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Whats the best state to apply for a police department?

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  • Whats the best state to apply for a police department?

    I currently reside in Illinois and I applied for Chicago and few suburbs. I want to say it is extremely rough because the department testings i've been to around the Chicago area there are like hundreds of candidates trying to get 1 job and it costs a lot of money (about $35-$60 per written test). They don't specify how many people are testing or how many open positions are available.

    Right now i'm in one of the last phase for Chicago and if I get DQ from CPD I plan on starting to look out of state. I'm just curious; what are some good department/ states that have a less stringent employment to-do list? So far i've been trying Chicago for about 7 months now. Before the hiring freeze. I was looking into trying a bunch of departments in the southern states where I was stationed because their departments hiring practice seems more straight forward.

    CPD is:
    2 PT tests
    2 drug tests
    1 written test
    1 extensive background check with a month or 2 wait and a home interview
    1 polygraph test
    1 psych test
    1 physical
    Last edited by bluesent; 12-22-2019, 08:05 PM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by bluesent View Post
    I currently reside in Illinois and I applied for Chicago and few suburbs. I want to say it is extremely rough because the department testings i've been to around the Chicago area there are like hundreds of candidates trying to get 1 job and it costs a lot of money (about $35-$60 per written test). They don't specify how many people are testing or how many open positions are available.

    Right now i'm in one of the last phase for Chicago and if I get DQ from CPD I plan on starting to look out of state. I'm just curious; what are some good department/ states that have a less stringent employment to-do list? So far i've been trying Chicago for about 7 months now. Before the hiring freeze. I was looking into trying a bunch of departments in the southern states where I was stationed because their departments hiring practice seems more straight forward.

    CPD is:
    2 PT tests
    2 drug tests
    1 written test
    1 extensive background check with a month or 2 wait and a home interview
    1 polygraph test
    1 psych test
    1 physical
    I don't know of any dept. that has a 'less stringent' pre-employment list. There probably are but I wouldn't want to work for one. Remember, those hired are going to be your backup.
    Atlanta is usually hiring. Agencies in the vicinity of Atlanta are hiring. Cost of living is cheaper also.

    Comment


    • bluesent
      bluesent commented
      Editing a comment
      In the Chicagoland area it's more political than how well you can perform the job. From what i've been reading and hearing in person is that CPD drops people for the most obscure reasons or they simply just leave someones file on the table for years. I'm trying to get ready to not hear anything back from CPD or get dropped. I want a back up rather than spend a lot of my resources on 1 department that goes no where.

  • #3
    Originally posted by bluesent View Post


    2 PT tests
    2 drug tests
    1 written test
    1 extensive background check with a month or 2 wait and a home interview
    1 polygraph test
    1 psych test
    1 physical
    BASICALLY that is pretty standard in the midwest.
    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

    Comment


    • #4
      OP, what kind of process are you expecting? My experience is more on the line of one drug test and one PT test, but everything else is pretty standard. The last I looked, Texas was doing a lot of hiring. Dallas (I think) had it set up so out of state candidates could do all of the testing and processing in something like three days. I have read that some of the other major metros do something similar.

      Comment


      • #5
        Originally posted by just joe View Post
        OP, what kind of process are you expecting? My experience is more on the line of one drug test and one PT test, but everything else is pretty standard. The last I looked, Texas was doing a lot of hiring. Dallas (I think) had it set up so out of state candidates could do all of the testing and processing in something like three days. I have read that some of the other major metros do something similar.
        I second this. Texas hires a lot of folks, especially with all the shenanigans in Houston, but pretty much anywhere in the south. Not that you'd probably WANT to work for Houston but that's another topic altogether....

        It also depends on how you're defining "best". If best means the easiest/quickest placed to get hired on, TX, or most of the South. If best means the best agency to work for that's a larger rabbit hole and depends entirely on your preferences...
        Last edited by COMoparfan392; 12-23-2019, 10:13 AM.
        "It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived."- George S. Patton Jr.

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        • #6
          Bluesent, that is very smart--having a plan B. Absolutely be open to moving. Here, Atlanta area, good depts. are competing with each other for quality recruits. Keep in mind the cost of living in the Southeast is much less than the NE and other areas of the country. If you aren't happy living in the area, work 3 yrs and move on. The time will go by fast.

          Good luck in your career. If you want feedback on the Atlanta area, feel free to ask or PM.

          *Can't imagine paying $60 to apply. I know a lot of agencies charge but that seems extreme. SMH.
          Last edited by Zeitgeist1; 12-23-2019, 01:06 PM.

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          • #7
            Just north of the border in WI, most agencies I know of are struggling to find qualified applicants. And I don't know of any that require you to pay to apply.

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            • #8
              Any department worth working for has extensive and stringent testing. You’re not doing yourself any favors by looking for a last-chance agency.
              Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. - Ronald Reagan

              I don't think It'll happen in the US because we don't trust our government. We are a country of skeptics, raised by skeptics, founded by skeptics. - Amaroq

              Comment


              • #9
                ISP is hiring. They lowered their education requirements as well.

                Comment


                • #10
                  I'm a Chicago Native and I got on with Chicago PD. Like someone told me, "If you want something bad enough and it's worth fighting for...be patient and persistent!". I was a candidate just like you at one point. I seriously considered moving out of state for Dallas PD and Atlanta PD. I waited it out a little bit longer and I'm grateful to have landed the job I always wanted in the city that I grew up in and love. There is nothing wrong with keeping your options open and testing all over but I will say this: Don't just leave for this job. If you're a family person, try to stay reasonably local. Don't underestimate how hard it will be to leave your life and family behind and take a tough job like this far from home.

                  Oh btw there is a full medical, 1000-1200 question 5 part psych and then you talk to the psych doc. If cleared you have to complete 30 weeks of academy, 3 cycles of field training and then you can sit in a squad car with me MAYBE?! It's true but just messing with you! Good luck wherever you go!

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    Like someone told me, "If you want something bad enough and it's worth fighting for...be patient and persistent!".
                    I can't agree more.

                    When I decided to jump into LE, there was 1 department I really wanted to work for. I took a shot at it and didn't make it past the first phase. "OK," I thought, "I guess I have to actually prepare for this." I put a lot more prep into it, applied again...and again didn't make it past the first phase. I was disappointed and seriously questioned whether it was the right fit for me. But I decided it was what I wanted, and I worked and prepared even more for the 3rd attempt. But I also cast my net a bit further, and applied with 2 other agencies. I wasn't as interested in these 'safety net' departments, but I thought maybe my top choice wasn't going to pan out like I hoped.

                    I was hired by my top choice on that 3rd attempt. I also received offers from the other 2 departments, just a few weeks after I accepted at Department #1. If my timing had been just a little bit off, I may have received one of those other offers first, and I likely would have taken it.
                    go
                    Now, I'm extremely happy working where I do. But it could have all been different if I hadn't persevered and put in the work needed to be where I wanted to.

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      ^Absolutely. Strangely enough for me the delay that kept me home was my dad becoming terminally ill. I still have the plane ticket to Dallas, Texas (travel funds are probably expired by now). I needed to be close to help out my mom after he passed away about 5 1/2 years ago. Life has an interesting way of pointing you in a certain direction if you pay close attention to the signs. People always say stuff about CPD but I wouldn't trade the experiences, the co-workers and the backup for anything.

                      I was joking with someone on here how the last 72 hours (specifically this past weekend of stuff) I've seen would make a Hollywood action movie look lame lol. Usually I would say it's a bit exaggerated but it's been absolutely nuts out here in my district. Mild weather around the holidays is never good. Anyway, don't be afraid to try and fail. Better than regretting not trying at all. At least you learn from failing. That being said, happy holidays and stay safe out here!

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        Relative to your area-ish, Missouri is an option. I saw many Illini cross the state lines and kick thier career off there much more quickly than Illinois. The problem with Missouri is there is under 10 agencies statewide that send recruits to the Academy (on a consistant basis) and the pay is horrible compared to the bordering states of Illinois, Iowa, and Kansas. If you are willing to pay for and self sponsor yourself through the Academy and don't have an unfavorable background I can almost guarantee you could get on somewhere in the Show-Me State..
                        Last edited by 647(F); 12-24-2019, 09:43 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          The State of Confusion. Always hiring.
                          Now go home and get your shine box!

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                          • #15
                            My response will focus on a few other things:

                            1. Where do you want to spend your life or working career? Big city, rural area, etc.
                            2. Salaries and benefits (insurance, retirement plans, etc)? What do you need to be comfortable and prepare for eventual retirement?
                            3. Cost of living vs. income? Some of the big departments offer attractive salaries, etc, but that is frequently accompanied by a cost of living that is much higher than many other areas. Whereas you might be able to live a reasonably comfortable life in some areas on a $50K salary, double that amount might leave you scrambling for decent housing and other needs in a major city.

                            During the mid-1970's I was a Patrolman First Class in a mid-size municipal police department in Colorado, raising two kids and making my house payments on about $13K per year. I was offered lateral entry in the Anchorage Alaska PD at about $33K, which sounded like a huge amount of money! I flew up there and spent a couple of days. What I paid for a house payment in Colorado would not rent a 2BR apartment in Alaska, utilities were triple what I was used to, and groceries were more than double. It became obvious that despite nearly triple the salary I would subject my family to a significant cut in the standard of living.

                            Over the years I have watched 3 municipal retirement funds go belly up due to mismanagement, and I have seen a state benefits fund used as a piggy bank by the state legislature (loans at little or no interest to fund pet projects), leaving that state fund seriously underfunded to this day and unlikely to meet pension obligations in the near future.

                            Generally speaking, smaller communities and rural areas offer substantially below-average costs of living, and frequently a much healthier environment for raising families. These come with salaries below what might be offered in larger departments, but you probably won't have to spend 2 or 3 hours per day commuting to and from work, and your kids may actually get a decent education and enjoy their lives much more. Promotional opportunities are likely to be far fewer, but in a smaller agency you will have the opportunity to do many aspects of the job that would not be possible in a bigger department.

                            Climate, recreational opportunities, and other factors may also be considerations. If you are accustomed to the Midwest you might find yourself completely out of your element in the south, or California, or the East Coast.

                            Starting a new career requires commitment to the goals (your own as well as your family's). Getting it right the first time can be a challenge.

                            Good luck.

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