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Thread: How old is too old to become an officer?

  1. #1
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    How old is too old to become an officer?

    Hi - new to the forum and looking into switching careers and becoming a police officer at the ripe old age of 34. I've no particular interest in federal law enforcement (strong local ties prevent me from moving), and I'd love to work for the local county police department.

    From reading plenty of posts here, many of you joined up in your early twenties, or perhaps later with some military experience. Sadly, I have none of that.

    Do you guys see many "older" recruits, and if so, how do they normally handle things? I guess we have the mental maturity and life experience on our side, but do older recruits fit in socially and professionally with the department?

    Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer.
    Last edited by mantaraymond; 11-07-2008 at 12:28 PM.

  2. #2
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    The department I used to work for had a ton of older guys go through the academy. I am talking 50-60 years old. Never too late to start.

  3. #3
    Car Ramrod
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    This past summer the CT State Police graduated a 53-year-old trooper.

  4. #4
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    34 is not to old...at all. At 34 you would still have to do 21 years to retire at the normal age of 55. Go for it.

    Hell, I'm 37, feel like I'm 25, and ready to keep on hittin' the streets. Do it.

  5. #5
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    I came on at 38, after 20 years in the Navy.

    We hada guy come on a few years ago, age 58..retired from 30 with Verizon. One of our best FTOs.....

  6. #6
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    Go for it, I started the academy when I was 34

  7. #7
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    I just got sworn in at 36, Best career move I ever made.
    At the academy I think we had more recruits over 30 than under.
    Where in VA are you looking?

  8. #8
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    I'm retired from the Coast Guard and while on active duty was a Special Agent with Coast Guard Investigative Services. I'm 54 now and less than a month away from graduating from a law enforcement academy here in west Texas. I'm the oldest in my class by more than 20 years. If I can do it, anyone can!
    SteelersFan4Life likes this.

  9. #9
    "Retired"
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    I just retired at 53 and sorry, but I just can't see starting this career in one's 50's. There may be people that are in good enough shape to get through an academy, but with the shift hours, working weekends and holidays, etc...guys and women in this age range seem to get burned out real quick.

    Entering LE in one's 30's is a whole different thing. Most newer officers I've seen in this age range are still in pretty good shape, young enough to learn new "tricks" and mature enough to avoid a lot of problems that officers in their 20's seem to experience. At "34", I'd say go for it!
    "I'm not fluent in the language of violence, but I know enough to get around in places where it's spoken."

  10. #10
    Deputy

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    I am starting the academy in January 2009 and I am 34. I know of a guy who is 49 and going through the academy now.

    Never too late.

    Aaron

  11. #11
    Cynical curmudgeon
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    At 71, "Officer Wes" is still on the beat

    Don't ask Seattle police Officer Wes Ferris if he's planning to retire.

    He's not. At 71, he says, he's too young.

    Besides, he feels great, loves his job and can't imagine what else he'd do.

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/htm...rancop10m.html
    "We're not in this business for the money. We're not in it for the excitement, and moments like this. Duty, honor, country, service, truth, and justice are good. But you can do that from behind a desk. In the end, you carry a gun and shield out into the field for the sole purpose of confronting the bad guys. The enemy. There is no other reason to be on the front lines." ~Nelson Demille

    If your story involves Peanut Butter and an animal - give up now!

  12. #12
    Resident Misanthrope
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    One of my best shift partners was a guy that was 70 when he retired. Tough as nails. A powerlifter. He only looked like he was in his late 40's though. Great guy miss having him around. I have a trainee right now that is 50.
    The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by cgh6366 View Post
    Don't ask Seattle police Officer Wes Ferris if he's planning to retire.

    He's not. At 71, he says, he's too young.

    Besides, he feels great, loves his job and can't imagine what else he'd do.

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/htm...rancop10m.html
    I love hearing him log into service as a Victor Unit at the local QFC; after he's logged, radio always gives him a flirty, "Hiiiii Weeeesss!"

    To the OP, I came on at 31 after a 5 year stint as a probation counselor, the oldest guy we had in our academy class was 42. pulicords said it well, you most likely have more maturity than the younger 20 somethings, definitely more life experience, but aren't too set in your ways of doing things to not learn new tricks.

    Let us know how it goes for you!

  14. #14
    Verbal Sniper
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    Your age isn't the problem.

    Your drug history and willingness to lie to obtain the job will keep you out.


    I don't agree with your opinion, but I respect its straightforwardness in terms of wrongness.

  15. #15
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    Oooof! Just looked at his other thread in the recruitment section. Dear lord what a heel.

  16. #16
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    I was wondering about how old is too old as well......I am a 39 year old woman, very fit, lift weights, run, eat right and I can't get being a cop off my mind. I tossed it around 6 years ago and took the POST entrance exam in Utah and then did not pursue my dream. I now live in Georgia and could kick myself for not being at least 5 years into being a LEO.

    So here is my question, what do you think of women cops (I am also a mother) and is 39 too old to try? If it makes any difference I feel 25

    I truly feel like I could make a difference being a LEO.........give it to me what ya think?

  17. #17
    It's Complicated
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    WOW

    Resurrected a 3 yr old post.............................................. ...........


    If you read the answers to this old post, you already know the answer to your questions.............................


    Go for it
    "Arguing with idiots is like playing chess with a pigeon - no matter how good you are, the pigeon will still crap all over the board and strut around like it won anyway."



    I don't know it all, I know a little about a lot and a lot about a little---slamdunc


    I have discussed religion and politics over morning coffee with men who have killed people, you don't scare me.

  18. #18
    One man Wolfpack
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    I wonder if the OP made it in or not?

    M-11
    “All men dream...... But not equally..
    Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it is vanity;
    but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men,
    for they act their dreams with open eyes to make it possible.....”

    TE Lawrence

  19. #19
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    Sorry for the Resurrected post, and yes I did read them all.......My app went in today! Now my gym time will have a purpose!

    Thanks!

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