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  • Should I become a cop

    Ok here's my situation for as long as I can remember I have wanted to serve my community, to help make it a better place, and to help prevent some of the wrongs going on out there. In high school alone I had over 300 hrs of community service. I've always thought of becoming a police officer knowing full well some of the horrors they may endure while performing their duty. Now with that said I've also have had always a strong mathematical and science side leading me to want to eventually obtain a mechanical engineering degree.

    Now my question here is should I become a police officer while knowing full well that im not going to progress further into the field of criminal justice. The way I have it figured out right now is that I would be a full time officer for about 4 years while taking a class or two every semester to further my mechanical engineering degree. Now once I have my degree I do still plan on staying on as a part time/reserve officer if that is possible.

  • #2
    If you have to ask on an internet forum what we think you should do with your life, then the answer is probably no.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by xdjoker View Post
      Now my question here is should I become a police officer while knowing full well that im not going to progress further into the field of criminal justice.
      Probably not; here's a twist for you. I earned my degree in Mechanical Engineering, knowing that I didn't want to work in that field. I won a scholarship and it only paid for engineering and mining technology programs. I always wanted work as a police officer; that was my ultimate goal.

      It is a great thing to give back to your community, but this is a profession where you have to be all-in. Taking a class or two every year seems more like a hobby than a goal.

      “Truth is not what you want it to be; it is what it is, and you must bend to its power or live a lie.”

      Miyamoto Musashi

      “Life Is Hard, But It's Harder When You're Stupid”

      George V. Higgins (from The Friends of Eddie Coyle)

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by xdjoker View Post
        Ok here's my situation for as long as I can remember I have wanted to serve my community, to help make it a better place, and to help prevent some of the wrongs going on out there. In high school alone I had over 300 hrs of community service. I've always thought of becoming a police officer knowing full well some of the horrors they may endure while performing their duty. Now with that said I've also have had always a strong mathematical and science side leading me to want to eventually obtain a mechanical engineering degree.

        Now my question here is should I become a police officer while knowing full well that im not going to progress further into the field of criminal justice. The way I have it figured out right now is that I would be a full time officer for about 4 years while taking a class or two every semester to further my mechanical engineering degree. Now once I have my degree I do still plan on staying on as a part time/reserve officer if that is possible.
        You fail to take into account that you would FIRST have to get hired someplace ------------------- upwards of 50% of the people who want to be cops never make the grade and can't get hired
        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


        • #5
          Originally posted by Shush View Post
          If you have to ask on an internet forum what we think you should do with your life, then the answer is probably no.
          I may not have stated it the greatest. But the reason why I'm asking a Internet forum is because of the large volume of law enforcement knowledge here. Since I would not be going for a criminal justice degree I figured that would negatively pact me. I put it on here because I didn't even know if it is possible to even do it that way.

          Now to slamdunc I think you may have misread what I said. I would be going full time as a officer while taking classes for a mechanical engineering degree at the same time. I'm going to have to do my school like that regardless of my choice to become an officer because of financials. I refuse to take loans for schooling so I will need to work full time while going to school.

          Then finally to Iowa I feel that I would pass all the requirements I'm physically fit, always had great grades, and the Leo agencies around me are constantly hiring.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by xdjoker View Post

            Then finally to Iowa I feel that I would pass all the requirements I'm physically fit, always had great grades, and the Leo agencies around me are constantly hiring.
            I don't believe I said anything about passing all the requirements. I said you first had to GET HIRED. There is a vast difference between meeting the minimum requirements and actually getting hired as a cop.
            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


            • #7
              Here's what I'd like you to do. Read, re-read, then read once more, all the replies my colleagues have given you. Try to take this into account. We don't know you. We can only form a judgement based on what you've posted. We cannot decide for you, and I personally would not decide for you, even if I had that power.

              That said, I find no fault with your thoughts or your ambitions as expressed in your post. Your long range plan is do able provided you meet at least the minimum standards for employment in this profession. In reality, you will need to exceed these basic requirements in such a way as to make yourself an attractive and hire able candidate.

              Most of us who enter this profession make it our live's work. Perhaps that sounds a little corny, especially in these cynical times, but it's the truth, and commitment is what LE agencies are looking for. So, in the final analysis, the choice is yours. Take the time to weigh your options and make a decision. Best of luck to you.

              Comment


              • #8
                The only person that can really answer this question is you. You need to ask yourself if you will you be able to go through life never having at least trying being a cop? You also have to ask if your heart is into it. If you really want the degree and to do this part time, what is your reason for starting as full time?

                I've seen a lot of people who got this job and realized quickly that it is not for them. More than a few stay but are really just a waste. They do the bare minimum. They slow roll. They complain. Nobody who really wants to do this job enjoys or wants to work with that.
                In God we trust, all others are run MILES and NCIC.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Metro174 View Post
                  I've seen a lot of people who got this job and realized quickly that it is not for them. More than a few stay but are really just a waste. They do the bare minimum. They slow roll. They complain. Nobody who really wants to do this job enjoys or wants to work with that.
                  That is one thing---------------but actually taking a job knowing full well you don't really want it------------but instead wanting a another job and really are doing this as a stopgap.

                  This job sucks unless you really want to be there...................
                  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


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Iowa #1603 View Post

                    This job sucks unless you really want to be there...................
                    One thing I always tell people who ask about the job is don't become a LEO unless you can't NOT be a cop.This is evety bit as much a calling as is the ministry, the medical fields, and a few other occupations. To steal an old recruiting catch phrase It is not a job, its an adventure.
                    In God We Trust
                    Everyone else we run local and NCIC

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Iowa #1603 View Post
                      I don't believe I said anything about passing all the requirements. I said you first had to GET HIRED. There is a vast difference between meeting the minimum requirements and actually getting hired as a cop.
                      I do have to admit I did misinterpret your first post as not being able to meet the minimum requirements IE passing the testing and physical portion. Now I would like to address your last post about this just being a stop gap about mainly becoming a officer until i get a degree in something else. That is completely not the case. Even after I get a Mechanical engineering degree I still plan on being an officer just as a part time/reserve. I could easily see myself as being an officer until the day I retire just in a reserve/part time capacity.

                      PhilipCal As I now know I should have worded my original post a little differently. I know I originally put on there "should I become a cop" when really I was trying to figure out the feasibility of becoming a officer while trying to go for a ME degree instead of a CJ degree. Just like when I said I would not be going further into the field of criminal justice I was more going towards getting a criminal justice degree and progressing that far up the ranks. So thank you for your thoughts on the matter especially when I wasn't exactly saying what I meant to.

                      There are just a few more things that I would like yalls input on and I know it probably varies a good amount from Department to Department. From what I have read part time and reserve officers are common but I wanted to know yalls opinion on this matter. Do most departments try to only hire full time officers or is my original statement fairly accurate? Then I know this is probably a long shot but does any one know roughly the odds of being able to become a reserve/part time officer with about 4-5 years of being full time? I ask this because to me reserve/part time seems like more of the veteran officers would fill up those spots.

                      Im trying to take all of what yall have said into account and see if it is feasible to become a officer while pursuing a degree other than CJ. Then also figure out the likely hood of being able to stay on but in either a part time or reserve capacity. From Philip it seems like the first part is at least with in the realm of possibility. So I continue to look forward to what yall have to say and I appreciate the effort yall are putting into this discussion.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Can someone above my abilities see if all the recent posts on here can see if they come from the same computer? Reading them it seems to be the same person. If not sorry to the OP.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Don't do it OP. Don't take a spot on a department away from someone that really actually wants to be a LEO for life. Don't take that spot from someone whose dream is to spend their entire career in law enforcement. I doubt you could get hired in the first place if your heart isn't 100% dedicated to law enforcement being your career for life. There are so many other ways to pay the bills while getting that engineering degree. And you can always become a reserve after you get your degree (or before) by attending a reserve academy.
                          Last edited by Aletheia; 01-31-2015, 04:34 AM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by xdjoker View Post
                            Since I would not be going for a criminal justice degree I figured that would negatively pact me.
                            Not having a CJ degree is not even a speed-bump. There are very few agencies who care what your degree is in. When I was doing selection, I looked for candidates with degrees in sociology, psychology, English, and business management. I don't know if you have spoken with your guidance / career counselors, but working on a degree in your chosen field will take you several years by piecing it together AND with the ongoing advances in technology, it may be obsolete before you graduate.

                            If you can manage to get hired, it is a doable thing. You are going to have a hurdle during the interview process. If you stated your game-plan during interview, I'd move right on to the next candidate. This isn't a profession that you work until something else comes along. I knew quite a few CPD officers who were on the job to gain experience while working on their law degrees and many of them later became attorneys.

                            The ones that I personally found interesting, were the officers who came to CPD and already had their JD and the ones who finished their degree and remained on the job. Ask yourself who you would want to investigate a crime committed against you. Would it be a 'hobby cop' working on his degree to move on OR someone who spent seven years working on his or her law degree so that they could have better tools to do the job that they are passionate about.

                            “Truth is not what you want it to be; it is what it is, and you must bend to its power or live a lie.”

                            Miyamoto Musashi

                            “Life Is Hard, But It's Harder When You're Stupid”

                            George V. Higgins (from The Friends of Eddie Coyle)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by xdjoker View Post
                              I do have to admit I did misinterpret your first post as not being able to meet the minimum requirements IE passing the testing and physical portion. Now I would like to address your last post about this just being a stop gap about mainly becoming a officer until i get a degree in something else. That is completely not the case. Even after I get a Mechanical engineering degree I still plan on being an officer just as a part time/reserve. I could easily see myself as being an officer until the day I retire just in a reserve/part time capacity.

                              PhilipCal As I now know I should have worded my original post a little differently. I know I originally put on there "should I become a cop" when really I was trying to figure out the feasibility of becoming a officer while trying to go for a ME degree instead of a CJ degree. Just like when I said I would not be going further into the field of criminal justice I was more going towards getting a criminal justice degree and progressing that far up the ranks. So thank you for your thoughts on the matter especially when I wasn't exactly saying what I meant to.

                              There are just a few more things that I would like yalls input on and I know it probably varies a good amount from Department to Department. From what I have read part time and reserve officers are common but I wanted to know yalls opinion on this matter. Do most departments try to only hire full time officers or is my original statement fairly accurate? Then I know this is probably a long shot but does any one know roughly the odds of being able to become a reserve/part time officer with about 4-5 years of being full time? I ask this because to me reserve/part time seems like more of the veteran officers would fill up those spots.

                              Im trying to take all of what yall have said into account and see if it is feasible to become a officer while pursuing a degree other than CJ. Then also figure out the likely hood of being able to stay on but in either a part time or reserve capacity. From Philip it seems like the first part is at least with in the realm of possibility. So I continue to look forward to what yall have to say and I appreciate the effort yall are putting into this discussion.
                              I don't change my thoughts at all------------------------you would still be a "hobby cop"

                              While I have absolutley no problem with reserve officers or part time officers-------------you are still using the profession as a stop gap to what you really want to do with your life. AND if you would get hired--- taking a job away from someone who really wants it.

                              Originally posted by slamdunc View Post
                              I knew quite a few CPD officers who were on the job to gain experience while working on their law degrees and many of them later became attorneys.
                              I don't find that objectionable..........................I also know several former officers who are attorneys. That profession actually is linked to LE

                              I don't even object to the ones that become defense attys...............or the ones that become investigators for defense attorneys
                              Last edited by Iowa #1603; 01-31-2015, 07:28 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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