local to Federal LEO employment change

This is a discussion on local to Federal LEO employment change within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I am looking for forum members who are currently Federal LEOs, specifically those who were once members of a municipal jurisdiction that made the switch. ...

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Thread: local to Federal LEO employment change

  1. #1
    Member Array chiboxer's Avatar
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    local to Federal LEO employment change

    I am looking for forum members who are currently Federal LEOs, specifically those who were once members of a municipal jurisdiction that made the switch. I am currently contemplating leaving my agency for a federal agency and am curious what others experiences have been. Good, bad, or indifferent your insight will be a help to me.
    Si vis pacem, parabellum

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  3. #2
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    I have not, permanently anyway, made that switch. I've done so temporarily a few times.
    I do have a few friends who have, both to the FBI. All seem happy with the switch, with the exception of moving. But they knew that going in. One has the sweetest gig ever, a fixed wing pilot for the FBI.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    Member Array chiboxer's Avatar
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    SIXTO, I knew I could count on you for a prompt response. I am probably getting somewhat ahead of myself as I am literally going up against 100,000 applicants. I have extensive LE experience which puts me somewhat mid pack in terms of this agencies priorities.
    Si vis pacem, parabellum

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    Senior Member Array usmc3169's Avatar
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    100,000 applicants? As I am contemplating a similar switch, would you mind PM'ing me some of the detail? I would enjoy rolling some idea's back ond forth.
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

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    Member Array Erik's Avatar
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    I made the move from local uniformed to federal uniformed and onto federal plain clothes law enforcement. On a whole, I've been satisfied; along with most I know who have traveled similar career paths.

    There are something like 90 some-odd federal law enforcement programs. Most can name a handful. There is something for everyone; the trick may be finding your niche, though.

    Tips:

    Use USAJOBS.GOV as a research tool. There are hundreds of federal law enforcement announcements posted there at any given time. Don't just focus on the 3-5 most popular positions for the 3-5 most popular agencies.

    Apply to ALL positions that interest you, and not just the 3-5 most popular positions for the 3-5 most popular agencies. The odds are against you at that point. By broadening your search you increase your odds of success.

    Prepare tailored resumes in advance, to include supporting documentation. Some announcements come and go rather quickly; sometimes faster than folks can prepare and gather the information from scratch.

    When submitting a resume typically agencies ask for three locations that you are applying for. Make sure one of them is the "anywhere" option. For example: 1. Where you want to go; 2. Where you want to go; 3. Anywhere in the USA/World.

    Take the first job offered. Remember, it is something that interested you in the first place. Once in the federal system, it is relatively easy to move about; arguably easier than getting hired in the first place. From within the system, work toward your goal. And who knows, that goal may evolve several times as you see and learn things "from the inside."

    Good luck - Erik
    God, country, family.

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    Member Array rstrainii's Avatar
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    I have never had LE experience, However I have served in the Military and have a BS degree. I have spent the last few years in direct sales (no retail) mainly Pharma sales. I take the FBI Phase I test on Jan 25th. I would really like to get into Marshals however they are not open as of yet. I am too looking at all 1811 positions with any agency. I am 34 and the cut off is 37. Any words of advice out there?

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    Distinguished Member Array Agave's Avatar
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    I am in the middle of a switch from federal to local. In my old agency, they didn't really care what you did before. Everyone started anew.

    I have heard that DEA would rather have a physician or an attorney over a salty officer.
    The preceding post may contain sarcasm; it's just better that way. However, it is still intended with construction and with the Love of my L-rd Y'shua.

    NRA Certified Pistol Instructor, Tennessee Certified Instructor

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    Quote Originally Posted by Agave View Post

    I have heard that DEA would rather have a physician or an attorney over a salty officer.
    This is true, a lot of the bigger Fed agencies like the Poindexters. If you want to go FBI, get an accounting degree or law.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    Senior Member Array TheGreatGonzo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIXTO View Post
    This is true, a lot of the bigger Fed agencies like the Poindexters. If you want to go FBI, get an accounting degree or law.
    Actually, that is not so much the case anymore. Lots of former patrol cops in the Bureau and even more so in DEA. Lots of military folks being hired as well.
    Gonzo
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGreatGonzo View Post
    Actually, that is not so much the case anymore. Lots of former patrol cops in the Bureau and even more so in DEA. Lots of military folks being hired as well.
    Gonzo
    Good, I'm glad to hear that. I was getting worried about them.
    "Just blame Sixto"

  12. #11
    Senior Member Array TheGreatGonzo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIXTO View Post
    Good, I'm glad to hear that. I was getting worried about them.
    Well, it does not mean you should not be worried...

    For the original OP:

    I made the switch from local to federal. The transition was dififcult at first. Every time you see a patrol car running code somewhere, you tend to get an ache inside that tells you that you miss it, accompanied by an urge to flip on your kojack bubble-gum light and follow along.

    That being said, after several years with the feds, family considerations returned me to a local PD. At first, I was thrilled. I loved being back on patrol. Then I realized I had become spoiled. After a couple of years, I was back with the Feds.

    It has been my experience that most former patrol cops have some trouble with the transition, but, if they make it past the first year, they will stick with the feds. The thing is, you tend to only remember (and miss) the fun stuff: running code; foot pursuits; fights; kicking in doors; etc. You quickly forget working wrecks right at the end of your shift; directing traffic in the pouring rain, blowing snow, or egg-frying heat; drunks throwing up in your cruiser; rotating shifts; extra work to make ends meet (at least in the southeast); going to the same house every weekend to separate the same drunken brawling husband and wife; death notifications; etc.

    I'm lucky. I'm in a job I love where I have lot of really cool lights on my g-ride and still get to think I'm a real cop sometimes. Do I still miss patrol when I see a cruiser running code? Absolutely. But would I go back now? No. Better pay; better hours; better family life; and I love what I do.
    Gonzo
    Last edited by TheGreatGonzo; January 25th, 2010 at 09:17 PM.
    "Skin that smokewagon!".

  13. #12
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    I know what Gonzo speaks of, and he is right. I'm not or ever have been employed as a fed, but I have spent several years "on loan" to the DEA and FBI on different occasions. So, I did go through the same transition process on a smaller scale.
    I had the chance to make a switch a few years ago and decided against it. I didnt want the hours or the chance or relocating to who knows where. I have a lot of senority at my local department, so I can choose the hours I work. I'm also lucky enough to be in the top 2% of LEO pay scales, so money wasn't an issue. I'd actually take a hit for a few years moving over to the feds. With that said, they do have a better retirement system.

    Anyway, there are definite pros and cons, I guess you just have to give an honest evaluation of your situation and what your career goals are.
    "Just blame Sixto"

  14. #13
    Member Array chiboxer's Avatar
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    Lots to think about here. I have 8 years in with my current agency and am about to be promoted to Police Sergeant. On the other hand, I've always wanted to be a fed, I just didn't have the degree (until now) that was needed to get into the federal level. I'm 35, so I think this is my one shot at getting in, as the age cutoff is 37. Moving doesn't really bother me, although not having any friends or family in a strange city would really suck, at least until you make new friends. I am scheduled to take my Phase I test on Feb 18th. My wife is pretty supportive, and pretty much said whatever I decide she'll go along with, still though I do enjoy being a cop and not getting to do that work anymore would be kind of disappointing. On the other hand, it seems like the FBI does some really interesting investigations and I would be doing Law Enforcement on a much different level.
    Si vis pacem, parabellum

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