1. #1
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    benhowden's Avatar
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    I want to be a police officer, what should I do?

    I am 20 and will be 21 in October. I am a Security Officer and I would like to pursue a career in law enforcement. I am not sure whether I should go to college for an Associates in Criminal Justice first or just go right in. Does anyone have recommendations? Thanks lots!
    Last edited by benhowden; 03-05-2004 at 03:14 AM.

  2. #2
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    It depends on how old you are. If you are under 21, then finish whatever college that you can until 21 and then start testing everywhere. If you are over 21, then start testing. Shotgun approach. Look at becoming a reserve at a local department and ask the officers to tell you the questions that they encountered during their hiring processes. Then have them start quizzing you. That gets you prepared for the oral board. Get a book on civil service testing that they have at the libraries so you don't have to shell out any money. Check all of them out until you find one that covers the most topics and then go out and buy it. Ask officers in your local area what their department uses for the entry level testing. The next biggest decision is whether you want to stay where you are or are you a traveller. The Puget Sound area is where I am from and we are going to be in a bind here soon. One department is starting up from scratch and that department will hire 65 officers, Seattle 80 officers, Federal Way 6-10, Tacoma 30 and on and on. So decide where you want to end up. The other issue to consider is if I had a chance to do it all over again, I would go Department of State Security so that I can travel the world on the government's dime and if I got bored with DSS than I could transfer easily to another Govt agancy and still keep pay, seniority and bennies.

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    If you're going to go to college, get a bachelor's degree and get it in a discipline other than criminal justice (unless you just are dying to pursue criminal justice and can't see yourself studying anything else). If you're just coming out of high school and don't want to go to college, go into military law enforcement.

    I don't see too many people getting hired nowadays without either a bachelor's degree or military experience (or a combo of education and experience).

  4. #4
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    Well man, here is my opinion to you. If you want to be a police officer, first make sure that you are the biggest goody two shoe there is out there. If you have ever done something like shop lift when you were young or maybe smoked weed when you were young like in your teens, then forget it.

    Alot of people will tell you that those things won't make them want to not hire you but the truth is, those things are things that don't disqualify people with either a high level of education or they're family member of someone already in the force.

    I used to want to be a police officer with all my heart but now I'm starting to wonder second thoughts. Second thoughts on being an officer for cities in california anyways. Seems to be that if you want to be a cop here you have to have something more than just the desire and sincere want to help people. Like a big fat degree in something special or prove that you're worthy of it by showing how much education you earned and work you did. Doesn't matter if that meant that you overlooked your family or kids or anyone else that in essence is really more important.

    You're a young buck so here take some advice. You want to help people? Then go into medicine. It's the only field that you can help people anywhere in the world, free lance or in an organization. With a police job, if your supervisors are good guys then you're in good hands and if they're azzholes, well, you're just SOL and no matter how much good you wanna do it will amount to nothing for the simply fact being that no bad supervisor will bring up good things that subordinates do because that will only make him look like a piece of ****.


    As for mr. NYPD... being a security guard is nothing wrong or shameful. I was one when I was about 20 and hell, it's more nicer because you actually help people and they actually appreciate you. Oh and by the way, you don't end up stickin your head up your *** like many cops do.. *cough* cough*

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    If you have ever done something like shop lift when you were young or maybe smoked weed when you were young like in your teens, then forget it.
    This is totally untrue. An event such as that will not disqualify an otherwise qualified applicant.

    Seems to be that if you want to be a cop here you have to have something more than just the desire and sincere want to help people. Like a big fat degree in something special or prove that you're worthy of it by showing how much education you earned and work you did. Doesn't matter if that meant that you overlooked your family or kids or anyone else that in essence is really more important.
    'Big fat degree?' It sounds like you have a serious chip on your shoulder. You know something, you have to EARN the badge, it's not GIVEN to you. Do you think that you should be able to walk up to a police department and get a job without any real qualifications or experience? Hey, as long as you want to help people, then it's all good, right? That's just not how things are. If you want to be a cop, then you have to work for it. It's the same thing with any other profession. It's not too much to ask for an applicant to have a degree, military experience, or an academy certification. There are lots of applicants, so if you really want the job then you need to be proactive about making yourself stand out. I know people with families (including single mothers) who worked their way through school to get their degree. Instead of making excuses, they did something about their future.

    With a police job, if your supervisors are good guys then you're in good hands and if they're azzholes, well, you're just SOL and no matter how much good you wanna do it will amount to nothing for the simply fact being that no bad supervisor will bring up good things that subordinates do because that will only make him look like a piece of ****.
    You obviously have no experience dealing with police supervisors, so what do you base this profound knowledge of yours on? What does your supervisor's comments to others have to do with whether or not you help people? Do you really need your supervisor to go praising your name all over the place? If that's true, then you really don't need to be a LEO.

    I was one when I was about 20 and hell, it's more nicer because you actually help people and they actually appreciate you. Oh and by the way, you don't end up stickin your head up your *** like many cops do.. *cough* cough*
    Why don't you explain that last statement. You're obviously a very bitter person because you don't want to take the necessary steps to get hired, rather you feel that you are 'owed' a position.

    By the way..."more nicer?" Your lack of grammar skills certainly will not assist you in getting hired.

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    It's not nice to assume someone has a chip on their shoulders or anything else simply because of a theoretical opinion a person gives. As for myself, I have a BSN.

    The degree part that I was referring to wasn't for myself but for a person I knew who spent a long time as reserve officer and was very upright and very nice person. He did whatever he could to "earn" his badge. But everytime positions opened up in his department, they were given to outsiders who had a degree or was a close relative of someone higher up in the food chain. So yea, maybe I am a bit hurt at seeing this happen over n over again.

    As for the part about the supervisor, it was something that has been told to me time and again by friends who are in the LAPD and with all due respect, myself being in the medical field presently I totally agree. True that no one wants their name thrown around to look special but for the sake of a raise/better position so that they can help their families better, then yea you would want your name thrown around here and there.

    As for myself, I make 34 an hour with benefits that would surpass probably even that of a small twon police chief. I work with Kaiser here in SD. I just applied to one police dept and so far have passed 4 of the 7 test parts. No ill feelings personally, just from what I've seen with others.

    P.S. Sorry for misspelling that one word. You just went to prove again that "many" cops out there are goody two shoes who join the force to have some legal means of taking their anger out on the public that would otherwise acknowledge them as nobodies. Take some psych classes in your community college, it will do you wonders.

  7. #7
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    BSN, huh? Interesting. Back on Feb. 29, in the thread titled "Oral board, Need some tips???" you posted the following:

    I just took my oral board exam for LAPD and I got 75% which isn't that great but for someone who had never relaly trained for it and also had never been to college or in the military, it was pretty nice.
    What college did you go to that gave you a BSN degree in five days? Since that is obviously impossible, you're either lying in your post there or your post here. Either way, your credibility is pretty much worthless now.

    Also, you obviously have a problem with cops. You say that many "end up sticking their head up their ***," and go on to say that many become officers only to bully people around. If that's your view of law enforcement officers, they why are you bothering to apply to become one? You won't get hired with that attitude and if by chance you do, you won't last.

    And as to your grammar, that's a very important part of the job and I brought it up because it can cost you points in the application process. I only pointed that one example out because it was obvious, however your post was full of others.

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    I understand, and don't get me wrong if I may have seemed a bit emotional. I guess sometimes it gets to me thats all. As for the LAPD, when I said I had never been to college, I meant that I never took anything that was relevant to being a police officer such as they asked if I had taken any criminal justice courses etc.

    The last thing that I completed there was the PHS and to be honest, I'm starting to get second thoughts about it. At first I thought that it might be nice but I don't know if it's just the LAPD or what but I'm getting a very wierd vibe from almost every employee that I've come across there. They seem to be so internal. As if they already have reserved for people their spots and you're just another burden they have to carry for the sake of their job or something.

    Anyways, screw this, no more fighting. I'm starting to wonder if it wouldn't make more sense to apply at a police department in a smaller city or something.

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