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  • Starting the Process Soon

    Hello,

    I've decided to start the application process with a local police department (either Mesa or Phoenix, AZ).

    I've read through most of the older "I wanna be a cop- please advise me" threads so I'll try not to beat a dead horse with too many redundant questions.

    Here is my main question- I am 35 years old and am concerned that my age might be counted against me during the process. I see a lot of 20-somethings on the local police departments. In general, is youth given preference or do you feel "life experience" has merit?

    I guess there is a lot to be said for the ability to take a young mind and personality mold it to what you want. On the other hand I hope there is value in a person who has come to develop a firm moral and ethical foundation on his or her own through education, hard work, and dealing with the ups and downs of real life.

    In any case I have decided to sell my business and try to get into LE. I've found that being in business for yourself is great if you want to steer your own ship and have $$$$ a goal -but- if you wish to contribute to the community or make a difference small business is not the way to go.

    I guess I could simply contribute to charity but that would be boring!

    JK

  • #2
    The age thing would depend on the dept. A lot of depts don't have upper age limits anymore. If you are within the brackets and they use your age against you, it would be discrimination.

    I'm sure the people in personnel at either dept would be willing to tell you if your age will be a problem. Frankly, older guys usually make pretty good cops, if they're in decent shape. I still think that the more life experience someone has before they become a cop, the better. Young people right out of school sometimes have problems empathizing with people going through hard times.

    Good luck, hope it works out for you.
    "Life's tough, it's tougher if you're stupid." John Wayne

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    • #3
      Like retdetsgt wrote earlier, verify the departments age restrictions. I am starting a LE career a little later in life as well. You won't know until you try. Best of luck to you.
      "Ignorance is bliss so wipe that smile off your face" De La Rocha

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      • #4
        Age doesn't matter, I'm 35 and I'm in the process. I've heard of men in their 50's going to the academy. Life experience goes a long way! And it's true that younger people are lacking alot of the skills you only can acquire as one matures and lives life. Good luck to you and I'm sure you will do fine.

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        • #5
          I think age doesnt matter; im 34 and just went thru the hiring process and will start trainning this comming monday. Also some of the guys that were going thru the same process are way older than me, between 35 to 55 and just a few of them younger. good luck on the process.......

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          • #6
            If you have a good business and it's doing good, don't give it up. Take a look at being a reseve officer in Phoenix or Mesa. Just a thought.

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            • #7
              Age made a difference for me as to what type of cop I am. I first became a cop at 23 for 3 years. I left and came back at 36. I think back to how I was at 23. I wrote everybody and everybody got locked up. I think I'm a better cop now because I know more about life than I did at 23. It's even funny how people older officers more respect. If you are older it seems like they equate that with more experience and they give you less of a hassle. When I was 23, I got tested a lot.

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              • #8
                Phoenix PD

                I have a great friend that works for Phoenix. He said that he had quite a few guys in their 30's in his academy. He also loves the department and says it is a great place to work.
                "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing." - Edward Burke

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                • #9
                  The ironic thing about my academy class..........

                  My class had 37+ recruits graduate. During PT, the top performing recruits were all 30+. The PT Leader was 30. The 2nd best was this 35 year old guy. And myself, being 33 was near the top too. Matter of fact, I was the "fastest" person in the class(ran the 300 meters in 39.4 seconds).
                  "Do what you can stand."

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                  • #10
                    Re: Phoenix PD

                    Originally posted by HonorTheFallen
                    I have a great friend that works for Phoenix. He said that he had quite a few guys in their 30's in his academy. He also loves the department and says it is a great place to work.
                    I read an article in the local paper a week ago about a guy in his 50's who was hired. He is a former bank exec and wanted to give back to the community.

                    This tells me that the Phoenix PD certainly in looking for "age diversity" in it's employment.

                    JK

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                    • #11
                      IMO, age is a factor. I'd rather have a 35-year-old with a few life experiances, than a 21-year-old. I'm not saying that young officers are not good officers, I'm just at the age where I appreciate the value of patience.
                      Extremism in the pursuit of liberty is no vice. Barry Goldwater

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                      • #12
                        I went through the police academy at age 30. Found my "perfect" job at 24 and now have 25 years on the job. Never too late....
                        Gary Lenon
                        Mecosta County Sheriff Department
                        Michigan
                        Webmaster http://www.funnysnaps.com

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                        • #13
                          Don't worry about it. 35 is still young. The oldest guy in my academy was 51.

                          The only agencies I know of that have an upper age limit are federal agencies (like the FBI, ATF, DEA, etc). For those agencies, 36 is the maximum age you can be upon appointment. Not sure why that is though, since it seems like they'd be missing out on a lot of knowledge and experience by having such a young cutoff age.
                          "Before you criticize a man, walk a mile in his shoes. That way, when you do criticize him, you'll be a mile away and you'll have his shoes."

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                          • #14
                            Starting the process soon

                            One of the most successful cops I ever knew,was at the end of the age scale going into the Academy. In a previous life he had been a bartender. He was a class leader in the Academy,did especially well on patrol,and went on to be one of the better auto theft detectives I've ever seen. There's a lot to be said for an "older" man or woman coming into law enforcement.They bring a lot of maturity and life experience with them. Best of luck in you endeavors.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Chase
                              For those agencies, 36 is the maximum age you can be upon appointment. Not sure why that is though, since it seems like they'd be missing out on a lot of knowledge and experience by having such a young cutoff age.
                              You have to work 20 years in order to retire and there is a mandatory retirement age of 57, or so says the DoJ website. Now the question would be why they decided on 20 years or age 57.

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