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  • What would you do?

    My question to you guys is about SKILLS. Say you were about to finish your AA degree in LE, but were going to school for 2 more years to get your BS in Politcal Science. Would you attend SKILLS after you finished your AA or after your BS? Thank you for any advice in advance.

  • #2
    I may totally be wrong and off course here, but if it were me, I would take skills and take the post test. I would then start applying for part time jobs or full time if you can handle both school and work. That way while you are finishing up your schooling you can be adding experience to your resume as well. That is just my thought. I think this decision would differ from person to person, but that is just what I would do. Remember that everyone that you are going to school with is your job competition and you need to separate yourself (as far as qualifications) as much as possible. You need to stand out when you are looking for your "dream" job at your "dream" department. Hope that helps and good luck with school!

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    • #3
      Originally posted by deetz58 View Post
      I may totally be wrong and off course here, but if it were me, I would take skills and take the post test. I would then start applying for part time jobs or full time if you can handle both school and work. That way while you are finishing up your schooling you can be adding experience to your resume as well. That is just my thought. I think this decision would differ from person to person, but that is just what I would do. Remember that everyone that you are going to school with is your job competition and you need to separate yourself (as far as qualifications) as much as possible. You need to stand out when you are looking for your "dream" job at your "dream" department. Hope that helps and good luck with school!
      I think that may be a more personal choice, but you may want to consider that if you do take the POST test right away and DO get a job, realize it may take longer to finish your degree in Poli sci if you end up completing it at all. Also, if you take the POST and go to school more, your only eligible to be licensed for 3 years after you pass the test, so that leaves you 1 year to get a job if you finish in 2 years. So really I think in the end its what you plan on doing and if you have a place you want to work really bad and they rarely hire, maybe take your skills and post just in case they do hire so you can apply when they do post a job.
      "Marge, you being a cop makes you the man! Which makes me the woman--and I have no interest in that, besides occasionally wearing the underwear, which as we discussed is strictly a comfort thing!"--Homer Simpson

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      • #4
        i am in skills right now. there are alot of guys that are doing skills now that are going to go back for there 4 yr after they get post licensed. Thats what i plan to do also. That way i can start applying to jobs right away. and even if i dont find one in that 3 years all i have to do is retake the post test again. But like HC said it is a personal choice and would be different for everyone.

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        • #5
          I agree on getting POST out of the way ASAP. Then working towards other goals. If you get a job (assuming that is your final goal) then you get there quicker. (ideally) Waiting another 2 years is keeping you out of the job pool.

          May also depend on age, where you are looking, any reserve or CSO experience, military experience, etc.

          If all you have is the AA and you are young, it is going to be tough.

          IF I COULD DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN.
          Do the two year, take POST, get a CSO job (while applying to sworn positions), a dept may pay for your additional schooling, continue to apply for cop jobs.

          As another poster said, your skill class is your competition. Talk to your peers and see what experience they have and what they plan to do.
          Last edited by MNCopper; 08-29-2008, 10:37 AM.

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          • #6
            You don't mention in either your post or in your profile how old you are. If you are 20, 21, or 22 I would stay in school. The odds of a person in their early 20's getting a job would be rather low. I was offered my first job at age 22. I look at the officers our department has hired in the past 6 years almost all have been in their mid or late 20's.

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            • #7
              I am currently 20 and would be like 22 1/2 if i waited and did SKILLS after my 4 year.

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              • #8
                I'm 19, have my AA and done with skills, eligible to be licensed. Now I have a year of school left to get my BS. I would highly advise getting skills and POST done with right away. Like the one guy said tho, all depends on what your goals are. Mine is to be a Trooper so naturally I'm hauling arse to get to that. (Well just to wait a year ;-0) But it definitively does not hurt to have skills on done with and under your belt
                Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned

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                • #9
                  CJS- You can't even buy a pistol or ammo for it!!! You can't even have a beer in a bar! You've never voted for president. And, I bet you are still living with your mom. You are lacking life experiences which are so valuable in this job. What department on Earth do you think will hire you at age 19, 20 or 21???????? Nothing personal, but c'mon! What SKILLS location let you go through at age 19? That ain't right. I admire your ambition, desire and drive but enjoy life. Be a 19 year old!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by sigcopper View Post
                    CJS- You can't even buy a pistol or ammo for it!!! You can't even have a beer in a bar! You've never voted for president. And, I bet you are still living with your mom. You are lacking life experiences which are so valuable in this job. What department on Earth do you think will hire you at age 19, 20 or 21???????? Nothing personal, but c'mon! What SKILLS location let you go through at age 19? That ain't right. I admire your ambition, desire and drive but enjoy life. Be a 19 year old!
                    I applied to a major agency when I was 20. I am currently 21, and have passed all the requisite tests--I await a conditional offer. Just from a posting on the internet, you have no idea what kind of life experience I have or do not have. And what does buying a pistol/ammo, or having a beer, or voting for president have to do with life experience?

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                    • #11
                      We hired a trooper who was home schooled, and turned 19 in the academy. I had some pretty serious reservations when we hired that trooper. I had the same feelings that have been echoed here. I can say without qualification that the trooper in question is an outstanding cop.

                      I think generally there is a correlation between age and life experience, but not always. If folks want to gear their life and their decision making towards being good law enforcement candidate at a young age, more power to them. I have been impressed with some of the younger candidates that I have met.

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                      • #12
                        I beg your pardon! I've sat on numerous interview panels over the years with the last panel being 6 months ago. I've done backgrounds on new hires for the past 6 years. You attempt to prove to me in a 10 minute interview how mature you are at the age of 19. You try and show me positive work history other than a paper route while I'm doing your background. Life experiences are part of this job...like it or not. While sitting on panels we have asked questions about maturitiy and life experiences. I don't think a 19 year old would be able to answer the questions like that of a 24 or 25 year old. Believe it or not there is a huge difference in maturity between a 19 or 20 year old and a 24 or 25 year old. Look at what happened in WI with that deputy. WI is looking at having a minimum age requirement to be a cop. Yes, I do realize that older cops get into trouble too.

                        Hailstorm....What major agency did you apply to? When did you apply? When will you hear if you are hired?


                        40 cal.......How many 19 year old troopers have been hired in MN in the past 10 years? What do you think is the average age of a new trooper is? Do you think it was a fluke that a 19 year old was hired? Did this trooper have an inside connection?

                        Buying ammo, pistol, and voting for president don't have much to do with this job. I used it to stress my point concerning life experience and age.

                        I wish you luck in getting a job at 19 or 20. I really wish you luck. I hope you can prove me wrong.
                        Last edited by sigcopper; 08-30-2008, 04:50 PM.

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                        • #13
                          i thought....

                          at one point that I wished I had done explorers, reserves, and CSO at an early age and then get a cop job early 20s.

                          I don't think a 19 year old would be able to answer the questions like that of a 24 or 25 year old. Believe it or not there is a huge difference in maturity between a 19 or 20 year old and a 24 or 25 year old. Look at what happened in WI with that deputy. WI is looking at having a minimum age requirement to be a cop. Yes, I do realize that older cops get into trouble too.
                          Now looking back at my life and starting out as a rookie at 30. I am glad I did. The lessons I learned, the trials and tribulations I went through, growing, maturing, jobs I had, relationships, etc - I am 10x more qualified to deal with other individuals crises'. This is obviously my very humble and personal opinion, but I notice a number of departments looking for non-traditional cops that have "life experience" for the same reasons you listed, or individuals in completely different areas outside of LE. I am not a touchy, feely, emotional type of individual, but empathy goes a long way at times of importance - and my experience has been (especially in these times) that empathy ELUDES a lot of younger individuals.

                          I also have friends that are 21-24 that are great cops as well. 19 surprises me, even more so entering into Trooper division - but if they are a great cop - that is awesome. I also have friends that are 30-40 that are 1st and 2nd year cops and love everyday of it and are great fits for their departments.

                          We all have the same goal, and every department knows what they are looking for (we like to think) - each individual going for a job may fit many departments mold or just a few. Work hard and believe in yourself, talk to as many departments and coppers you can - you will find your answers. There is a department for everyone....

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                          • #14
                            I know the department that I currently work for is hiring younger applicants because of all the baby boomer age officers that are gearing up for retirement (they have 20 officers eligible for retirement currently). So, they want people that can be around awhile. The last 4 hires have been under 23 YOA. That being said I don't think that every 19,20,21 year old applicant is mature enough but some are, like 40cal's example of the 19 year old.
                            "We Train to Fight, We Fight to Win, We Win to Survive, We Survive to LIVE!"

                            The views expressed in the above post are the sole opinion of the author and do not reflect any official position by the author's employer and/or municipality.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by sigcopper View Post
                              40 cal.......How many 19 year old troopers have been hired in MN in the past 10 years? What do you think is the average age of a new trooper is? Do you think it was a fluke that a 19 year old was hired? Did this trooper have an inside connection?
                              I think it was more of a fluke than anything. We traditionally do not see (or any other dept. for that matter) candidates that young. I am not aware of any inside connection or anything like that.

                              I used the example of the 19 yr old trooper to show that I was taught a valuable lesson in that the trooper performed at a level that exceeded how most would have acted in the same age group. I do realize that most 19 yr olds probably have no business being a cop. When I was 19 I had no business being a cop.

                              I think most here would agree with the notion that folks that young are a lot less likely to have life experience, however it is not an absolute as I found out.

                              Just my .02

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