How late is to late to get into law enforcment

This is a discussion on How late is to late to get into law enforcment within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; When I went through FLETC we had two guys in my basics class that were 50. I was 34. It depends on the individual agency. ...

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Thread: How late is to late to get into law enforcment

  1. #16
    Distinguished Member Array Black Knight's Avatar
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    When I went through FLETC we had two guys in my basics class that were 50. I was 34. It depends on the individual agency. Some have cut off ages.

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  3. #17
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    Believe it or not, here at the El Paso County Sheriff's office, they hired a 62 year old a few years back. He was a retired airline pilot and got bored. He always was curious with LE and when he found out he could still apply, he did, went to the academy, graduated and became a deputy. In addition to that, our Office has a ton of retired military (this is a huge military town) and they're hired every year within the mid 40's and up.

    Good luck to you.

  4. #18
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    It used to be that most of LE agencies wont hire over 35 because of mandatory retirement at age 55, but allot has changed and some retirement ages have change to 60 and some older. You said you have 15 years as a state employee then I would look at State police or HW patrol, those agencies are usually easier to get into. Local LE have tight budgets and the hiring and selection process is real competitive, so I would say the state LE would be your best bet.

    Find the number for your state police human resource office and give em a call, good luck
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  5. #19
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    Thanks all, I have applied for the d.n.r for a ranger position but i think our states budget crunch has that agency froze on new hires. I could transfer my retirement if i could get that job, I cannot transfer it to county or city. PT wise i would have to hit the gym a couple weeks get my cardio up to par. I am wondering about how much money it would cost to go thru police academy if i had to pay myself, then maybe i could partime and try it out? again thanks.
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  6. #20
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    I don't know what average is, but I paid my own way through the academy. It was a grand total of $6000 Tuition and gear.
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  7. #21
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    In this state you dont pay for it, the hiring agency does. The only thing about that is that you must be hired to be accepted into the academy. That applys for Reserve, Part Time or Full Time.

    Check into the Reserve Programs of different agencys. That would be a good way to get your feet wet and see if you liked it or not. In most places,they would hire a Reserve before they would someone off the street.
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  8. #22
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    Reserves here are a good way to get your foot in the door. But the hireing process is just like full time. My local PD has about 50% of new hires coming from our reserve unit. At the moment about 2/3 of patrol officers are from the reseve unit, and the next hire will be from it.

  9. #23
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    I started when I was 21 and I had a blast. I originally applied to LAPD and scored high on the written and oral but the wife said she would leave if I took the job. We compromised and I joined the SDSO and moved over to a city PD after two years. Back then I believe the cut-off was 30~35. Today, I understand they can’t discriminate with age so if you pass the physical examine and agility test, you’re pretty much in. Now, some agencies have very good reserve divisions and they run solo units, take hot calls, etc.
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  10. #24
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    As has been pointed out, you are not "too late", not even by a long shot. However, pay close attention to the "negatives" that have been posted as well.

    Keep this in mind: As a LEO, you are never going to make everyone happy. No matter how well, how diligently, and how earnestly you perform your duties, somebody is going to criticize you for it.

    - You are too aggressive.
    - You are not aggressive enough.
    - You do too much traffic enforcement. You are just generating revenue when you write me a ticket for running a stop sign!!!
    - "Why didn't you pull that guy over who just ran the stopsign by my house? I have kids playing in the yard!".
    - You were not polite when you wrote me a ticket.
    - You were being a smart-alek when you said "Have a nice day".
    - "Do you know who I am?!?".
    - "I'll have your badge!".
    - "I pay your salary!!".
    - "You only stopped me because I'm (insert race/gender/age/religion/etc here).".

    It goes on and on. When I was a patrol officer, I once had a lady complain because I was "smiling in uniform". Welcome to the world of law enforcement.

    That being said, I love what I do and would not trade it for the world. I believe it is important and I believe I help people, often those who cannot help themselves. Sometimes those who are simply not willing to help themselves. As long as you can look in the mirror at night and know in your own heart that you did your best to do the right thing and follow the laws and Constitution of the United States to the best of your ability, there is no more rewarding job that I know of.

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  11. #25
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    If its truly what you want, then go for it.....the retirement thing sounds like the big determining factor, I can't help you with that

    I turned 36 the first month of my academy. PT was rigorous, they are all different. I was in the middle of the pack of the 26 of us as far as PT testing went, I was 4th oldest in the group but was in pretty good shape.

    You have to really want this job, and love doing it or it will eat you up one way or another.

    Quote Originally Posted by HotGuns
    I love it. It's like having front seat tickets to a circus.
    YEP

    oh, and when someone you're dealing with says "I pay your salary"....don't reach in your pocket to get a quarter, flip it to 'em and say "here's a refund".....they don't like that (neither does the Sgt they complain to)
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  12. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by 64zebra View Post

    oh, and when someone you're dealing with says "I pay your salary"....don't reach in your pocket to get a quarter, flip it to 'em and say "here's a refund".....they don't like that (neither does the Sgt they complain to)


    some personal experience advice here, huh 64zebra?
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  13. #27
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    Good thread.

    I've thought about getting into LE..

    I don't have to worry about my age like you old geezers ;)

    ... Sigmanluke, I didn't know that you were LE. What's your position and what town?... I see a ride-along in our future! ;)
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  14. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by sigmanluke View Post


    some personal experience advice here, huh 64zebra?
    I can neither confirm, nor deny any action taken by yours truly concerning this event



    oh, and since SAMI mentioned it.....ride-alongs would be good for any perspective LE applicants

    and SAMI.....the younger guys in my academy affectionately nicknamed me Gandalf
    and I told them it was ashame we were going to finish the academy before I got to see them finish puberty
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    Independence is declared; it must be maintained. Sam Houston-3/2/1836
    If loose gun laws are good for criminals why do criminals support gun control?

  15. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGreatGonzo View Post
    As has been pointed out, you are not "too late", not even by a long shot. However, pay close attention to the "negatives" that have been posted as well.

    Keep this in mind: As a LEO, you are never going to make everyone happy. No matter how well, how diligently, and how earnestly you perform your duties, somebody is going to criticize you for it.

    - You are too aggressive.
    - You are not aggressive enough.
    - You do too much traffic enforcement. You are just generating revenue when you write me a ticket for running a stop sign!!!
    - "Why didn't you pull that guy over who just ran the stopsign by my house? I have kids playing in the yard!".
    - You were not polite when you wrote me a ticket.
    - You were being a smart-alek when you said "Have a nice day".
    - "Do you know who I am?!?".
    - "I'll have your badge!".
    - "I pay your salary!!".
    - "You only stopped me because I'm (insert race/gender/age/religion/etc here).".

    It goes on and on. When I was a patrol officer, I once had a lady complain because I was "smiling in uniform". Welcome to the world of law enforcement.
    Sounds like an improvement over my day job!

  16. #30
    Member Array DIXIETWISTER's Avatar
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    As far as dealing with the Public and not being able to please everyone. I think the 6 years of coaching youth football and girls softball have prepared me....lol. Dealing with parents umpires and other coaches, you have to have patience and handle critisizm. a fine balancing act indeed. I think I am gonna hold out for a DPS or DNR state position. Retires are comming and I hear that both agencys are already short. Just hopes the economy can turn around. I think all States are struggling.
    You may not like guns. You may choose not to own one. That is your right.
    You might not believe in God. That is your choice.
    However, if someone breaks into your home at 3AM the first two things you are going to do are:
    1) Call someone with a gun.
    2)Pray they get there in time." - A wise man

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