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LEO Career or CO Career?


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  • LEO Career or CO Career?

    I will do my best to explain the situation at this time...

    As most of you know and well most of you are doing the same thing, we want to get into LE. For now I am in Corp. America and we just had a meeting this afternoon that we will be facing cutbacks and they are pretty sure I am in the block of to be let go. In this case I would of course get unemployment so at least there is some money coming in. the Mrs is a Critical Care Nurse so we do have more income from there as well and we will do fine that way.

    So what the question is now that you know the background... Hillsborough County SD is hiring for the jails here and will sponsor and pay you while in the academy etc.

    I also have tests pending next week in SC for the Sheriff Dept and I should hear about my self sponsor police academy this week so I can work anywhere here in FL ( so to speak)

    I used to work in the JAC center in Pittsburgh PA and I did like it and always wanted to be in LE even if it was the jail ( CO) at that time... Now I think my passion has changed several years later that I really want to be on the road and out there in the real world instead of in the jail for 8 - 12 hr shifts.
    I am asking for some help as to should I wait and get my Academy info and see if I got in ( which I have been told by a staffer that I am, just no official letter yet) I am going to test in SC for sure. But should I put my app in with HCSO for the jail as an option? incase the others do not pan out and just do my time in the jail and get in with the LE crowd and start my career?
    I have aced the CJBAT and Aced the Civil test - I just need my PIN and HCSO does the rest.

    I just do not want to get to HCSO if that happens - find out I really have a passion for the road and be miserable in the jail then what!
    I do not quit jobs and the HCSO is a great dept for both LE/CO so I do not know if I would be wasting their time and mine or if I would leave I would not want my name to be tarnished so to speak.

    The Mrs and I have chatted about this and it is a well beaten horse at this point..so I told her i was going to ask everyone here what they think is the best overall and professional move for me. Because I am sure most of you have had the same kind of issues sometime...

    Thanks for the help and sorry for taking up so much space..
    All is 10-61 here you can show me 10-8!

  • #2
    I say follow your heart and go for the road. If it takes longer take the CO position until you get where you need to go.
    The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.


    • #3
      Co Or Pd

      Ok, both are law enforcement officers, and both are honorable gigs. The question is, what you want to do. I live in chicago, and the cpd is not for everyone. IT is a very tough job, it is very stressful and dangerous.

      I also know people that work in state corrections, and they love the job, plus they get mad OT, which puts there salary above most police departments. There job is more laid back, but can be dangerous if u let ur guard down.

      My boys in corrections say there job is easy and they make bank.
      My boys in the CPD tell me that there job is tough but satisfying, they also make bank.
      u make the call?
      “One person can make a difference and every person should try.” JFKsigpic


      • #4
        Thanks for the input - I know both jobs are for me - I just wanted some input on if I should apply to the jail here in Hillsborough because I do not want to waste their time if I know my heart is on the road - I might as well put my app in as well just so I have another option.
        All is 10-61 here you can show me 10-8!


        • #5
          You know......

          I see posts like these all the time and they make me wonder: Who's time would you exactly be wasting? In your current career, did you just walk into that position? Or, did you gain experience in a different position and work your way into the position you wanted/are currently in?

          There is nothing wasteful about being a CO and transitioning to the road 'down the road'. It is still in the LE field and you will be gaining VALUABLE experience which will aid you later in life when you're on the road.

          If you are blessed with the situation of being able to hold out until you get exactly what you want, then there's your answer. One thing I'm certain nobody has any more of than the other is TIME. From the very little you've posted about yourself it sounds as if you are a qualified applicant. Apply for both and the let the chips fall where they may.

          Sorry to hear of the possible layoff.....best of luck bro.


          • #6
            Thanks Topped - I am a very qualified candidate and thanks for the compliment and I am going down to the Sheriff Office today at lunch to drop off my info so I can get my PIN number and move forward so it is another option - I would be proud to be in either actually - and you are right I did get exp in other positions before I landed here so you are right - It was just great to hear from the officers on the site what they would do as well.
            All is 10-61 here you can show me 10-8!


            • #7
              OK just back from the HCSO and have my PIN and all to finish my background section so I am moving forward to keep all options open -

              thanks for the help!!!
              All is 10-61 here you can show me 10-8!


              • #8
                I'd go patrol. Hands down.

                Right now I'm back in the jails and it sux. It's gunna eat at you. Truse me. Go to the streets.


                • #9
                  Well I was just told by Mgt that Friday is my last day here - cut backs are coming - and I am one of them - so Looks like I will have some good time on my hands to get my LE career going - I can always go work in the bar scene for a bit to make some extra cash while I am looking....
                  All is 10-61 here you can show me 10-8!


                  • #10
                    First of all, let me say that I'm sorry to hear that you're losing your job.

                    Do not be too quick to rule corrections out if you're truly seeking a career in law enforcement. Law enforcement has to be something you sincerely have a drive for, though - it can't be something you're looking for to merely replace your (unfortunately) expiring employment.

                    As stated before, COs are law enforcement officers just the same as road patrol officers, however their powers of arrest outside the facility might vary from agency to agency or state to state. In my state, the criminal statute that concerns assaulting police officers also covers assaulting corrections officers.

                    In corrections, you're trained on and use many of the things you learn in a typical police academy - verbal judo, defensive tactics, legal issues, handcuffing, use of force continuum, chemical agents, report writing, etc. Note that I mentioned verbal judo first, because in a corrections environment, it is often your ability to pursuade a person and/or diffuse a volitile situation that will be 95% of the game - certainly a useful talent on the street. Training on use of force continuums and/or PPCT certain makes the police academy an easier ride.

                    One final note - since your company has put you in the situation where you're searching for employment, DO NOT pass up other non-LE jobs and attempt to "hold out" for a LE agency. Hiring processes in LE agencies, whether corrections or police/sheriff, can be a long drawn out process and quite frankly, an emotional roller coaster. I applied to 19 agencies before I got to the department where I'm at now, and I still have my own personal goals to achieve yet.
                    Last edited by equinox137; 09-12-2008, 12:48 AM.
                    "First of all, then we have to say the American public overwhelmingly voted for socialism when they elected President Obama." - Al Sharpton, March 21, 2010


                    • #11
                      Equinox - I understand what you are saying and I have always wanted to be in LE so it is not a job to replace - now if finally my chance to get into it with clear eyes and full heart so I am ready to go - I have some good options and as far as an update

                      I got a email confirmation that I made it into the Academy for the October Class to get certified in the State of FL - so things will fall into place Im sure - Thanks for all the support!!
                      All is 10-61 here you can show me 10-8!


                      • #12
                        Welcome aboard, brother.


                        • #13
                          The more lines you cast the better the opportunities to land something. If you go to HCSO as a corrections deputy, can't you eventually move to patrol? I always tell new recruits that if they get the opportunity work the jail as a CO for a couple of years before going to the street, then they should do it hands down. The knowledge and training you recieve in the jail is invaluable on the street. As an FTO I see a huge differance in the abilities and the attitudes of those that go from CO to Deputy, then I do from those that go from Court Security to Deputy or come off the street and are hired straight to patrol. I have yet to NRT (not responding to training) a CO to deputy. Were I have NRTed about 1 in 6 of the other two classifications.

                          Becareful if you are going to go work in a bar. I have seen more careers ended both before and after they started as a result of incidents that occurred at a bar. In fact we are no longer permitted to work off duty details at bar's.

                          Just a little FYI. Good luck to you in your pursuits.


                          • #14
                            It took me 3 years to land a position as a LE officer, and before that i worked armed security for a Chemical plant, so dont let the long journey detour your dream. It took a toll on my relationship with my lady, but Nothing comes easy, and a career in LE is one that takes dedication and mental strength. State Corrections is a great career and i may stick with it, but i may end up with the chicago pd, wearing the red, white and blue.

                            GOOD LUCK, and never give up, no matter what anyone says. People will talk smack, but ignore them. What yours is yours.
                            “One person can make a difference and every person should try.” JFKsigpic


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