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  • Need an opinion

    I want to work for the city I grew up in. The population is just under 1 million and the department has everything I'm looking for as far as career advancement. What I need advice on is, should I put in a couple years with a smaller agency first to get the hang of the job and FTO before going to the bigger city? Would passing FTO at a smaller agency better my chances of passing FTO at the bigger agency?
    *Not an LEO (yet), just working on my Bachelor's Degree while being a Volunteer in Police Service (VIPS) at my local PD.

  • #2
    You either were meant to do it or you were not, as far as your chances on doing good on FTO no matter which department you choose. Starting as a big fish in a small pond would help you learn the ropes but when you go to the bigger department you might get depressed because your ability to make a difference is a great deal harder the larger the department. The best thing to do is start at the big fast pace department and get tons of experience than when you get burnt out go to the smaller department, you will have more to offer the smaller department from your experiences you have gained and you will feel more satisfied in your position. I did it that way and the sky is the limit for me if I want it, just don't know if I do, but if so it will be my decision to make, it's harder the other way around. I have a bunch of friends who left my old small city department for a huge department with over 500 sworn and they are hating life because though they are paid for their experience walking in the door in pay grades they are treated like outsiders and even worse newbies. On the other hand if you have an offer now from a smaller department and are waiting on the process with the bigger one my dad used to always say "A bird in the hand is always better than one in the bush". Take it. If you actually have a choice, go the fast pace first while you are younger and still a rook. This job is a young mans game afterall.
    Last edited by Nightshift va; 09-10-2008, 07:29 PM. Reason: content
    "Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. The MARINES don't have that problem." ....Ronald Reagan


    • #3
      The FTO programs will be alot different in a bigger dept than a small one. A bigger dept has many more luxuries that a small one just cant afford. I would start out with the larger dept and gain the exp.
      What Is A Veteran?
      A 'Veteran,' whether active duty, discharged, retired, or reserve is 'someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to 'The United States of America,' for an amount of 'up to and including his life.' That is honor, and there are way too many people in this country today who no longer understand that fact.


      • #4
        Start larger.
        The comments made herein are those solely of author and in no way reflect the opinions of any other person, agency or other entity.

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        • #5
          If you are talking about San Jose, you can't go wrong with SJPD. As much as I like my agency, SJPD is right up there with the best, from everything I have heard from the guys working there.

          Every department, no matter how big, takes entry level people, so why start somewhere other than your dream department?
          Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. - Ronald Reagan

          I don't think It'll happen in the US because we don't trust our government. We are a country of skeptics, raised by skeptics, founded by skeptics. - Amaroq


          • #6
            Go with the department you want to work with and don't waste time with jumping between jobs. You'll just lose seniority and have to repeat FTO which are designed so that you'll succeed if you have the brain power to do so.


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