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Career and Family Decision.....

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  • Career and Family Decision.....

    Long story short....

    I was a city cop for a little over a year, and before that I was a reserve while in the military. I have since relocated back to my hometown and took a job at a federal prison.

    Federal Prison pay: base is about $50,000
    Local police county/city: $32,000

    My passion is law enforcement, but at what point is to low of pay to take? At the prison the pay and benefits are excellent. I like working their but I don't love it. I love being a cop and a correctional officer and a cop are two totally different careers.

    If I was single it would be an easy choice but I have a wife and three girls!!!

    Has anyone else been in this position?

  • #2
    Sounds like you already made your decision, you need to do what is best for you AND your family!

    Best of luck!
    The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, cannot and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheepdog who intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed.

    I Am the Sheepdog.


    "And maybe just remind the few, if ill of us they speak,
    that we are all that stands between
    the monsters and the weak." - Michael Marks


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    • #3
      First of all thank you for your service to our country. As far your situation goes, only you and your wife know what kind of salary you need to keep your family well cared for. That being said, if money isn't a major issue, I'm under the impression that if your're happy with your job, then it will carry on to the home.

      Good luck in your endeavors.

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      • #4
        I left street law enforcement in 1983 and went back to the prison system. Within a year my salary was too much to go back without a huge pay cut.

        I ended up retiring form the Iowa DOC and I now work part time for a small sheriff's office in the town where my prison is. I make more in retirement benefits than any of the deputies.

        The Feds pay a little better than Iowa but I never had the desire to go that way


        Now, with all of that said-------------------I missed the street (and still do) the entire career. But not enough to go back with the type of pay cut I would have had.
        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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        • #5
          It's all about where you live as well. Here in TX just for an example...Plano, TX (Wealthy suburb of Dallas) You start at 60K and get huge raises every 6 months and max out at 76K in 3 years. The avg cost of a home in the North Dallas area is around 250-300K.

          Plano is the highest paid but many agencies pay very well. Most agencies over here pay more than 50k to start and get annual step raises.

          Check out Lewisville, Plano, Mckinney, Allen, Frisco. There are many more but those are some of the best off hand and they hire frequently. Especially Lewisville and Mckinney.

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          • #6
            That is a heck of a pay cut.....maybe go for a reserve program to get you cop fix and keep the pay? Good luck.

            BTW, no matter how supportive they sound I personally never met a wife who will appreciate a pay cut that severe....no way.
            Harry S. Truman, (1884-1972)
            “Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day.”

            Capt. E.J. Land USMC,
            “Just remember – life is hard. But it’s one hell of a lot harder if you’re stupid.

            George Washington, (1732-1799)
            "I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man."

            Originally posted by Country_Jim
            ... Thus far, I am rooting for the zombies.

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            • #7
              Find a good paying police job, or keep the corrections gig and look for a reserve/aux badge somewhere. Supporting a wife and three girls isn't going to get any cheaper.

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              • #8
                What I don't see in any of the advice is to look at the pay structure 5 years out. A lot of corrections departments start off paying more, but increase is slow. From what I have seen - there is a decent amount of turn over. They pay higher for quality CO's in hopes to get them and keep them. The PD's pay starts low but the pay increase structure is different. They don't want to pay high dollar for someone who may end up not being able to cut it. By 5 years in, you either got it or you don't. So what you may see is that in 5 years - your pay may be about the same.

                Naturally that won't be true everywhere, so check it out and just see. You should be able to find pay scales for each pretty easy.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Shush View Post
                  What I don't see in any of the advice is to look at the pay structure 5 years out. A lot of corrections departments start off paying more, but increase is slow. From what I have seen - there is a decent amount of turn over. They pay higher for quality CO's in hopes to get them and keep them. The PD's pay starts low but the pay increase structure is different. They don't want to pay high dollar for someone who may end up not being able to cut it. By 5 years in, you either got it or you don't. So what you may see is that in 5 years - your pay may be about the same.

                  Naturally that won't be true everywhere, so check it out and just see. You should be able to find pay scales for each pretty easy.
                  Iowa DOC starts at about $35,000 and tops out after 9 yrs at $55,000 right now as an officer...........any promotions go higher of course (average increase of about 3.5% per yr in negotiated base salary added over the last 30 yrs)

                  I would have to look at the current pay scales online to find out what the 5 yr salary is but I would imagine around $45,000 (or about what my pension pays me now )
                  Last edited by Iowa #1603; 12-01-2014, 10:29 AM.
                  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

                  Comment

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