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Advise from your future self...


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  • Advise from your future self...

    To all the sworn officers/deputies out there - if you could go back in time and give your 'pre-application/interview/hired' self one piece of advice about the hiring process what would it be...? (ex: tips on polygraph, interview tips, testing, etc). There is a lot of information out there - but specifically what would you have liked to have known prior to starting that journey. .... ?

  • #2
    Not so much about the process, but about where you apply. If you are going to do this job, look for the best package, meaning salary, benefits, and retirement, that you can find. You might as well make more money. The job does not change much from department to department, and low pay is a red flag.


    • #3
      If I could, I would have told my younger self, the one that had job offers in Seattle metro area BUT NOT SEATTLE PD itself. To not bring your @$$ back to Chicago where it is currently an air temperature of -4 degrees. With ILLINOIS' high @$$ taxes. Yup that would be it. Stay in the Pacific Northwest, soak some more of that nature. Soak up some of the no state income tax. Find you a decent house in outlying King, Pierce, or Snohomish Counties and call it a life.


      • Saluki89
        Saluki89 commented
        Editing a comment
        Heard that. I move back after 8 years and get welcomed to 4 weeks of nonstop snow. Ready to leave again lol.

    • #4
      Money isn't everything.

      The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.

      Everybody loves a firefighter.
      "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


      • #5
        I really don't have anything to say about the process either. Look for a department that does the type of policing that you want to do.


        • #6
          "Make the move sooner. You'll be so much happier."


          • #7
            Do your research before submitting your first application and fully investigate all potential options you have available. Talk to people who work at different agencies, and others (even non LE) that have working relationships with those agencies. Do all you can to generate as full a picture you can for the departments in the place where you want to work...THEN select the top 1, 2, or 3 and really throw yourself into their application processes.

            I see soooooo many people graduate the academy and begin shotgunning applications with the hope of getting hired anywhere. And then they take the first job offered. In my experience, that's a recipe for unhappiness. The effort you put into the decision in advance will pay you back in spades down the line.


            • #8
              My 58 year old self would high-five my 44 year old self for not banging the big-breasted 22 year old female classmate that made a run at me during our academy even though she knew that I was married.

              It didn't end well for the subsequent object of her affection- 18 years of child support is a lot of money...
              Last edited by Aidokea; 03-11-2021, 06:55 AM.


              • #9
                I don’t know if I would do much differently.

                Before the Army, junior and senior year of HS, I was a volunteer firefighter, and all set to get on with CDF as a seasonal wildland firefighter the summer after HS. Had I done that things might be different now.

                However, one thing the Army did for me was let me drive a track thru a minefield, with the guys in back relying on me to not get them killed... it wasn’t cleared, I had to stay in the tracks of the vehicle in front, in the dark, having already been awake for over 72 hours when the ground war phase kicked off... and then wait out an artillery bombardment before we attacked the Republican Guard, where I realized people’s lives again depended on me not f-ing up.

                The guy who went into that 100 hours was not the same guy who came out.

                The guy who went into it, had he not gone thru that, probably wouldn’t be worth much as a man... firefighter or cop. The guy who came out had his feet set firmly on a better path.

                Becoming a cop, and then an SRO is the next best thing I’ve done with my life, after becoming a Soldier.
                Last edited by tanksoldier; 02-12-2021, 09:10 PM.
                "I am a Soldier. I fight where I'm told and I win where I fight." -- GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

                "With a brother on my left and a sister on my right, we face…. We face what no one should face. We face, so no one else would face. We are in the face of Death." -- Holli Peet


                • hopefullnewguy
                  hopefullnewguy commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Thank you for sharing and your service. I can agree that some maturity and wisdom go a long way towards shaping who we are.

              • #10
                May or may not pertain to me, but remember that when you put something down on your application and personal history statement, it stays there in your record permanently. If you attempt another LE department and the application or personal history statement requests you to list all of the departments you have worked for or have applied to, make sure all of your information matches up. A background investigator worth his/her salt will go straight to those files to see what tasty nuggets they can find. Also, try to make copies of all of applications and personal history statements so you aren't tripped up and to just make it easier on you not having to remember things. If you can't save or print online forms, just take screen shots.


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