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Apply to one or many?


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  • Apply to one or many?

    I recently interviewed 2 Sergeants at a local PD and when we got the topic of what department(s) I should consider looking to apply to they both strongly suggested I pick only 1 agency that best suits me. This seems contradictory to what I've been reading on not only this forum but others as well, which is to not "put all your eggs in one basket". Even after discussing the economy, hiring freezes, and competitiveness in the Northern Virginia area they both still thought it would be in my best interest if I put all my effort into only 1 agency at a time.

    Neither Sergeant knew me personally before I went down there, they only knew that I'll have a degree soon and will was incredibly passionate about making Law Enforcement my career.

    These are only 2 inputs I have, however qualified they both are (12years, for one and 22years for the other) I'd still like to hear what others have to say, not just from seasoned veterans but from those who have gone through the hiring process recently as well.

  • #2
    My suggestion is that it depends on you. Do you want to be a Fairfax County Officer (for example) or do you want to be a Police Officer. If you're specifically interested in one department and you're willing to wait (maybe multiple years) to get in there then it might pay off to apply to only one. I'd be sure to say that at the interview too.

    There are pros and cons to both. Simply put, if you want to be a police officer ASAP then apply to as many places as you can. Most don't care if you've applied to others (so long as you weren't DQ'd). If you are specific to one place, then be specific.
    Last edited by candidateyellow; 12-05-2008, 12:18 AM.


    • #3
      Personally, the size of department, jurisdiction, benefits, and salary really do not matter to me at all. But what does matter is that I get placed with an agency that puts me to good use. More specifically, looking long term, I plan on becoming a crisis/hostage negotiator, and I don't want to get to that point after all those years of school and training to find out that my skills won't be needed.

      Thanks for the reply, Candidateyellow. Do you live/work in Northern Virginia? Which route did you take, applying to one or many department(s)? Fairfax is a possibility for me as I travel there regularly, but Loudoun County Sherrifs Office is (at the moment) my number 1 choice.

      I understand my original question is something I can only answer for myself, but knowing how others underwent their application process would be beneficial.


      • #4
        I'm in PA. I tried a county wide consortium and received no responses so I put myself through the academy and applied to any place I was interested in. In the end I had applied to about 12 departments total (2 county wide consortium's) and received 3 offers. I was put on a lot of waiting lists as well.

        The whole process, from my first application to getting hired was around 2 years. The real stressful part was the 6 months between graduating from the academy and being hired by my department.

        The bottom line is that it's a slow process. Especially if you don't have prior experience and/or a military background. Why not put in your application at Loudoun County and then wait. If you don't get it, then apply other places.


        • #5
          I would not limit yourself to one department, especially with this economy.


          • #6
            "I understand my original question is something I can only answer for myself, but knowing how others underwent their application process would be beneficial."

            My experience (many years ago) ---

            There are numerous agencies in my area. I made a short list of about 3 - 5 departments and ordered them according to my preferences. I then applied to them within a couple of weeks of each other, in order of my preferences. As it turned out, I was hired by my top preference within a couple of months and had to call up the other departments and withdraw my application.

            For me, the multiple applications was easy to explain to background investigators and it did not look like I was just applying for any and all departments without any real direction.

            Just my .02 ---- Good luck.


            • #7
              I like what NTx had to say..

              Also... don't expect your "skills" to be put to use for some time on any department... usually the bigger departments it is shorter time for advancement and such.... but your "skill" that you have now don't mean anything the Skills you gain through training, FTO, and EXPERIENCE will be the ones that you use later on..... trust me I was a college graduate with honors, psychology background, and such... in LE it really does not mean a whole lot until later in your career... I learned more in 3 months of FTO than in four years of college (Not Joking) and I still learn everyday..... That being said go get a job where you will learn, excell and if you want to move to another department after 4-5 yrs. you will be even more marketable especially if there is lateral transfers... and don't think you can't learn anything at "small" departments either.

              my 2.5 cents
              "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good" Romans 12:21


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