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  • A few stupid question

    First off, I just want to say if these have been answered before or asked repeatedly I'm sorry. I don't want to be a nag or a ***** or whatever. I just want a few questions answered.

    1. Most departments have single-cop patrols, correct? I hardly ever see two cops in one car. Does it depend on the area or what? I have always wondered about that.

    2. Is it best to wait to get hired and then go through the academy or should you go and pay yourself through it and then try to find a job?

    3. What kind of pranks do they pull on the rookies?

    4. A 20-21 year old fresh out of a 2 year community college. Would any kind of department be interested in hiring me? I don't have any miltary background, nor does my family want at this time (with the war and all). I have a complete clean background, not even a moving violation and I'm in pretty good shape.

    5. This might be the stupidest question of all them for you guys but to me it's the most important. Is it rewarding? When you go to bed at night do you sit back and know that you made a difference? I know the pay sucks and sometimes the hours kill but being a cop has always been a dream of mine and I just want to know if it's as fulfilling as I think it is. All those other questions I can make it through, if I want something bad enough I'll go after it. But I just need to know if you guys, who are in the profession, think it's worth while.

    Thank you for your time and I'm sorry if these have been answered before.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Minnesotan
    First off, I just want to say if these have been answered before or asked repeatedly I'm sorry. I don't want to be a nag or a ***** or whatever. I just want a few questions answered.

    1. Most departments have single-cop patrols, correct? I hardly ever see two cops in one car. Does it depend on the area or what? I have always wondered about that.
    Most are single man units but it varies by dept.


    2. Is it best to wait to get hired and then go through the academy or should you go and pay yourself through it and then try to find a job?
    That also varies by department. Where I work the department has an accredited academy so you get hired first and they put you through.(at officers pay) Other area's you have to get certified by an academy and then get hired by a dept.

    3. What kind of pranks do they pull on the rookies?
    Most we have done is give him a message to call Mr. doe attached to the number for the morgue.

    4. A 20-21 year old fresh out of a 2 year community college. Would any kind of department be interested in hiring me? I don't have any miltary background, nor does my family want at this time (with the war and all). I have a complete clean background, not even a moving violation and I'm in pretty good shape.
    That is all I had when I started 8 years ago but that also varies by agency. Good judgement is the most important quality to have.

    5. This might be the stupidest question of all them for you guys but to me it's the most important. Is it rewarding? When you go to bed at night do you sit back and know that you made a difference? I know the pay sucks and sometimes the hours kill but being a cop has always been a dream of mine and I just want to know if it's as fulfilling as I think it is. All those other questions I can make it through, if I want something bad enough I'll go after it. But I just need to know if you guys, who are in the profession, think it's worth while.
    I don't know I've ever "made a difference" but I know that I did my part the best I could. Its a fun job and with the right group of guys you will learn trust that is unattainable anywhere else barring the armed forces in a combat unit. I have worked with guys that I can't stand to talk to but I would trust my life to them in a minute. These are the things that make it worth while to me.

    And the pay isn't that bad. With my education and job skills I couldn't make as much as I do outside of law enforcement.
    Last edited by r1schmelz; 07-14-2005, 08:22 PM.

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    • #3
      Thank you for the reply. I really appreciate it.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Minnesotan
        1. Most departments have single-cop patrols, correct? I hardly ever see two cops in one car. Does it depend on the area or what? I have always wondered about that.
        As r1schmelz said, this varies from agency to agency. In my department, only the graveyard shift routinely runs two man details (and that's by union contract). Each department has it's own standards and logic.

        Originally posted by Minnesotan
        2. Is it best to wait to get hired and then go through the academy or should you go and pay yourself through it and then try to find a job?
        This also depends. Here in California, most agencies give hiring preference to someone who has already put themselves through the academy because it shows sincerity, maturity and saves the employing agency lots of money. This is usually stated in the minimum job qualifications.

        Originally posted by Minnesotan
        3. What kind of pranks do they pull on the rookies?
        Too many to mention.


        Originally posted by Minnesotan
        4. A 20-21 year old fresh out of a 2 year community college. Would any kind of department be interested in hiring me? I don't have any miltary background, nor does my family want at this time (with the war and all). I have a complete clean background, not even a moving violation and I'm in pretty good shape.
        Most police Departments are civil service. That means hiring is not subjective or up to the unwritten whim of others. If you meet the minimum qualifications, that gets you a spot in the testing process. Where you go from there depends only on your test scores. So, other factors like whether you are 22 or 25, how much college you have, whether you were in the military or what side of your head you part your hair on doesn't make any difference unless its stated as one of the minimum qualifications or scoring criteria.

        The only time "whim" may enter into the process is when it comes to selecting someone off the hiring list. Here in California most agencies get their choice of any of the three top scoring candidates to fill a vancy. They can pick #1, #2 or #3, solely at their discretion. Once someone is selected, the positions on the list are readjusted and the next selection is again limited to the three top scores. (This is called the rule of three.) You may get passed over once or twice for someone with skills they really want, but if you make it high on the list, they will get to you. OTOH, if you are on the middle or bottom, the list may expire before they even get near you.

        Originally posted by Minnesotan
        5. This might be the stupidest question of all them for you guys but to me it's the most important. Is it rewarding? When you go to bed at night do you sit back and know that you made a difference? I know the pay sucks and sometimes the hours kill but being a cop has always been a dream of mine and I just want to know if it's as fulfilling as I think it is. All those other questions I can make it through, if I want something bad enough I'll go after it. But I just need to know if you guys, who are in the profession, think it's worth while.
        At the end of your career, it is likely you will have high blood pressure, a heart condition, gatsro problems and numerous orthopedic injuries, just to name a few. Will you have stopped crime? No way. Will you have made a difference in a few people's lives? Yes. Will it have been worth it? You bet!
        Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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        • #5
          Thank you for your help.

          One final question:

          Is it best to be a police officer in a town you know? You know the streets, the people, ect so you would be more comfortable and ready, right? Is going to a completely new setting where the roads, houses, people, and everything is different tough to do? Sounds like a stupid question, but it seems to me a lot of cops are in a town they grew up in.

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          • #6
            I hate to make a double post but...

            my local police department (Plymouth Police Department) is offering free citizen Public Safety Academy. Link to website I realize it most likely will be pretty lame and what not but do you think it would help when it comes to getting a job as a Police Officer down the road? Would it show that I'm mature and I've had experience with a local Police Department academy?

            Any help would be great. I figured I'd check it out since it's free and it sounds like it could help me in my chase for the badge.

            Comment


            • #7
              Hmmm well it might help if you want to apply at plymouth as you will have some face time with that agency and you will haeva grasp of what they do and how they do it. However....how far along with your degree are u? How close to getting into skills? Why do you think their citizens acdmey is going to be lame? And finnaly do you understand the hiring process at all in MN? we don't have police acdemies as other states...we have the PPOE or SKills classes. Then if you get hired by Minneapolis, St.Paul or the state patrol you attend their acdmeies almost every other dept in this state hires you right out of skills and you go right into field training.
              Happy to be here proud to serve

              "Well it appears this lock does not accept american express."

              Never trust fire fighters to point out a suspect.

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              • #8
                Oh yeah heres some MN answers to your questions, expect for field training all agencies with the expection of Minneapolis run One officer squads (ok ok St.Paul might deploy a few two officer cars, but that wuold be like one MAYBE two per team so that really doesn't count)

                1. IN MN you must have completed Skills called the PPOE portion of your degree then you take the P.O.S.T. when you have completed all requirements, the you are "eligible to be licensed" as a police officer.
                See this web page: http://www.dps.state.mn.us/newpost/posthome.asp for answers.

                2. 20-21 years old? Not a chance not right now. you have to be 21 years old to be a cop. Clean background is important also watch you credit. I would be looking for a CSO or parking enforcement job if I where you. Also go out and get your EMT cert. If you can, and you have the time join your Vollunteer fire dept, that will give you some experaicne in responding to emergencies, and looks really good as it shows you are giving back to the community.

                Good luck to you.
                Happy to be here proud to serve

                "Well it appears this lock does not accept american express."

                Never trust fire fighters to point out a suspect.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I hope I'm not being too intrusive here, but when I look over 2year law enforcement degrees from various schools (including my present one) they have First Responder in the degree, and if not I think there is a refresher course offered from the CCJLE center at Energy Park Drive. At the end of the First Responder course, you are then certified. Hope that helps...I'm not a cop yet, just going to school at ATC.
                  In Memoriam:
                  Cpl. Chad Wayne Powell
                  USMC
                  Killed in Action
                  Fallujah, Iraq
                  June 23, 2005

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    so yeah first responder is the minimum requirement in the state..but go furtehr and get your EMT..alot of depts escpecially suburbs and rural areas like that as you WILL be going on medicals...in the Twin cities ST.Paul and Minneapolis first responder is no big deal as Fire?EMS is so fast they will probably beat you to most calls and officers there don't generally run medicals unless its a child not breathing or a crime was committed.
                    Happy to be here proud to serve

                    "Well it appears this lock does not accept american express."

                    Never trust fire fighters to point out a suspect.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thank you guys for all your help. It's helped me out a lot.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I'm from Minnesota and was recently hired as a Police Officer...
                        First, go to school and get a degree (preferably a four year degree). I work in a small department (13 officers) and they recently made a rule -- promotions are given to those with four year degree's. And guess what? I am the only one with a four year degree.
                        Get into a department as a Reserve Officer or Community Service Officer or Anoka Police has a Security Officer position working at the Anoka-Metro Treatment Center. Get in with a PD and prove yourself. I am a strong believer that you must prove yourself to the law enforcment community in order to be a LEO. If you volunteer, do the most hours, attend EVERY community event and do what your told and how you are told to do it and keep your mouth shut.
                        Pay you dues for a couple of years and grow up... meaning MATURE. You are going to solve people's problems when you are a LEO. I am 28 and am still trying to figure out my own problems much less anyone else's.
                        Keep a CLEAN background, don't be on psych or depression meds, don't be to gung-ho, be responsible, and get your name out there in a positive light.
                        Once you get that far, then you are ready to compete with the other 500 people applying for that 1 job.
                        We intimidate those who intimidate others.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Minnesota is a TOUGH state to get hired in. You have to work your butt off, not only at your education but also with non-sworn positions with departments. I was going to college plus working 3 non-sworn positions with different department. Full time college with over 50 hours of work a week. It has paid off for me in the end with my dream department. Good luck! Follow Medici's advice...

                          K9

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                          • #14
                            Minn (do you mind if I call you by your first letters?), far from being stupid, your questions are reasoned, rational, and make sense! What a pleasant change from the "I have 7 arrests for using dope, can I be a Cop?" questions.

                            As for being worth it, heck yes. Just don't think your going to make the world a better place all at once. But you will build memories you will always enjoy, high points of a person here, a family there, that you helped. That's a lot more than the usual cubicle occupant can do. How many of them can say "I saved a life at work today?"
                            "A man who has nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the existing of better men than himself."
                            John Stuart Mill

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                            • #15
                              Wanna be a cop at 20, move to the southwest states.... They can't get enuf people... As far as MN... Go to school, stay out of trouble, graduate, and stand inline with the other 10,000 POST certified CJ/LE graduated students wanting to be COPS...
                              ~Wise men stand behind me, Brave men stand beside me, only Fools stand against me!~

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