

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            • #7
              i agree

              Originally posted by cityblusuit
              Get your degree! Get as much education as you can!!! Use it all before you lose some or all of it. There are many retirees who could remember when the city paid all of their health insurance. The point I am making is if there is a benefit offered by the city use it, before you lose it. You have attended the academy, you have the basic tools the city needs for you to do the job. Go and educate yourself on the City's dime and get a degree in something besides Criminal Justice. If you believe a degree will be required later for promotion or lateral movement then you will have it. If something happens where you cannot be a cop anywhere you also have equipped yourself with a "plan B".
              I agree 100%, but what I'm looking for is suggestions as to what I can study that is related to law enforcement. I am also asking if anyone here has used the education offered to help gain promotion within the dept or acquire a new career outside the dept, and if they can explain what they studied / what career advancement their studies have opened. I have no doubts that I'm going back to school, I am just confused as to what i should study. I know if I speak with some of the counselors from the different schools they can inform me of the different studies available and the paths in which each particular study can help me advance laterally within law enforcement.

              But I figured I could just throw out the subject here to see if anyone has actually used the education to benefit their career or move into a new career. It seems like a lot of Officers I have come in contact with say they went back to school, got their bachelors / masters but yet they are still sitting in the same beat car day in and day out. I have a fear of going back to school and not being able to use that education.

              Some things I have thought about going back to school for:
              Law which may lead to becoming a lawyer.
              Anything which can help with a career in forensics.
              Criminal Justice, if I feel like my end all, be all career should be Law Enforcement.

              If anyone has any suggestions as to what they studied and how it affected their careers, I would like to hear the story.

              thanks

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              • #8
                The thing is, what you learn in school isn't always used in the manner that it was meant to be. One of my professors in college said, "You might graduate with a certain degree and not even work in that field. Colllege is a place where you learn how to learn."

                I'm not a LEO yet but believe me, even in my line of work, I use certain concepts and a few things from my degree's in Criminal Justice and Psychology. But I feel what's more important is the confidence and ability I have gained from being taught how to learn in college. After college, it sure makes the learning curve much easier than it would've been if I just came right out of HS.

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                • #9
                  DePaul has a good pre-law concentration in history that I took. I plan on going to law school after I get on CPD. (God willing) Go to university websites and look at their programs. Look up Ron Huberman's bio. You should find that interesting.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by rashowlist
                    I agree 100%, but what I'm looking for is suggestions as to what I can study that is related to law enforcement.. ......It seems like a lot of Officers I have come in contact with say they went back to school, got their bachelors / masters but yet they are still sitting in the same beat car day in and day out. I have a fear of going back to school and not being able to use that education.
                    Illinois Edmond said it right...the degree is about learning to learn. If you are that precise and consumed in what you want to do to get ahead, go for it. But I promise you will be a better person and even cop if you pursue it for your personal satisfaction.....If you want to work financial crimes get you degree in accounting...take the CPA...become a forencisic auditor.....if you wanna do computer crimes...there is a path you can take...if you want to work in the lab of the forensic side get your degree in Criminalistics (UIC has a great program) or any of the other lab sciences.....you wanna be a pt/dt instructor at the academy get a degree in physiology...but just remember you have just pigeonholed yourself and you will lock yourself into an area that you will be in forever...until or unless you promote.....if you are the guy who spent several years in the lab and then gets promoted to SGT...where do you think you will go....back to the beat. Criminal Justice... what is the point of being a cop with a Masters in Criminal Justice....the academy and the streets give you what you need to be a cop....not to knock my friends with CJ degrees....but being a cop and then getting a CJ degree is like "Advanced Kndergarten" ......if you get the degree in CJ and then decide you wanna be a cop ....different story.

                    The degree is about personal satisfaction or preparation to move on....a beat cop in the duece with 5yrs on the job makes the same as the guy who has worked 1233 for 5 yrs and has a masters. The guy with the Masters is still working the beat either because he likes it or he has learned that "what you know" always gets beaten out by "who you know" in Chicago.
                    Last edited by cityblusuit; 04-06-2007, 01:12 PM.
                    You cant arrest me...I know my Commandments!!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Just wondering if anyone has taken or knows someone who has taken the MBA Program for CPD through SXU. If so do you have any opinions on the program.

                      Link to Program:

                      http://www.sxu.edu/gsm/chicago_police.asp

                      Comment

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