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Switching LE agencies


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  • Switching LE agencies

    How many times can you switch LE agencies before it is viewed negatively?

    Anyone know of any officers who have worked for multiple agencies (4 or more) before finding the right one?

  • #2
    Can be Once. Depends on the system.
    Now go home and get your shine box!


    • #3
      It depends on the respective agencies you're applying to and how long you were at the previous agencies. The biggest factor is if you left on good terms and if the previous agencies would rehire you.

      I have heard of officers with a LOT more than 4 in their employment histories.


      • #4
        I did three departments before settling. Two in the same area, one was a University PD and the other a city PD. After a divorce I moved to a new area and have worked there for 20+ years. The secret is, always give at least two years, and always leave on good terms. IF you just hate the place, you gotta think about your future, suck it up and plan your way out. One thing....if you are seriously applying or going through the process at another agency, let your chain of command know.

        People's life changes, and departments understand this, just be upfront.

        My 2cents


        • westside popo
          westside popo commented
          Editing a comment
          Depending on the chain of command... I've heard horror stories, some that were real supportive and others that were indifferent.

        • Kraut0783
          Kraut0783 commented
          Editing a comment
          Very true, but better to tell the chain of command before the background guy shows up =)

      • #5
        Some will get on with a department at age 22 and stay put for 30 years.
        Some will move every three to four years and never fit in anywhere.
        Some will go to more academies than they wish to count.

        Some will die in hot pursuit and fiery auto crashes.
        Some will die in hot pursuit while sifting through my ashes.
        Some will fall in love with life and drink it from a fountain.
        What a long strange trip its been.


        • Bing_Oh
          Bing_Oh commented
          Editing a comment
          Just as long as you're pouring like an avalanche, coming down the mountain...

        • Ratatatat
          Ratatatat commented
          Editing a comment
          I wondered if anyone would get the song reference....

          “Pepper” by the BH Surfers

      • #6
        It depends on a number of issues, such as those listed by westside and kraut. Personally, I get leery when I see more than one full time police job on an application. Taking a big pay cut is a huge red flag for me, as well.


        • #7
          It will likely be discussed, at some point, so be prepared for that. I jumped from a PD to an SO after 10 + at the PD. For me, my outlook was to eventually make it to day shift and spend the remainder of my working life on patrol. At the SO I went to, there was a lot more variety, court security, prisoner transport, water patrol, road patrol, civil process, fugitive warrants, criminal investigations, etc.

          At lot of it will depend on what is common for the area you are form and the area you are going to. I do know of some areas that guys and gals pretty much have to get experience at small PDs first and then apply more the more desirable agencies.


          • #8
            I think it depends on why you left. Some officers have a clear upward progression in terms of opportunities and/or pay and benefits or a personal reason that makes sense. (My former agency is the Love Boat of policing in that people apply because a significant other is moving to the national capital reason). People who make giant steps sideways are often looked upon with suspicion and sometimes rightly so.

            I know one officer who started out in a uniformed federal agency, transferred to the county, left for an Arizona city, got his dream job as an 1811, found he hated it, and is now a county lieutenant. It was always entertaining seeing what uniform he'd be in at the Law Enforcement Memorial.

            John from Maryland


            • #9
              As I was told in BLET (which in NC is Basic Law Enforcement Training) years ago is the answer to every question in LE : "it all depends."

              If you are constantly trying to improve yourself, better pay, specialized units, schedule, closer to home, etc, you could change a few times. Just as long as you leave on good terms, but if you work for an agency under a year or so I can see that agency not likely to give a good reference even if you left for no other reason than to take a better paying job. No agency wants to put the time or money into someone who will just leave in a matter of months.

              Sometimes the grass looks greener and you take a job and it did not turn out to what you thought it would be, and there was no way you would have known that without working there. So you could stay with that job, be unhappy, or leave. If I was truly unhappy where I was, I would look elsewhere in a heart beat.

              John 15:13 - Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.


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