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  • Questions regarding Howard County

    Is this place a nice place to live and work, or is it a dump like baltimore city?
    I know pay starts at 40,000, but what are the steps like and is OT available?
    How are selective are they and do they consider guys who currently live in another state who are willing to move?
    Is there any LE experiance needed with the required 60 credits/associates?
    How many officers are in this department, and how often do they hire, are they hurting for guys?

    Thanks.

  • #2
    I'm going to let actual officers answer the questions about the actual department/moral/etc. As for Howard county I really like it here. I was born and raised in Baltimore County, then spent 4 yeras in PG County hell. Baltimore County was nice, but the area I lived in is starting to go downhill. Its still very nice but just not like it used to be.

    Now for Howard County. You pretty much have everything you could possibly need within 15 minutes of you. There are plenty of things to do in the area. The area isn't that affordable though. You are going to need that 40k to start to get anywhere and its going to take sometime to buy a place. Decent townhomes start at 300k and go up up up. I'm sure there are bad areas in Howard county, but I've owned lived here for 6 months so I'm by no means an expert.

    In summary, in my experiences Howard is NOTHING like Baltimore City.

    Comment


    • #3
      I am typing under my husband's ID because I work for Howard County and can help answer some of your questions.


      The department works 12hr shifts. Nightshift works 3 12hr days in a row. Dayshift is a 2 week rotation. One week work MON< Tue off Wed and Thu work FRI, Sat, Sun and then following week you only work WED and THU.
      I work what they call a powershift, it is a 4 day rotation of 10hrs. I work Wed-SAT off SUN and MON. Then work TUE-FRI and off Sat-TUE.

      The payscale is comparable to other local agencies. It takes 3 years for a decent jump in pay. This is called Police Officer First Class, which I just got after 3 years of being here even though I am a lateral.

      They are very short on people and due to have around 30 retirements over the next 2 years.

      They do prefer a college degree, but no expereince is necessary but it does help. We have a fair amount of military and laterals from other departments. A lot of us have been from Baltimore City.

      Retirement is decent too. It is 50% at 20 years. At 25 years it is 75% and at 30yrs it is 80%. Benefits are standard.

      The area has rural areas, a well off area, and middle class and section 8 housing.

      Not required to live in county and probation is 1.5 years. After probation if you live in county you get a take home car.

      Background checks are extremely thorough. Very strict on any drug use what so ever, you can check with the recruiting department on that. Also the polygraph is 8 hrs long. It is the standard PT test. They also do home visits during background check.

      If you like to do stuff, you are close to Baltimore City and Washington DC and what they have to offer.
      In God we trust, all others are run MILES and NCIC.

      Comment


      • #4
        Does your 1.5 years of probation start with beginning of the academy, end of the academy, or end of FTO?

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        • #5
          Answering on my husbands names again.

          I came in as a lateral so I'm not sure but I believe it is from date of hire.
          In God we trust, all others are run MILES and NCIC.

          Comment


          • #6
            Im actually considering this agency and moving back to Md. once i finish up with my Bachelors degree down here at NC State. Again, like others have stated, 300k for a townhouse is out of a starting police officer's affordable living range. It would be hard to find a decent place to live anywhere around HoCo for about 200k that is in commuting distance. If I am wrong please tell me, because this agency would be my top choice if I could find a nice, affordable, close area.

            For the HC LEO's:
            What are my chances of actually getting into this agency (considering a fairly clean background, the worst thing for me is a traffic ticket 3 years ago and received a 1 day suspension for "leaving school property during school hours"). I am currently 20 1/2 yrs old, but i will be 21 1/2 once I actually start the application process as I finish up my degree. I will have 2 degrees, an Associates of Arts, and a Bachelors of Arts, about 3.3 GPA graduating high school, 3.3 GPA when i finished my first degree and graduated with Dean's List, currently on Dean's list at NC State, and im sure Ill graduate with somewhere around a 3.0 as well. I have been working as an intern with the Wake Co. Sheriffs Dept here in Raleigh, and will continue to do so until graduation (hopefully the experience might help). I am an Eagle Scout, received Congressional Nomination when I was applying for the service academies (not sure if that will help), I have never been fired, in great standing with all previous employers. As for what you said about the BI being very intense, and the drug use is very strict, how would they treat a one time experimentation at the age of 14, and completely regretting it and never touching it after that? Im sure in the poly that will come up, but im sure they will also ask how i feel about it currently and I am totally against the use (I flipped sh*t when my roommates in my dorm came in just smelling like pot)

            Comment


            • #7
              Bump for previous post and my questions...

              When you lateral in did you have to attend their academy?
              Did you get a take-home as soon as you lateraled in?

              Any other tips about lateraling into the department?

              If I began in Howard County Dispatch, would that be my start date for retirement if I later became a police officer with the same department?


              Thanks again!
              Last edited by JDougal; 03-07-2007, 08:06 AM.

              Comment


              • #8
                For the HC officer- What is top pay if you max out as a patrolman and how many years does it take to get to that?

                Comment


                • #9
                  haha we all want Metro's wife to come back. She is apparently the only HC officer that comes to this forum.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by JDougal
                    haha we all want Metro's wife to come back. She is apparently the only HC officer that comes to this forum.
                    I'll have to get her to post again. She isn't into the forums as much as I am, she just happened to be here when I was reading them and decided to answer. Their website http://www.co.ho.md.us/Police/Police_HomePage.htm from what I recall has a lot of information and is in general, one of the best departmental web sites I have seen.
                    In God we trust, all others are run MILES and NCIC.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Metro174
                      I'll have to get her to post again. She isn't into the forums as much as I am, she just happened to be here when I was reading them and decided to answer. Their website http://www.co.ho.md.us/Police/Police_HomePage.htm from what I recall has a lot of information and is in general, one of the best departmental web sites I have seen.

                      Thanks for the update. I have to agree that they have one of the best websites around as far as police departments go. It is well organized, and is updated almost daily with information. Again thanks!

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                      • #12
                        Downside is you have to wear those ugly patches on your shoulder.
                        GO CAVS!!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Very true, and they are so huge. It seems like they come half way down your arm almost to your elbow. I've heard rumors of the department not backing their officers, anyone know of any truth to this?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by JDougal
                            Very true, and they are so huge. It seems like they come half way down your arm almost to your elbow. I've heard rumors of the department not backing their officers, anyone know of any truth to this?
                            There are always rumors about any department regarding backup. Anywhere you go, you got good squads and bad squads.
                            GO CAVS!!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Howard County can be a great place to work, or your worst nightmare. The benefit package is very good compared to surrounduing jurisdictions in terms of retirement, pay, equipment. The majority of officers are good officers, and there are a ton of opportunities for advancement in terms of prom otions and moving into specialized units because of the huge number of pending retirements in the next 2-3 years. That being said, it can also seem like the dark side of the moon... politics and internal decisions are very different from alot of other jurisdictions. Especially anything sexual. There have been alot of internals lately regarding sexual behavior, on and off duty. Many very good officers have been hemmed up because of allegations, both true and false. The agency has been sued a few times over the last couple of years for sexual harrassment and the like and is quick to act on even the appearance of sexual misconduct , or their latest favorite topic, sexual deviants. If you're thinking of applying to HCPD be aware that if you give even the slightest hint that you like to have sex more than a few times a month, in any room other than the bedroom, with more than one person, and in any other position than missionary you take a chance on being looked at very hard by recruitment unit and IAD.

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