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Lateral : City PO to Suburbs or Suburb PO to Chicago


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  • Lateral : City PO to Suburbs or Suburb PO to Chicago

    Just looking for some input. I'm currently working for the city and prior to being hired by the city I had taken a few tests with suburban departments. I currently have a few pending offers of employment with these suburban departments now and one happens to be my "dream" department that I hoped to get on when taking these suburban dept. tests. Has anyone ever gone from the city to a suburb, or from the suburbs to the city? Looking to gauge my options and see how others who have made this jump feel about their transition.

  • #2
    What makes it your dream department? I would pick the brains of people that work there to see how it is day to day. You might be surprised. Making the jump to a different department is tough. You have to really think about what you want out of your career. You’re switching from a place that has several advancement and training opportunities to a suburb which probably has very few (unless it’s Aurora or Joliet). Lots to think about!


    • scotty_appleton814
      scotty_appleton814 commented
      Editing a comment
      Elgin, Naperville, or Rockford if you want to drive far. They are among the biggest suburban PDs.

  • #3
    I went from the city to a suburb due to family medical issues. With most suburb departments, you’ll have an easier chance getting hired because you are already certified and experienced. Some suburbs will have you start as a “new” officer, but you go right into FTO. Others will have an actual “lateral” process where you usually start off at a higher pay scale and a shorter FTO period.

    like it was said, most departments will have a lot less opportunities than the city when it comes to advancement unless you look into larger departments like Orland Park, Oak Lawn, Joliet, Rockford, etc. Some small towns can be overly political. Some towns will actually let you be the police. MOST will have your back a heck of a lot more than the city does.

    I felt fine about it. A lot of towns pay well, specially if you go in as a lateral and the benefits are good. The pension situation sucks for everyone just like the city unless you go to a department like Orland Park or Tinley Park that have their own pension system that isn’t a part of the normal state systems.

    Just depends what you are looking for.


    • #4
      I went from the burbs to Chicago, retired, went back to the burbs. Out of the academy landed in 007, then 002. I came from a pretty busy suburb and had culture shock on how busy 007 was.002, with the projects, was a different world than anything you could imagine. Retired, and worked part time in a place that had absolutely nothing going on, and nothing going on on the radio.....Unless traffic is your passion. Never saw an area that equates being a "good copper" with how many movers you write. You will find working in most suburbs is nothing like Chicago. Maybe Joliet, Aurora, Cicero may come close. But the mindset of a lot of the burb coppers is not the mindset I had for almost 30 years. Now that being said, burbs have better cars, equipment, send people to more training, have pension funds that are better funded, and straighter promotional tests. But things in Chicago that are small, inconsequential things are big deals in a lot of burbs. Things that in Chicago you drove normally to (domestics, disturbances, suspicious people/cars) are lights and siren in the burbs. Most of the residents tend to like the Police in the burbs, though.
      PM me if you want.


      • #5
        It's a tough call that you need to weigh out. I personally like the flexibility with CPD and you do and see a lot depending on where you work. I'm in a south side district and everyday is an adventure to say the least lol. I don't know if I would adjust well if i left and I don't plan to right now. Also with 22 districts and all of the units you can bid out to where you want to EVENTUALLY and each district has a different style/ feel to it so if you don't like one you could try a different one or a different watch. But that's me, it's not for everyone. Good luck with whatever you decide.


        • southpaw1
          southpaw1 commented
          Editing a comment
          The suburbs generally have better equipment and squad cars but we have better backup Also if I have a working PDT in the car I'm good to go.

      • #6
        The way this department is going, the suburbs are the way to go. Weve had a few guys leave from our office to out of state departments. Chicagos like having a bad domestic with your girlfriend over and over again. you know you should leave but for some odd reason you want to stay.


        • #7
          You definitely need to take a ride with a day shift officer of the suburban dept where you plan on applying. Let them tell you about their agency and how they feel about it.


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