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  • Pre Service

    For you expert certified law enforcement personnel, What do you all think about the Pre Service Program..... I ask this question because I was thinking about using my VA Educational Benefits to pay for my tuition for the academy and to be P.O.S.T. Certified.

  • #2
    Even if you go to a police academy while being paid you can still get paid by the VA.

    self-sponsoring is fine as long as agencies where you live think that’s a good thing.

    In Colorado few agencies have their own academies, many if not most police applicants are already certified.

    Washington State has a single academ system that all new cops attend, regardless of agency, and which can only be attended post-hire. No self sponsoring at all.

    Most states are somewhere in between. If a department is just gong to send you to their own academy anyway, don’t bother... and save your benefits.

    Either way, try to attend an academy that gives academic credit as well as the vocational certification.
    "I am a Soldier. I fight where I'm told and I win where I fight." -- GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

    "With a brother on my left and a sister on my right, we face…. We face what no one should face. We face, so no one else would face. We are in the face of Death." -- Holli Peet

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    • #3
      Here in the south(Tennessee), I'm pretty sure that majority of the agencies would love to hire someone who is already POST certified especially if they are hurting for officers and not having to com out their budget.

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      • #4
        New hires that must be trained and certified can be a budget buster for some agencies. Not just the cost of the training, but the salary and benefits for several months without having a body to add to the duty schedule.

        Even after completing the academy curriculum a new cop will require several months of OJT under the direct supervision of an experienced officer before assignment to a solo slot.

        Many larger departments don't really care how much experience or how many certifications you have, you are still going through their academy and training process.

        Many smaller departments like to hire certified personnel so that the training dollars are minimized and a new guy can be added to the duty roster more quickly.

        There is no general rule applicable to all departments. If your VA educational benefits will cover the academy program (via a community college or whatever works where you live) I see nothing wrong with taking advantage of that. It will make you marketable across a broad range of potential employers.

        A recent trend toward employment contracts requiring a new hire to serve a minimum period of time before moving on to another position, otherwise requiring repayment of all or part of the training/certification expense is something I personally support. Having been a small town chief, and having spent months (or a year or two) training up a new hire only to see them move on to a larger department with bigger budgets and salaries, it just becomes a big burden on the smaller budgets.

        Regardless, even if you complete the certification process prior to hiring the biggest mistake you will ever make is staring out with a department thinking you know everything you need to know and that certification makes you a competent officer. Starting out with the attitude that you are ready to apply yourself to learning, following instructions, and generally avoiding the pompous ***** approach will serve you best.

        I have hired dozens, trained many dozens, and I have known more than a few suffering under delusions of adequacy.

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        • #5
          Thanks you retired1995 for your comment....Well said...Once I complete the academy, I would never go in to an agency thinking that I know it all because to me I'm still in the learning process.

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          • #6
            It depends on the dept. Some will want you to go to their Academy. A lot see it as a plus, as you mentioned.

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            • 13B Veteran
              13B Veteran commented
              Editing a comment
              Yes and you are correct.....

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