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Best Advice You Can Give?


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  • Best Advice You Can Give?

    Hi everyone...I am a 20 yr old college student in Iowa. I'm majoring in CJ and will probably get a minor in psych. or sociology. I am also a resident advisor here at my college. I am hoping to become a member of the state patrol. I have internship coming up next January in Phoenix with the Phoenix Police Dept. I was curious as to what is something you wish you did to better prepare yourself as a LEO or what is some adivce you could give for someone looking to be a LEO?

    Thanks for your help!

  • #2
    Thank you for you reply, I appreciate your help. Do you suggest switching majors in case I have something to fall back on in case a law enforcement career doesn’t work out, or do police agencies prefer non criminal justice type degrees?


    • #3
      we have alot of officers with CJ degrees and that is fine for getting in. But it's the ones with the business majors, etc. that are moving up and running the agency. That's not to say you can't accomplish alot with a degree in CJ, but your options are more open. Plus, when the day comes to retire some 20-25 years from now, you may want to start another career or job to supplement your retirement and you may not want to be a LEO at that point. The business, etc. will help.

      Good Luck!


      • #4
        Change Your Major!

        Listen...the guys are not leading you in the wrong direction! Nothing against CJ majors (my undergrad is in CJ), but do yourself a favor and major in something else besides criminal justice. Things happen in law enforcement, and you need to be prepared in case you find yourself back in the job market (injury, job loss, etc), or in case you just want to make extra money on the side in a non-LE position. For example, I know several officers who work as accountants or I.T. (computer repair) guys in their off-duty time. There are others who are licensed heating/air people, plumbers, etc..... LAW ENFORCEMENT CAN BE HIGHLY POLITICAL....and you may find yourself on the losing end of a ****-fight.........without a job! Besides, all the training that you will need to do the job, you will receive in the academy, and more specifically, when you hit the streets........ ! Good Luck!


        • #5
          Originally posted by gumshoe
          Change your major from CJ to a something else....maybe business, management, foreign language, or something that is relevant in your state of Iowa.... for example if you were living in San Diego or Texas....majoring in Spanish would be better than a CJ degree.

          After your internship, ask the sgt. or person in charge if you can continue your service as a volunteer. You want to keep yourself inside the system.

          I agree with gumshoe. CJ Degrees are a dime a dozen. A good compromise would be "Governmental Administration"

          Conversational Spanish would be good, even in Iowa. I am sure the Hispanic migration has made it up there too


          • #6
            Wow, I really appreciate all the help. Thanks for everyone’s advice and I am making note of all of it. Yes the migration has hit Iowa, actually I go to college in predominately Hispanic/Laotian city, where maybe 20 years ago it was Caucasian. I have taken 4 years of Spanish and will look into seeing what I need to get a minor or what not. I have always thought that if law enforcement takes a bad turn I thought maybe some career in juvenile probation or some type of probation. Maybe a CJ/Criminology degree might not be the best suited for that either. The only thing about switching my major is that I would have to go to school for another few years. That may not be the easiest thing to do, going to a private school with the tuition being so high, but this is something I will definitely consider.

            I’m very excited to get down to Phoenix and work with the police department there. It will be a lot different then coming from a small town in Iowa


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