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Hello,

For some time now I have been kicking around the idea of becoming a LEO. I am 25 and when I first started college I was in the Criminal Justice program. When I was 19 I made a decision I regret to this day. On New Years eve 2011 I got into a car after drinking and ended up getting a DUI. After that I really decided I wanted to become a cop. I went back to school and let my instructors know right away what had happened, and was brought into a meeting where they decided to have me exit the program. Since then I have wanted to finish what I started and really do want to become and Officer. Many people ask me why in this current climate I would ever consider a job that is so full of danger and is also so polarizing when I have a young wife and kid at home. To them I say, " I want to do it to help people in my community, I want to be able to protect and serve the people I love" Becoming an Officer to me means that I can protect people from the same mistake I made, it means I can help people who were in my shoes and make them realize that it is a mistake and that if you learn from it, you can move forward with your life. I also want to become an Officer because I know the feeling of pride I get when I see one of our fine Officers helping someone in need and how much respect I have for them.

The question I have is, without doing the school route again what is the best way to try and get my certifications needed. Also, what are your experiences and maybe tips from your time served? Any help/info is greatly appreciated. Maybe I sound dumb but I really want to be part of this brotherhood.

Thank you for everything you do, have done, will do for my family and I!

With much respect

Knudson55
 

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I wish you good luck. I understand that it can be very rewarding, but tough on your family.
 

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That's a noble endeavor & an admirable consideration. My only suggestion is to investigate the current deluge of LEOs leaving their chosen-career because of ever-tightening policy/procedure restrictions and ever-increasing political abandonment. Go have a heart-to-heart with some frontline LEOs. Good Luck & God Bless. :yup:
 

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That's a noble endeavor & an admirable consideration. My only suggestion is to investigate the current deluge of LEOs leaving their chosen-career because of ever-tightening policy/procedure restrictions and ever-increasing political abandonment. Go have a heart-to-heart with some frontline LEOs. Good Luck & God Bless. :yup:
That is one of the reasons I have posted on here. I know its not sunshine and rainbows on the administrative side of a LEO's life. Hoping for some insight from a current Officer. The policy/procedures is something I really do need to think about. Thanks for bringing that up!
 

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I would echo what ghost said and suggest doing some ride-a-longs! Police work is one of those jobs you don't do for the money (if you do, you will be sadly disappointed!) Be ready to miss a lot of family holidays, kids school functions, etc! OTOH, it can be a very rewarding career IF you are doing it for the right reasons! I would also suggest a degree in Public Administration vs Criminal Justice Management like this old dinosaur did. (That's what they prefer these days if you plan on going up the ladder.)
 
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I can understand if you want to do it to serve your community. Or stay away from GOVT and look into private security and PI. Can be good money in that.
 

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Well, if you want to join the police department.....now is a great time to do it. Plenty of retirements will hit this year.
 

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Both of my brothers (younger than me) are LEOs and have been for over 20 years now.

One will retire about 3 nanoseconds after he becomes eligible. The other likes his work and says he plans to stay on as long as they'll tolerate him.

The difference?

Different departments in different states. The local atmosphere apparently makes all the difference. I think the departments with the most openings might be the ones to avoid.
 

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Both of my brothers (younger than me) are LEOs and have been for over 20 years now.

One will retire about 3 nanoseconds after he becomes eligible. The other likes his work and says he plans to stay on as long as they'll tolerate him.

The difference?

Different departments in different states. The local atmosphere apparently makes all the difference. I think the departments with the most openings might be the ones to avoid.
^^^I agree completely!^^^ Along the same lines look at the agencies Chief's and Sheriff's. Has there been a frequent turnover with them coming from other agencies OR has there been very little turnover and they are promoted from within? Hint: if there is very little turnover and the Chief or Sheriff was promoted from within it's probably a much better place to work!
 

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I went on a ride along last Nov. with the local sheriffs department. What I did is I went into the law enforcement center and told the lady at the front desk I wanted to do a ride along. I was given a packet of papers to fill out. Which included permission for a background check, why I wanted a ride along (they are mandated for those applying for the department which was not my reason), name and contact information, as well as what shift I would like to go one, ect. After that I left and a few days later was given a date and time. Some advice would be to read up on ride alongs, most is basic information. Like don't touch the radio or firearms unless instructed but some stuff is not that obvious. Like don't talk the officer's ear off they have job to do and dress professionally. In my case the department wears polo shirts and khaki pants so that was what I wore.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Awesome thank you so much for the info. I will be trying to set something up next week. This forum has been more than helpful. Its amazing the things you happen on when searching the internet!
 

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That's a noble endeavor & an admirable consideration. My only suggestion is to investigate the current deluge of LEOs leaving their chosen-career because of ever-tightening policy/procedure restrictions and ever-increasing political abandonment. Go have a heart-to-heart with some frontline LEOs. Good Luck & God Bless. :yup:
Yep. Senior LEOs are retiring in record numbers regardless of finances. Those with only a few years in are cutting bait in record numbers.
 

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I could give you some insight, but would do so in a more private setting than a public forum. I come from a family of LEOs, have been on for five years (not very long), and work for a very busy/active city in Los Angeles County. Laterally assigned to the Defensive Tactics Training Cadre, have been involved in quite a few critical incidents (multiple OISs) and am currently dealing with blowback and the current atmosphere regarding one of those.

I can provide some food for thought and insight but the climate is very different from city to city and state to state. I would also talk to LEOs I'm your area. It is still a very rewarding job but needs to be approached differently than the OG Cops that came before us from 10 , 20 , and even 30 years ago... my hats go off to those guys.

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
 

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Good luck, I have been in LE now for 22 years have 3 more till I can retire and 10 till I get booted out(max age forced retirement is 57). Its tough I will say that much and it can take a toll on you mentally and physically. That said I always tell people make sure you know what you're getting into. Be prepared for crappy shifts and days off for a bunch of years..working all holidays and not spending time with family. Forced OT will probably be a must in many cases(ive not worked a voluntary OT since 2000 when my kid was born) but I still get "mandated" OT a few times a year..just part of the job..22 years and I STILL cant get all the days off/shifts id like off.. Holidays I can get now. But I often come in so that I can get a younger guy with little kids out for the Holiday....well just know what you're getting into.
 

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You know on second thought............I'd wait until November 9th to decide. :blink:
 
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For some time now I have been kicking around the idea of becoming a LEO. I am 25 and when I first started college I was in the Criminal Justice program. When I was 19 I made a decision I regret to this day. On New Years eve 2011 I got into a car after drinking and ended up getting a DUI. After that I really decided I wanted to become a cop. I went back to school and let my instructors know right away what had happened, and was brought into a meeting where they decided to have me exit the program. Since then I have wanted to finish what I started and really do want to become and Officer. Many people ask me why in this current climate I would ever consider a job that is so full of danger and is also so polarizing when I have a young wife and kid at home. To them I say, " I want to do it to help people in my community, I want to be able to protect and serve the people I love" Becoming an Officer to me means that I can protect people from the same mistake I made, it means I can help people who were in my shoes and make them realize that it is a mistake and that if you learn from it, you can move forward with your life. I also want to become an Officer because I know the feeling of pride I get when I see one of our fine Officers helping someone in need and how much respect I have for them.

The question I have is, without doing the school route again what is the best way to try and get my certifications needed. Also, what are your experiences and maybe tips from your time served? Any help/info is greatly appreciated. Maybe I sound dumb but I really want to be part of this brotherhood.
So, take this FWIW. First, your post sounds really starry-eyed. I think you may have an interesting view of what LE is. That's okay, that's an easy fix. Instead of ride alongs, see if your local SO or PD has volunteer officers. Many do. You'd essentially go through training and get to wear a uniform, work with a partner, have shifts, etc. Almost everything a regular officer does, but you'd be doing it for free. It's a way into a lot of departments. Most of the time it's just a few hours a week because of course you're working a real job too.

Secondly, if you really "...want to do it to help people in my community" there are likely dozens of volunteer opportunities available to you that will enable you to do that so much better. And as for, "...want to be able to protect and serve the people I love", that's something you should be doing anyway, right? I think most non-cops also protect and serve their loved ones :)

If I sound like a jerk, I really don't mean to. There's no other way I can think to write those things right now. I've worked in both federal and local LE. A lot of agencies will be okay with a DUI at age 19. The only time that would even come up is during your initial background investigation, and as long as there's nothing else and you're 100% open and honest about it, it definitely can be written off as a stupidity of youth. Why the chucklehead instructors at your school suggested you leave the program is beyond me. Unless it wasn't actually a university/college and was one of those quasi-accredited trade schools you see advertising during the daytime talk shows. There are plenty of officers on the street with a DUI or two under their belts. I don't know how things work in your state, but where I've worked in OR and WA, departments may want some kind of a degree, but beyond that nothing else needed as they're going to send you to the state academy for accreditation and then you'll be with a training officer for a few months until you're signed off.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
So, take this FWIW. First, your post sounds really starry-eyed. I think you may have an interesting view of what LE is. That's okay, that's an easy fix. Instead of ride alongs, see if your local SO or PD has volunteer officers. Many do. You'd essentially go through training and get to wear a uniform, work with a partner, have shifts, etc. Almost everything a regular officer does, but you'd be doing it for free. It's a way into a lot of departments. Most of the time it's just a few hours a week because of course you're working a real job too.

Secondly, if you really "...want to do it to help people in my community" there are likely dozens of volunteer opportunities available to you that will enable you to do that so much better. And as for, "...want to be able to protect and serve the people I love", that's something you should be doing anyway, right? I think most non-cops also protect and serve their loved ones :)

If I sound like a jerk, I really don't mean to. There's no other way I can think to write those things right now. I've worked in both federal and local LE. A lot of agencies will be okay with a DUI at age 19. The only time that would even come up is during your initial background investigation, and as long as there's nothing else and you're 100% open and honest about it, it definitely can be written off as a stupidity of youth. Why the chucklehead instructors at your school suggested you leave the program is beyond me. Unless it wasn't actually a university/college and was one of those quasi-accredited trade schools you see advertising during the daytime talk shows. There are plenty of officers on the street with a DUI or two under their belts. I don't know how things work in your state, but where I've worked in OR and WA, departments may want some kind of a degree, but beyond that nothing else needed as they're going to send you to the state academy for accreditation and then you'll be with a training officer for a few months until you're signed off.
Hey, I didn't feel you were being a jerk. I like the honesty that you showed. The reason I posted this on here is because I know do not know anyone in LE. I didn't come here to have something sugar coated, if I wanted that I could read feel good stories online. I have also thought about becoming a reserve deputy, I think that may be the better route at this time. I am currently in school for business and my job is a 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. job. I have a lot of free time in the afternoons. Again thank you for your criticism and your insight I wouldn't have wanted you to word it any different!
 
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