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  • A Career in Law Enforcement

    In this thread I want to share what my "plan" is for preparing and starting a career in law enforcement. The thread's purpose is to help me adjust this plan and to gain more knowledge about law enforcement (I'm the first of my family).

    The only information I have about starting a career in law enforcement is what I've heard from a few friends and my findings through google, which isn't much. My plan is vague, because I don't know the finer details. This is where, hopefully, you'll come in.

    Possible Career Goals:
    -FBI agent/staff member
    -Sheriff
    -Cop, and eventual detective.
    -ATF agent (or other agencies I haven't discovered)


    What I'm doing to get there:
    1st Phase:
    -Degree in Public Administrations from UW-Whitewater
    -Internship (while going to UW-Whitewater)
    -Active in health and fitness
    -Possibly, put myself through the police academy (available at a local tech school)


    2nd Phase:
    -With my degree, and hopeful internship experience, I could try to get hired in as a cop somewhere (once again, vague.) and get experience under my belt.
    -With this experience I could apply to the FBI (my career goal).

    I'm not completely set on the public administrations degree, but it's a degree that I've read helps me in law enforcement, and helps me progress once in my career. At first, I was planning on getting a degree in sociology with an emphasis in criminal justice, but I've read that it's beneficial to seek a degree that offers more specialization.

    As for the "2nd phase," I'm not sure the career path works that way.

    Note, I'm not 100% set on any of these. I guess my goal is to work in the FBI building in D.C., but then again "I wanna be an astronaut"

    Any input is appreciated, and any suggestions will be considered.

    Thanks!

    Edit: It'd be helpful for me to understand where you're coming from with your advice as well. Ex: "Do _______ and ______ because I'm a ______, or have experience with _______."

    Edit2: Refer to post #4 for more of my background info.
    Last edited by No Clue; 04-26-2012, 04:07 PM.

  • #2
    A better post would be....I want to be a police officer and have no idea how to get there. I'm ? years old and this is a quick view of my background. Where do I begin?

    Get a college education in something that interests you, because if you don't become a cop you will still have to work for a living. A search here will show you that most of us believe a CJ degree isn't desirable as it limits your options if this doesn't work out. Lots and lots of guys have degrees in subjects that have nothing to do with LE.

    If you don't have a work history, start one ASAP. Not necessary for it to be LE related. In fact it usually doesn't matter at all. Just a good solid work history with good work references.

    Clean background as a background investigation will most likely be in depth. In short, don't do it if you wouldn't do it in front of a cop.

    If your not in physical shape, start getting in physical shape.

    If the people you hang out with are sh*t birds....find new friends right away.

    There is nothing wrong with wanting to be a FBI agent. However, as you get older, you may decide that you want to work for a living a become a local or state police officer.
    Calling an illegal alien an "undocumented immigrant" is like calling a drug dealer an "unlicensed pharmacist"

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    • #3
      In my opinion the best way to build your resume is through work experience. It will always beat education and internships, and it will give you a fighting chance when competing against those who have veterans preference. Look for sworn and non-sworn positions all over. By sworn I mean obviously police officers, deputy sheriffs, troopers, etc. By non-sworn I am talking about correctional/detention officers, community service officers, dispatchers, reserve/auxiliary police officers, etc.

      Continue working on that degree, but keep in mind that some LE agencies are looking for people with other more specific skills, and that it might not make you the most competitive candidate at those agencies.
      Natural selection leaves the survivors stronger and better! Humans have escaped this winnowing for far too long!

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks!
        I'll fill you in.
        Originally posted by BigDog4907 View Post
        A better post would be....I want to be a police officer and have no idea how to get there. I'm ? years old and this is a quick view of my background. Where do I begin?
        I'm 20 years old. Finishing up my 2nd year in college. 1st year GPA wasn't so good, but this year I'm going to close it out with a 4.0. Overall I'm at about a 3.4 GPA.
        Get a college education in something that interests you, because if you don't become a cop you will still have to work for a living. A search here will show you that most of us believe a CJ degree isn't desirable as it limits your options if this doesn't work out. Lots and lots of guys have degrees in subjects that have nothing to do with LE.
        I'm leaning toward public administration because it's a degree that could lead to a variety of careers, so I've read, and it's a good degree for law enforcement. I'm also interested in politics, sociology, history, and ethics, so I think public administration involves those subjects.

        If you don't have a work history, start one ASAP. Not necessary for it to be LE related. In fact it usually doesn't matter at all. Just a good solid work history with good work references.
        I'm currently working as a bus boy/host in a restaurant part-time on the weekends. I've been working there for 17 months with no incidents.

        Clean background as a background investigation will most likely be in depth. In short, don't do it if you wouldn't do it in front of a cop.
        My one snag. I received an underage drinking ticket last month.

        If your not in physical shape, start getting in physical shape.
        I have a history of sports (football, baseball, and basketball), and I've worked-out on and off in my life. In the past 12 weeks, I've started to really focus on bodybuilding and health. I workout Monday-Friday, which includes weight lifting in the AM and running 3 miles/30 mins on the treadmill in the PM. I consider this to be a way of life, and not just a phase.
        If the people you hang out with are sh*t birds....find new friends right away.
        My friend group doesn't share my health, education, and career-minded philosophies, but I consider them to be somewhat reputable. Their flaw is that they gather on the weekends and drink, which I'm staying away from until I'm 21 (in October).

        There is nothing wrong with wanting to be a FBI agent. However, as you get older, you may decide that you want to work for a living a become a local or state police officer.
        Thanks for the advice! Anything's a possibility for me at this point.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Albert Wesker View Post
          In my opinion the best way to build your resume is through work experience.
          .
          How am I supposed to get sworn or unsworn work with no experience in that field?
          Last edited by No Clue; 04-26-2012, 02:03 PM.

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          • #6
            If you want to be an FBI agent, you need to rethink the liberal arts degree. It is not going to make you any points with the FBI.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by just joe View Post
              If you want to be an FBI agent, you need to rethink the liberal arts degree. It is not going to make you any points with the FBI.
              What would you suggest?

              If one was to have a BA in criminal justice, this wouldn't help them?
              Last edited by No Clue; 04-26-2012, 04:04 PM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by No Clue View Post
                Note, I'm not 100% set on any of these. I guess my goal is to work in the FBI building in D.C., but then again "I wanna be an astronaut"
                I got to here and lost interest.

                It take it ASTRONAUT is your plan B.

                I hope you have a plan C..........




                SERIOUSLY....................go talk to some real cops, and see what they say......................

                I realize that you have NO CLUE...........................but you really need to get some first hand information before you decide on your LIFELONG career
                My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

                Comment


                • #9
                  When you make up YOUR mind, as opposed to us doing it for you, come back and talk to us. The decisions you reference will have to be made by you, not this forum. Google is an awesome search engine provided you use it well. You haven't to date, and that is evident in your post(s). Not being "100% set on any of these" is very natural, which is why you need to do the research we've recommended. Get started. The project could be fun as well as informative.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Iowa #1603 View Post
                    I got to here and lost interest.

                    It take it ASTRONAUT is your plan B.

                    I hope you have a plan C..........



                    I'm starting to doubt your reading comprehension. My use of quotes in saying that I "wanna be an astronaut" was a sarcastic way of comparing the goal of working in the FBI headquarters in D.C. to the idea of being an astronaut. Obviously, I'm not really thinking about becoming an astronaut.

                    With that said, I can look at your actual advice. The idea of talking to some actual cops is a great idea, thanks.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I've been doing research. The reason for this post is to comment/critique what I think is an appropriate plan to applying and becoming to any one of those positions listed.

                      Real question here: Is getting a degree in public policy and administration a good degree for a career in law enforcement? My research says it is, so I'd like to see what you think.

                      I'd like you to give me some insight on my plan listed in the OP.

                      Thanks.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by No Clue View Post
                        I'm starting to doubt your reading comprehension. My use of quotes in saying that I "wanna be an astronaut" was a sarcastic way of comparing the goal of working in the FBI headquarters in D.C. to the idea of being an astronaut. Obviously, I'm not really thinking about becoming an astronaut.

                        With that said, I can look at your actual advice. The idea of talking to some actual cops is a great idea, thanks.
                        I don't really worry what you think of my reading comprehension.

                        You need to understand that what you write on an internet forum is all we know about you and your entire 7 posts does not give us much material.


                        Say what you mean and mean what you say...................


                        Originally posted by No Clue View Post

                        Real question here: Is getting a degree in public policy and administration a good degree for a career in law enforcement? My research says it is, so I'd like to see what you think.


                        Thanks.
                        A 4 yr degree in underwater basket-weaving means about as much as a Public Policy or Administration degree for an ENTRY LEVEL Law Enforcement position.

                        The fancy degrees or advanced degrees MIGHT help in promotional level positions but any 4 yr degree in any discipline is sufficient for the starter job.

                        If your heart is set on the FBI................get the law degree, or an accounting degree.


                        Originally posted by No Clue View Post
                        How am I supposed to get sworn or unsworn work with no experience in that field?
                        He didn't say any special type of work experience.................he just said get work experience
                        Last edited by Iowa #1603; 04-26-2012, 09:15 PM.
                        My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Iowa #1603 View Post
                          I don't really worry what you think of my reading comprehension.

                          You need to understand that what you write on an internet forum is all we know about you and your entire 7 posts does not give us much material.


                          Say what you mean and mean what you say...................




                          A 4 yr degree in underwater basket-weaving means about as much as a Public Policy or Administration degree for an ENTRY LEVEL Law Enforcement position.

                          The fancy degrees or advanced degrees MIGHT help in promotional level positions but any 4 yr degree in any discipline is sufficient for the starter job.

                          If your heart is set on the FBI................get the law degree, or an accounting degree.




                          He didn't say any special type of work experience.................he just said get work experience

                          Thank you! That's the kind of advice I'm searching for. Thanks a lot.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by No Clue View Post
                            I'm starting to doubt your reading comprehension. My use of quotes in saying that I "wanna be an astronaut" was a sarcastic way of comparing the goal of working in the FBI headquarters in D.C. to the idea of being an astronaut. Obviously, I'm not really thinking about becoming an astronaut.

                            With that said, I can look at your actual advice. The idea of talking to some actual cops is a great idea, thanks.
                            Nooooo, It's not Iowa's reading comprehension at issue here, it's yours. We've attempted to give you some real time, real world advice. That said, what's your problem? Several excellent suggestions have been made to you concerning the research YOU need to do. As I suggested to you, that could be fun as well as informative. A degree in Public Policy and Administration? Sounds OK to me, question is, what do YOU think? That's what's important. All we can do is offer you some suggestions. You have to do the rest. We're not going to do that work for you. It's critical that YOU do it, as it's your life and potential career which will be effected. No, Young potential applicant, I can assure you Iowa has no problem with reading comprehension, none of us do. Now how about getting over your "attitude" and getting to work on research which pertains to you. While you're doing that, recall that YOU came to us, not the other way around.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by No Clue View Post
                              What would you suggest?

                              If one was to have a BA in criminal justice, this wouldn't help them?
                              A BA in anything will help you stand out at a local level. The FBI does not give a crap about CJ degrees. No, the degree will not help you be a better agent. It will not help you be a better police officer either, but the degree lets you check the "I've got a bachelor's degree" box.

                              The feds like accountants, computer people, foreign language experts, etc. Liberal Arts degrees are a dime a dozen and don't bring anything special to the table. Now, if you have a CJ degree and are fluent in Arabic, that's a whole different ball game.

                              Comment

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