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Tips for an aspiring cop?

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  • Tips for an aspiring cop?

    Hey guys,

    I'm currently heading in to my senior year of high school and I am heavily considering a job in law enforcement and I'm considering majoring in CJ. I'm planning on getting my bachelors and i'll have that when i'm 21. (i'm a youngin in my class ) I've taken 4 years of Spanish throughout high school, and I plan on independently furthering that throughout my college career.

    What I'm here to ask is what tips should I know about entering the force, what things should I further to make my self more competitive, and what kinds of things do you regret, or would do differently, when you decided to pursue your career as a LEO?

    I plan on also asking my schools police officer these questions to get a more local perspective (New Hampshire), and go on a few ride alongs throughout the next few years prior to completing college.

    Thanks to all of you!

  • #2
    Good grades
    Good friends
    Good behavior
    Good judgment
    I’ll die with blue in my veins.

    Comment


    • #3
      For starters skip the CJ Degree.

      Get a degree in some other field that you can actually use after you retire from LE. Figure if you are lucky you get hired at 22 or 23. You do 20-25 years in LE field. You will likely still have 10-20 good working years a head of you. You can't do much with that CJ degree other then what you already left.

      Not to mention, and this isn't something we think about, but what if the whole police thing isn't for you? What is your back up plan if you get injured on or off the job and can no longer do the police thing? The CJ degree isn't going to open a ton of doors.

      Get one in some other field of interest like business administration, accounting, education, etc.


      As far as what you can do to better your situation it's rather simple. Keep good friends. Don't do illegal things. Act like an adult.

      Comment


      • #4
        Get an English degree. - If you're a cop, you're going to be writing a lot of reports, so you better know how to write properly. Also, as previously mentioned, you want a degree that you can use outside of law enforcement, either post retirement or if you decide that this isn't the career for you. Also, in my experience as a field training officer, none of the recruits I've trained who majored in criminal justice were particularly more prepared for their career than any other recruit with a similar background and a different degree. Simply put, you learn how to do your job after getting hired, not in college.

        Don't do illegal ****. - It looks really bad for an applicant to have a criminal history. Really bad.

        Get/stay in shape. - In law enforcement, your life may occasionally depend on your ability to physically defend yourself. That's a lot harder to do if you're out of shape.

        Don't do illegal ****. - Seriously. Just don't do it.

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks for the replies guys!

          I forgot to add this to the OP. I'm entering my second year of a Culinary program that my high school offers. After completion I will be safeserv certified, which is basically having an associates degree in Culinary so I can always have that to fall back on. However, that's not entirely what I want to do. I realized this and starting looking into CJ sometime last year and after further research and talking to one of my dads friends who is a LEO, I made this my main focus.

          I've seen some posts on this forum talking about whether or not the CJ degree was useless or not seeing as the academy covers all if not most of what you learn in the class. From your point of view is it useless?

          I will consider majoring in something to use after my career as a police officer, though if all goes well I plan on retiring a cop and not having or needing to work, so that's why I'm considering CJ. As for illegal activities I don't partake in any of them, nor do I enjoy doing them. Weird right? A senior that doesn't like to drink or smoke?

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          • #6
            Culinary school. Maybe you should look into firefighting.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by GoldBadge View Post
              Good grades
              Good friends
              Good behavior
              Good judgment
              This.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Mr. Sir View Post
                I've taken 4 years of Spanish throughout high school, and I plan on independently furthering that throughout my college career.

                What I'm here to ask is what tips should I know about entering the force, what things should I further to make my self more competitive,
                Don't do it independently, do it through the college. If you can get certified as a translator, whatever certs courtroom translators need in your state, do that. That will set you apart from the heard of other 22 year olds with a BS in Criminal Justice and zero practical experience in anything.

                Also, volunteer. Work a soup kitchen for homeless or tutor underprivileged school kids or something along those lines. One, it'll give you some perspective and some experience dealing with people who aren't like you. Two, it'll show you give a poo about your community and aren't just in it to drive fast and shoot guns.

                Repeat these things to yourself:

                1) The herd has little chance of being hired.
                2) The herd is full of college grads with shiny new CJ degrees.
                3) The herd is full of 20-something suburban kids with plenty of entitlement issues but zero real world experience.
                4) I do not want to be part of the herd.
                I miss you, Dave.
                http://www.odmp.org/officer/20669-of...david-s.-moore

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                • #9
                  I've volunteered at a food pantry a few times and I plan on doing it more in the future; I will also look into other community service activities. I'll take up the thought of furthering my Spanish education collegiately. Thank you for all of the replies, I really appreciate it gentlemen!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I wouldn't bother with CJ. All the cops I know regret majoring in CJ. A) it barely helps you on the job, B) it barely if at all helps you get hired.

                    I you want to pull out all the stops to get hired by an agency you want, major in something hard (engineering?) and learn another language or two.

                    Also remain as straight as an arrow. And heck, don't drink any more at all.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Is CJ major really that useless?

                      I don't drink or smoke to begin with. I'm straight edge, and my record is as clean as a whistle, not even a speeding ticket. What other language besides spanish would you suggest I learn?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Mr. Sir View Post
                        Is CJ major really that useless?

                        I don't drink or smoke to begin with. I'm straight edge, and my record is as clean as a whistle, not even a speeding ticket. What other language besides spanish would you suggest I learn?
                        These days CJ really is useless. Go for something like business administration, which fits in anywhere.

                        Languages? It depends where you want to work and how hard a language you want learn. "Exotic" languages like Chinese, Arabic, Farsi, Russian, etc. are valuable in big city departments or with the feds.
                        I’ll die with blue in my veins.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I was actually thinking of going back to college after majoring in CJ and getting a degree for business administration. Would skipping out on CJ all together make me less competitive? Or would just having a bachelors in business administration be as good as having one in CJ? I'm assuming many of the other future LEO's will be carrying a degree in CJ, I don't want to be put to the side because I don't have one.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Any wise future LEO applicant will not get a degree in CJ, and your not having one will certainly not set you back.

                            To become a cop, you can major in almost anything, but something other than CJ will set you apart - in a good way, provided that you don't major in something like basket weaving. If you want to get into the feds, accounting or computer forensics are always useful, but then so are many other specialized majors, depending in the speciality of the agency.

                            You're young. Start with a basic major, get your core subjects out of the way, and then once you figure out what you want to do, you can zero in on the major that will fit in best.
                            Last edited by GoldBadge; 08-10-2014, 11:39 AM.
                            I’ll die with blue in my veins.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by GoldBadge View Post
                              These days CJ really is useless. Go for something like business administration, which fits in anywhere.

                              Languages? It depends where you want to work and how hard a language you want learn. "Exotic" languages like Chinese, Arabic, Farsi, Russian, etc. are valuable in big city departments or with the feds.
                              Exactly right. There is a really big demand for certain languages. If you are fluent you can virtually pick where you want to work.
                              September 11, 2001 - All gave some, some gave all. Never forget -- Never forgive.......... RIP Brothers and Sisters.

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