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  • Can someone share some advice

    Hey Everybody,
    I have a few questions maybe some of you can answer. I am preparing to test for the Police Academy, but I am a little worried. I read so many posts of people saying that they are not getting hired. I am curious because I to do not have a perfect resume, although I have no drug or criminal history. I guess what I am asking is this. I was first just applying to Dept's that paid for the Police Academy, Now though I have decided I will pay for it myself and then try and get hired. Does that give me a better chance of getting hired? Since I put myself through the acdemy? I sure hope so because I am so eager to become a LEO and all of these negative posts have me nervous?

    Your thoughts???

    Thanks,
    Matt

  • #2
    This probably isn't what you want to hear but, I think you are worrying too much about the small stuff. Most major departments hold their own academies and only send through people they have already hired. If they are going to hire you, they are going to hire you whether or not you have been through a school somewhere or not.

    Sending yourself through an academy will help you get a job in some agencies, but in the west and midwest anyway, those jobs are going to usually be with very small agencies with 1 up to maybe 5-6 officers. The politics in those agencies is often very ugly for somebody new to the business.

    I would suggest you test for some larger agencies first and see what happens. Don't worry about bad things that haven't happened yet. If you do, and then get into this line of work, you will have an ulcer and a heartattack before you hit 30. Just dive in and go for it. If you don't get picked up after trying for AT LEAST three larger departments then consider sending yourself through.

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    • #3
      My opinion is slightly different than Desert Rat's, but not because he's "wrong."

      It's just that in different areas of the country, often things are very different.

      My area is mostly small (to medium at best) agencies. The largest agency in this county, or any surrounding county is less than 100 officers. The closest "BIG" agencies are Charlotte and Asheville (PDs.)

      Here, MOST officers put themselves through BLET. My estimate is that only about 25% of the trainess are already on the payroll. Also, there have been alot said for the drive and desire of someone who is willing to do this (day school full time is 2 1/2 months and night school part time is 6 months) on their own, while usually maintaining other employment. This is not to say officers already hired are not ambitious or will not make fine officers, but I DO feel comfortable in saying it puts the others slightly ahead of the curve. I have heard several instructors say they had rather teach "night school."

      I feel it would help you if you can do this-going for an interview as a certified officer ALWAYS puts you ahead of the others, at least in my region. Several departments have actually enacted POLICY that they will not accept an application from officers not certified.
      People have more fun than anybody.

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      • #4
        Sgt Dave if you dont mind could you please email me?

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        • #5
          Matt... In my area, officers that have already been through the academy are way ahead of the game. An agency doesn't have to spend the money for you to attend and they don't have to wait a year for you to complete the courses. The initiative to go the academy on your own is definitly taken into consideration as far as I can see. A lot of the instructors are chiefs and Sgt.'s and they give you LOTS of input on application procedures, interview do's and don'ts, etc. You also have the opportunity to establish a good report with some of the instructors and you get a foot in the door at their department before you even graduate the academy, and believe me, they will remember you if they are interested and they will also remember you if they AREN'T interested (we had a lot of idiots in my class that I'm sure will have a hard time finding a job in the area). Best of luck to you!

          [ 09-29-2001: Message edited by: Summer Rain ]

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          • #6
            I agree with Sgt. Dave........ a lot of it has to do with where you're at.

            I'm not sure what classifies as a "major" agency, but other than state agencies, only 2 in FL run their own academy and even then, it's not full-time, it's when they need to do their own. The majority of academies are regional. The one I went to, for example, services 5 counties. That includes 2 of the largest Sheriff's offices in the state as well as some decent sized city depts (over 100 officers). That's how the system works here.

            Other states have one academy for all officers in the state.

            There is nothing wrong with putting yourself through. Most agencies around FL prefer it, because it saves them time and money. I went straight from the academy onto a 450 man dept. The only ones they ever sponsor are the current employees that they want to cross over to LE (corrections or communications personnel).

            Explore how things work in your area.

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            • #7
              Regardless of whether you pay for your own training, getting hired is a test of how badly you want the job. Most cops I know applied several times before they got hired. You can probably count on being told "no" at least a few times before you hear "yes". Sure some people get hired the first time they apply somewhere but most have applied several times. Count on being turned down, find out why and fix it before you apply again. If you want it bad enough you'll get it if you are qualified, it just may take a while.
              I intend to go in harm's way. -John Paul Jones

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