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What is an appropriate applicant for F/LEO

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  • What is an appropriate applicant for F/LEO

    Currently I am 20 years of age. I am in school majoring in criminal justice (went to a university a year and a half ago as pre-bus, but didn't like the feel of the university or that major). I have read these forums up and down, and despite the amount of LE jargon, I have yet to find a real answer to how you can really consider yourself eligible to be a federal LEO, and even local agency LE.

    How 'easy' is it to become a LEO? Would having a 4 year Bachelor in criminal justice put me leaps above other candidates? Are there more ambitious things I could do in relation to law enforcement with that degree?

    Just to note, I would consider myself capable of passing the physical, medical, psych. and BI. Would my size hurt or help me? I'm 6'5 275

    Basically, what could I do with a 4 year degree in CJ with minimal work experience (i am currently employed as an on call para-educator with the orange county Dept. of Ed, and have been an after school teacher for the YMCA)?

  • #2
    thats reassuring. In regards to becoming a higher level LEo, like investigative officer or federal LEO, what could I expect to be necessary in terms of credential
    Last edited by oneDGK; 09-17-2008, 11:00 PM.

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    • #3
      I would stop at your local fed office and/or websites and do research on what it takes to be hired. Postal inspectors for instance only require a 4 year degree in anything to be considered. Here in Washington to work fish and game requires a 4 year degree ( I think that it might have to be in some sort of science field). By going to the departments and talking with recruiters, officers, agents, ect. can me invaluable information. Go on ride alongs if they offer them and ask questions (not so many that you **** em off ).

      I hope this helps

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      • #4
        Getting a job in law enforcement is not all smoke and mirrors like it is in business. This is one of the few professions where you are judged on skill and ability, especially in California, where you are.

        Get an exam announcement for the job you are interested in. It will spell out the minimum requirements for admission to the testing process. In most cases it is simply being 21 years of age, a US citizen, having a high school diploma or GED, a valid drivers license and no felony convictions. Some jobs require higher levels of education (AA or BA) but most do not. If you submit an application indicating you possess these basic qualifications, its an automatic admission ticket to the next exam. From there you are scored on the number of correct answers you give to job related questions asked in written and oral exams. Then you will be given a physical agility test, be subject to a background investigation, a medical and a psych, all of which are pass/fail. Hiring is based on your overall test scores - highest gets picked first, second highest gets picked second, etc. It's that simple.

        The only thing that will put you leaps and bounds ahead of other applicants is to get more test questions right than they do. Most exam bulletins say what you will be tested on (its buried in the fine print). Read the test bulletin carefully and study those areas. For example, page 2 of this Investigator's exam announcement tells you exactly what you will be tested on. http://jobs.spb.ca.gov/JOBSGEN/7IN99.PDF.

        Going to school and getting a CJ degree may help you in taking exams because it will make you more knowledgeable about law enforcement. However, if you want to go up the ladder, getting a degree in business will be more helpful. You will learn all you need to know about law enforcement in the academy, in service training, supervisors school and middle management training. But, if you want to obtain rank, a knowledge of things like budgeting, economics, personnel management, marketing, media relations, statistics, labor relations, accounting, auditing, inventory maintenance and fleet management (just to name a few) are essential, so again, getting a business degree will be much more helpful.
        Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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