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  • British Citizen wanting advice!

    Hey there, i'm in desperate need for advice, i'm a British citizen and have wanted to become a policeman for many years, but my girlfriend wishes to move to the USA (New York Manhattan) and i think this would not only be a great change but an amazing chance to join probably the greatest police force i know of (keeping in mind i dont know that many in the USA...). But i need advice from actual police officers, is it even possible for me to be in the NYPD once i get into the USA? What are my chances, and what would help me education wise, etc...
    Any Help would be greatly appreciated!!!
    Last edited by RyanConnolly; 08-17-2005, 05:39 AM.

  • #2
    Not from NY but, first off I would look into NYPD website if you have not yet. Secondly, unless there is some odd program I haven't heard of you will need to be a US citizen to be a police officer. You may be able to get here and work depending on your visa but for LE is a bit different. If your planning on becoming a citizen then it could take quiet some time to go through the process. If your asking is it POSSIBLE, yes! Will it be easy, not so much. If your fairly young you may be able to obtain citizenship and then get on with a department. Many departments have age limits, not all, but many do.

    There are some jobs associated with law enforcement that you may be able to obtain but a sworn officer? no. Good luck.

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    • #3
      So... If i where to become a US citizen around the age of 23-24 would i stand a chance of being in the NYPD? Sorry for repeating myself but this is a life changing decission! I'm in college at the moment, do you think my A-level tarif points would count as your US 'college points' of which i need 60 i think.
      Thanks for the quick reply by the way!

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      • #4
        In theory, yes! If you bacme a citizen you would be eligible to apply. I am not sure what the time line is on a Brit becoming a US citizen is. Generally takes years (5+). As for the education credits, Many Universities accept foriegn education points. What they are and what will be accepted depends on the University or college. Too many factors to get a "good" answer to you, sorry. The best place is the Admin offices at whatever college you are looking at.

        It is a competitive process getting onto a large department like NYPD. That, and your challenge of citizenship, makes it a tough road. I know people who have made it into federal service after overcoming a similar plite. It CAN be done. I don't want to sound like I'm discouoraging you I'm not. I wish you luck if you make that commitment. Just know that you will be investing a lot of time. However, that will make your prize that much sweeter.

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        • #5
          Thank you for your honesty and advice, its a great help, i think i will try and travel down that tough road you speak of, being a police officer will make it worth all the hassel.
          Thanks again.

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          • #6
            British Citizen wanting advice

            Ryan, You're contemplating a major move. As noted, the naturalization process to become a U.S. Citizen takes about five years. Most, and note I say most, U.S. Law Enforcement agencies require U.S. Citizenship. NYPD has a competitive entry process. You should visit their website to determine their hiring criteria. You should note too, that merely being a U.S. citizen is only a starting point. In addition, you would probably need a valid NY Driver's License,and at least a high school education or equivalent. Quite possibly your British education credits would be acceptable, but this would be determined by NYPD. I suggest you visit their website which can be accessed through Officer.com Good luck.

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            • #7
              Thanks for the further advice, but on closer inspection i dont think the USA would actually want me! As i look through the visa requirments etc i feel as if i'll be in my 30's before i'd be a US citizen, and that seems daunting to a 17 year old. I guess i'll have to make do with the quiet life over in the UK, thanks anyway guys.

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              • #8
                If it is something you are serious about, get over here and join the military. You can earn your citizenship with a four year enlistment in most cases. It will also benifit you in your quest to become a police officer later. I served with a surprising number of people who were not US citizens when they enlisted, including Brits.

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                • #9
                  Ah, now thats an option i never considered, good idea, thanks for the help.

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                  • #10
                    Actually, even though many if not most american police agencies require that applicants be american citizens that is an unenforceable requirement. Federal law (I believe it's in Title X) prohibits discrimination against legal aliens in all areas of employment. I know at least one British subject who is am american police officer. Ryan all you need is a green card.
                    When Society makes war on its police, it better be prepared to make friends of its criminals.

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                    • #11
                      Now that is some great news! I'll have to write that down, thanks for your help and know-how, without it i'm quite sure i would have had to forget my dream job. This is one helpful community this site has, thanks again guys!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by PABear31
                        Actually, even though many if not most american police agencies require that applicants be american citizens that is an unenforceable requirement. Federal law (I believe it's in Title X) prohibits discrimination against legal aliens in all areas of employment. I know at least one British subject who is am american police officer. Ryan all you need is a green card.
                        What???? Is that true? I had two dreams being a kids growing up in Vancouver, Canada growing up on American TV was to join the LAPD, and the second to join the Mounties!.

                        Oh well, at least I look good in red...

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                        • #13
                          Another question, since i have so many people reading who have to answers:
                          I now know (from a bit of research) that police in the US are promoted due to merit, not exams like in the UK, so does that mean a university degree in say... Criminology or psychology for example would enhance my chances of being promoted? I know a degree would also benefit my chances of a green card aswell, but i was shady on the promotion factors of the police force, any help would be appreciated!

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                          • #14
                            British Citizen wanting advice.

                            Ryan, first of all, regarding promotions on American law enforcement agencies. At the State level(from which I am recently retired) written exams are very much a part of the promotion process.Don't be mislead in that regard. The same is true of most large municipal and county departments. Although I don't want to discourage you from immigrating, I would suggest a tour in Her Majesty's Armed Forces, with a possible Military Police training /posting. A successful tour of duty in the Armed Forces would seem a plus in applying for a police job in the U.K. Best of luck to you whatever your decision.

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