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State vs. Local Police Agencies

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  • State vs. Local Police Agencies

    As a student in college studying towards a criminal justice degree, I do have a career path in mind, however I'm not completely sure which route I want to take. I like the idea of municipal/local law enforcement in small or larger towns, like Hillsborough or Toms River, and the overall idea of community policing is great, too. Yet I also like the idea of NJSP and their more legalistic approach to policing, as well as the idea of patrolling the highways in state. Has anyone had any experience doing either of these, and can you please explain a bit about what township/post you work out of, and what you like or dislike? Any information would help a lot.
    "There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure."

  • #2
    In this state you cannot pick and choose where you want to be a LEO. Apply to all possible and hopefully you will get something. I'm not trying to discourage anyone but you really cannot be picky in NJ.

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    • #3
      From my understanding in NJ ---not being a Vet can hurt quite a bit

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      • #4
        Originally posted by steve111 View Post
        In this state you cannot pick and choose where you want to be a LEO. Apply to all possible and hopefully you will get something. I'm not trying to discourage anyone but you really cannot be picky in NJ.
        Is it really that competitive? I know that your past, your grades, and your background (as well as politics) all play a large role in the process, but is it still all that competitive if you're an A student with a bachelors degree and no criminal history?
        "There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure."

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        • #5
          Yeah, I know that the veteran's preference is a huge deciding factor, but as previously stated, they can't possibly hire all vets, right?
          "There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure."

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          • #6
            Troopers generally generate case laws that make the job harder for the rest of us. I work in a medium size department that is a skip away from Camden and Philly, on the easy to AC. Our guys learn more in a few months than road troopers learn in a few years. It's a completely different style of policing, but better chance of advancement.
            Being a good street cop is like coming to work in a wet suit and peeing in your pants. It's a nice warm feeling, but you're the only one who knows anything has happened.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by mike_rodriguez View Post
              Yeah, I know that the veteran's preference is a huge deciding factor, but as previously stated, they can't possibly hire all vets, right?
              Depends if you go to a non civil service town vs civil service town...
              I don't answer recruitment messages....

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              • #8
                Don't be picky, pretty much everyone now has a BA and clean record. Get experience via class 2 or what have you and separate yourself from the 500 apps for 1 job.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by gmen89 View Post
                  Don't be picky, pretty much everyone now has a BA and clean record. Get experience via class 2 or what have you and separate yourself from the 500 apps for 1 job.
                  Interesting. Kind of makes me mad at myself for not taking advantage of applying as a special class 1 officer for this summer in either Seaside or Point Pleasant.
                  "There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure."

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                  • #10
                    Possibly the worst state to search for police jobs from what I hear. The region as a whole is terrible, be it PA, Jersey, NY, every New England state.........

                    Everybody is realizing the scam now. Law enforcement used to be a much less desirable job: low pay, bad hours, etc. Now, people are getting to wise to how much money cops actually make, our benefits, our pensions, etc. So now in a bad economy, everybody wants to be a cop, because a lot of them still think it's an easy job to get. They want those high salaries with all the overtime and the bennies. They don't realize that when they show up with their Bachelor's degree and internship experience, there are 300 more with identical backgrounds and 200 more who have all of that plus an honorable discharge from the military.

                    It's incredible how uninformed 80% of the public are about this field. When I first got hired, people used to say, "Oh, but since you have a degree you'll go right to detective right?" Then, after I'd have a good laugh, I'd explain to them that 90% of my department has a Bachelor's and most of the supervisors have Master's. Then there's the ones who make comments like, "how much are you making 30K? 35K?" Again, all I can do is laugh.
                    Last edited by OfficerBarbrady; 06-10-2014, 09:40 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by OfficerBarbrady View Post
                      Possibly the worst state to search for police jobs from what I hear. The region as a whole is terrible, be it PA, Jersey, NY, every New England state.........

                      Everybody is realizing the scam now. Law enforcement used to be a much less desirable job: low pay, bad hours, etc. Now, people are getting to wise to how much money cops actually make, our benefits, our pensions, etc. So now in a bad economy, everybody wants to be a cop, because a lot of them still think it's an easy job to get. They want those high salaries with all the overtime and the bennies. They don't realize that when they show up with their Bachelor's degree and internship experience, there are 300 more with identical backgrounds and 200 more who have all of that plus an honorable discharge from the military.

                      It's incredible how uninformed 80% of the public are about this field. When I first got hired, people used to say, "Oh, but since you have a degree you'll go right to detective right?" Then, after I'd have a good laugh, I'd explain to them that 90% of my department has a Bachelor's and most of the supervisors have Master's. Then there's the ones who make comments like, "how much are you making 30K? 35K?" Again, all I can do is laugh.
                      So I guess what can be learned from this lesson is that you really need something big to distinguish you from the rest of the applicants due to politics in these local towns with the chief's test... And I'm very glad that I came on here and asked because this is the type of thing that they don't teach you in school. They don't tell you about how competitive the job market in this industry really is, nor do they tell you about how everyone is going for their bachelor's degree, not to mention a lack of acknowledgement about graduate and master's degrees.
                      Obviously a lot of people would be discouraged to hear this kind of thing, and would pursue another field of employment but honestly, it makes me strive to be a more competitive prospect and it makes me want to be the best I can be so that I can become employed by an agency. But I enjoy your input and it gives me some food for thought, so thank you.
                      "There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure."

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