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  • Need some information.

    Hey everyone, I'm new to the forums but I've been constantly on them for the past few weeks now since I'm aspiring to be a PA state trooper. I'm 17 years old and a senior in high school and just wanted to ask for some advice from the experienced officers.


    -When it comes to education, such as college, do they take a serious look at the classes you've taken? I've read that it would be beneficial taking courses such as CJ, a second language and English. Also, do they also take a serious look at the school you've went to?

    -I have a bicuspid aortic valve, it's a heart condition but not a debilitating condition or anything like that. Because of it, I'm not allowed to lift more than about 3/4 of my body weight repetitively, instead most of the time I use lighter weights and more reps. I'm allowed to do push-ups, sit-ups and the whole running deal. Because of it, I also take a blood thinner once a day at night so my blood pressure is constantly in check. I'm not sure if this could effect my chances physically, so any insight would be helpful until my next appointment."

    That's all i have for the time being. Any help would be great!

    Thanks!

  • #2
    I don't want to be a buzzkill, but if you were my partner, and I was incapacitated, I wouldn't be thrilled about the idea that you can't lift more than 3/4 of your body weight. Find another job. Not what you wanted to hear, I know, but you owe it to LEOs everywhere. Sorry.
    Invisible Signature.......FAIL

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    • #3
      It's not that I'm not allowed to. If i was working out, say bench pressing, the doc recommended me not doing it everytime i workout, and switch on and off between heavy and lighter weights. I currently can without a problem. It's just the repetitive deal.

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      • #4
        I too hate to be a stick in the mud; but, your medical condition does not sound like it is stable enough for a pass during a physical examination. You would seriously need to discuss your condition with your doctor and with the recruitment staff at the PSP. I am quite certain your condition would be a disqualifying cause from serving in the military and, as such, would be the same in law enforcement. Blood thinners could be an added factor which might cause you to lose your life in the event of a relatively less serious accident or injury.

        I would suggest you consult a recruiter before commencing your education and training for the future.

        Good luck!
        Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence!

        [George Washington (1732 - 1799)]

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        • #5
          Not exactly what I'd like to hear, but thanks for the insight.

          My condition is very stable by the way, I only take the thinner to reduce the chances of anything actually happening. Not because of any problems with it.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by SgtCHP View Post
            I too hate to be a stick in the mud; but, your medical condition does not sound like it is stable enough for a pass during a physical examination. You would seriously need to discuss your condition with your doctor and with the recruitment staff at the PSP. I am quite certain your condition would be a disqualifying cause from serving in the military and, as such, would be the same in law enforcement. Blood thinners could be an added factor which might cause you to lose your life in the event of a relatively less serious accident or injury.

            I would suggest you consult a recruiter before commencing your education and training for the future.

            Good luck!
            I can only second the replies of my colleagues, on the assumption you wanted an honest reply to your question. While I've got you, let me add a thought or two. Right now, your immediate "mission" is to graduate from High School. You should also be thinking about some college courses/majors. Your condition looms as a very probable disqualifier from both Military service and a Law Enforcement career as an Officer. You could, and really should look into the possibilities of a career in a support field of LE. I'm referring to service as a Dispatcher, Crime Scene Technician, Ballistics technician, etc. These positions fill a vital support need in the LE field. In all probablility, your medical condition would not be a bar to employment in these fields. Good luck in all your future plans.

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            • #7
              Which valve is the bicuspid, left or right ventricle? The left, which is the high pressure side of the heart is normally a bicuspid valve. Get through college, concentrate on science and math. And go talk to a cardiologist at see if your heart condition is such that it would preclude you from becoming a police officer.

              The problem as I see it is that you may pass a physical and get a job, but then a really hot, humid day comes along and it hits the fan. You are working your heart at max rate for a prolonged period of time and then you have a massive cardiac death. If the cardiologist says you can perform the job, then most likely you can. A really good cardiac stress test can tell if you are going to have a problem. Good luck.
              Ut humiliter opinor

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              • #8
                Thanks for all of the honest replies guys and being straight up with me. As it seems, it's going to be best to get information from my doctor and get my stress test done in november. It seems though that a few of you are misunderstanding what I'm trying to say and it's understandable because it is kind of difficult to describe. My current job is working on a garbage truck 4-5 days out of the week and quite some hours during those days, even when it is insanely hot out and I do nothing but run for 4 miles constantly and constantly lift heavy items and never had a problem, I don't know what that would have to do with this though.

                thank you again though for replying, really helped.

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                • #9
                  The alarm that goes off in my mind is that you take a blood thinner. Plenty of guys in law enforcement do. However, you need to consult a physician about that and your ability (or inability) to lift heavy weight. 1) If you were injured and bleeding, possibly severely, would that medication (leaving out medical details) cause you to die faster? 2) As a trooper in a rural area, without backup, would you be able to fight (yes fight) with one or more individuals stronger than you for a sustained period of time, i.e. 5-20 minutes? I only state this for your safety.

                  Now, to answer your questions...

                  Spanish would be an excellent skill and many agencies actively recruit Spanish speakers. Your ability to communicate both in spoken and written language is crucial. If you're a good report writer your job will be easier, and your arrests will likely result in more prosecutions and cases won. Learn to interact with people of varying cultures and socioeconomic classes. To be frank, I sucked at that starting out as a cop and the entire time (2 years) I served as a H.S. teacher. A knowledge of criminal law and procedure would be beneficial in helping you learn that element of law enforcement faster. Courses in accounting will be of benefit as a lot of departments lack personnel capable of understanding crime associated with accounting and finance. Computer skills, particularly with the MS Office Suite, are great to have, and although you may not utilize them often, if at all, as a patrol officer they're good skills to have.

                  Coursework in English literature and composition, communications, Spanish, multicultural studies, sociology, psychology, social work, government, history, accounting, business, information technology, and criminal justice (law) will all help. That said, there are many excellent officers out there with only a GED. College degrees generally help you out on the salary schedule though, and quality agencies seem to be favoring college graduates now, and that will likely continue into the future. If you're not physically fit then get that way. Run, lift weights, take martial arts perhaps, don't do drugs, stay out of trouble, and enjoy life. You've got at least four years to pass before you can become a LEO so use them wisely and enjoy them.

                  Another option for you might be parole and probation if being a police officer isn't suited to you due to your physical condition. Many PPOs are gun-toting individuals who serve warrants, make arrests, and participate in investigations. It all depends upon the jurisdiction, however, I've never known of any to participated in any lengthy altercation. On the flip side, many PPOs are merely social workers of sorts while most seem to be somewhere in between.

                  Good luck.

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                  • #10
                    Hey ArkansasFan, thanks for the reply.

                    1. No, it would not effect the time I have to live. I'm only on 50mg once a day which is a small dose of it for my size. The doctor recommends I take it so it does keep my blood pressure at normal levels, not that I have high blood pressure or anything, and reduces the stress on the artery so it doesn't diolate. It basically removes the extra risk factor. The medication also has no effect on me while im awake either. No drowsiness, blurred vision or anything like that. Don't even notice it. My valve, heart and myself are in perfect shape. I can't stress that enough in this discussion. If II had what they called aortic stenosis, which is narrowing of the valve, then I know a job as an officer is COMPLETELY out of the question because that's where the major problems come into play. But I have read a few discussions on some medical forums of officers/state troopers who have a bicuspid aortic valve, so they had to pass the physical exam with it obviously.

                    2) Yes, I would be able to. I think what you guys might be thinking is that if I'm in a life threatening situation I'd have to walk away from it because I wouldn't be able to get in a fight with someone bigger than me or not drag an injured officer to safety because hes heavier than me and if I lift him my valve explodes. That's not the case, I am/would be allowed to in that case. Another think I can't stress enough is that it only comes to weight lifting with watching how much I lift from time to time REPETITIVELY.

                    Thank you for taking the time on the education write up also. Very informative.

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                    • #11
                      Ask a physician if he would be able to sign off on something like your given condition for the duties that are required of you. i do understand your condition and think you will be ok. However, we are cops here, not doctors. They would give you the best answer in conjunction with NJ state trooper recruiters.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by PhilipCal View Post
                        I can only second the replies of my colleagues, on the assumption you wanted an honest reply to your question. While I've got you, let me add a thought or two. Right now, your immediate "mission" is to graduate from High School. You should also be thinking about some college courses/majors. Your condition looms as a very probable disqualifier from both Military service and a Law Enforcement career as an Officer. You could, and really should look into the possibilities of a career in a support field of LE. I'm referring to service as a Dispatcher, Crime Scene Technician, Ballistics technician, etc. These positions fill a vital support need in the LE field. In all probablility, your medical condition would not be a bar to employment in these fields. Good luck in all your future plans.

                        +1 I was thinking the same. LE field needs alot of support. Also there are professional crash reconstructionists. $200-$300/hr for court time. Do it because you love it, though.
                        Most people fail because they trade what they want MOST, for what they want at the MOMENT.

                        The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, WHO can know it?
                        -Jeremiah 17:9

                        Is it any surprise that cops don't trust anyone?

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                        • #13
                          Thanks everyone. I'll post the news I get from my doctor when I go get my check up.

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                          • #14
                            Hey everyone, I just wanted to post the news from my appointment with my cardiologist. I was actually quite surprised when he filled me in on this topic, as the information I got here was somewhat doubtful. No offense. Doc went out of his way to end up getting more in-depth information on the PSP's medical requirements and talked to my area recruiter for me before I even got the chance to call the recruiter.

                            Anyways, it was pretty good news. He said things are looking good. The recruiter also told him there shouldn't be any problems with me being able to go through the PSP academy and going through there physical examination, or just being in LE in general. Doc also said he can second the recruiters opinion from what he has seen. So I at least gained some more hope and have something I really want to work towards. Hope things stay the same.

                            Thanks everyone

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