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  • Career Path

    What would be an example of a career path of a 20 year officer in an agency with 500+ officers? Start out on patrol (i think) as a rookie and as you promote or move up the ranks, do things change or does just the pay change and the job stay the same? Is it possible to get into different kinds of units after a few years?

    At 34 years old would I have enough time to advance my career?

  • #2
    It depends entirely on the department and what you as an officer want. There is not one single answer. I don't see why you wouldn't be able to advance your career at 34.

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    • #3
      Patrol. FTO, specialized unit or detective, promotion, back to patrol as a boss and on up you go. You would be 54, or 59 (depending on your plan) when (if) you retire. Go back to school and/or get into a specialization. My agency used to even pay for law school. Take advantage of all your options.
      September 11, 2001 - All gave some, some gave all. Never forget -- Never forgive.......... RIP Brothers and Sisters.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by So Fla Cop View Post
        Patrol. FTO, specialized unit or detective, promotion, back to patrol as a boss and on up you go. You would be 54, or 59 (depending on your plan) when (if) you retire. Go back to school and/or get into a specialization. My agency used to even pay for law school. Take advantage of all your options.
        Sounds great. My background is investments and accounting so in a perfect world I would love to get into some sort of investigative work in that area. Not sure if a local PD would have a department like that.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by lcg0207 View Post
          What would be an example of a career path of a 20 year officer in an agency with 500+ officers? Start out on patrol (i think) as a rookie and as you promote or move up the ranks, do things change or does just the pay change and the job stay the same? Is it possible to get into different kinds of units after a few years?

          At 34 years old would I have enough time to advance my career?
          Just remember that about 80% of all officers retire at the rank of POLICE OFFICER (or Deputy Sheriff)

          Fact of the matter is..........not everyone wants or is able to promote. Numbers alone will tell you that most never do.
          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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          • #6
            Originally posted by Iowa #1603 View Post
            Just remember that about 80% of all officers retire at the rank of POLICE OFFICER (or Deputy Sheriff)

            Fact of the matter is..........not everyone wants or is able to promote. Numbers alone will tell you that most never do.
            So is that because its ultra-competitive, lack of ambition, or a combination of both? This is probably a stupid statement, but I thought everybody in the department was a police officer, just with different ranks (i.e. Sergeant, captain, detective, etc).

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            • #7
              Some officers just dont want to promote (nothing wrong with that), some just never dowell on the exams, and there are not a whole lot of alots available. It is the same as in the public sector. As you climb the pyramid it gets narrower the farther you go.
              In God We Trust
              Everyone else we run local and NCIC

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              • #8
                Also keep in mind that it is very rare these days for an officer/deputy to finish his career with the same department he started with. After a few years under your belt you can see opportunities elsewhere. Other local cities, counties, or state level (ABI, etc.).

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                • #9
                  So is that because its ultra-competitive, lack of ambition, or a combination of both?
                  Law enforcement isn't like the military. There's no up of out policy.

                  Being a cop on the street is what the job is about. The higher you go, the less of that you do... and being a cop is what people sign on for, it's why they took the job. Our sergeants are hardly ever on the road or the floor, they're busy doing paperwork or whatever. They don't get to do much "cop" stuff, and many are actually showing degradation of skill because they're in a chair so much.

                  The experts aren't the sergeants, they're the road and jail deputies that do the basic skill stuff every day as part of their job. That's why many departments have "master police officer" or "master trooper", etc ranks... to give the guys who want to be and stay "cops" something to shoot for.
                  "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

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by lcg0207 View Post
                    So is that because its ultra-competitive, lack of ambition, or a combination of both? This is probably a stupid statement, but I thought everybody in the department was a police officer, just with different ranks (i.e. Sergeant, captain, detective, etc).

                    ok then the they retire at the TITLE of Police Officer/Deputy Sheriff
                    In most places Sgt, Lt, Capt are promotions..............detective in many places is an assignment


                    You need to understand something real fast. You are asking a lot of questions on here. Then when told something you come back with an "I thought, I heard, I assume.--" NEARLY EVERY TIME ------------you are wrong.

                    I could almost always say that when you use a phrase like that --------------you are going to be wrong. Where ever you are getting your information ------it's wrong.



                    Now back to the question.

                    Look at it this way..........................my work unit was 240 Uniformed staff large
                    We had
                    1 Colonel
                    2 Majors
                    5 Captains
                    11 Lieutenats
                    20 Sgts

                    That is THIRTY NINE (39) promotions So at any one time 16% of the staff were able to be "higher rank" and 84% were ---------Officers

                    Ok -------that is your RAW CHANCE of being promoted...................NOW you have to competitively test, interview and BE promoted----When there is an opening.

                    We had one Captain promote in 1988--------------------and become a Major in 2010 so that one position was filled and NEVER became vacant for 22yrs. I held my Lieutenant's spot for 14.


                    It's not a factor of "wanting" to promote and then promoting. There has to be a spot to promote to-----------------and then you have to COMPETE for and WIN the promotion.
                    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

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