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Wanting to get into the Law Enforcement field in Ohio

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  • Wanting to get into the Law Enforcement field in Ohio

    Hey all.

    New member here, looking for advice and answers.

    I was in the Army (Engineer Corps) fresh out of highschool, and got a medical discharge and ever since I've wanted to do something more than just work in a warehouse or whatever. I want to do something that makes a difference, so Im very interested in becoming a LEO.

    So I have a few questions,
    I'm wanting to get a CJ degree (I have an engineering degree but that relates very very little to law enforcement) and afterwards go through the academy.
    I know that having a degree really looks good when a department is looking at you, but would it be ok to go through the academy first, and then work on my degree while applying to different departments? Or would it be better to be done with the schooling first?

    Also, my local departments (Cincinnati area) are pretty much all laying off, so does anyone know of a department near by who is hiring? I'm not sure about the Dayton area.

    Also, what other professions, besides being an officer, that CJ degrees are good for, that you would suggest as an alternative?

  • #2
    I would think that an engineering degree would be favorable for you, it proves that you can think logically and solve problems.

    Since you have a degree and military experience, you might want to consider Federal Law Enforcement as an option. (usajobs.gov)
    The only time you can have too much ammunition is when you're swimming or on fire

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    • #3
      A CJ degree will also do very little for you that relates to law enforcement. Do you have a two year or four year engineering degree? You are 100% wrong if you think you need a CJ degree, especially if you already have a degree. SW Ohio is a tough place to get a gig right now. You have a better shot at getting picked up as an aux or PT officer by a township or small dept if you self sponsor, but keep in mind that there are a lot of self sponsors out there looking for any kind of badge at anyplace that will hire them.

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      • #4
        It's a two year degree.

        I know I don't NEED a CJ degree but I figured it would look good, and help if I wanted to do something else similar to law enforcement, but not necessarily being a police officer.
        I would be fine with being a reserve or PT officer just to get my foot in the door. Like I said, anything other than running a forklift. haha

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        • #5
          minor threat is a horrible band. lol j/k
          -Stay safe

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          • #6
            A Criminal Justice Degree will look no better than a degree in Early Childhood Development... PDs give points for A degree, not a CJ degree.

            In fact, almost all federal agencies (FBI, ICE, Secret Service, etc) prefer an Accounting degree (because you work a lot of financial crimes). Look at it this way, if you get into CJ and you self sponser yourself through an academy, you're essentially paying for the same information twice.

            Think big picture. What are you going to do when you retire with a CJ Degree? What if you get laid off? What if you don't like law enforcement? A Psych degree gives you the knowledge of why people are the way they are and how they will most likely act - that's far more beneficial in the LE field than a CJ degree. How about an Information Technology degree? Many small departments don't have IT people and that could be a big plus for certain agencies when their computers go down.

            My advice, continue with your Engineering degree - less time involved and like Danny said, it'll show that you have the ability to logically solve problems (which is what Police Officers do).

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            • #7
              PM inbound.

              RKC

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              • #8
                No, it won't look any better. If you're going to spend two more years in college, get a four year degree. That will look better.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Danny216 View Post
                  I would think that an engineering degree would be favorable for you, it proves that you can think logically and solve problems.

                  Since you have a degree and military experience, you might want to consider Federal Law Enforcement as an option. (usajobs.gov)
                  A lot of Federal Law Enforcement Jobs are wicked boring though. Also Fed retirement not as good as a lot of the bigger cities. Oh and forget about a CJ degree. Waste of Money. Go with Psych or something similar.

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                  • #10
                    I'm probably going to go with psychology then. Should I just do general psychology or criminal psychology?

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                    • #11
                      Go on to the federal site (FBI, CIA) and they have degrees listed that they are looking for. Personally, I have been testing in Ohio for a police job for 4 years. I am limitied to testing in NE Ohio because of family obligations. I would not plan your life around being a Police Officer chosing a degree around what they want. College is difficult and really puts a lot of stress on you. Most people don't finish a 4 year degree.

                      If you want to work for a Police department plan on moving and if you want to work for the FEDS, plan on the samething. I have an Accounting degree and I chose this field because it interested me. Who knows what the future brings but things don't always work out the way you want but you will always have this degree. Do something you love and not something to fit into a "mold".

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                      • #12
                        I disagree that a CJ degree is completely pointless. If there is another major that interests you, take that one. but if there isnt anything out there and you arent good with all the psych terms or something, take CJ. understanding consitutional law and how all that stuff works will put you ahead of the regular cops who just learned that stuff for a few days in the academy and take years to learn it on the road, which could also be the difference between you being involved in some supreme court case later down the road for doing something borderline constitutional etc. there is a difference between knowing you cant search something for "x" reason and know WHY you cant search something etc.

                        i do agree however, go 4 year instead of 2 in whatever you do.
                        I don't have to be careful. I got a gun.

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                        • #13
                          I think a communications degree would be very helpful.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Glory Days View Post
                            I disagree that a CJ degree is completely pointless. If there is another major that interests you, take that one. but if there isnt anything out there and you arent good with all the psych terms or something, take CJ. understanding consitutional law and how all that stuff works will put you ahead of the regular cops who just learned that stuff for a few days in the academy and take years to learn it on the road, which could also be the difference between you being involved in some supreme court case later down the road for doing something borderline constitutional etc. there is a difference between knowing you cant search something for "x" reason and know WHY you cant search something etc.

                            i do agree however, go 4 year instead of 2 in whatever you do.
                            While I do agree that if you have no other interest CJ degree is an option, but you would be better off in the future if you got a degree in Criminology. The study of crime, plus the stat's work will help you later in your career. You really don't want to learn CJ in a school house. Its application in the field is much different then on the black board. We have found a lot of CJ degree holders applicants to be ill suited to police work. Study something you much be interested in doing after retirement. History is always a good one. Especially if you ever think about law school down the road.
                            Good Luck all!

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