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  • *Warning* Career Advice Questions :)

    This "IS" a question from someone wanting advice about becoming a police officer, so don't say ya weren't warned before hand

    Ok. I'm 24, still trying to decide what I want to do when I grow up. I live in Orlando, Florida and have two associate degrees (one liberal arts & other is equine studies). I've worked as a unit leader at camp and as a resident assitant for about 2 years. That's pretty much my history of work/school...

    I've always been interested in the mounted police & K9 units of the police department. But I don't know anyone who works in the force so I don't know anything about it or how to go about finding out if something like that would be up my alley. And I'm not in school any more so I can't do the cadet program where you check out the job to see if you're interested. Only info. I've been able to find is checking out forums and other websites like this. Anyone got any advice for me?

    I know ya'll are tired of people like me wanting to know about your jobs, but it's hard to find the information anywhere else. I even questioned a cop who stopped by to get my friends info. after her car got hit in a parking lot and he gave me a funny look I really did enjoy my job as an RA and think I might do well as a police officer... but with only that and college work behind me I don't know if I'd even have a chance at being accepted.

    I'm just trying to figure out how to decide if being in the OPD would be what I want, and I do know to reach the goal of being on the K9/mounted police I'd need a couple years in the force. I've done a lot of studying up on facts, but other than reading/seeing on TV, I don't know what REALLY goes on.

    Enough with all the chitchat of mine though... Advice would be greatly appreciated And I know I'll probably be getting some of those rude cracks of why another can I get this job post... But this is the ask a cop thread area and if you don't wanna read it ya shouldn't open it. Thanks for taking the time to all you helpful people though!

  • #2
    The first thing you should do is go on a ride-a-long.

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    • #3
      How do I do that? The OPD website says they only do ride-a-long's for citizens involved in internal police programs.

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      • #4
        You don't necessarily have to do it with the OPD. Check out the county sheriffs and smaller local departments.

        Kristen

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        • #5
          Re: *Warning* Career Advice Questions

          Let's try to address them one at a time...

          Originally posted by Ellusionz
          Ok. I'm 24, still trying to decide what I want to do when I grow up.
          There's a point in your favor, right off the bat. You recognize that you're not "all growed up" yet. That's rare... most 24 year olds think they have all the answers.

          I've always been interested in the mounted police & K9 units of the police department.
          First, check with OPD (wherever that is) and find out if they have a large mounted unit. The bigger the unit, the easier it will be to get into, and the less likely it'll be that the mounted unit is part-time, like most SWAT teams. Your equine studies will be a definite plus when you've got a few years on, and are able to post for it.

          However... first you have to be a regular cop. That's something you'll have to decide on your own. It's definitely not a job for everyone. Bear in mind that suffering through a few years in a squad in order to get the mounted unit job may not be worth it. You may find that you're doing the same basic job, just doing it with different transportation.

          I know ya'll are tired of people like me wanting to know about your jobs, but it's hard to find the information anywhere else. I even questioned a cop who stopped by to get my friends info. after her car got hit in a parking lot and he gave me a funny look
          Posing a question like that out-of-the-blue sometimes takes us by surprise a little. Especially if he's had "one of those days".

          I really did enjoy my job as an RA and think I might do well as a police officer... but with only that and college work behind me I don't know if I'd even have a chance at being accepted.
          Don't worry about that. If you want the job bad enough, apply for it. Go all out during the testing process. Answer every question posed to you honestly. Your "chances of being accepted" will take care of themselves.

          I'm just trying to figure out how to decide if being in the OPD would be what I want
          Only you can answer that one. Do the ridealong. If OPD doesn't do 'em, ask a different department. Basic policework is pretty much the same with most agencies in the same area.

          I've done a lot of studying up on facts, but other than reading/seeing on TV, I don't know what REALLY goes on.
          TV, even "COPS", is not the place to get an accurate depiction of real policework. They tend to skip over all the paperwork and other minutiae.

          And I know I'll probably be getting some of those rude cracks of why another can I get this job post...
          Not yet. You haven't said anything dumb enough to deserve any.

          Comment


          • #6
            heh thanks. I searched up ride alongs (opd is orlando btw) and none of the small departments seem to say anything about them... BUT I was also checking a bit more and they got the volunteer things and the citizen police academies I was thinking of trying to get into. I don't think our mounted police is very big, and I have no problem doing some years before getting into the exact unit (K9 or Mounted Police) I want to be in.

            Also my friends gave the guy a trip cuz they kept asking to be handcuffed and wanted pictures with their hands on the hood on his car looking like they was about to be searched... Ok ya had to be there

            Oh forgot to ask before... I did do some estacy last year once, year before that once, and before that like two or three times... I dont remember exactly dates really, cept the one time last year was in July/August. And I've been totally clean since then. I was reading through some other posts that they got DQ'd b/c of any drug use. Anyone know of Orlando's policy? Thanks

            And this site needs a chat room, or maybe there's one already I haven't found...
            Last edited by Ellusionz; 07-28-2004, 09:46 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Ellusionz
              Oh forgot to ask before... I did do some estacy last year once, year before that once, and before that like two or three times... I dont remember exactly dates really, cept the one time last year was in July/August. And I've been totally clean since then. I was reading through some other posts that they got DQ'd b/c of any drug use. Anyone know of Orlando's policy? Thanks
              Whoops. Spoke to soon.

              Dumb. Exceedingly dumb. Stupid, even.

              I don't know Orlando's exact policies, but you're gonna have a hard time getting that past them. It demonstrates immaturity and poor judgement, which continued over time.

              My agency would disqualify you out of hand.

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              • #8
                OPD asks for like 3 years back on the applications. So I didn't know if I waited like two more years if I'd have a better chance? Like wouldn't it look bad if I applied now and got DQ'd? And don't they know that every makes mistakes is what I've been reading? If I told em all the truth, was willing to do all the drug tests every month or even week, would that help at all?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Ellusionz
                  OPD asks for like 3 years back on the applications. So I didn't know if I waited like two more years if I'd have a better chance? Like wouldn't it look bad if I applied now and got DQ'd? And don't they know that every makes mistakes is what I've been reading? If I told em all the truth, was willing to do all the drug tests every month or even week, would that help at all?
                  While they don't completely rule you out due to *some* past drug use, you've got your work cut out for you now. The stuff they can stand hearing is stuff like "oops, I was stupid when I was 18 and smoked marijuana once." That's the kind of stuff they can look past a little easier. Now, once you start telling them that you did it once here, once there, 5 times here and twice there --you've got a problem. It shows that you weren't just a little bit stupid and doing some young experimenting... You had been habitually using a substance. Even if in YOUR opinion you don't think you did it enough to be called "habitually" they aren't going to see it that way.
                  "We ask, we tell... Then we make."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Ellusionz
                    OPD asks for like 3 years back on the applications. So I didn't know if I waited like two more years if I'd have a better chance? Like wouldn't it look bad if I applied now and got DQ'd? And don't they know that every makes mistakes is what I've been reading? If I told em all the truth, was willing to do all the drug tests every month or even week, would that help at all?
                    You should ask someone at OPD. Probably someone in the City Human Resources Dept.

                    But, I gotta be honest. It doesn't make you look very good. Not good at all. In today's highly competitive job market, especially in LE, you'll be compared to people who won't have those kinds of minuses.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Curt581
                      But, I gotta be honest. It doesn't make you look very good. Not good at all. In today's highly competitive job market, especially in LE, you'll be compared to people who won't have those kinds of minuses.
                      Yeah, like me. Man, it sure is nice to have to walk into a polygraph without chewing your tongue like some others I've heard from. Helps when your Dad is a deputy and you're brought up on the correct path early on.

                      But yeah, Ellusionz... You are going to have to fill out a Personal History Statement outlining all the drug use and types you've racked up in your lifetime, among many other things... Not just the last 3 years. (It was nice to breeze through that with a 0 next to each one) Then you'll be polygraphed to assess how truthful you were on the PHS.
                      "We ask, we tell... Then we make."

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                      • #12
                        So not fair to use my past against me So like nobody who's ever used ex has been able to become a cop? Would it help if I went into the military for a year or two then tried? Or went to get my bachelors degree first?

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                        • #13
                          I heard that one reason they DQ you for hallucinogens is b/c of possible flashbacks?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Ellusionz
                            So not fair to use my past against me So like nobody who's ever used ex has been able to become a cop? Would it help if I went into the military for a year or two then tried? Or went to get my bachelors degree first?
                            There are reasons for that. Sorry to sound like a harpie. If you're still serious... don't give up, look into it and see what OPD will DQ for. Hopefully you will make smart decisions from now on and not relapse into stupidity. Some do. You now have the burden of proving to them (and yourself) that you are wiser, and you will never do those things again. The military or degree is a good idea. They are 2 positives that will at least help to offset all those negatives you're going to have.
                            "We ask, we tell... Then we make."

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Well I already have two associate degrees, I'm trying to avoid spending even more money on school and not knowing what I wanna do afterwards...

                              Comment

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