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  • Lateral move

    Looking for some advice here from the LE veterans...

    There's an opportunity for me to lateral to my local PD in the coming months. By local, I mean it's the department for the city I actually live in.

    There's nothing wrong with the department I work at now, in fact I enjoy working there quite a bit, my partners are great, and I'm in good standing. Scheduling, pay and benefits would be almost exactly the same. But I'd be going from a department with about 2,000 sworn to one with about 200. I know that the opportunities for promotion and special assignments would be much more competitive and few and far between.

    And there's the whole thing with actually living in the city where you're arresting crooks that are pretty much your neighbors. I know a couple if LEO's that do this now with no issues. I've heard horror stories about running into someone at the local grocery store you arrested a month ago, but they seem to be more anecdotal than legitimate.

    Biggest benefit for me would be cutting my daily commute from about 100 miles roundtrip to about 3. I'd see more of my family. Get more sleep. Spend less time in traffic.

    I know the grass isn't always greener. When I got hired on I knew what I was getting I to, and I haven't actively been looking to lateral. I love where I am, but thought I'd use the forums to kick the tires a bit and see if anyone had any similar experience (before I tell the wife and she decides for me). It would be a few months before the application opens up anyway, so I have time to think about it.

  • #2
    If the commute is an issue, what prevents you from moving closer to your present employer?

    This is purely anecdotal but, from what I have seen, officers who make a transition in size and activity like you are talking about are almost never happy. It is not uncommon for them to return to their "home" agency within a year.

    Comment


    • clof2001
      clof2001 commented
      Editing a comment
      We could move closer, but my mortgage payment would essentially double. The higher cost of living versus the tradeoff for a shorter commute isn't worth it.

  • #3
    I wouldn't worry too much about running into arrestees. In a town with 200 officers you are talking of a 250K population. Yea you will but that happens. I worked for a statewide agency for nearly 30 yrs and ran into people (and still do 8 yrs after retirement) in the weirdest places. Never have had a problem.

    Your commute change would give you a pretty good raise...............not to mention time with the family. At one time I worked 40 miles from home & when I transferred I went to a LARGER institution but only had a 5 mile commute. I saved a lot of money there.

    Only you and your family can decide which is best...............and you WILL make the decision that is best.

    It's just like when I promoted to Lieutenant. The promotion was best for me and my family, but career wise it was the worst decision I made in a 42 yr career
    Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

    My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

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    • #4
      Here is my thoughts, from a Canadian paramilitary (RCMP) Agency requiring transfers and living where you work, now retired, perspective.

      For 34.5+ years, I worked in:
      - a VERY popular summer tourist destination National Park, with ~ 5000 visitors at any one time, where we also patrolled nearby highways and some off-site Aboriginal / First Nation / Indigenous communities, for 5 months with 4 of us, living in attached barracks;
      - a < 400 population A/ FN / I community, with LOTS of violence, with 3 of us non-A / FN / I members for 10 months, living in barracks;
      - ~ 17000 population city, surrounded by a rural area with ~3000 population, and 60 Police Officers (22 City, 15 Rural / HP, plain clothes Units, plus barely-doing-anything-yet-getting-paid senior ranks), for 4 years.
      - a ~ 700 population town, with several smaller villages and sparsely populated farms within the area, with 3 of us, for 4 years;
      - a ~ 6500 population city, a few smaller towns, an A / FN / I community, and sparsely populated farms withing our area, with 15 of us, for 8 years;
      - a large rural area, ~ 5000 population, outside of a city ~ 11000 population, with 7 of us (4 for General Duty, and 3 for HP / Traffic Services), plus a 20+ member City PS (COULD, and did, work outside of the city border to back us up, and we could swoop in and help them, or "poach" as we wished, but non-emergency calls-for-service were handed over to each other dependent on where it happened), from 1993 to 2010.

      Overall, I OFTEN ran into "clients", even sitting beside them at Mass, at EVERY posting, whether it was a seat belt ticket, or an alcohol-induced family melt-down, let alone worse. The ENTIRE community knew where I and my partners lived, since we often had a marked patrol vehicle in our driveways during non-scheduled "voluntary" on-call. I had a client show up at the front door of post #2, drunk and holding a shotgun; the time-honoured tactic of slamming-the-door-into-the-face-to-knock-'em-on-their-arse took care of that. Clients would come to my house at post #4, either to complain, or 3 idiots get their truck stuck in a large puddle in front after a tornado and sheepishly accept their liquor tickets. At #5, my first weekend, the son of a neighbour (Dad was the Volunteer FD Chief) gave me a false name on his liquor ticket.

      I have seen members of my Force patch-over to Municipal PS to be able to get closer to, or go home to, family, or avoid transfers, while I have known Mun PS members to patch-over to us for brass buttons and travel. Me? I THOUGHT about patching-over after I got to #6, but I ended up on "the dark side" (HP / TS) for my last 9 years, and loved it.

      I would HEARTILY encourage you to work with your residence PS to avoid the cost and hassle of your current commute. If you REALLY have dreams of the big time, then do not get sized up for a new uniform, but is the commute REALLY worth it?! Just be professional, and you will be fine working at home.
      #32936 - Royal Canadian Mounted Police - 1975-10-27 / 2010-12-29
      Proud Dad of #54266 - RCMP - 2007-02-12 to date
      RCMP Veterans Association - Regina Division member
      Mounted Police Professional Association of Canada - Associate (Retired) member
      "Smile" - no!

      Comment


      • #5
        In most (United States) law enforcement agencies there may be some opportunities for lateral entry hiring, but seldom (if ever) will retirement plans, health insurance, or other benefits be transferable. For a young officer with decades to go toward eventual retirement there may be some opportunities that outweigh the trade-offs, but for many others trying to change ships in mid-ocean could be a major step backward in retirement planning. I would suggest that you look very hard at your current position (not just the job, but where you are on the career path to retirement) before making such a change.

        As far as running into people you have busted in the past, all I can say is it happens every now and then but there is seldom anything to worry about. I have actually had more trouble with people I have issued traffic summonses to, or handled dog complaints with, than I have had with felons after they have served their prison time. Only one who ever made serious threats against me ended up dying from drug abuse before he got around to trying anything with me. The rest amounted to little more than some foul language or trash talk. That is not to say that I didn't go armed every time I left the house (and still do 24 years after retirement), but I don't hang around the same venues as dopers or ex-cons like to spend their time so I don't worry too much about it.

        Comment

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