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I'm Considering Leaving a City Police Department for a Smaller Suburban Department

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  • #16
    Originally posted by just joe View Post
    I've never worked at large department. Of those I know who went from a large department to a small department, the return rate to their "home" agency was almost 100%.

    Are you taking your OT as pay or as comp? If you are taking it as comp, you value your time off more than your pay. If you are allowed to work a ton of OT, why aren't you increasing your pay check?

    You most certainly will be expected to do traffic. You will even be expected to patrol rather than sit in a parking lot for hours. You may even be expected to get out of your car and talk to people.

    Before you jump ship, do a lot of research on the agency that you are considering.
    I worked at a Maximum Security Male Penitentiary.....................all hard core felons of about 1500 inmates

    We had a LOT of staff transfer to a smaller faculty about 35 miles away , usually because they could get better days off quicker PLUS not have the stress of the Maximum Security.

    About 50% came back because the other place had crappy security and was VERY "treatment" oriented. Most of those that DIDN'T come back wanted to but couldn't for some reason or another
    My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

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    • #17
      Originally posted by westside popo View Post

      Only 20 arrest warrants since May? You don't have to do any traffic stops? You can park and do nothing if you have no calls?

      ​And you wonder why you have a "lot of violence and ton of homicides?"

      I wrote more warrants than that on one subject in one day. And I was over CID and still had to cover calls on a shift because we were so short staffed!



      Good luck!

      Bing-Effing-GO!

      Your Crime is directly related to your sitting doing NOTHING. Go work for BK. Your slack attitude isn’t wanted in this profession.
      Last edited by CCCSD; 12-01-2022, 05:56 PM.

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by Iowa #1603 View Post

        I worked at a Maximum Security Male Penitentiary.....................all hard core felons of about 1500 inmates

        We had a LOT of staff transfer to a smaller faculty about 35 miles away , usually because they could get better days off quicker PLUS not have the stress of the Maximum Security.

        About 50% came back because the other place had crappy security and was VERY "treatment" oriented. Most of those that DIDN'T come back wanted to but couldn't for some reason or another
        Some of the best places I've worked had the worst reputations and working conditions. I always found great guys in these places.

        Comment


        • #19
          I have to agree with others here. Just wondering how you think you're earning your paycheck if you don't do traffic stops, don't enjoy responding to calls (especially after your very limited time on the job), and don't seem to mind babysitting a suspect at a hospital for such a lengthy time. (I'd go crazy doing that, especially knowing my brothers and sisters are out there chasing bad guys without me.)

          Traffic stops aren't just for traffic enforcement, they're also a great way to catch wanted felons, find dope, guns, and stolen vehicles. Bad guys who do both minor and major crimes have to get to wherever they're going, so traffic stops are a great way to find them.

          Being proactive rather than reactive is one of the best ways to help bring crime numbers down, not to mention catch bad guys. That's always been a great incentive for me and many of the people I work with. Your supervisors should be encouraging that, not discouraging it. I've never dreamed of doing that, and I'm a supervisor.

          My department (LAPD) is as busy as yours, and probably has a "few' more homicides and a "few" more radio calls than yours does, yet we are still encouraged to go out and catch bad guys, not sit around waiting for something to happen.

          I'm guessing you took the same oath we all took when we came on the job. Sitting around not doing a lot is certainly not the best way to honor that oath. The good people of the city you work in are counting on you and your fellow officers to be there for them in the way you're supposed to be. The bad guys in your city are counting on the way you described is going on. Which do you think is right?

          What do you want your legacy to be after you've retired?

          By the way, I agree with you, your city and your department need to step it up with the infrastructure of your department as it relates to equipment and working conditions.
          Last edited by LA Copper; 12-02-2022, 01:34 PM.

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          • #20
            As had been mentioned by others, traffic is not just for speeding tickets numbers and the occasional DUI. Little traffic violations lead to big criminals. The Oklahoma City Bomber was captured because of a minor traffic stop.

            You made comments that seem to contradict themselves in regards to your activity level. In one breath, you say that you're always 20 calls deep, and in the next you're sitting all night in the parking lot doing "roll call" or guarding prisoners at the hospital. The more disturbing thing to me is that you mentioned being able to sit and do nothing as a "pro" in your list and commented that you moved to nightshift to get away from being so busy. Being barely off probation, you should be LOOKING (heck, begging and salivating) for action, not avoiding it...I've chewed some @$$es as a Sgt for the same kind of behavior, and I work in a city of less than 12k people.

            Having worked in poorly-funded department AND having spent my career at smaller agencies, I can tell you that your apparent mentality is not what I would be looking for in a young new hire. Small agencies don't have all of the specialized resources big agencies have. You'll be expected to work traffic (from minor traffic violation to DUI to fatal crashes). You'll be expected to shag calls and work those calls to their conclusions (including crime scene/evidence processing, interviewing, and arrests). Most small agencies will expect you to be proactive and work hard, because many of them use those stats to justify their budgets (and your continued employment)...not necessarily quotas, but you have to prove that you're not just milking out a taxpayer-funded paycheck.

            While I totally understand how discouraging crap equipment, low pay, and excessive work hours can be, and how they can motivate you to want to go to another agency, I'm not sure your posts have necessarily expressed the kind of work ethic that justifies better pay.
            "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

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            • #21
              You make valid points, and I don't disagree with you. Connecticut's current climate for law enforcement is a whole different topic we could all debate on for hours on end; and nobody will probably change anybody's opinion. Our recent governor's debates and election revolved around this subject quite a bit. But I don't mind talking about it, even though this isn't what I intended the topic to turn into.

              My FTO's specifically told me during training to take my calls, conduct the investigations and to back up other officers. They told me not to pull over cars or field interview individuals until Connecticut's Police Accountability Bill was revised and the department's administration backed its officers.

              I didn't let their statements deter me. I've pulled over vehicles, and every time I've done it other officers will ask me why I'm trying to be proactive or make other comments. A senior officer close to retirement once called me on the radio, and asked me to meet him nearby when I finished my traffic stop. He proceeded to have a one on one conversation with me, advising me not to pull over cars with the current climate of our department and state politics. I was basically given the same speech by my FTO's and a senior officer I had never even talked to before.

              I do want to get familiar with DUI's and I intend on studying them and conducting one if encountered in the field - as well as other subject areas in law enforcement I'm still not confident with.

              @Bing_Oh: I left second shift because I was falling behind with paperwork and car crash reports (in Connecticut, they are called PR-1's). On third shift, the call volume is significantly reduced - and you actually have the time to do thorough investigations on the fewer calls you do get. And yes, guard details are quite common on third shift (more so than other shifts, for whatever reason). Junior officers are expected to be assigned to them, either by you volunteering or dispatch sending you on your shift. Sometimes they will hire them out as overtime shifts, and I'll pick one up for overtime voluntarily. Senior officers, considering most of them have rifles in the trunk, are not supposed to be on guard details and they generally don't want them.
              Last edited by NickG0103; 12-02-2022, 10:51 AM.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Bing_Oh View Post
                The more disturbing thing to me is that you mentioned being able to sit and do nothing as a "pro" in your list and commented that you moved to nightshift to get away from being so busy. Being barely off probation, you should be LOOKING (heck, begging and salivating) for action, not avoiding it...I've chewed some @$$es as a Sgt for the same kind of behavior, and I work in a city of less than 12k people.

                Having worked in poorly-funded department AND having spent my career at smaller agencies, I can tell you that your apparent mentality is not what I would be looking for in a young new hire.
                This.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by NickG0103 View Post
                  You make valid points, and I don't disagree with you. Connecticut's current climate for law enforcement is a whole different topic we could all debate on for hours on end; and nobody will probably change anybody's opinion. Our recent governor's debates and election revolved around this subject quite a bit. But I don't mind talking about it, even though this isn't what I intended the topic to turn into.

                  My FTO's specifically told me during training to take my calls, conduct the investigations and to back up other officers. They told me not to pull over cars or field interview individuals until Connecticut's Police Accountability Bill was revised and the department's administration backed its officers.

                  I didn't let their statements deter me. I've pulled over vehicles, and every time I've done it other officers will ask me why I'm trying to be proactive or make other comments. A senior officer close to retirement once called me on the radio, and asked me to meet him nearby when I finished my traffic stop. He proceeded to have a one on one conversation with me, advising me not to pull over cars with the current climate of our department and state politics. I was basically given the same speech by my FTO's and a senior officer I had never even talked to before.

                  I do want to get familiar with DUI's and I intend on studying them and conducting one if encountered in the field - as well as other subject areas in law enforcement I'm still not confident with.

                  @Bing_Oh: I left second shift because I was falling behind with paperwork and car crash reports (in Connecticut, they are called PR-1's). On third shift, the call volume is significantly reduced - and you actually have the time to do thorough investigations on the fewer calls you do get. And yes, guard details are quite common on third shift (more so than other shifts, for whatever reason). Junior officers are expected to be assigned to them, either by you volunteering or dispatch sending you on your shift. Sometimes they will hire them out as overtime shifts, and I'll pick one up for overtime voluntarily. Senior officers, considering most of them have rifles in the trunk, are not supposed to be on guard details and they generally don't want them.
                  You’re NOT helping your case. You always have a Poor Me excuse for your laziness. I wouldn’t hire you as we EXPECT a work ethic, not an avoidance of doing your job.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by NickG0103 View Post
                    Connecticut's current climate for law enforcement is a whole different topic we could all debate on for hours on end; and nobody will probably change anybody's opinion. Our recent governor's debates and election revolved around this subject quite a bit. But I don't mind talking about it, even though this isn't what I intended the topic to turn into.
                    At this point in your career, only two years on The Job, having just recently completed FTO, you have nothing to "debate". The only thing anyone needs to hear from you is "Yes, sir".

                    You're young, and you're a rookie- as others have said, you are expected to be the first to volunteer to fill holes in the schedule, the first to volunteer to shag calls, and to be endlessly doing self-initiated stuff, so that you can learn.

                    If you're not doing traffic stops, you're missing all kinds of dope, guns, and warrants. As an FTO, one of the first things I had trainees do when teaching them dope cases, was to REALLY brush up on the vehicle code, so that they would be able to recognize every possible legally-justifiable way to initiate traffic stops.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Aidokea View Post

                      At this point in your career, only two years on The Job, having just recently completed FTO, you have nothing to "debate". The only thing anyone needs to hear from you is "Yes, sir".

                      You're young, and you're a rookie- as others have said, you are expected to be the first to volunteer to fill holes in the schedule, the first to volunteer to shag calls, and to be endlessly doing self-initiated stuff, so that you can learn.

                      If you're not doing traffic stops, you're missing all kinds of dope, guns, and warrants. As an FTO, one of the first things I had trainees do when teaching them dope cases, was to REALLY brush up on the vehicle code, so that they would be able to recognize every possible legally-justifiable way to initiate traffic stops.
                      My apologies if I've come off as arrogant, not my intention at all. I respect your years of experience and I understand what you're saying. I'll take the advice that was provided in here.

                      I wont continue to dig myself in a deeper hole.

                      Comment


                      • Aidokea
                        Aidokea commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Thank you. You and I are good.

                    • #26
                      While Nick hasn't exactly demonstrated a tremendous work ethic in his posts, he does work where he works and we don't. He does have to deal with the Connecticut accountability law and his own department's formal and informal policies.

                      That said, my former department frequently takes laterals from Baltimore City and Washington, D.C. Some have done great while others have failed either in field training or within a few years of coming to the department. If you elect to transfer to another department, take the experience of working where you work with you, but do not think the smaller department runs like your former agency.

                      You realize you will have to refresh your knowledge of traffic enforcement. Embrace that. While I think most agencies have down time, do not expect to have the same kind or amount you have in your former department. You will likely be expected to be at least somewhat proactive. You'll also have to deal with whatever shift plan they have and may not have the ability to transfer to a less busy (or more busy) assignment.

                      Accept the new department and perceived or actual faults. As I told one lateral who repeatedly told me how much better his holster was in his previous department, "If the holster is that important to you, I'm sure your former agency would welcome you back."

                      (He was right about the holster, however.)
                      John from Maryland

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                      • #27
                        There's two problems- Nick, and his agency.

                        We can't change his agency, and neither can Nick.

                        If Nick were somehow able to move to a better agency, he'd still be Nick.

                        Nick needs to fix Nick. THEN he would be able to get hired by a better agency.​

                        Comment


                        • #28
                          You don't want to do the type of policing you're doing and you don't seem to want to do what surburban cops concentrate on. Maybe police work isn't for you, or go to a security oriented department.

                          Comment


                          • #29
                            I'm not defending anyone on here, we all have our opinions.

                            But, let me just say, from my experience from going to a proactive agency and then lateralling over to a REALLY busy department in SoCal I might have an idea of what "Nick" is experiencing.

                            So, at my first agency I wanted of course to be the most productive cop I could be. My Sgt's/FTO's of course encouraged the heck out of me to be as proactive as possible. I was on the top 10 list every year for the most arrests/citations/DUI's and consensual encounters (Field Interviews). At this agency I was able to conduct my entire investigation on my own (although we had a fully staffed detective unit). I got a lot of experience in doing search warrants, making arrests and basically handling calls from A to Z.

                            I later lateralled over to a busier department and thought I would conduct myself in the same manner that I had at my first department. So in-between my calls for service, which was rare, I would be proactive. In my proactivity, I would inevitably find dope, or guns/warrants/DUI's and so on.

                            I then would tie myself up in the arrest and intake process, which would take time. I would basically leave my shift, while dealing with the arrest/evidence booking process, with all the hot calls, which was the majority of calls received.

                            Pretty quickly, I was pulled aside by the Sgt., beat partners and so on and given, "the talk." The talk consisted of, being told to cease and desist any and all proactivity. My job was to handle calls and write reports, that was it. It then dawned on me, why all the other officers I worked with seemed in my opinion a bunch of "slugs." None of them were proactive and all their calls that needed a thorough investigation got handed off to the detective borough.

                            When in the rare occasions it was "slow" the entire shift would park somewhere in the city and sit. No consensual encounters, no DUI enforcement, no traffic stops and so on. Just park, and BS. Or park and write reports on our MDC's.

                            Very eye opening for me. Most the officers I worked with, this was their first and only agency they had worked for. They did not know any difference. This was what they thought police work consisted of. I tried to tell them how fun it was to be proactive and find dope/guns and so on, but they just did not seem to understand.

                            Very few had any real DUI experience, even after being officers for 5 and more years. And the ones who did go outside "the mold" were talked about behind their backs. It was perceived that a proactive officer was being proactive in order to get out of handling calls for service. Basically, they were labeled "lazy."

                            So, all that to say, the types of departments that the OP is talking about really do exist as crazy as that sounds. And some officers out there don't know the difference, or even know what being proactive is.

                            Comment


                            • Levithane
                              Levithane commented
                              Editing a comment
                              Well now I understand why I got jerked around by two large departments when I needed a warrant executed on an offender. 1 didn't want come out because it was "the others jurisdiction on that day", and the other one had me wait 1.5 hours for the warrant unit to come and arrive even after asking two deputies who were at the location for another matter to arrest the guy.

                            • SOCAleo
                              SOCAleo commented
                              Editing a comment
                              Yep Levithane, and it is becoming more and more common with the political climate of today. No one really wants to do anything due to fear of liability. Especially, if it is outside their jurisdiction and they technically aren't required to assist.

                            • Levithane
                              Levithane commented
                              Editing a comment
                              SOCAleo, Im not trying to start a flame war at all, but I don't think the instance I dealt with was because of politics. This was in the state of Texas not a left wing state, and I had the warrant readily available along with I read off the number to the dispatcher when I was voice recorded after identifying myself. It was a state request and both departments blew me off. The sheriffs department couldn't give an ETA when the unit would show up, and they hung up the first time on the supervisory officer I was with when trying to get the warrant executed.

                              Im more of the belief it was the lack of wanting to do the paperwork, since both were larger departments.

                            • SOCAleo
                              SOCAleo commented
                              Editing a comment
                              Levithane, yea probably right! I know with my agency, whenever we are asked to assist with anything like that, I as the Sgt. have to write up a whole "Ops Plan" then call the LT and send it over to him for approval before we can respond. Unless of course it's a hot call that's going down right then and there.

                              AND......an OPS Plan is a lot of paperwork. Then inevitably it'll get "kicked back" by the LT for additions, deletions or a comma was out of place. Frustrating to say the least.

                          • #30
                            So if Connecticut has a statewide law that is detrimental to Law Enforcement, and especially discourages pro activity, why are you even considering another job in the same state ? You still carry the same risks administratively and legally with this new law as with any agency in the state, no matter the size or name of the agency as long as it is in Connecticut.
                            John 15:13 - Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

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