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  • #16
    Originally posted by L-1 View Post

    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.

    That is extremely helpful insight L-1. Forgive me if it seemed I was dwelling too much on fictional scenarios. There is certainly risk of failure or termination wherever I go. In no way do I want to ruin my reputation, especially from the very start. It also doesn’t sit well with me to let an agency or dept. invest time and money in to me, to simply be used for my own agenda. That would reflect very poorly on my character and ability to commit to decisions. Your response was simply worded very well, and I appreciate you taking the time to explain things to me in further detail. I will be taking the advice given to me here by you and many others. It makes sense as the safest, most ethical, and possibly more rewarding approach.

    Your advice for placing myself in “inactive status” is well noted. I did not know that I may be able to do that with the other departments I have applied. When it comes down to it and if I get my official offer, that is the course of action I will take. Thank you for informing me about that as a possible option!

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    • #17
      When I was out of the academy, I applied for employment at nearly a dozen agencies. At that time, it was very difficult to get hired on because the economy was poor enough that many people were applying for vacant positions all around. The opportunity for getting hired seemed promising for me at each agency I applied for until I finally got the letters in the mail. There is no way of knowing if I would have been happier at one of the agencies that didn't hire me. While I was behind the starting out pay by a grand or so at the agency that picked me up than that of some of the others, I can say that I was very happy I went there. I did move my full time status to a different agency after 12 years and have since retired, but still remain as a part time officer at the original department and am glad things worked out the way they did.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by DeaconSteve View Post
        When I was out of the academy, I applied for employment at nearly a dozen agencies. At that time, it was very difficult to get hired on because the economy was poor enough that many people were applying for vacant positions all around. The opportunity for getting hired seemed promising for me at each agency I applied for until I finally got the letters in the mail. There is no way of knowing if I would have been happier at one of the agencies that didn't hire me. While I was behind the starting out pay by a grand or so at the agency that picked me up than that of some of the others, I can say that I was very happy I went there. I did move my full time status to a different agency after 12 years and have since retired, but still remain as a part time officer at the original department and am glad things worked out the way they did.
        This is some great insight Steve. It seems the general consensus with LEO’s is that no matter what department picks you up, there will be pro’s and con’s. Despite any cons, the job itself is what we are (or were) all after in the first place. Having an opportunity to serve a community is the first goal, and many times the most difficult to achieve. This profession is very competitive, and much different in the vetting process compared to other professions. It’s a humbling process, which I have been experiencing for the majority of this year. Thank you for sharing your experience with me!

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        • #19
          Take the small department! Running multiple calls a day at those bigger departments gets old after a while.

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          • #20
            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.
            +1000. I worked at a large urban dept. I have a friend that worked at a small rural Sheriff's dept. He had training I could only dream about. As a Detective, I called him more than a few times to get his opinion.

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            • #21
              Take the first job offered to you, unless you have an absolutely SPECTACULAR reason not to.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by WaterSwatter28 View Post
                larger dept. with a population of well over 20k. Over 40 sworn positions.
                That is not "large", by any definition of the word. That's still a very small police department. The NYPD has over 40,000 sworn.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Aidokea View Post

                  That is not "large", by any definition of the word. That's still a very small police department. The NYPD has over 40,000 sworn.
                  In many areas of the country a 40 person department is a large agency.



                  The vast majority of the 18,000 police agencies in the United States are under 20 officers
                  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


                  • westside popo
                    westside popo commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Agree! It's all relative to the area you're comparing it.

                    In my area the large department is about 200 sworn.
                    Compared to the state it might be a mid sized department. Nation wide, it's a small department.
                    Last edited by westside popo; 07-04-2019, 10:30 PM.

                  • Iowa #1603
                    Iowa #1603 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Yep

                    In Iowa there are MAYBE 6 agencies above 100 people but the range is quiet wide

                    You have a bunch of 1 to 7 person agencies , then a few 7 to 10 person agencies with a couple 20ish and a few 40 person

                    The 40 to 100 person agencies are very few..........maybe statewide.

                    Largest in the state is the State Patrol with about 400..

                    I worked for the department of Corrections which had about 4000 but is non sworn

                  • Iowa #1603
                    Iowa #1603 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    We just had a deputy hired to our 11 person Sheriff's Office who had been a deputy at the neighboring 150 person sheriff's office.
                    While he was looking at probably 7 more yrs in the jail , he will be on patrol immediately with us (there will be an FTO phase of a few weeks since he has no patrol experience)

                    The kicker is he must repay the original agency for the cost of his academy training.......and he is more than willing to do that..............it will be in excess of 10K

                • #24
                  I say, whichever says, "Here's a spot on our Department, and your start date, c'mon in!", then grab that ring and get going. Successfully complete your Academy, striving for your best performance, without killing yourself, or being "that guy" that the rest of your (classmates? troopmates? whatever) hate for being an ahrzewhole. Pay attention to your Field Trainer and the old horses without being a suck-up jawkarze. Work hard to make your Agency, partners, community, and you, better and safer. IF you figure that the grass SEEMS greener elsewhere, sure, patch-over after a few years, but make sure that you have sought sound financial advice for your future retirement. Do NOT try to work at more than one Agency, whether Police, EMS, or, Holy Crap for Gawddesykes Fire, in an attempt to achieve a decent income, because if it comes down to wearing more than one badge just to eat, get a real job.
                  YMMV, and convert for Canadian advice, but good luck to you, you poor beggar!
                  #32936 - Royal Canadian Mounted Police - 1975-10-27 / 2010-12-29
                  Proud Dad of #54266 - RCMP - 2007-02-12 to date
                  RCMP Veterans Association - Regina Division member
                  Mounted Police Professional Association of Canada - Associate (Retired) member
                  "Smile" - no!

                  Comment


                  • #25
                    Originally posted by Aidokea View Post

                    That is not "large", by any definition of the word. That's still a very small police department. The NYPD has over 40,000 sworn.
                    This was in reference to my area, and in comparison to the first department I mentioned which is very, very small. I was stating larger compared to 7k residents.

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                    • #26
                      Update:

                      I have accepted an official offer from department A! I have my start date scheduled and I could not be happier with my decision. I can’t thank all of you enough for the words of wisdom you have shared.

                      Comment


                      • #27
                        Originally posted by WaterSwatter28 View Post
                        Update:

                        I have accepted an official offer from department A! I have my start date scheduled and I could not be happier with my decision. I can’t thank all of you enough for the words of wisdom you have shared.
                        Congrats. Now comes the hard part...

                        A bit of advice. Pay attention during the academy (assuming you're not already certified). Then, pay twice as much attention during FTO...this is probably the most important part of your "official" training. Once you're off FTO, find a mentor...an officer with experience and knowledge, preferably one you work with on a regular basis, who can act as a "big brother/sister" and answer questions. You don't learn everything in the academy or on FTO and a good mentor is worth their weight in gold to a new officer. Finally, don't be afraid to get into stuff...this is a profession where you learn hands-on, and even small stuff can be a learning experience (and inevitably leads to bigger stuff).
                        "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

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                        • #28
                          Originally posted by Bing_Oh View Post

                          Congrats. Now comes the hard part...

                          A bit of advice. Pay attention during the academy (assuming you're not already certified). Then, pay twice as much attention during FTO...this is probably the most important part of your "official" training. Once you're off FTO, find a mentor...an officer with experience and knowledge, preferably one you work with on a regular basis, who can act as a "big brother/sister" and answer questions. You don't learn everything in the academy or on FTO and a good mentor is worth their weight in gold to a new officer. Finally, don't be afraid to get into stuff...this is a profession where you learn hands-on, and even small stuff can be a learning experience (and inevitably leads to bigger stuff).
                          I will absolutely take this advice to heart, Bing. I am not certified, so yes the academy is the next step. They will have me doing some clerical work around the department before my academy class this fall. Odds and ends stuff. I’m not sure if I will be able to ride along with a patrol officer or not before I head off to the academy. Some departments around here do, some don’t. I will know more when I officially start in a couple of weeks.

                          The individuals i have have met thus far have been very high quality people. So I can only assume whoever I am assigned to for my FTO will be a good instructor. I tend to prefer learning hands on, so this is good news to me. I am very excited to learn and absorb all of this new information. You’re suggestion for a mentor is a good idea. I also don’t think I will have to look far for someone to be willing to take me under their wing. This is all a very big, and well earned, accomplishment and I cannot wait to start my journey in law enforcement. I’m sure I will be reading and posting threads on here as time goes by, and I am very thankful for members like you who divvy out quality, unbiased information for individuals like myself.

                          Comment


                          • PeteBroccolo
                            PeteBroccolo commented
                            Editing a comment
                            While doing go-fer work around the station, do not be "that guy" that, in modern fashion, is on his cell phone, checking out crap on the interschnette, during down-time. Instead, get onto the Agency interweb, or, if old-school, dig out the binders, and read through the operational and administrative policy and procedure manuals. Review your Municipal, State, and any applicable Federal legislation that you will be dealing with. Offer to help out other members. Don't be an idiot.
                            Welcome to the circus!

                        • #29
                          Glad to know it's all coming together for you.

                          Comment


                          • #30
                            Originally posted by Bing_Oh View Post

                            Congrats. Now comes the hard part...

                            A bit of advice. Pay attention during the academy (assuming you're not already certified). Then, pay twice as much attention during FTO...this is probably the most important part of your "official" training. Once you're off FTO, find a mentor...an officer with experience and knowledge, preferably one you work with on a regular basis, who can act as a "big brother/sister" and answer questions. You don't learn everything in the academy or on FTO and a good mentor is worth their weight in gold to a new officer. Finally, don't be afraid to get into stuff...this is a profession where you learn hands-on, and even small stuff can be a learning experience (and inevitably leads to bigger stuff).
                            I'll take that a little bit further.

                            Nobody is going to expect you to know everything, even after you've been on the road for many years. But during FTO you ARE going to be expected demonstrate your ability to utilize your available resources to be able to find the answer to the questions that you have.

                            To that end, it is important to know that just about everybody you will work with, is an expert in something. Find out who is an expert in what, and start collecting their phone numbers and programming them into your phone. During first phase of FTO, your coach will be your primary resource, but even during first phase, it's not too early to start finding out what other people know and collecting those phone numbers. Meal breaks are a good time to do that. Most officers are not bashful about telling you what they're good at.

                            The other end of FTO is often a shock for trainee officers. Your coaches will actively coach you during the first three phases of FTO, but during fourth phase, your coach is not there to answer your questions- they are just there to evaluate your performance as you do 100% of the job. A lot of new officers get the idea that they need to be doing 75% of the job at the end of third phase, and then work up to 100% during fourth phase. But there is no "working up to it", because fourth phase starts off with you doing 100% of the job on day one. If you can only do 75% of the job at the end of third phase, you're going to have problems in fourth phase, because your coach won't be coaching you. And those problems aren't going to get solved by recycling you into fourth phase a second time, because your second fourth phase coach is just there to evaluate you. Recycling third phase would have solved that problem, but for a variety of reasons, some officers that aren't able to do 100% of the job, enter fourth phase instead of being recycled third phase. Often, the difference between success and failure during fourth phase, is the trainee officer's ability to utilize your available resources. Even if your coach isn't going to be there to answer your questions during fourth phase, that doesn't mean that your fellow officers can't answer your questions. That's where all those phone numbers come in handy.

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