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    Hello,
    I’m twenty two years of age, living in California and currently on track to transfer to a four year college and finish a degree in Criminal Justice. I guess police work/ LE seems to be where I see myself finding job fulfillment and something to be proud of. I have been working on and off in all types of construction and engineering since I was 16 and just hate everything about it at this point. I’m currently also in EMT school for my own benefit (Educational interest and potentially a job for a while), I have zero convictions and have nearly always been on the right path, only a brief history of Marijuana use as an early college student in Colorado where it was “legal” and some when I moved back to CA 2 years ago (no more whatsoever). I recently switched majors and will be graduating in a best-case minumum of three years from now, so I have time to let that history separate from the present. I have been reading this site for a while and seem to gather that even though I have that stain, time passing, owning my mistakes and honesty upfront are my only options.

    (I know none of you care for the full history lesson on some random kid, so here’s my question)
    If you had a couple years ahead of you before even considering signing up for the hiring process. What would you do to improve your skills/resume for a potentially hiring LE agency. I have been looking at doing ride-alongs from a nearby agency to find out if this is really something I want to pursue. Thanks in advance, PS I know you guys like to talk **** so you’re more than welcome

  • #2
    Get your degree in anything but CJ.
    Now go home and get your shine box!

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Mechanic6 View Post
      If you had a couple years ahead of you before even considering signing up for the hiring process. What would you do to improve your skills/resume for a potentially hiring LE agency.
      I always cringe when this questions is asked.

      As part of the hiring process, the agencies you are applying with will administer written and oral exams that measure you ability to perform the duties of the position you are seeking. Applicants are usually hired in the order of their score (highest score first, next highest score second, etc.)

      Now, go back and read that first sentence - the test measures your ability to perform the duties of the position you are seeking.

      What it comes down to is, you either have it within you to do the job, or you don't. I've seen applicants who have a Masters degree, yet they have no business being in this field. At the same time, I've seen high school dropouts with a GED who have been around the block a few dozen times and who've done an incredible job as a cop, supervisor and manager. Again, you either have it or your don't as determond by the testing process. Beyond that, putting lipstick on a pig won't help that much.

      Next comes the background. There is no weighing of good against bad. Ten positives don't make up for one negative. If there is something in your personal history that meets that agency's criteria for disqualification then you are out. Again, putting lipstick on a pig doesn't help.

      Score high on the testing process, make sue there is no disqualifying incidents in your personal history and you should be good to go.








      Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by L-1 View Post

        I always cringe when this questions is asked.

        What it comes down to is, you either have it within you to do the job, or you don't.







        Got it, I have been looking around at any available information about those exams and don’t see much that I can’t do well at. Cringe all you would like! We all have to start somewhere. Just fishing for information any way I can.


        And as far as the CJ degree goes, It’s just an interesting program in my opinion, I started engineering and switched a few times, honestly was bored out of my mind. Whether I work in LE or not I think I’ll continue CJ. I belong to a family of lawyers and Judges so I guess I got the “law” genes too.

        Comment


        • #5
          If your CJ program is anything like the one at my school I can assure you it is a waste of time and has no bearing on this career field.

          I took several CJ classes as electives during graduate school and the nonsensical theory based tosh they preach as gospel in this career field is unbelievable.

          One 'teacher' went so far as to insinuate that there are race based arrest quotas and monetary incentives to fill prison beds. Unless your CJ professors are former LE, prosecutors, states attorneys and the like, avoid avoid avoid. They are generally career academics with limited real world experience in LE, corrections, or law, have a very obvious political slant and are generally hostile towards LE.

          If you want a career in public service then pursue something in political science or public admin. Then after a couple decades you can fly a desk, sts.

          YMMV; I can only speak from my recent experience in school.

          Higher ed did, however, help my grammar and writing skills. I was told the other day from our SA that my reports are very well written and they are used as a guide for the other rookies. However, I'm sure many on here can attest to the fact that proper writing skills are not exclusive to college graduates.

          EDIT:

          As far as preparing, just get good grades, stay out of trouble, stay busy with work and extra curricular activities, and keep yourself in decent shape. No one is perfect but lying during the application process is generally a bad look. BI's can find stuff you probably thought was buried or untouchable and anything they do uncover will remain visible to other agencies who comes looking. Hell I think a couple members here have uncovered a 'troll' who admitted to pedophilia within a few hours of the post (which is quite telling as to the reach someone has these days who wants to know more about a person).
          Last edited by Saluki89; 06-14-2019, 10:05 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Completely agree with you on the political slant..... I have had to cater to the most rediculous teachers so far, writing on topics fabricated by the political left even in engineering classes.

            The possibility of upward movement in any career is all I see a degree helping with. It’s no joke people that have degrees are no smarter or superior than anyone else, just that they can crap out some information that makes teachers happy in order to get a piece of paper that’s still relevant to most employers.

            I appreciate the responses!

            Comment


            • Saluki89
              Saluki89 commented
              Editing a comment
              Having a degree is kind of just a box to check now unless you're going into a super technical field like medicine or law or engineering where the degree is a requirement for the job. It will open more doors for you eventually and may help you stand out among other applicants but remember that everyone has a college degree these days so you need to make sure your resume shines brighter than the rest; how you do that is up to you.

              Enjoy college while it lasts. You won't have a more carefree time in your life ever again.

              Well maybe until retirement lol.
              Last edited by Saluki89; 06-14-2019, 09:08 PM.

          • #7
            Originally posted by Mechanic6 View Post
            Got it, I have been looking around at any available information about those exams and don’t see much that I can’t do well at. Cringe all you would like! We all have to start somewhere. Just fishing for information any way I can.
            Look in the fine print of the exam announcement for the position you are seeking. It should tell you what you will be tested on. If it doesn't. contact their HR or recruiting staff. The information isn't a state secret. While they won't tell you the test questions, they should tell you the general areas you will be tested on and give you an idea as to study areas.

            Originally posted by Mechanic6 View Post
            And as far as the CJ degree goes, It’s just an interesting program in my opinion, I started engineering and switched a few times, honestly was bored out of my mind. Whether I work in LE or not I think I’ll continue CJ. I belong to a family of lawyers and Judges so I guess I got the “law” genes too.
            Arrrrrggggghhhhh! (Clutching chest as heart stops.)

            Unless you plan on leaving law enforcement to teach Criminal Justice full time as a college professor, let me suggest that getting a degree in Criminal Justice is not the best idea. Here's why:

            1. In most departments, any degree (even one in Art Appreciation) bumps your pay.

            2. Many discover police work is not for them and leave the profession. If that happens, a Criminal Justice degree is worthless when it comes to getting a job in most private sector companies.

            3. Because of the unusually high injury and stress rate, many cops wind up going out early on a disability retirement. The money is good for a while but inflation catches up and you will need to get a second job. Again, a CJ degree will be worthless when it comes to getting a job in most private sector companies.

            4. If you do make a lifelong career in law enforcement, you no doubt want to go up the ladder. When you do, you will be dealing with issues like labor relations, budgeting, marketing, public relations, communications, completed staff work, statistics, personnel management, research, grant writing, community outreach, accounting, logistics, fleet management, audits, and equipment acquisition just to name a few. When this happens, you will be kicking yourself in the head because you got a CJ degree instead of one in Business or Public Administration.

            Consider going for a degree in Business or Public Administration. While you will take classes in core business subjects, you will have plenty of free electives you can use to take almost as many classes in criminal justice as your core subjects. Your degree will be in business but you will get a CJ education at the same time that will hopefully give you enough information to help you score higher on civil service exams for law enforcement jobs. Should things later go south (dissatisfaction with a law enforcement career, disability retirement, etc.) having a degree in Business or Public Administration will open many doors to getting a meaningful job that pays well with a private company.
            Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

            Comment


            • #8
              Fantastic, I did read the post about the “troll” who was talking about all sorts of gross stuff. Wild! I’d say like half or more of the threads in this section are like “I once sold cocaine to pay rent but It wasnt my fault you think I can still get the job”......

              Public admin seems like a good move, you all bring up good points that I hadn’t been able to see from the inside. I really dig the input, I have one or two officer friends but none that had any sort of useful thoughts about it.

              Comment


              • #9
                Originally posted by CCCSD View Post
                Get your degree in anything but CJ.
                this +++++ I did a stint as an Applicant Investigator. Criminal Justice is a useless degree usually taken by buffs.

                Comment


                • #10
                  He said he has an interest in the law and his family is full of lawyers. If he goes to law school his undergrad degree won't matter as much as long as he has good grades. In my experience it's easier to make good grades in something that interests you.

                  From what I've seen in my area.... rookie applicants with degrees are no better than the applicants with a high school diploma. But in CALEA certified agencies it can help you stand out but it's no guarantee. Though it will help with advancement to senior positions in CALEA certified departments.

                  In some places it may even hurt your chances. Who wants a rookie more educated and smarter than their supervisors ? But it may be different in your area.

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    Originally posted by westside popo View Post
                    He said he has an interest in the law and his family is full of lawyers. If he goes to law school his undergrad degree won't matter as much as long as he has good grades. In my experience it's easier to make good grades in something that interests you.

                    From what I've seen in my area.... rookie applicants with degrees are no better than the applicants with a high school diploma. But in CALEA certified agencies it can help you stand out but it's no guarantee. Though it will help with advancement to senior positions in CALEA certified departments.

                    In some places it may even hurt your chances. Who wants a rookie more educated and smarter than their supervisors ? But it may be different in your area.
                    Well, personally, I'd avoid most CALEA/accredited agencies like the plague, but maybe that's just me...
                    "He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."
                    -Friedrich Nietzsche

                    Comment


                    • westside popo
                      westside popo commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I won't work for another one!

                      They tend to have better equipment and little better pay etc but it's not worth the BS. Rules, regulations and policies on every little aspect of the job.

                    • Bing_Oh
                      Bing_Oh commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I worked for one myself (and currently work for one that's not accredited but copied its policies from one) and have always hated the concept. It became obvious what accreditation was about pretty quickly...a job for lawyers, "management consultants," and retired administrators making policies so endlessly complex, all-encompassing, and convoluted that you're always violating something, thus shifting all liability away from the employer and onto the officer.

                  • #12
                    CALEA...what an atrocity.
                    Now go home and get your shine box!

                    Comment


                    • #13
                      Avoid getting your degree in CJ.

                      I went to college for business while I was waiting for the lengthy process of the NYPD (3+ years). I had to take a few electives so I decided to take two different criminal justice classes to satisfy my electives and get an insight into the field.

                      Both CJ professors were prior LEO; one a prior state cop and the other a former DEA agent. BOTH said multiple times to not waste your time on a CJ degree as it is very narrow in scope.

                      I went with a business degree because I could apply those skills to almost ANYTHING in case the cop route didn’t work out. It paid off.

                      Fast forward to my time in the academy, I learned everything a CJ degree would have taught you and it didn’t cost me a penny. In fact, I was paid to learn.

                      Other applicants in my academy with a CJ degree had a good point. While the CJ is considered a waste of time, they did however get hired because they had a degree where others did not. So while a CJ degree may get you on the job, it’s not a transferable degree.

                      Comment


                      • #14
                        Don't smoke anymore weed. The rultes are getting more lax about it but you don't want to push your luck.

                        Stay consistant w/ one job. Build an employment history that does not look like you can't keep a job.

                        Keep as high a GPA as possible. Don't get any traffic violations. Be aware of the people you're around---parties where some of the people are sketchy etc.
                        Get in the best possible shape you can.

                        Be willing to relocate for a job. Good luck to you.

                        Comment


                        • #15
                          Study what you want and ignore the 'CJ degree is worthless' advice.

                          Look for internships, co-op programs, volunteer opportunities at agencies. These build networks. Networks are huge.

                          Run three miles a day and do 50 sit ups and 30 push ups.

                          No more of that funky skrunk.

                          Work on writing skills.

                          Travel, be awesome, and enjoy the freedom of youth because the heavy chains of life will come soon enough.
                          I used to be a banker but I lost interest.

                          -Steven Wright

                          Comment

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