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  • Small town departments

    Hey Everyone -

    I am set to graduate in May so I have a question for you. I am thinking about going to a smaller department and I was wondering what you think is the best way to go about it!? I know that a lot of small towns do not post on Wilenet. How would you go about finding jobs in small town areas, and applying to those departments?

    I'm not sure if this will help but I'm in Middle/Southern WI.

    Thanks,
    Lee

  • #2
    Call around. Or simply look them up and send in a resume. You might hear from them, you might not... but it's always worth a shot. With a small department, and there are many in the state, you might have to start with a part-time spot.

    But, keep checking Wilenet... and get on top of sending out resumes. In addition, keep a list of when and where you applied and what the response was. It will go along with when it comes time to fill out a background packet.
    sigpic

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    • #3
      Thanks Guam.

      That is a good idea. I will get some resumes out, and definitely keep a list of where I apply and what I hear back from them.

      Thanks again.

      Lee

      Comment


      • #4
        I work in a very small department and I can tell you when the random resumes come in the Chief tosses them. My suggestion is watch Wilenet or check the Sunday paper in the areas you want to work. Most of the small agencies advertise in the local paper and its always in the weekend addition if its a daily paper, and many of the rural areas only have a weekly paper so check there ads. Many of them also have web sites they post on. As far as working in the small towns if its what you like go for it. This is the place to be if you want to be patrolman, investigator,traffic cop, k9 officer, community police officer, and so on. Its alot of fun. Just be ready for the small town politics and some of the "good old boy" sundrome. GOOD LUCK!!

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        • #5
          Another option is to take the "Police Officer 1 & 2" and the State Patrol civil service exams. Many smaller agencies piggy back onto those lists to look for viable candidates instead of going to all the expense and difficulty of posting for applications and writing their own tests.
          Originally posted by kontemplerande
          Without Germany, you would not have won World War 2.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by SRT936 View Post
            Another option is to take the "Police Officer 1 & 2" and the State Patrol civil service exams. Many smaller agencies piggy back onto those lists to look for viable candidates instead of going to all the expense and difficulty of posting for applications and writing their own tests.
            Thank you for the reply STR936. I have never heard of the Police Officer 1&2 and State Patrol civil service exam. I am interested in looking down that route, but could you provide more information about them?

            Thank you again,

            Lee

            Comment


            • #7
              Srt, I'd also like to know more about Police Officer One and Two, as well as the State Patrol civil service exams. Where can the tests be done? Do they cost anything?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by lbohlman View Post
                Thank you for the reply STR936. I have never heard of the Police Officer 1&2 and State Patrol civil service exam. I am interested in looking down that route, but could you provide more information about them?

                Thank you again,

                Lee
                Here's a link to the Wisconsin Civil Service testing people.

                http://wiscjobs.state.wi.us/public/l...e.asp?catid=70

                That site lists where the test locations are and what tests are upcoming. You can also look at the available jobs by clicking on the "Job Search" button on the upper right hand corner.

                Just digging around on the site, I think they may have rolled the 1 & 2 classifications into a single "Police Officer" test. I see that they still have the varying levels of "Security Officer" though.
                Originally posted by kontemplerande
                Without Germany, you would not have won World War 2.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by SRT936 View Post
                  Here's a link to the Wisconsin Civil Service testing people.

                  http://wiscjobs.state.wi.us/public/l...e.asp?catid=70

                  That site lists where the test locations are and what tests are upcoming. You can also look at the available jobs by clicking on the "Job Search" button on the upper right hand corner.

                  Just digging around on the site, I think they may have rolled the 1 & 2 classifications into a single "Police Officer" test. I see that they still have the varying levels of "Security Officer" though.

                  Thank you for the information. I appreciate it.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I would stay away from a small town if you are just starting out with no experience... PM me and I will explain in more detail.

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                    • #11
                      It would take many many years in a small department to gain the kind of experience you would get in a big department in a short period of time.

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                      • #12
                        I would agree that working in a small town it can take a while to gain experience with issues that many bigger towns deal with routinely, but I started in a small town and I love it. It really just depends on what you want and what you put into it. Although small I am afforded many options for training and activities that my friends in bigger departments are not so you have to give and take.

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                        • #13
                          Thanks for the replies. I understand that it will take a while to get some experience under my belt. I am looking to start anywhere for my first job, small or big town. But I grew up in a very small town and just love the feel of small towns.

                          I would love to hear the other side of starting in a small town. I understand the whole experience thing, and it will be a lot of boredom. That is part of the work, but I would like to hear what are some other negatives.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by lbohlman View Post
                            I would love to hear the other side of starting in a small town. I understand the whole experience thing, and it will be a lot of boredom. That is part of the work, but I would like to hear what are some other negatives.
                            Politics. Big time politics. Many enforcement decisions are based on the political impact it will have on the "town". It is not uncommon for small town departments to have very strict rules on what you can enforce and on whom.

                            In a small town you spend significantly more time being a public relations person than being a law enforcer.

                            Most small towns are non-union and you serve at the will of the Chief or the town board. That means you could wake up one day on the unemployment line for no particular reason whatsoever. If your Chief gets a wild hair up his bum, you could left flapping in the wind.

                            Equipment and training is often very lacking in the smaller departments. I know a few are really good, but most are absolutely bare bones operations. On a related note, pay is almost always significantly lower than other places.
                            Originally posted by kontemplerande
                            Without Germany, you would not have won World War 2.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by SRT936 View Post
                              Politics. Big time politics. Many enforcement decisions are based on the political impact it will have on the "town". It is not uncommon for small town departments to have very strict rules on what you can enforce and on whom.

                              In a small town you spend significantly more time being a public relations person than being a law enforcer.

                              Most small towns are non-union and you serve at the will of the Chief or the town board. That means you could wake up one day on the unemployment line for no particular reason whatsoever. If your Chief gets a wild hair up his bum, you could left flapping in the wind.

                              Equipment and training is often very lacking in the smaller departments. I know a few are really good, but most are absolutely bare bones operations. On a related note, pay is almost always significantly lower than other places.

                              Yep, nailed about all of them. I work in a small town as well. Heck there is just my Sergeant and I...no Chief. There are a ton of positives as far as shifts, time off, assignments, having an entire community to back you up in a fight...etc.

                              The absolute worst, like the above poster stated, is the politics. There are some people that make you mad and you can't touch them. Some of the things that you want to enforce like parking you can't, sometimes council will tell you to stop writing so many tickets because it makes the locals angry or scares off the tourists.

                              But yes the boredom can get to you. However, you can always find something to do. Community policing is your absolute friend here, it also helps when solving cases. Heck I have solved burglary cases when I went to lunch because one of the citizens sat down an told me who did it.

                              Good luck in your endeavors irregardless of where you decide to get your foot in the door first.

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