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  • Future of LE?

    Hello, this is my first post here. I’m going to be entering my freshman year of college soon majoring in Criminal Justice. I’ve done a handful of ride alongs with local and state agencies and have been dead-set on working in the law enforcement field since I was a kid. My question is:

    With today’s political climate should I continue looking at the law enforcement field as a career or should I begin formulating a backup plan?

    I’m looking at joining a state agency working the road in hopefully a more rural area of KS if that changes any of your answers. Like I said, I’ve wanted to be a law enforcement officer since I was young and this is all I’ve thought about doing. Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Run, Run fast, Run hard

    Ditch the CJ major
    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


    • #3
      Originally posted by Iowa #1603 View Post
      Run, Run fast, Run hard

      Ditch the CJ major


      Do you think working for a state agency even in a more rural area of a deep red republican state makes a difference or should I just run into the wind? I’m having a hard time coming to the realization that the career I’ve always wanted may not be something that I should go into.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by nineline View Post
        Hello, this is my first post here. I’m going to be entering my freshman year of college soon majoring in Criminal Justice. I’ve done a handful of ride alongs with local and state agencies and have been dead-set on working in the law enforcement field since I was a kid. My question is:

        With today’s political climate should I continue looking at the law enforcement field as a career or should I begin formulating a backup plan?

        I’m looking at joining a state agency working the road in hopefully a more rural area of KS if that changes any of your answers. Like I said, I’ve wanted to be a law enforcement officer since I was young and this is all I’ve thought about doing. Thanks in advance.
        OK, let's take this one thing at a time. First, let's talk about getting a degree in Criminal Justice, No. No, No. No. No!!!!!!!!!!

        Anything but Criminal Justice.

        1. In most departments, any degree bumps your pay.

        2. Many discover police work is not for them and leave the profession. If that happens, a Criminal Justice degree is worthless when it comes to getting a job in most private sector companies.

        3. Because of the unusually high injury and stress rate, many cops wind up going out early on a disability retirement. The money is good for a while but inflation catches up and you will need to get a second job. Again, a CJ degree will be worthless when it comes to getting a job in most private sector companies.

        4. If you do make a lifelong career in law enforcement, you no doubt want to go up the ladder. When you do, you will be dealing with issues like labor relations, budgeting, marketing, public relations, communications, completed staff work, statistics, personnel management, research, grant writing, community outreach, accounting, logistics, fleet management, audits, and equipment acquisition just to name a few. When this happens, you will be kicking yourself in the head because you got a CJ degree instead of one in Business or Public Administration.

        Consider going for a degree in Business or Public Administration. While you will take classes in core business subjects, you will have plenty of free electives you can use to take almost as many classes in criminal justice as your core subjects. Your degree will be in business but you will get a CJ education at the same time that will hopefully give you enough information to help you score higher on civil service exams for law enforcement jobs. Should things later go south (dissatisfaction with a law enforcement career, disability retirement, etc.) having a degree in Business or Public Administration will open many doors to getting a meaningful job that pays well with a private company.


        Now, about getting a state job and working in the boonies - good luck with that.

        If your state is like mine, getting an assignment in the boonies, particularly a resident post, is a highly coveted assignment. Some officers have had to wait until the end of their careers to gain enough seniority to transfer to such an assignment. Recently, we did have a big turnover as large numbers of baby boomers retired and rural vacancies became more plentiful, but they also got filled up. I suspect you may see the same thing in your state.

        Lastly, what does the future hold? Crystal ball says - who knows? If you are in Colorado, that state's Legislature just passed a law that hamstrings their police so badly that is suspect that out of self protection. they will be unwilling to arrest anyone who does want to voluntarily go to jail. It's just going to depend on your state, the political climate and the mood of your populace. Find some old and grizzled local cop who has been on the job for 20 years or more and is highly respected. Have a sit down eith him and ask him whet he sees for the future of law enforcement in your community. That will give you a better picture.


        Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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        • #5
          I second the ditch the CJ major. There is no upside to this degree at all. If it's all you are interested in then I wouldn't even bother with college.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by nineline View Post



            Do you think working for a state agency even in a more rural area of a deep red republican state makes a difference or should I just run into the wind? I’m having a hard time coming to the realization that the career I’ve always wanted may not be something that I should go into.
            Look at my screen name.........................


            Originally posted by L-1 View Post


            Now, about getting a state job and working in the boonies - good luck with that.

            If your state is like mine, getting an assignment in the boonies, particularly a resident post, is a highly coveted assignment. Some officers have had to wait until the end of their careers to gain enough seniority to transfer to such an assignment. Recently, we did have a big turnover as large numbers of baby boomers retired and rural vacancies became more plentiful, but they also got filled up. I suspect you may see the same thing in your state.
            You just can't compare California to Iowa, Nebraska or Kansas.............ESPECIALLY when you talk about state agency policing. It is comparing Apples to Kumquats.

            In Iowa ....(not much different than rural KS or any other Midwest state ) you MIGHT have 2 yrs at the Capitol Police post then be able to transfer almost anywhere you want. 90% of the State Troopers will be stationed in a county of less than 10K population AND at least 50 miles from the Post Headquarters.

            I have friends in the Nebraska State Patrol and follow their facebook page. They just graduated an academy and they showed the postings for the new guys/gals
            MOST of them went to rural counties

            The 2 Troopers in my county MIGHT see a supervisor 2 times a month IF they really need one. Being about only 40 miles from the Post............they only go down there if they need to otherwise they work out of their issued Squad cars. They come into the Sheriff's Office to work inside (or their homes) if they want out of the car

            One of my friends is on his third location . Started at Capitol police....went to a neighboring Post and a specific county location then to a larger county. which is closer to his home area. A second is on his 3rd Post. Keeps getting closer to his family Both have a bit over 10 yrs on duty.


            Originally posted by L-1 View Post

            Lastly, what does the future hold? Crystal ball says - who knows? If you are in Colorado, that state's Legislature just passed a law that hamstrings their police so badly that is suspect that out of self protection. they will be unwilling to arrest anyone who does want to voluntarily go to jail. It's just going to depend on your state, the political climate and the mood of your populace. Find some old and grizzled local cop who has been on the job for 20 years or more and is highly respected. Have a sit down eith him and ask him whet he sees for the future of law enforcement in your community. That will give you a better picture.
            I see this happening more and more...........................even in Law and Order Iowa................the crap is here and getting worse every day

            Hence the RUN FAST comment

            Most of the experienced officers, deputies, & Troopers I know are trying to keep going long enough to retire and get the heck out of the profession before it hits the fan
            Last edited by Iowa #1603; 06-30-2020, 07:44 AM.
            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


            • #7
              1. Get a degree in what interests you or else you'll be miserable the rest of your life.

              2. Always have back up plans, not just for career, but for all aspects of life.

              3. Rural Kansas is not Seattle or Detroit. People in rural Kansas still appreciate and value LE.

              4. Follow your instincts and live your dream.
              What does not kill you will likely try again.

              Comment


              • #8
                Get a degree in what you want to get a degree in. You will be happier in college, and your grades will be better. There is no such thing as a "useless degree" but, some degrees are more marketable than others. That said, a degree -- in anything -- will open doors for you that would not open without one. If you make a career out of it, and you want to move into a command position, a master's degree is probably going to be a preferred qualification. You will have plenty of time to find a reputable college and earn a MPA (or whatever) through distance learning.

                By the time you graduate and get an LE job, people might actually decide that they need the police again.

                College provides young people tremendous opportunities to do stupid things. If you want to be an officer, avoid doing stupid things.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thank you everyone for the feedback, I won’t take it lightly.

                  I’ve spoken with a family member who works in law enforcement and he doesn’t see any huge issues coming to KS but he’s unsure as everyone else seems to be.

                  In terms of the CJ degree, I’m going to begin looking at other majors but unfortunately I have a hard time getting excited to go to school (HS at least haha) and once I enrolled in my CJ classes I’m actually looking forward to them.

                  My current back up plan is once I graduate go active duty and see what happens from there. I’m optimistic about my current plan and hope to remain that way.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Pick a job you’ll enjoy in the military, but don’t pick Military Police thinking it will give you a leg up. If you qualify for it, an intelligence or other trade field that can give you a good skill set in case you are injured and can’t be a cop later.

                    You can’t just quit in the military either, so your job choice is very important. It’s a decision you’ll have to live with for the length of your enlistment. Just some food for thought.
                    US Army Veteran
                    The opinions expressed above are not those of any official capacity or agency. Fix yourself.

                    Comment


                    • nineline
                      nineline commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Thanks. I’m in the process of enlisting in the KS Air Natl Guard which is a 6 year enlistment so I’ll have roughly 1-2 years after I graduate college and my initial enlistment will be over. Security Forces was open but I decided to not roll with that and instead am looking at some other areas.

                  • #11
                    Originally posted by just joe View Post
                    Get a degree in what you want to get a degree in. You will be happier in college, and your grades will be better. There is no such thing as a "useless degree" but, some degrees are more marketable than others. That said, a degree -- in anything -- will open doors for you that would not open without one. If you make a career out of it, and you want to move into a command position, a master's degree is probably going to be a preferred qualification. You will have plenty of time to find a reputable college and earn a MPA (or whatever) through distance learning.

                    By the time you graduate and get an LE job, people might actually decide that they need the police again.

                    College provides young people tremendous opportunities to do stupid things. If you want to be an officer, avoid doing stupid things.
                    +1
                    Pretty much the same advice I gave my kids when they went to college: Study what you find interests you; the happier your are, the more likely you are to be successful.

                    In my 20+ years of experience, I've found that people are far more limited by their personal attitudes than by what degree they got (or didn't get). Some of the happiest and successful people I know never went to college. Some of the unhappiest and clueless people I meet on a regular basis have an alphabet's worth of letters before and after their names.

                    As for the posting, our state is similar to what Iowa stated above (and is probably more similar to KS than to the coasts). When one of our troopers graduates academy, he or she is pretty much guaranteed to be assigned to the more rural parts of the state. Most then spend the rest of their careers building enough seniority to get to the more populated areas.

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      Originally posted by orangebottle View Post

                      As for the posting, our state is similar to what Iowa stated above (and is probably more similar to KS than to the coasts). When one of our troopers graduates academy, he or she is pretty much guaranteed to be assigned to the more rural parts of the state. Most then spend the rest of their careers building enough seniority to get to the more populated areas.
                      Most of our Troopers are building seniority to get AWAY from Des Moines or Cedar Rapids (2 largest cities)
                      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


                      • #13
                        I have carried a badge and a gun since 1975 and have been mostly retired since 2008. I have greatly enjoyed law enforcement and have been fortunate enough to rise to the level of Chief. First, any degree other than criminal justice. Second, do not enter law enforcement. It is a dead career now.
                        T.K.
                        http://tonykoester.blogspot.com/

                        "Nothing can destroy a government more quickly than its failure to observe its own laws, or worse, its disregard of the charter of its own existence" (Mr. Justice Stewart, Elkins v. United States 364 U.S. 206 (1960)

                        sigpic

                        Comment


                        • nineline
                          nineline commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Curious as to why you think it’s a dead career?

                        • Iowa #1603
                          Iowa #1603 commented
                          Editing a comment
                          First google Darren Wilson
                          Next google Garrett Rolfe
                          READ what happened to those officers who were acting to save their own lives

                          Now Google Kyle Dinkheller and see what happens when an officer hesitates Yestake action.

                          Any of us that have a couple decades or more on the street in a uniform and badge have similar thoughts as Lawyer cop

                          Yesterday I went to the retirement reception for a Chief Deputy for a neighboring county. 38 yrs on duty. In his speech he stated that Retirement Incentives based on COVID 19 was a driving force in his leaving the job now.

                          As I have been a personal friend for nearly 40 yrs I talked to him privately ..........he indicated to me that the current climate AND his professional opinion that it isnt going to get better soon was ALSO a big factor
                          Last edited by Iowa #1603; 07-01-2020, 03:57 PM.

                      • #14
                        Any degree is better than none. I knew beforehand majoring in CRJA would limit me on this career path. I still went for it as I wanted to go to school on subjects that interested me and guaranteed a high GPA. If you can earn a degree in a major outside your interests, then absolutely do it for the above reasons mentioned.

                        Definitely pursue what you want to do. Just have a back up plan, as with anything in life.

                        Comment


                        • #15
                          To be honest, in most careers, WHAT your degree is in doesn't matter. I know a network engineer with a master's in psychology. After dealing with so many people while earning his degree he realized he doesn't like people that much, and went into IT. I met him while working as a DBA with my degree in CJ.

                          There are some departments in Colorado that want a degree in CJ/police science/ etc but not many.

                          Your GPA matters sometimes, especially when you're looking for that first job, so study something you like and get good grades.
                          "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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