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At will agencies.

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  • At will agencies.

    are “at will” agencies harder to get onto, especially if you have no previous experience or certification? This would be in Texas that I’m specifically referencing.

  • #2
    On the surface I would say "at will" agencies are easier to get into for the most part.

    ......No hiring rules (Civil Service)
    .....Ability of the chief/sheriff to fire at the drop of a hat
    .....turn over higher

    But I have no experience since Iowa is a union state (for the most part)
    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

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    • #3
      Honestly it kind of depends on the agency. Sometimes they are "easier" in terms of a more streamlined process. Since they are at will many skip any type of written test, PAT, or oral board, leaving only background, psych, and possibly medical. The flip side is that many at will agencies operate on a "good ole boy" system and you often have to know someone to get hired (or even considered for hire). You are also at the mercy of the chief/sheriff/mayor etc and can be fired for no reason at all. I worked for a small at will agency my first few years in LE while I was testing with large civil service agencies. My time there served it's purpose, but honestly I would rather work for an agency with civil service rules and protection any day.

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      • #4
        It depends on the agency. Some have a lengthy process with numerous tests and interviews to complete. Others have nothing more than an interview and a background check.

        IMO "at will" agencies are better because it's easier to get rid of the bad apples. However the good ole boy system can be a factor in it.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by westside popo View Post
          It depends on the agency. Some have a lengthy process with numerous tests and interviews to complete. Others have nothing more than an interview and a background check.

          IMO "at will" agencies are better because it's easier to get rid of the bad apples. However the good ole boy system can be a factor in it.
          On a normal day yes, but you are also at the whim of elected officials and their politics. Perfect example, our neighboring jurisdiction is a rather large Sheriffs Office (1200 employees, probably 800 sworn) in the 2nd most populous parish (county) in the state. Earlier this year the tenured Sheriff retired and appointed his Chief Deputy as the Interim Sheriff. One of the other chiefs who was not appointed immediately resigned and the two ran a rather nasty race against each other. I do not work for the agency, but I have plenty of friends who do and a very good number were scared to death of loosing their jobs or being demoted of the wrong candidate won. These were guys with 15-25 years in that would have been stuck starting over because of political bulls**t. Personally I have no interest in that. I like being able to take a test for promotion, I like knowing that the new mayor/chief cannot come in and demote me because I did not support them politically. Hell, I like knowing that if they want to demote, fire, or impose discipline on me they will ultimately have to show cause. I have known too many tenured guys that ended up having to work their way up from the bottom 15- 20 years in because they got caught up in politics at an at will agency. It was a great place to get my foot in the door, but I like my civil service.

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          • #6
            If you're a crap candidate you will never get a civil service position...but you might still get on with an at will agency if you know the right people.

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            • Emh2276
              Emh2276 commented
              Editing a comment
              Lol define crap candidate? No record or problems with the law outside of 2 speeding tickets. Female, bilingual. Plenty of college hours. Down side, I tried weed one or twice when I was 17 or 18 (I am now 32) and I have been fired before about 7 years ago, nothing major like stealing or anything of that nature. I keep hearing that “good ole boy” comment that’s why I was wondering, having a hard time at the smaller agencies so was considering applying bigger city. Or I could just be a crap candidate lol but I hope that’s not the case.Thanks a lot for the feedback!
              Last edited by Emh2276; 07-11-2018, 02:29 AM.

          • #7
            Sorry for the late response, but appreciate all the feedback y’all!

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            • #8
              Reading the above I would say you definitely need to be looking at larger agencies, if for no other reason than most of them are hiring in large numbers as opposed to small agencies that often only hire one or two at a time. I know that it is quite common for some of those smaller agencies to have as many as 50-100 applicants for one opening. In the case of my agency we have been budgeted to hire 150 officers every year for the past several years and have yet to hire more than 110, largely because the applicants were not qualified or washed out on the psych/medical exam. Not sure what part of Texas you are in, but I know both Dallas and Houston are hiring in large numbers and still have not met their staffing goals or yearly hiring goals. If you are interested in crossing the state line we are hiring. The entire process is civil service based so there is virtually no "good ole boy" politics in that process; however keep in mind any department (large or small) just like any work place is going to have their cliques and foolishness. www.joinnopd.com

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              • Emh2276
                Emh2276 commented
                Editing a comment
                I do live in the DFW area, I recently applied to Garland and Irving so fingers crossed it goes well. I’m definitely not opposed to crossing state lines if that’s what it takes! I’ll check out the link you sent me, thanks so much for your time and feedback! Much appreciated.

            • #9
              Speaking from experience, at-will agencies are sometimes the most difficult to get into because of the politics. You may be a bona fide candidate on paper, but if you have no solid connection to said agency, or personally know the right solid person presently employed at said agency, your chances are slim to none. You could be up against someone who happens to be the *insert high ranking agency brass* best friend's cousin's brother in law who has zero qualifications, and he was already basically hired long before you had walked in for your first oral board. It's frustrating and often times confusing, but when the #1 guy/gal running the show is an elected official, it's a crap shoot. The good ole boys network can be a real barrier.

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