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Questions about small town Sheriff's Departments in ND...

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  • Questions about small town Sheriff's Departments in ND...

    Hello everyone. I was wondering if anyone has worked for a small town Sheriff's office in ND and could shed some insight on if it's worth working at these places or not. What are some differences in that of a small town deputy compared to a city cop in lets say Bismarck or Williston for example? Is the hiring process/background check similar to that of bigger departments? I will eventually be applying for my first law enforcement type job and was wondering what might be some good places to start vs. the not so good ones? I have an AA degree in CJ from Bismarck State College, but I haven't been through an academy yet. Also, can I get some of your opinions on whether or not it would be worth it to self-sponsor myself and then apply or try and get hired somewhere where they would pay me to go to the academy? To me, it seems like getting hired first and then sent to the academy is the most feasible solution. What are some of the routes you guys have taken while trying to land that first job?

    Any input is greatly appreciated!

  • #2
    Originally posted by stecha90 View Post
    Hello everyone. I was wondering if anyone has worked for a small town Sheriff's office in ND and could shed some insight on if it's worth working at these places or not. What are some differences in that of a small town deputy compared to a city cop in lets say Bismarck or Williston for example? Is the hiring process/background check similar to that of bigger departments? I will eventually be applying for my first law enforcement type job and was wondering what might be some good places to start vs. the not so good ones? I have an AA degree in CJ from Bismarck State College, but I haven't been through an academy yet. Also, can I get some of your opinions on whether or not it would be worth it to self-sponsor myself and then apply or try and get hired somewhere where they would pay me to go to the academy? To me, it seems like getting hired first and then sent to the academy is the most feasible solution. What are some of the routes you guys have taken while trying to land that first job?

    Any input is greatly appreciated!
    Well, in general from my experience working as a deputy in a small county, they are not exactly the best places to work as a young cop. I saw shady stuff the admin did and their general lack of appreciation for any real police work you did. Why did you arrest the county commissioner's son? Why did were you driving with your lights and siren on to an accident? Someone (insert important person in county) saw you stopping a car, why did you stop them? The reality is most small town agencies, especially in North Dakota, are very political. If you want a retired on duty job, then think small town PDs and SOs. If you want to do your job and not worry about getting in trouble for doing it, then look at the larger agencies.

    As far as hiring process, most don;t have one. It's simply an interview and get hired. Very cut and dry. Duties: as a county deputy you'll be spending a lot of time in the office and serving papers. Larger PDs you'll be call to call.

    In my experience, counties in Western ND pay more and have less politics due to all the transient population. Eastern ND with all the rich farming communities will have major politics (i.e. issues).

    I wouldn't self sponsor unless you can't get a job. Most agencies in Western ND have no problem send people to the academy.

    Remember, the sheriff is an elected official.
    Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned

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    • #3
      Thank you for the reply, cjs-luke. It seems to me that the small town politics isn't something I'd want to be dealing with. After reading your reply, and thinking about where I want to work, I think I would rather be somewhere out west where I can be proactive or go from call to call without having someone breathing down my back. I live in Bismarck, but wouldn't mind moving where there is opportunity.

      Another question I have is about my prior conviction of be in actual physical control of a motor vehicle about 20 months ago. I know this is not very long ago and I'm wondering how much this will hinder my chances of even being selected for an interview? I thought about applying to some agencies this coming summer, but I'm also thinking maybe I should wait another year as time will be my friend for this type of conviction. Also, do you know which agencies off the top of your head will send a new hire to the academy? I know a lot of online ads say "applicants must be ND POST board licensed or licensable as a peace officer."

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      • #4
        Sorry for the late reply, hopefully this will be of some use to you.

        Almost all the departments affected by the oil boom will send you through the academy (even bismarck PD sends ifficers through). You may or may not have to work while attending. When I went I had to work nearly every weekend which is a drain but the overtime really pays off.

        You will ulmost definitely run into trouble with your conviction. I do not know if you will be able to find a department that will accept it as the conviction makes you an insurance liability. You will not hurt yourself by applying but remember to be honest about the conviction.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by MSMUNGER View Post
          Sorry for the late reply, hopefully this will be of some use to you.

          Almost all the departments affected by the oil boom will send you through the academy (even bismarck PD sends ifficers through). You may or may not have to work while attending. When I went I had to work nearly every weekend which is a drain but the overtime really pays off.

          You will ulmost definitely run into trouble with your conviction. I do not know if you will be able to find a department that will accept it as the conviction makes you an insurance liability. You will not hurt yourself by applying but remember to be honest about the conviction.
          you bring up a good point that I did not remember before. I know of departments that have had to let officers go because the North Dakota Insurance reserve fund would not cover those officers due to their past driving history. But you will never know unless you apply so just test the waters and see what's what. One department may be an absolute no and the next will give you a chance.
          Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned

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          • #6
            Thanks for the input/advice. I have talked to some people from a few different departments around my area and they all have given me the advice of waiting until around the 3 year mark from my conviction. The more time the better because of insurance reasons. They also suggested that putting myself through the academy will only benefit me and is a great advantage compared to someone applying without it. One person actually said my chances of getting hired are pretty slim without having the academy completed.

            I think I'm going to take their advice and wait another year until I'm at that 3 year mark from the date of my APC. I thought about applying to the NDHP when I get to that 3 year mark and see what happens with that. I know they pay their recruits while in the academy and that would be my ideal situation. If that doesn't work, I would plan to put myself through a self-sponsored academy in hopes that I land a job afterwards, even though nothing is guaranteed going this route.

            Also, what do you guys think about corrections as a career? I know it takes a special kind of person to do this job and the pay isn't quite as good as a patrol officer. I have thought of going this route, but I don't think my dreams would truly be fulfilled working inside a jail. Have any of you worked in corrections or know anyone that has that can spread some insight into the job? I believe Burleigh and Morton County are hiring for corrections/detention officers and I would consider employment with them if the opportunity came about.

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            • #7
              Corrections=high priced baby sitting. Though Parole/Probation Officers in ND make very good money and have a great gig.

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