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What type of prior work experince do Departments look for?


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  • What type of prior work experince do Departments look for?

    Hello, I am a college student earning a 4 year degree in criminal justice and am dead set on becoming a police offier when I graduate. I am currently working part-time at FedEx to pay my tuition.

    I was wondering, what type of work experience to police departments look for during the hiring of new recruits?

    Security guard? is there anything else?

    For all the officers out there, what were some of your past jobs prior to becoming a police officer?

  • #2
    Thanks for asking this question, because it's a question I've been wondering too. I haven't gotten around to posting it though. I'm almost 19 and I just started my first year of college classes. Thus far I have worked as a cook for a cafe, a quality control person for my dad's former record company that he used to work for (Quality control is simply listening to audio CD masters and making sure there are no audible problems, if they are good, they are then sent to be copied for distribution and then sale.) The QC job paid real well, I wish I still had it, unfortunately we moved though. I got payed $25 to simply listen to a 45 min to a 75 min CD. Sometimes I had buttloads of CDs coming in too. Currently I am working for starbucks. I plan to stay with starbucks for a while, maybe through college and then possibly enter the army for a couple of years. Would that work history cut it when hoping to get on with a PD down the road?

    I don't mean to hijack this thread as my own, so answer the guy above me's question first.
    Last edited by ; 09-02-2005, 01:46 AM.


    • #3
      Last edited by MAD_MAX333; 12-23-2005, 05:54 AM.


      • #4
        Wellllllllll........if your looking for a "map" of jobs that lead to a LEO career, there is none. LEO's come from ALL types of backgrounds and work history. Different educational interests and some with basic education. Many with Militarty experience and many without.

        Here is the bottom line. You all sound like you have good backgrounds as far as school and jobs go. Departments (background investigators) look for:

        -a good job history: That means whatever job you had/have, you are a good reliable employee. You do your job well and get along with those around you.

        -education: If the department requires a degree, then thats what they want, a degree, not in any specific field. If your toe to toe with another applicant who has a 4yr degree in Criminal justice VS. your 4yr basketweaving degree, you will both have a 50/50 shot at the job. BI's are looking for a good work ethic. Hard work on getting your education. (Most departments do not REQUIRE a degree)

        -criminal history: Everyone has done some silly crap when they were kids (some of us still do). A BI doesn't expect you to have a super clean record BUT, excessive drug use, too many fights, too many tickets, murder....these things show a negative pattern. HMMMMMM that is not good. but if you have a couple tickets over the last few years ..... oh well, not a big deal.

        Just have a good work ethic, stay out of trouble and learn what you can about whatever departmets you are interested in. IF you want to seek some specific class for your own interest, then by all means do so.

        Lastly, watch your finances. Don't be a knucklehead like me and get yourself into a BAD credit scenario with A LOT of outstanding debt. It certainly a hurdle for me when I first started out. Took a while but I got through it.


        • #5
          Drug Dealer won't cut it.

          Just a good clean work record and if you have been a full time student they don't expect much just good references etc.


          • #6
            CarCop provided some excellent advice. Here's some related points: just about every truly successful person I have ever met got that way because they were single-minded about their objective. Every decision they made involved the criteria, "Is this going to get me closer to my goal, or will it keep me from getting there?" The seemingly smallest decision can affect this. Thinking about bagging the books and watching that Xena marathon on cable? Weigh the decision against that criteria. That doesn't mean that you can't ever have fun, because every work plan needs to include some downtime. But give some serious thought to what that downtime entails. If it involves underage drinking, or drinking and driving, or marijuana use, consider the effect on your career goal if the cops get involved.

            A friend of mine is fond of saying that life is full of decisions, and decisions always have consequences. Cops make maybe five times as many decisions in a work day as compared to most other people. Law enforcement agencies look for people who are quality decision makers as evidenced by their past conduct. Learn to be a good decision maker.
            Tim Dees, now writing as a plain old forum member, his superpowers lost to an encounter with gold kryptonite.


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