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CIA Police or CBP?

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  • CIA Police or CBP?

    I'd like to get some insight from you guys, especially those on the federal side. I am a local LEO with a few years on looking to make the jump to the federal side (for too many reasons to list here). I'm interested in CIA police as I've heard its a great way to get a foot in the door at the agency and it would get me a TS SCI+ clearance. They also pay well, have good equipment, but are more or less force protection from what I've been told. They haves fers pecial retirement, not 6c, which is a pretty big negative.

    The other department I'm considering is customs and border protection. I'd start out as a GS-9, automatic promotion to GS-12 in two years and have the coveted 6c retirement. I don't think the work would be as interesting as CIA police but I'd make a very comfortable living (2x OT rate is pretty sweet).

    What do you all think would be the better path to take?




  • #2
    I don't know what CIA police carry for retirement, but CBPOs carry a bastardized form of "6C".(6C not really being a normal factor, since eligibility for 6C died out in the early 1980s, when FERS replaced CSRS. What we're really talking about is 12D.) CBPOs are not defined as LEO under title 5 retirement regulations.

    2X overtime really plays limited impact in most of OFO...but if we're talking just DC it'll probably play more of a factor than in average OFO circumstances.

    OFO is largely a "work-to-live" job. If you define yourself outside of work and you're simply looking for a decent job offering decent wages, OFO might answer a need...especially if other work locations across the country are a consideration.

    I don't know enough about the CIA position to comment on it.

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    • #3
      CBP by far. It's easier to jump from there to an 1811 position. You'll also get paid more and stop your age timer. The job itself has more variety than CIA police. You will get bored doing post work at CIA. One of my CITP classmates came from there and was glad to leave.

      I'm not convinced the CIA clearance helps much on its own. I had a military TS SCI and it did not seem to open any doors for me when I applied to 1811 jobs.

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      • #4
        CBP without question.

        No disrespect to CIA Police, they’re top notch. But they’re like an elite security force. With CBP you have lots of opportunities for upward mobility and assignments to special details. You’ll also get paid more.

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        • #5
          I wouldn't base a job on a TS/ SCI. I was always told it was valuable (so I got one), but any agency / job worth going to will simply put you through one. It's close to worthless without some other credentials someone wants.

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          • #6
            Financially CBP all the way. Covered retirement plus non competitive to GS 12 vs regular FERS and non competitive to GS 10.
            “Right now I'm having amnesia and déjà vu at the same time. I think I've forgotten this before.” - Steven Wright

            US Army MP (95B) 1992-1997
            DOJ Agent/ DHS Officer 1997 to Present

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            • #7
              Just an FYI but CIA police have their own version of the law enforcement retirement with enhanced benefits. Pay wise they go to probably the equivalent to a GS-11 on their pay banding system have quite a bit of OT. They do have specialized units such as K9, EOD and they can move into other positions within the CIA and intelligence communities.
              I don't answer recruitment messages....

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              • #8
                Got to be honest here, I did NOT expect a pretty much unanimous vote for CBP. Maybe I have spent too much time on the CBP Delphi boards, but people sure seem to have a negative outlook on that department. I guess there is something to be said about automatic promotion to GS-12 (I'd qualify as a GS-9 which means I'd hit 12 in only 2 years) and that sweet covered retirement. I don't know enough about specialty positions within CBP but I'm assuming they're more plentiful than CIA police?

                I would be curious to know what GS level CIA police promote to. As orlandofed5-0 mentioned, it does seem to be a good way to move into other positions within the Agency. At that point it wouldn't even be Law Enforcement anymore depending on which path one takes. They fall under "fers special" retirement, which is not as good as 6c but still a fair bit better than standard fers.

                Tough choices but they both seem like great avenues to take.

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                • Winter_Patriot
                  Winter_Patriot commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I would not necessarily stay with CBP but it is a better way to enter the federal LE system. You will be able to easily move to another agency eventually. It's a large agency compared to CIA police. FLETC is bursting at the seams with CBP.

                • merlin436
                  merlin436 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Those on the OFO Delphi board are largely CBPOs. They tend to be overly representative of the oligarchy, so they're more optimistic than the average CBPO.

                  Most people outside of OFO just come across the upper echelon of OFO and assume the privileged few represent the norm.

              • #9
                I know that this is a law enforcement forum, but does anyone know if the CIA Directorate of Operations employees (Operations Officers, Specialized Skills Officers, etc.) get some sort of special retirement such as 20 year and higher percentage or something?

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                • #10
                  CBP over CIA .

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