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How hard is it to become a cop?

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  • How hard is it to become a cop?

    Im doing the classes for a associates degree, which I love. I also found that I love cybercrimes, which Im considering specilizing in. My question is how hard is it to get into the career? Im curently working as a preschool teacher. Im not all that strong but im working on it. I also dont run so well but im working on that. I guess Im just worried I cant hack it. Anyone got some prespective?Also would speclizing in cyber crimes be a good idea? I dont know what all I can do in cybercrimes but I love studying it. I find the stuff on wire tapping exciting

  • #2
    Getting the job in itself can be very difficult..many people on here can attest to that fact. You just have to understand that studying about the job and actually doing it are two totally different things. If you want to be so specialized you may want to look into a federal type of job. Many of the regular law enforcement agencies you will have to start at the bottom and work your way up to become a detective that would even deal with cybercrimes. Go and visit your local P.D. or S.O. and have a look at what they really do day in and day out. Working in an S.O. most of the time you will start out working in the jail and part of the time you will feel like you are again dealing with preschoolers. Do some research.. it is a career, not a job. And it is something that you will definitely have to want to do not just test the waters. Good luck..

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    • #3
      The generalized answer is this- People rarely go directly into a specialty area of law enforcement- they have to do their "time" on the streets before going into a specialty area (canine, crime scene, criminal investigations etc).

      Forget the recruiters sitting at the college job fair with all their wiz-bang promises of the neat things you can do in law enforcement- almost everyone pounds the pavement for awhile (which is a good thing).

      As to how difficult it is to get into law enforcement- this varies greatly depending on the area of the country you are in and the department you are applying with. Some states require that you pay your own way through the law enforcement academy- others require agencies to put you through the academy after you have been hired.
      ---Cut the red wire---

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      • #4
        Jenny, I suggest you "begin at the beginning". Start researching Law Enforcement agencies which interest you. This includes Federal, State, and Local departments. Measure yourself objectively against the standards for employment. If you feel you meet the requirements, apply. In general, you'll need to be prepared for considerable waiting, as well as frustration and disappointment. That isn't to say you won't make it. Should you be appointed as an Officer, you'll be required to attend and successfully complete the prescribed Academy and probably an FTO (Field Training Officer) Program. You'll do basic police work for the first few years. Do well at that, and it's possible you could specialize in one of many fields. Again, start doing some research. Prepare yourself for the exam/hiring process. Good luck.

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        • #5
          let's put it this way...about 45 started with me in the academy and 1 year later there was only 8 or 9 of us were left working as leos. a lot were lost in the academy, more were lost in fto, and the rest didn't make it through probation. i don't know how many from my academy class are still sworn officers now, but i know 3 of us are.

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          • #6
            If you've decided that becoming a cop is what you really want to do, it is an attainable goal for anyone. Since you appear to be from WI, I can give you some more specifics since I work for a PD in southeast WI. I am just a police aide right now, but I had to take the same test and physical exam, and jump through the same hoops as officers do to get hired.

            As far as physically, you are going to need to be able to run a mile and a half in 14:40 for Milwaukee PD. I think Madison is 12:00 minutes. 12:00 - 15:00 minutes is pretty much standard for Wisconsin. Its not hard to do, even if you aren't the best runner. Just do what you can and work towards your goal. In addition you are going to want to work on sit-ups, push-ups and pull-ups, as these are things that you will have to do in the academy.

            As far as I know, every department in Wisconsin requires 60 college credits and 21 years of age to be eligible. They don't have to be LE credits, either, they can be in anything. Milwaukee will hire you without the credits, but all agencies in the state require that you have 60 credits by your five-year anniversay, or else you are terminated.

            If you are truly interested in a career in law enforcement, try visiting http://wilenet.org/ for job listings and information on WI LE careers.

            As far as your interest in cyber crimes, many departments do not have their own unit. Milwaukee does, however one must become a detective first (you can test for the detective position after 3 years on the street), then you can show your interest in the high tech crimes unit. There are only 2 detectives on this unit, though, and they are both pretty new to the unit, so they probably won't be retiring for a while.

            If you want to work with internet crimes I would recommend getting your BA or BS and then applying with the Department of Justice. They have a much broader area that works with High Tech Crimes. The FBI also works a lot in this area, but they prefer previous LE experience (DoJ likes it, too, so don't be afraid to start at a local PD and work your way to a state or federal agency).

            A Law Enforcement career takes a huge amount of commitment, as I'm sure any officer would tell you. The hours are odd, the job is emotionally and physically demanding, and it can tear you away from your family, especially on holidays and at night. You will get yelled and screamed at, sworn at, beat on, and called names. You might get shot at, punched, kicked, spit on or bitten. But if you are prepared to take on these challenges the rewards can be just as great.

            +1 to everything everyone else has said, too.

            Good luck!
            Last edited by Smolla126; 07-20-2008, 08:25 AM.
            Oh, yes, the past can hurt. But the way I see it you can either run from it... or, learn from it!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by luckydog View Post
              let's put it this way...about 45 started with me in the academy and 1 year later there was only 8 or 9 of us were left working as leos. a lot were lost in the academy, more were lost in fto, and the rest didn't make it through probation. i don't know how many from my academy class are still sworn officers now, but i know 3 of us are.
              Well, that's inspiring. 3 out of 45. That's just sad.

              Did they just not want to be cops?

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              • #8
                Like others here, I respect your LE aspirations. I agree with what others have said regarding fitness and training and gaining some ground-level experience before going into a specialized area. How much skill and ability do you have in computer technology? If you have a lot, it could fast-track you, but you'll still have to pay some dues.

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                • #9
                  Interpol is big on High Tech Crime, too, btw, off topic.
                  The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, cannot and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheepdog who intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed.

                  I Am the Sheepdog.


                  "And maybe just remind the few, if ill of us they speak,
                  that we are all that stands between
                  the monsters and the weak." - Michael Marks


                  sigpic

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by GunderArmour View Post
                    Well, that's inspiring. 3 out of 45. That's just sad.

                    Did they just not want to be cops?
                    i cant recall the exact number but by the end of the academy we were down to 25 or so. then there were a few who never bothered to take the state exam and 3 failed it. after that about half actually got hired. and then fto, probation, and bad choices got the rest. there are only 3 left that i know of, but i am sure there are others i dont speak to that are working.

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                    • #11
                      let's put it this way...about 45 started with me in the academy and 1 year later there was only 8 or 9 of us were left working as leos. a lot were lost in the academy, more were lost in fto, and the rest didn't make it through probation. i don't know how many from my academy class are still sworn officers now, but i know 3 of us are.

                      Wow. that scares me. I know this is my dream. Ive wanted this for so long. I guess Im worried I wont make the fitness requirments since ive never been too fit. Anyone got a good workout plan?

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                      • #12
                        Our class lost a lot of recruits due to injuries because they came into the academy overweight and/or expected to get into shape while in the academy.

                        That is a huge mistake.

                        Even for a healthy and fit person, our academy made us run everywhere in very uncomfortable shoes that had zero shock absorption.

                        So ankle, knee, joint injuries were common.



                        Maybe see your doctor first and let him know what you want to do, and find out what the fitness test requirements are for your academy first...and ask your doctor to suggest a fitness plan.

                        You can also come back here and let us know.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Jenny_cop View Post
                          let's put it this way...about 45 started with me in the academy and 1 year later there was only 8 or 9 of us were left working as leos. a lot were lost in the academy, more were lost in fto, and the rest didn't make it through probation. i don't know how many from my academy class are still sworn officers now, but i know 3 of us are.

                          Wow. that scares me. I know this is my dream. Ive wanted this for so long. I guess Im worried I wont make the fitness requirments since ive never been too fit. Anyone got a good workout plan?

                          A lot of sit-ups, crunches, push-ups, flutter kicks, body-builders, burpees, running, more sit-ups, crunches, push-ups, flutter kicks, body-builders, and burpees. Personally I would mix in some elliptical or cycling and not run everyday. Running can be hard on your body, if too much is done too soon. Mixing in some of the lower impact stuff will increase you cardio while lessening your chances if injury.

                          Oh yeah and don't forget the mountain climbers, lots and lots of mountain climbers.
                          Last edited by kc12; 07-30-2008, 07:49 AM. Reason: Forgot something
                          But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new guards for their future security.

                          For the intelectually challenged: If the government screws the people enough, it is the right and responsibility of the people to revolt and form a new government.

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                          • #14
                            I don't think it is hard to become a cop. I think it's hard to stay in this career sometimes.
                            sigpic

                            I don't agree with your opinion, but I respect its straightforwardness in terms of wrongness.

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                            • #15
                              If you want to do something as speciallized as cybercrimes you'll need to catch on with a large department or a federal agency. Maybe a large department THEN a fed agency.

                              As many have said if you go the police dept route then you'll have to "do your time" on the street in patrol before you make it into a specialty unit like cybercrimes.

                              A female on my PD wanted exactly what you want but now she's in love with the street. She may never move on to a fed agency.
                              Two people can keep a secret if one of them is dead.

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