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  • Juggling multiple departments

    First off, I want to thank everyone in this forum for answering many of the questions I’ve had to search for throughout the hiring process. This forum has been an incredible source of information. Now, on to my question(s).

    I have applied with departments around my home town. My background is not squeaky clean, however I have been able to learn from the few mistakes in my past and mature from them. It is evident that two of the departments I have applied would be inclined to agree, because I have been offered a contingent job offer from dept. A and I am awaiting my oral board with dept. B. I feel a bit overwhelmed choosing between both departments, and I would appreciate any insight or opinions you may have about my situation. A little info about the departments and exactly where I am at with them.

    Dept. A: Small department. Less than 8k population. Very neat and tidy community. Many flourishing locally owned businesses, relatively low crime with almost no violent crime aside from a few assaults. The department building is quite new and very modern. All of the equipment looks brand new and up to date as well. A good reflection of community support for such a small dept. They have less than 10 patrol officers and not even a handful of detectives. 12 hour shifts, 3 on 4 off, 4 on 3 off. Rotate day/nights every 6 months. Their patrol officers are younger, same as me, with “older” veteran detectives and patrol sergeants. Overall a very good looking dept. and community. My concerns are that I would have to relocate roughly 45 minutes away from where I live now, and that the action would be at most a crawl on most shifts.

    Dept. B: larger dept. with a population of well over 20k. Over 40 sworn positions. Higher crime rate and less attractive as far as quality neighborhoods. Meth is prevalent in this town, which I would very much enjoy helping to decrease. This is the community I grew up in so It is familiar territory. It seems they have a good budget, but the dept. building is quite old, much of the equipment is quite old, and the community in general has less respect for authority as compared to other departments. I feel I would get more experience here, higher call volume and more exciting calls. Plus I wouldn’t have to relocate and I could stay local.

    I have passed the BI, written, psych, and oral for dept. A. There is no poly. I was given a contingent offer based upon my references coming back clean. No worries there. I will be given an official offer very soon I believe. I was too out of 4 final applicants.

    I have passed the written, BI, physical test, and poly for dept. B, and I am awaiting my notice for my oral board date. Out of 20 or so applicants, 4 of us remain and they will be hiring 2. So I feel I am looking at another 2-3 weeks before a contingent offer.

    Now let’s say I prefer dept. B, but since dept. A is moving much faster, what do YOU think I should do? Accept the offer and don’t look back? Accept the offer and continue with dept. B’s process and see if I get another offer? If I do get an offer, how much would it haunt me to jump ship from dept. A so soon after hiring on? I believe I would be happy working for either, but I crave the experience and training I could be afforded by the larger dept. Any insight would be appreciated. If I can clear something up to help you give me a better opinion, please ask. Thank you.
    Last edited by WaterSwatter28; 07-02-2019, 12:26 PM.

  • #2
    You take the job offer of whoever gives it 1st. You can do some time and transfer later
    I'd rather be judged by 12 rather carried by 6.

    It should be noted that any and all post that are made are based on my own thought and opinions. And are not related or implied to represent the department I work for.

    Comment


    • #3
      Mopar,

      I have seen this response many times, and I am inclined to agree with you simply based on a reflection of my integrity. However the old saying “The heart wants, what the heart wants” comes to mind. I see this answer, take the first offer and run with it, as a response to many applicants applying for much much larger departments on the coasts. I can only assume those processes are much more competitive than where I am applying in the rural Midwest. So, even with me being a competitive applicant with both departments here, and the hiring process being very personal with each dept. (many face to face talk with both chiefs and investigators), along with the small town variable of these departments you will still suggest take the first offer that comes and don’t look back?

      To to be clear I am not minimizing your response. Thank you very much for the reply, but can you expand on your reasoning, within my specific instance, as to why I should go that route?

      Comment


      • #4
        First, you should never apply to a department that you wouldn't be willing to work for. If you don't want to work for one of these departments, do them the courtesy of dropping out and saving them the time and money of continuing.

        With that in mind, you should absolutely take the first offer given. "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush" applies to LE hiring. Quite simply, until you have the job, you don't have the job...there are countless things that can pop up during a hiring process that could bump you from consideration, not to mention the things that have nothing to do with you that might delay or close a hiring process.

        What you should absolutely NOT do is hire onto department A and then bail for department B a few weeks or months later. Not only will you burn that bridge like napalm, but there's a good chance that word will get out that you flaked out and screwed over a department after they had heavily invested in you...cops know each other, departments talk, and you don't want that kind of reputation if/when you decide to move on.

        Btw, don't underestimate the experience that you can get in smaller-town PD's. Obviously, it varies from one community to another, but you'll discover that small town LEO's tend to be more well-rounded because they are forced to be jacks-of-all-trades. In a small town, you will more than likely work cases from beginning to end, including some very serious ones that would automatically get kicked to a detective in a larger department. Small towns don't generally have evidence techs, SWAT teams, or full-time investigators...the patrol guys have to be able to do it all.
        Last edited by Bing_Oh; 07-02-2019, 01:08 PM.
        "He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."
        -Friedrich Nietzsche

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by WaterSwatter28 View Post

          To to be clear I am not minimizing your response. Thank you very much for the reply, but can you expand on your reasoning, within my specific instance, as to why I should go that route?
          You are assuming that if you turn one down, the other is going to pick you up. As someone who actually did hiring and firing for close to 10 years, I can assure you there is no certainty in the hiring process. Too many factors can derail someone's appointment and leave them with nothing. There may be a spending freeze, someone higher up the food chain may decide they want a candidate other than you, a position may be abolished to redirect the salary for that position to buy equipment, filling the position may be frozen pending resolution of an appeal by a prior applicant, the list is endlless.

          You take the first position that is offered. Once you have settled in (passed probation) and established yourself as a reliable officer that can be counted on, then you start looking for greener pastures if you are still unhappy where you are.
          Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

          Comment


          • #6
            Very good response Bing, thank you.

            I didn’t mean to imply that I would not consider working for dept. A. I would be incredibly proud to wear their uniform and to serve a beautiful community. What I was attempting to say is that I would prefer dept. B for certain reasons and that I seem to be caught in the middle of both processes with a very hard decision to make.

            Your response about tarnishing my jacket and reputation was what I was looking for. An honest opinion about bailing from one to the other within a matter of weeks. In regard to having the job(s) in the first place, I am not even there yet, as you know. A contingent is not definitive. So, would you agree when I say maybe I should continue with both, see whoever offers the real deal first and climb on board?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by L-1 View Post

              You are assuming that if you turn one down, the other is going to pick you up. As someone who actually did hiring and firing for close to 10 years, I can assure you there is no certainty in the hiring process. Too many factors can derail someone's appointment and leave them with nothing. There may be a spending freeze, someone higher up the food chain may decide they want a candidate other than you, a position may be abolished to redirect the salary for that position to buy equipment, filling the position may be frozen pending resolution of an appeal by a prior applicant, the list is endlless.

              You take the first position that is offered. Once you have settled in (passed probation) and established yourself as a reliable officer that can be counted on, then you start looking for greener pastures if you are still unhappy where you are.
              With this reply, would it be absurd for me to say that what is stopping the first dept. that hires me from laying me off right away, or cutting my position only a few months after I start? I know we can play the “what if game” forever, and I do understand what you are saying. I start at dept. A, paperwork is filed and I am sworn in. Then dept. B sends their offer. I accept and jump ship. Then some sort of clerical error, budget cut, or discrepancy in my application sends me right back out their door and I have effectively burned the bridge with the first department I hired with. Then I am jobless, not in LE, and must start over the process again only to include this devastating hit on my resume from jumping ship. A lot to lose, not much to gain as far as greener pastures are concerned, correct?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Bing_Oh View Post
                First, you should never apply to a department that you wouldn't be willing to work for. If you don't want to work for one of these departments, do them the courtesy of dropping out and saving them the time and money of continuing.l.
                100%............................
                Originally posted by WaterSwatter28 View Post
                Mopar,

                I have seen this response many times, and I am inclined to agree with you simply based on a reflection of my integrity. However the old saying “The heart wants, what the heart wants” comes to mind. I see this answer, take the first offer and run with it, as a response to many applicants applying for much much larger departments on the coasts. I can only assume those processes are much more competitive than where I am applying in the rural Midwest. So, even with me being a competitive applicant with both departments here, and the hiring process being very personal with each dept. (many face to face talk with both chiefs and investigators), along with the small town variable of these departments you will still suggest take the first offer that comes and don’t look back?

                To to be clear I am not minimizing your response. Thank you very much for the reply, but can you expand on your reasoning, within my specific instance, as to why I should go that route?
                The bottom line is .........................if you are offered a job, you need to take it because you might NOT be offered another one.

                If you are comfortable NOT getting hired then by all means pass up a valid offer.


                Most applicants are not that stupid


                Originally posted by WaterSwatter28 View Post

                With this reply, would it be absurd for me to say that what is stopping the first dept. that hires me from laying me off right away, or cutting my position only a few months after I start? I know we can play the “what if game” forever, and I do understand what you are saying.
                What ifs should not be a consideration.................................you can play that game forever

                Last edited by Iowa #1603; 07-02-2019, 01:29 PM.
                Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

                My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

                Comment


                • #9
                  You might as well go work for BK. You can’t decide after all the GOOD advice given, which shows me that you lack maturity and decision making. You are going to “what if” it do Death...and be on the outside looking in forever.

                  Figure it out. You’re just ignoring good sense from seasoned LEOs.
                  Now go home and get your shine box!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You shouldn't be considering "greener pastures" when you're not even in the fence yet. Quite frankly, there are plenty of new LEO's who discover that the job isn't for them (or their new department decides the job isn't for them)...thinking about moving on before you even prove that you can do the job is a guaranteed way to shoot yourself in the foot. "Greener pastures" thinking is for officers who have some experience under their belts, who know the department they're currently working for, and who are looking for something else.

                    Starting out, you should be concentrating on (in this order) getting hired, getting trained, passing FTO, and using the first few years to learn how to do the job. If you would happily work for either department, then you should take the first one who hires you and follow the steps above.
                    Last edited by Bing_Oh; 07-02-2019, 01:32 PM.
                    "He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."
                    -Friedrich Nietzsche

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      What state are you working in ?
                      John 15:13 - Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by CCCSD View Post
                        You might as well go work for BK. You can’t decide after all the GOOD advice given, which shows me that you lack maturity and decision making. You are going to “what if” it do Death...and be on the outside looking in forever.

                        Figure it out. You’re just ignoring good sense from seasoned LEOs.
                        Woah slow down. Don’t insult my integrity or maturity. I have been absorbing everything that has been said to me by all of you in law enforcement already. If you look harder at my replies, I am asking for clarification to responses or for more detailed reasoning as to why I should make that certain decision. This is a life changing decision either way that I go, and looking at the pros and cons of each decision is actually a sign of maturity and that I am taking this decision seriously. Please don’t jump to conclusions so hastily about my character. In no way am I “ignoring” good advice. If anything I am reiterating what I believe the individual is saying so there is no confusion about me understanding the point that is trying to be brought to light. That is a fundamental of good communication.

                        This is all very sound advice, and it seems to all point in one direction. I am inclined to agree. I wanted to know if any specific variables in my distinct situation would change the opinions of those in LE. You guys have already accomplished what I am merely about to start. This is why I have come to ALL of you for sound and reasonable advice. Many of you have already made the choices that I am about to face potentially, and it would be foolish of me to make a rash decision without proper consideration of all potential outcomes.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Bing_Oh View Post
                          You shouldn't be considering "greener pastures" when you're not even in the fence yet. Quite frankly, there are plenty of new LEO's who discover that the job isn't for them (or their new department decides the job isn't for them)...thinking about moving on before you even prove that you can do the job is a guaranteed way to shoot yourself in the foot. "Greener pastures" thinking is for officers who have some experience under their belts, who know the department they're currently working for, and who are looking for something else.

                          Starting out, you should be concentrating on (in this order) getting hired, getting trained, passing FTO, and using the first few years to learn how to do the job. If you would happily work for either department, then you should take the first one who hires you and follow the steps above.
                          This is fantastic advice. I believe you hit the nail on the head of my dilemma with this reply, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do. Thank you for taking time to answer my questions Bing. It really is appreciated.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by WaterSwatter28 View Post

                            With this reply, would it be absurd for me to say that what is stopping the first dept. that hires me from laying me off right away, or cutting my position only a few months after I start? I know we can play the “what if game” forever, and I do understand what you are saying. I start at dept. A, paperwork is filed and I am sworn in. Then dept. B sends their offer. I accept and jump ship. Then some sort of clerical error, budget cut, or discrepancy in my application sends me right back out their door and I have effectively burned the bridge with the first department I hired with. Then I am jobless, not in LE, and must start over the process again only to include this devastating hit on my resume from jumping ship. A lot to lose, not much to gain as far as greener pastures are concerned, correct?
                            I think you may have misunderstood what I said. Take the first job that is offered and complete your probation, which will be anywhere from 12 to 24 months. Once you have established yourself as a satisfactory performer (and if you still feel the grass is greener) then start looking to make a move. But if you jump ship during probation, you will only be shooting yourself in the foot. The department that hires you will have put a lt of money into your hiring, screening and training. For you to bail on them within a short time after being hired is considered a slap in the face. Job jumpers are not well regarded and such conduct can be grounds for disqualification on a background.

                            I understand your fear of losing your job after being hired. During your probation period the department can let you go without having to give a reason. Here's how you work it. Take the job with the first agency that hires you. Then ask to have your name placed on "inactive status" on the hiring list of the other agency (if their civil service rules allow this). This preserves your position on the list and keeps your name from being removed by turning down job offers. Should you fail probation with the first agency, go to the other agency and ask to have your name put active again. Then resume the process with them.


                            Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Bing_Oh View Post
                              Btw, don't underestimate the experience that you can get in smaller-town PD's. Obviously, it varies from one community to another, but you'll discover that small town LEO's tend to be more well-rounded because they are forced to be jacks-of-all-trades. In a small town, you will more than likely work cases from beginning to end, including some very serious ones that would automatically get kicked to a detective in a larger department. Small towns don't generally have evidence techs, SWAT teams, or full-time investigators...the patrol guys have to be able to do it all.
                              Bing,

                              This is something that I never even considered. That is very true, being with a smaller dept. could afford me certain things that a larger one possibly could not in relation to work experience and training. This is the type of reply I can only get from an LEO, who knows how certain departments tend to work. That is actually very appealing to me!

                              Comment

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