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  • Local, City, or State?

    I've searched these forums, haven't found much information.

    I've searched Google, Google scholars tell me that state police have jurisdiction in the entire state and do a lot of traffic/accidents...duh

    BLUF, my question: what are the most salient pros and cons about working for each?

    I have an opportunity to join the State Police, but I'm hesitant due to the possibility of moving (a lot, a little?), working traffic all the time, and the schedule (I'm also reservist, have heard that SP's one weekend off per month is used for drill). - I'm in PA btw

    Leaning more toward city/local police, but having trouble in PA due to stupid Act 120 requirements at most local departments. I'm also looking in Maryland, Virginia, Georgia, the Carolinas, and Texas.

    I get the obvious differences between them, not looking for that, I want to know from those local/city/state positions, what you know about the best/worst things about working for each. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks

    -PSU

  • #2
    Local, City, or State?

    At the risk of pointing out the obvious, you really ought to consider doing some ride-alongs with agencies that you might want to work for, We can reply until our fingers are blue, but you will get a MUCH better insight by riding along and talking to the guys and gals out in your area of interest.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by PSU2014 View Post
      I've searched these forums, haven't found much information.

      I've searched Google, Google scholars tell me that state police have jurisdiction in the entire state and do a lot of traffic/accidents...duh

      BLUF, my question: what are the most salient pros and cons about working for each?

      I have an opportunity to join the State Police, but I'm hesitant due to the possibility of moving (a lot, a little?), working traffic all the time, and the schedule (I'm also reservist, have heard that SP's one weekend off per month is used for drill). - I'm in PA btw

      Leaning more toward city/local police, but having trouble in PA due to stupid Act 120 requirements at most local departments. I'm also looking in Maryland, Virginia, Georgia, the Carolinas, and Texas.

      I get the obvious differences between them, not looking for that, I want to know from those local/city/state positions, what you know about the best/worst things about working for each. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks

      -PSU
      You do understand that the responses will be subjective at-best. Not only that- this question has come up time and time again, with the same net result- it depends.

      I could tell you 100 things I loved about being a local cop and the guy who went through the same academy and who worked the same shift will tell you the same 100 things that they hated about it.
      Originally posted by SSD
      It has long been the tradition on this forum and as well as professionally not to second guess or Monday morning QB the officer's who were actually on-scene and had to make the decision. That being said, I don't think that your discussion will go very far on this board.
      Originally posted by Iowa #1603
      And now you are arguing about not arguing..................

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      • #4
        Originally posted by PSU2014 View Post
        I have an opportunity to join the State Police,
        Does that mean you have been given an offer (FINAL) of employment with the Pa State Police?

        If not you are simply "worrying" about something that isn't a given.



        If you have an offer--------------------why not take it, get the Academy out of the State Police and if you don't like it------move on.


        The AVERAGE officer right now is changing departments 3 or 4 times during their career. VERY few new officers are even PLANNING on staying at their first employer.
        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

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        • #5
          Keep in mind, in some places that means the same thing
          semper destravit

          Comment


          • #6
            I'm obviously not sworn, however I've known I wanted to go into LE my whole life.. I grew up around it. That being said, I first thought I wanted to be a Trooper. After numerous ride-alongs with State, City, Township, and Sheriff's departments, I found out being a state trooper is not what I wanted. I will be sponsoring myself through an academy (which is the norm in MI) and trying my best to get into a county agency.

            What I'm saying is, I know a lot of police officers in all different types of agencies and have asked this question to all of them many times, always getting conflicted / bias answers. I truly found out what I wanted after doing many ride-alongs. I say many because I didn't want to just do one and have a bad experience. I did at least 4 with each type of agency. Everyone is different, you won't truly know until you have had a chance to experience what the different agencies go through on a day to day basis and are able to ask questions.
            On this job, the only thing that's black and white is the car. -Peter Malloy

            Always do what's right, and if you do what's right, you won't have a problem. -My Father

            R.I.P. Dad, 3/11/56 - 5/15/14

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            • #7
              What works for you in (A) agency might not work for me. What works for me in (B) agency, might be your best fit.

              If I can do it all over again, I would go federal and stick to the FBI or USMS, DEA.
              Captain Square Badge, reporting for duty!.

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              • #8
                Never join an organization you know nothing about.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks for the responses everyone. I understand that each person's opinion is subjective and stems from their own positive/negative experiences with each type of policing. This is EXACTLY what I'm looking for though. I was hoping some of you could tell me things you've experienced or just heard from co-workers/others in the profession that could give me more information that I have/can find out on the web.

                  I've talked to a number of people in each type of agency and heard some plusses and minuses, and if I can do ride alongs I certainly will. To be honest I never really considered doing that because I'd always heard that due to liability/time reasons departments didn't do ride alongs. You learn something new every day.

                  Iowa, I don't want to waste the time with PSP if I can find out beforehand that it's not for me. What I'm looking for: "I loved/hated working for [insert local/city/state agency here] because [insert reason here]." I'll understand that your answer is subjective and by no means accounts for the experience of every officer in that agency.

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                  • #10
                    Large departments are usually more accommodating for reservists.

                    PSP is a fine organization and they are not strictly traffic enforcement. I've worked several investigations with them and have run warrants with them.

                    Like you recognize, it's a matter of personal preference, but I'd suggest targeting a larger organization.
                    I’ll die with blue in my veins.

                    Comment

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