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Howard, Rockville, or Montgomery


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  • Howard, Rockville, or Montgomery

    Hello, I am just a civilian here but I am considering becoming a police officer and Montgomery county, Howard County, and Rockville police departments have caught my eye.

    A little on my background first: I am former military and have 80 plus credits from PSU and actively enrolled. I am an Information technology specialist for the federal government. I am sure some of you are saying ok IT guy in the federal government why would he want to give that up money is great etc.. Well I am bored to tears. Been doing IT for over 10 years and my excitement consist of a server going down and I do my routine fix blah blah blah.. But with that I have a family and use to a certain living.

    My questions are relate to pay, overtime etc.. For anyone who knows anything about one or all of these departments..

    - I see base pays are basically the same. Do any of these dept offer more base pay for military and/or a 4 year degree?
    Howard= $40,832
    Rockville= $43 -$65 annually for Police officer II Not sure what starting pay is?
    Mont County= $40,386
    - Differential? 8.3 For Howard not sure the others?

    - Over Time? I read in these forums that Howard has a lot of OT is that true for Mont and Rockville?

    - If OT is abundant is it available to new guys? And how soon can you get the OT? during training?

    - How much can one get is there a limit? Is 10 – 20 hours a lot or not much?

    - How long is the training for each dept?
    Howard is 40 weeks not sure the others?

    - With training is this just basically normal work day training with time off. For example is it like basic training again?

    Well I am sure I have a few million more questions but I will try to limit it.. I appreciate any and all responses.


  • #2
    Howard's training is 40 WEEKS?!


    • #3
      Originally posted by flash40
      Howard's training is 40 WEEKS?!
      The Academy and your Field Training combined is 40 weeks, as it is with most departments if you add all the training up. Most agencies in Maryland run anywhere from 6-8 months long.
      "An excuse is worse and more terrible than a lie, for an excuse is a lie guarded."


      • #4
        Howard county doesn't give any additional pay incentive to military, you start out like everybody else. There is a ton of OT and you're eligible to work as much of it as you'd like once you're off field training. That being said, if you work more than 15-20hrs during a pay period you start losing more and more to Uncle Sam so it doesn't make sense to work more than that. The 8.3 differential is only for officers working nightshift ( 12 hr shifts, 3 days on/ 3 days off).

        Just be careful not to get sucked into a dept simply based on starting pay. Retirement and fringe benefits such as take home car, equipment, training, working conditions, etc. should be a big part of your choice. Especially if you plan on doing this for the long haul.

        Training in HCPD is mostly a typical 8 hr day Monday-Friday...however some days you might have to work a little longer or come in at night or on a weekend, but thats very rare and specific to the training topic. It is quasi military, but nothing like a military basic training. There is PT and discipline, but proably wont compare at all to military. The only academy that even comes close to that is state police.


        • #5
          Savvy thanks for the reply. I agree its not about pay for me personally its my family (wife and kids) that are accustom to a certain way of life and our means of living. By no means do I make millions but $40,832 is a very considerable cut in pay from my current GS-12 pay. But with the $40,832 + the 4 hours per pay of OT by default + night differential + 10 -15 a week in extra OT I would be back to where I am currently. The issue is 40 weeks until I could get back on track. But thanks for the info..


          • #6
            No is a considerable pay cut and a big lifestyle change. I wish you the best of luck. If I can be of further assistance please let me know.


            • #7
              army running,

              You sound like you're in the same boat that I am (though I think you are a few years my senior)... I have an Engineering degree from Maryland and have been doing Engineering and similar work for the last few years and while the pay is nice, the work is dreadfully boring. For me, it's definitely time to make the switch, and while my wife and I are used to a certain lifestyle, we ultimately decided that if this will make me happier, we will make whatever adjustments are necessary! Anyway, I wish you luck, and perhaps I'll run into you if you choose Howard County, as that is where I am focusing my efforts..

              "Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils"


              • #8
                Not to sure about HC, but MC and Rockville both have night dif. pay and there is OT. I'm not sure how much you could get, but once off FTO you could always work a part-time OD job for extra money. All three are excellent departments with HC and MC hiring more often then Rockville. Rockville usually hires certified officers but on occasion hires entry-level.


                • #9
                  Refer to the Baltimore County, Howard, Montgomery County Info thread. I put some MoCo info in there.
                  COMPLACENCY KILLS COPS.

                  Sean Taylor - 21 - Never Forget

                  "When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice."


                  • #10
                    Certified officers usually have a step up with Rockville City, but do not let lack of certification keep you from applying. RCPD sends a fair amount of people through entry level training. Most new hires go to MCPD or PG Municipal academies.

                    Overtime in RCPD is an annual crisis that seems to start sooner and sooner each year. Special Operations (everyone but patrol) are much more affected by this that Field Services. A new hire will get overtime from court and from the movie theatre detail. Overtime staffing patrol or communications may be somewhat hit or miss.

                    Overtime is much more of a sure thing with MCPD. With the county's new contract, MCPD offers significant financial advantages over the city police.
                    John from Maryland


                    • #11
                      I would go with MCPD. If you compare them with everyone else they seem to be a step ahead. If I had to do it all over again I would have went with them. In fact im looking into doing a lateral. The only down side is that it is expensive to live there.
                      I'm sorry, Bruce. These boys get that syrup in 'em, they get all antsy in their pantsy.


                      • #12
                        I don't have any real inside information on any of these departments, but having checked out the websites recently, my first choice would be Howard County. They seem to be really competitive regarding salary/benefits, and housing is more affordable out that way.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Up_On_Base
                          A major downside of MCPD lateral program is you need to do their full academy even if you are certified in MD.
                          Actually, that's a catch 22. You actually don't have to do a full academy, if enough certified officers are hired on. So, if you're lucky enough to have a few other certified officers being hired, then you would just be in the first 2 months at the academy with the rookies. After that it's off to FTO. If there aren't enough certified officers, then most likely you'll have to do a full academy. That's the way I, understood it.
                          "Intelligence plus character that is the goal of true education." - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


                          • #14
                            Anyone have any information about Gaithersburg City, and while I'm thinking about it, Chevy Chase Village and Takoma Park? Haven't heard much, nor do they seem to have very detailed websites.


                            • #15
                              Gaithersburg PD is an excellent department with a large and active jurisdiction. Specialized units include detectives, narcotics canine, street crime, and traffic. At least one officer is a member of the decentralized element of MCPD SWAT. They do have a takehome car program. I believe there has been some movement on improving pay and benefits, but I'd check with them to be certain. Issue weapon is the SIG 229. Patrol rifle is the HK G36 (if I recall my designations correctly). Tasers are widely deployed. I believe GPD works ten-hour fixed shifts.

                              One jump ball is the impending retirement of GPD's chief (the immediate past president of IACP). I believe a replacement will come on board in the summer.

                              Takoma Park PD somewhat goes its own way. For many years, the city limits included parts of both Montgomery and PG Counties. It is now entirely in MontCo (which makes court assignments easier). TPPD is the only jurisdiction that MCPD does not concurrently patrol.

                              Takoma Park is something of an unusual city, nuclear-free zone that they are. It is exceptionally politically correct, though I suppose you cannot beat granola for a healthy midshift snack. TPPD just hired a new chief, a retired MCPD official. As with GPD, time will tell how that will work out.

                              Chevy Chase is an extremely rich community. The chief has made many improvements, but CCVPD handles many home security and feel-good duties that you won't find other departments handling. Connecticut Avenue runs through the Village allowing officers to do some traffic work.
                              John from Maryland


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