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Hello! - from northern VA

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  • Hello! - from northern VA

    Hello everyone on Officer.com --

    I've been reading the forums for a while and gaining tons of helpful and informative advice, so thank you for that!

    A quick introduction of me, if you care to read: I am currently a college undergraduate student, graduating this December with a bachelors in Psychology. I'd like to work on improving and strengthening the positive relationship between the police and the members of my community. One day I hope to apply for a special unit of the department and pursue a masters degree.

    If anything, researching about this job and reading the forums has really made my respect for officers skyrocket out of the roof-- I honestly didn't think the process was so strenuous! How incredibly wrong I was!

    Thank you for reading! I hope I'll be ready enough to apply by the end of December.

    ((PS: if you have any advice about overcoming the fact that I am a rather small minority female who doesn't look "intimidating", I'd appreciate it. Is "thick skin" just something you are born with, or can you develop it? I understand this is a huge deal for this job. I also value any advice from female officers in how this profession has worked out for them, thanks!))
    Last edited by Zoisite; 10-15-2014, 07:45 PM.

  • #2
    Welcome to O.com and good luck getting hired on. A professional demeanor will overshadow your slight build. Being able to think on your feet and especially, the ability to communicate effectively are far more important than being able to bench 400 pounds.

    “Truth is not what you want it to be; it is what it is, and you must bend to its power or live a lie.”

    Miyamoto Musashi

    “Life Is Hard, But It's Harder When You're Stupid”

    George V. Higgins (from The Friends of Eddie Coyle)

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    • #3
      Thank you! That is valuable advice, I will definitely work on professionalism and communication skills.

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      • #4
        Hey Zoisite,

        Have you ever done an internship with a local LE agency? If not, you should try it. It's very educational. Plus, you get to meet a lot of different people with different personalities and such.

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        • #5
          Hi calmonte,

          Thanks for the suggestion! I'd love to do that! However, aren't internship programs just for students? I may be a student now but I'll be graduating very soon... but it won't hurt to ask!

          The local PD at home has a "Citizen's Academy" program, it sounded very interesting. But the site did not have a lot of information on it. In general, would something that be good to apply to, before I apply directly to the PD?

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          • #6
            Hello and welcome. My department does an intern program with a few of our colleges. It is always a good idea to see if you can set something up, even if it only for a few ride alongs. It will give you a better idea of what you're looking at/getting into. Despite how well you think you know your local area, there is a lot you will see that you probably had no idea about.

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            • #7
              So true! I've had only one ride-along experience, but not at the location I was thinking about applying to. In your department, what do the interns do?

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              • #8
                I'm not an officer, but I did intern at a local LE agency last semester. As a former intern at my local LE agency, I can tell you from experience that I had the opportunity to do ride-a-longs or go to communications.

                Ride-a-longs: They were pretty cool. I definitely like night shift more than day shift because 1) it was not as hot outside, and 2) it was more action packed. I had the opportunity to ride for a full shift which was hard as hell, sometimes, because I went after work and/or school. I had the chance to meet female and male deputies with 1 yr to several years of experience, young and old, petite and a bit big. I got to see how reports were handled and such. I even had the chance to go to one of the jail centers in my local area. The person was arrested because of a warrant. However, she wasn't admitted because we had to take her to the hospital first.

                Communications: This was okay. I only did it once though because I feel like one time was enough to get the jiff of it. It controlled all 911 and non emergency calls coming in from within this county. I had the chance to see how calls came in and how they were transferred to the radio, which I think was pretty interesting.

                These are some things I know about ride-a-longs and communications. If you have any more questions, I may be able to answer.

                FYI, I'm also interested in becoming a LEO, which is why I did the internship. I'm just trying to train myself for the PAT, right now, because push-ups are really hard to do
                Last edited by calmonte; 10-16-2014, 02:30 AM.

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                • #9
                  Sounds like something I want to do. It makes me wish I looked more into this earlier in life so I could be eligible for internships! The sheriff's office in my area offers internships "to students enrolled in an Administration of Justice Program or law enforcement-related program at any college or university"... which I don't think I qualify for due to my major.

                  The Sheriff's Office and police department has an application for volunteering though, maybe I should find out more about that and what volunteers do.

                  (calmonte, I am doing the same thing-- trying to get fit! (I'm struggling with pushups and the 1.5 mile timed run). I must have been trying to do too much too fast, I did something to my legs and was told by my doc today to avoid cardio for about two weeks... I'm a little discouraged by the setback but I can't wait to start back up again.)

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                  • #10
                    Okay, so the internship seems to be out of the question. Plus, I don't think volunteering is really what you're looking for. Over here, the volunteers are like citizen patrol. They are usually people with past experience who want to help once in a while with little things, like controlling traffic when there's an accident.

                    How about going to your local LE agency and asking if you can ride along as a citizen? While doing my internship, I met a few people who were doing a ride-a-long because they wanted to see what they're friend or family member did during patrol. Note: you cannot ride-a-long with a relative. So check and see if someone is willing to take you for the ride.

                    Wow! Seriously?!? That's so not cool. I hope you get better soon and next time try not to run everyday. I'm trying to meet the 1.5 mile run, too. However, I'm not running every single day because I heard that it is bad for the joints. On the days I'm not running, I try to do some strength training. I'm hoping that that would help me a little bit with the push ups. Well, in the meantime, try to do your push ups and sit ups & keep me posted.
                    Last edited by calmonte; 10-17-2014, 08:46 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Lesson learned...

                      "Too much, too fast", she was most definitely right... I went from doing nothing to try and do everything and expect things to pick up quicker than it normally does...

                      Sounds like volunteering is definitely not what I had in mind. Thanks for all the great information!

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                      • #12
                        (Apologies for the double post but I wasn't sure if this was appropriate enough for a whole new thread...)

                        I was thinking about this lately, as a career fair is coming up soon at my university...

                        I was wondering, especially for those who applied for LE positions straight out of college, did you apply for other jobs while applying for a PD simultaneously, in case LE didn't work out?

                        This was probably a very strange/commonsense question... but I would really like to make sure what the best path is before I proceed.
                        Last edited by Zoisite; 10-23-2014, 03:44 PM.

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