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  • How to get hired here?

    What is the key to getting hired? I have read numerous posts and have personally known several individuals with different stories. There are those that get picked up right away, first go, no problem. And then.... there are those that have strived for years and years to get hired. And to those that have tried years and years; I am talking about those that have pushed themselves in every positive direction to make themselves the most qualified that they can be.

    There are guys out there striving with college degrees, reserve experience, military, languages, corrections, the whole nine....and cannot get hired anywhere. And I know guys whom have way less in their resumes that get picked up like a first round draft pick.

    I know, I know... I have researched the topic on ?'s on how to get hired. I know...get a degree.....reserve experience....military......learn something to set you apart (languages).....maybe corrections or jail. Okay, so what if you have all of this? It seems as if LE is an almost impossible field to get into. It intimidates me to even try for some jobs out there. And what is the key to all of those who get picked up right away? (not including ILEA certified) What is everyones opinion?

  • #2
    In Indiana, more than anywhere I've ever seen, you can have tons of experience, education etc...But at smaller Depts especially, the job is probably going to go to a reserve or someone who is friendly with the department one way or the other. You could have years of military under your belt, master's degree and even past LE experience....But the job will still probably go to the guy who has been a reserve with the dept for a year and has a high school diploma. It's just kind of that way here in Indiana.


    Also bad economy equals LOTS more people applying for an opening. I still think the best foot in the door is probably as a reserve for a department or working corrections etc for a sheriff's dept for awhile. Don't get real hung up pursuing CJ classes etc....Doesn't seem to mean much to most departments. There are some departments in the more ritzy areas that also seem to go for almost a certain "pretty boy" look that many aren't blessed with.

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    • #3
      If you do start in a jail and try and work your way to the road make sure you don't ruin your chances by being lazy or a *****brain, that will definitely put you on the never hire list. Some people start at the jail level and think that a merit deputy spot is guaranteed but it's not.
      War to the knife and knife to the hilt.

      TERM LIMITS!

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      • #4
        What types of departments are you applying for? If it's smaller departments...good luck. There is ALWAYS a friend or family member that is going to get the rare open position in a small department over you. Try larger departments, or become a reserve first to get your foot in the door.

        A degree in criminal justice doesn't mean squat. Get a degree in an actual useful discipline. ILEA and the FTO program will teach you everything you need to know about the basics of being a cop. Experience on the job will fill in the rest.

        Background investigators also look at stability...bad credit and job-hopping can prevent you from obtaining an LE job. If you've got criminal convictions on your record, forget it. The guy who has been the manager of Wal-Mart for the last 7 years and has a clean record will get the job over the guy who has a criminal justice degree, military experience, and a 5 year old shoplifting arrest or DUI conviction.

        For Indiana, getting on as a corrections officer/jailer seems to be easier than becoming a deputy sheriff. It gives you a way to get your foot in the door, and you get to know the people on the department. Very helpful when a merit deputy position comes open...but only if you are a good employee to begin with. It's also a good way to see just exactly how much crap you can put up with. When I say that corrections sucks, I say that wholeheartedly.

        Good luck..
        Did I fire six shots, or only five?

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        • #5
          thanks

          Thank you all for your replies. I know the subject has been revisited numerous times, so apologies for the redundancy. I know it's hard out there. I actually have experience in all forementioned fields. I just separated from the military after a number of years into rough times, I know. I was a former corrections officer at a sheriff's dept. I held a security clearance, have investigative experience, as well as foreign language proficiency in two other-than-English languages. My target degree is not criminal justice, nor anything that has to do with CJ or Homeland Security, and I am almost done. I did get picked up with a very good reserve program, however; I need a full time gig. lol Anyway, I am now ready to rejoin the ranks of those fighting for an LE career. Maybe, if I can get into it, go back into corrections for a while and keep plugging away getting experience, training, and education. Thanks again.
          Last edited by BigSarge317; 07-27-2009, 10:38 AM. Reason: delete and add information

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          • #6
            K40 is absolutely right. The department I worked for picked up three guys--one from the jail with dispatch experience, one from the reserve pool, and one with a college degree. I don't know which department(s) you are looking at but choosing one of the three paths above wouldn't hurt.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Pinscher318 View Post
              K40 is absolutely right. The department I worked for picked up three guys--one from the jail with dispatch experience, one from the reserve pool, and one with a college degree. I don't know which department(s) you are looking at but choosing one of the three paths above wouldn't hurt.
              I had a feeling you worked for Johnson County, could you provide some info on there reserve process? I know it starts in January and last roughly 6 months, but how many FTO hours do you need to ride solo....

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              • #8
                Originally posted by BigSarge317 View Post
                What is the key to getting hired? I have read numerous posts and have personally known several individuals with different stories. There are those that get picked up right away, first go, no problem. And then.... there are those that have strived for years and years to get hired. And to those that have tried years and years; I am talking about those that have pushed themselves in every positive direction to make themselves the most qualified that they can be.

                There are guys out there striving with college degrees, reserve experience, military, languages, corrections, the whole nine....and cannot get hired anywhere. And I know guys whom have way less in their resumes that get picked up like a first round draft pick.

                I know, I know... I have researched the topic on ?'s on how to get hired. I know...get a degree.....reserve experience....military......learn something to set you apart (languages).....maybe corrections or jail. Okay, so what if you have all of this? It seems as if LE is an almost impossible field to get into. It intimidates me to even try for some jobs out there. And what is the key to all of those who get picked up right away? (not including ILEA certified) What is everyones opinion?
                Wow your post really hit a nerve with me though I don't live in Indiana. I am 29 years old, I have a bachelors degree and two associates degrees. I have a strong work history, clean background, great credit, good references, and I have passed every written, physical agility, and oral board thrown at me. Not only that, but I also am a corrections officer, and a reserve deputy sheriff.

                All of that, and I still am struggling to be hired after applying at both large (1400+ sworn) and small agencies. I feel like I am chasing an impossible dream. There are a couple of things I could also do to polish my resume, as I have plans to join the military as a reservist, and also I intend on pursuing my masters degree in criminology. However after that, there will be nothing else aside from any additional training that the DOC can provide me, that will make me a better candidate. If I'm not hired at that point, I will just be a career corrections officer.
                Those who believe, ye shall receive.

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                • #9
                  I've been hitting the departments like crazy for the past few years and have gotten no further than the oral board. I have 2 Associates' degrees, was a reserve, and I'm Certified MCOLES in Michigan with 2 years experience. I think what kills me is my age. I'm 42, and most departments, they say, can't hire me because I can't qualify for the retirement program.

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                  • #10
                    College is always a good thing, don't let anyone tell you it's not. Most people who knock it or say it doesn't matter haven't been to school a day past 12th grade. If nothing else, it shows you stuck to something in life, usually at an early age which shows character. Despite what many may say, college isn't that easy. Alot of people knock a CJ degree....Yeah the CJ courses aren't hard but the math, science, foreign language and everything else that goes with it takes time and alot of work for most.

                    I think the message is, however, don't rely solely on college to get you hired. One tip for getting hired....Everytime you have days off, get on the internet and pick one or two counties...Get the number to every agency large and small in that county and start CALLING. Ask them if they are currently hiring or expect to be soon. Probably at least one in ten will tell you they hope to be hiring before too long...Officer Doe maybe leaving soon for a dept. that offers the most important thing on the planet to most Indiana officers (especially the young ones).....THE WILDLY IMPORTANT AND DREAM COME TRUE TAKE HOME CAR!!!. lol..I'm being sarcastic now and there are many other reasons someone could be leaving soon. But God, people in this state are obsessed over the take home vehicle thing.

                    In short, make lots of calls on your day off and don't just depend on the academy web site, internet or whatever to find jobs...The majority of depts especially small ones, aren't going to post jobs there.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by whyistopu View Post
                      Officer Doe maybe leaving soon for a dept. that offers the most important thing on the planet to most Indiana officers (especially the young ones).....THE WILDLY IMPORTANT AND DREAM COME TRUE TAKE HOME CAR!!!. But God, people in this state are obsessed over the take home vehicle thing.
                      It's a $5,000/year benefit, depending on how much the officer uses it for personal use. Not only that, the liability benefits are damn near unmeasurable. I am currently one of these officers, but the take home car isn't the sole reason I am leaving. The main reasons are financial benefits. My dept. is looking at hiring an additional five officers, so my over-time will crash and crash hard. I am likely looking at taking an $8,000+ hit per year. As such, I have started looking. Not only do the departments I want to work for offer a company car, they also pay anywhere from $8,000 to $12,000 more per year, and the 20 year retirement plan is better as well. If you factor in the take home car benefit, I am going to be getting an $13,000 to $20,000 pay increase. That is substantial and I don't know why some here mock the take home car benefit. Even if I saw absolutely no pay increase, but got a take home car, I am still getting a very nice monetary benefit by going to another department.

                      I put in for one of the Hamilton Co. departments and made it to the interview board. I didn't make it pass the board, but came _very_ close given the rank I was. I know that I did poorly on the spelling portion of the written test (thanks to computers, if you spell something wrong you just right click and fix...so you don't memorize the correct spelling). Not only that, this was my first interview in about 10 years, so I wasn't ready for the structured portion. Part of the reason is because the letter I got in advance of the interview said something to the extent of be yourself and use your time, that this gives the board a chance to get to know you. After sitting through the interview, I disagree with the "getting to you know you part" to some extent. The interview was much more structured than I thought it would be, no open questions, all questions were prepared in advance. The problem I have is that I am a get to the point type individual. I know I gave good answers initially, but then that point about using all your time really got to me. I started to try and add more to my initial answer, which made me sound like a bumbling fool on at least part of one or two questions.

                      Anyways, I find it a learning experience. I am sure that I will be able to better prepare for the next time. I just turned 32, so I only have so many years to get on a few of the departments in the area where we are going to move to. After that, the only option that makes sense will be just one Sheriff's department. I still need to have a sit down with my wife and see if she is willing to move to another country, as there are many other options I would like to look into (Greenwood, Brownsburg, Zionesville, etc.).

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