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Sheriff's Office versus other agencies?

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  • Sheriff's Office versus other agencies?

    Hey, guys! First and foremost, I appreciate all the help and advice everyone gives on here. Through PMs and other posts, I have learned a lot and I genuinely feel more prepared for the future because of it. The situation goes like this: I am nearing the end of multiple hiring processes here in the great state of Washington. I get out of the Navy in February, and it's looking like I am going to have the luxury of choice between a nice little handful of agencies! I have had the opportunity to go on multiple ride alongs with every agency except King County Sheriff's Office (ride-along pending), and I was hoping someone familiar with that particular agency could help me understand how their job differs from any other police agency here. For instance: I noticed they provide officers to do a bunch of different jobs in court, and stuff like that. I am interested in patrol and, eventually, jumping on a task force and doing things like SWAT or K9. What are the chances of an entry level deputy going straight to patrol? In my home state (Illinois) Sheriff's Departments man the jails; entry level deputies typically do so for the first three to five years of their careers before heading to patrol. I know corrections and LE are different here, so I'm not worried about ending up in the jail....but I'm wondering if some similar trade-off's might lie in the shadows.

    I also noticed that(not that I'm in this for the money) KCSO is significantly underpaid compared to other (significantly smaller) agencies within the same area. Can anyone mention why this might be?

  • #2
    You will start in patrol everywhere. Most places require 2-3 years of patrol experience before you can go into any specialty. I believe for King County it's 3 years. (Same to apply for one of the contract cities). King County Sheriffs and King County Corrections are separate, you will not work in the jail. Not sure what you mean by the trade off comment, maybe you can expand on that.

    KCSO is currently nearing the end of negotiations for their contract, there are a lot of reasons why they are currently underpaid but that will change with the new contract.

    Comment


    • pnw15
      pnw15 commented
      Editing a comment
      I am not with KCSO but I do know guys that work there and have done ride alongs with them before. Patrol is the starting point for every agency. King County specifically you'll go to the academy then to after academy training (dont remember the name they give it or the length) which is also at cjtc where you do more KC oriented training. Then PTO begins.

      WSP is more traffic/collision/dui oriented like you said.

      Local (cities) for the most part will go like your ride along's outside of specialties where your focus is mainly on one or two things. Even if you're in a specialty most cities are small enough you can still take calls and do proactive work.

      Counties are very different to both State and local. The area you work will determine how/if you respond to calls. KC for example, working the Burien or any large population area will be call to call but out east you can go from North Bend to Duvall and get nothing. In my opinion counties allow more officer discretion which can be nice.

      You should make a list of what you really looking for in an agency before you pick one and try to get a real understanding of that agencies culture. Do as much ride alongs as you can to try to get a grasp if you'd fit in.

      Just to be clear: I am not a fully commissioned officer, I work in a jail. I interact with and know a lot of officers from around the Puget sound area. I have done many ride alongs with different agencies and see how a lot of them work. I am happy to help with anything I can.
      Last edited by pnw15; 10-27-2018, 09:04 PM.

    • RaspiestShrimp
      RaspiestShrimp commented
      Editing a comment
      pnw15

      Thanks again! I have done a bunch of ride alongs with a couple agencies at the top of my list, one (city agency) where I believe I would fit in very well. But I am extremely curious what life is like as a deputy. I am relieved to hear that deputies start out in patrol; like I mentioned, back home, deputies all want to go to patrol and very few of them actually get to. The ride along is, without a doubt, going to be the best way to judge what goes on. Do you happen to know someone (on this site or in your personal life) who might be willing to let me email them some questions? I have also heard that KCSO has an extremely high attrition rate during their FTO program; I would love to hear more about that, for sure.

    • pnw15
      pnw15 commented
      Editing a comment
      I can ask them and send you a PM if they say yes. Research PTO vs FTO, KC uses PTO. Everyone has an opinion on the two. Also be aware KC does not provide housing during the academy and you cannot take your car home right away. If you get placed in a precinct that's not your top pick prepare to have a long commute depending on your location.

    • RaspiestShrimp
      RaspiestShrimp commented
      Editing a comment
      pnw15
      That is great information; I definitely need to look into the PTO program. This is the first time I have heard about it, and I would love to know what sort of things people struggle with aside from geography. I'm prepared for a commute, but the wife and I are definitely looking for a scenery-change after I EAS in February so hopefully we can find something a little more local to everything down that way. Thank you for the info, dude! Really appreciate it!

  • #3
    For what it's worth, I went into King County as a brand new guy and didn't make it. KC has an abnormally high washout rate compared to every other agency in Western Washington, except for maybe Kent. It's a good place to work, but it's definitely geared more for laterals. I also saw laterals with five or more years of experience have a rough time and get fired too. I would also check out places in Thurston county. I liked working there, and it's not quite as crazy as King county.

    Comment


    • RaspiestShrimp
      RaspiestShrimp commented
      Editing a comment
      Is there any way you might be willing to go into detail about what happened? I would love to know more about the whole PTO thing; not too much about it on google. Also, what was your job like compared to a regular city cop? Are you currently LEO somewhere else? Sorry for all the questions, would love to know more! Obviously via PM if you care to disclose. Thank you for the information!

  • #4
    PTO is merely a different style of grading recruits, the traditional model is called the "San Jose" where they grade on tasks from 1-5 or 1-7. PTO is more of an exchange of ideas between the Trainer and the Recruit. King County FTO's have high standards and they document the people that don't pass. Every recruit has their own issues and none of them are the same. What may work for one, may not work for another. Back to the title of the thread, each agency has its plusses and minuses, King county has a big area to cover and they have many contract cities, which provide the employee with a lot of options to move around and to specialize. It may take longer, but if it was easy, everyone would be doing it! Good Luck.
    I don't check to see if the glass is half full, I make sure its not dirty.

    Comment


    • RaspiestShrimp
      RaspiestShrimp commented
      Editing a comment
      Mr. Tucker,
      Thank you for reaching out! This is great information, you have, more or less, explained more about PTO than a week of searching for information on the internet. Are you currently with KCSO? I have been advised (by officers in other departments) that their PTO program is only suited for lateral transfers. Can you speak to the truthfulness behind that statement? Obviously, there has to be some sort of passing rate for entry level guys. I have had quite a few suggestions to go with one of my other options as a way to "get my foot in the door", and seek transfer at a later date (if that is what I wish). This sounds reasonable, but I am not really looking for an "easy way out". Do you have any thoughts? Thanks again!

  • #5
    I don't work for King County, I work for Federal Way PD (SW corner of the county). Laterals and recruits are two different skill sets. I wouldn't expect a recruit to have the knowledge of a lateral, but I do expect the lateral to have at least the confidence when dealing with people and applying the law. Laterals come from all over and because of that, they may not have experienced things that i have in a busy urban environment.

    I am sure that they are fair with their FTO program, regardless of the experience of the student. We spend too much money and time on a process to purposely watch people fail. Whatever department you are wanting to end up, that's where you should start testing.

    One last word of advice, work on a different career until you get hired. Sometimes it can take a long time and its easy to change careers, but if it takes a few years to get hired (avg age 26) then might as well get paid while your waiting. Plus, it adds maturity points.

    Good luck
    I don't check to see if the glass is half full, I make sure its not dirty.

    Comment


    • RaspiestShrimp
      RaspiestShrimp commented
      Editing a comment
      Mr. Tucker,
      More great information. Luckily, I've got the career portion figured out; I'm on my way out of a ten-stretch in the military. I'm just about wrapped up with the hiring process for each of the agencies I have applied to; still on the fence about king county because their ride-along program takes awhile and I haven't had the opportunity to hit the streets with one of their deputies. Again, thank you for your time!

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