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View Full Version : Question about becoming a LEO


oldschool88
06-10-2009, 4:39 PM
I am hoping to become a Police Officer, but at this time I don't think I have a chance of getting in. To give myself an edge I was thinking about joining the Guard or Reserves. I was wondering if anyone else has gone this route, and if you think it would be a good decision. Is it possible to do the one weekend a month and go to the academy? Would this really help me get an edge? Thanks for any help, I need it.

bobfried
06-10-2009, 4:45 PM
If you really want to be an LEO, simply apply and see what happens.

I know of people that became LEO's in their early 20's, know of one officer in Orange County that works for a local city that made it at 21 years of age. I personally think it's better for you to get out there and see what the process involves, take the written test, do some physical agility courses and sit through a few panels. Than take some time and go on ride-alongs with the agencies you apply for; here's a tip:

- GO ON RIDE ALONG with the agency you apply for, I can almost guarantee you will not make it past the interview panel if you didn't even bother to take time and do a ride along with the agency before the interview.

It surely could not hurt in the long run to show you have a serious intent and work towards becoming an LEO. If nothing else it might persuade you from NOT pursuing the profession when you get some more solid first hand info about the process and what the job entails. Or an agency might realize that your a perfect fit for them and pick you up in 6 months.

Another point to consider is the type of agency and who you will be working for, and you can only decide once you have some solid first hand info. I went through quite a few local agencies to realize that I did not want to be a state/county/city LEO as it was not what I wanted to do specifically. I instead chose to pursue a federal LEO position and glad I did. But it's something I would not have thought of if I did not actively pursue LEO's positions in the past few years. Basically start now and don't expect anything for a few years and your good to go. Keep your expectation low and you won't be disappointed, you might even be surprised with a job offer.

Ron-Solo
06-10-2009, 5:21 PM
I am hoping to become a Police Officer, but at this time I don't think I have a chance of getting in. To give myself an edge I was thinking about joining the Guard or Reserves. I was wondering if anyone else has gone this route, and if you think it would be a good decision. Is it possible to do the one weekend a month and go to the academy? Would this really help me get an edge? Thanks for any help, I need it.

It will be difficult to do yor weekend duty while going to an academy. While they will comply with the laws to protect reservists and guard, and they really try to support it, you will be swamped with study work and class assignments. You can easily fall behind and start failing tests, which could lead to washing out. I have a deputy that works for me and his reserve unit was very accomodating and excused him while he was in the academy. He had to make up the duty after graduation. His C/O was also LE so that helped a lot.

It doesn't matter which academy you go to in the state in one respect - they're all hard - they're supposed to be that way! Of course, everyone will say the academy they went to was the hardest, that's just a matter of pride. :D

Good Luck

7222 Hawker
06-11-2009, 3:56 PM
I was in the USMC reserves when I attended the academy. They allowed me to pre-drill for a period that would cover my seven months of academy time. A lot of guys are prior military and the experience would make academy life much easier. The CHP academy is loosely based (or was) on USMC boot camp - but less stressful. It isn't easy but its worth it in the end.

eltee
06-11-2009, 5:34 PM
Some guys go the route of joining the military reserves / NG as a way of obtaining some life experience, firearms exposure, learning to carry out orders, etc. As a background investigator for a while, I noted that a high % of applicants with some military experience did better at making it through the first critical 18 months of employment vs. those that lived at home, went to college and joined up. Even during the numerous background interviews, you could always tell who was military and who was not based on the way they talked.

To me, it would seem very difficult to juggle the academy while simultaneously doing my weekends and 2 weeks of reserve obligation. Under the best of circumstances, the academy dropout rate is sometimes alarming. If your reserve weekend coincided with a weekend that you were scheduled for academy stuff, you'd be in a dilemma. During the latter part of my academy, we had alot of weekend training.

Of course, MY academy was, in fact, the hardest. :cool:

Jonathan Doe
06-11-2009, 6:10 PM
I was in USMC reserve while I was attending the academy. The dept actually sent a request to the Corps to exempt me from weekend drill for the duration of the academy, which they did. I went back when I graduated without an issue.

Fire in the Hole
06-11-2009, 6:46 PM
Can speak only for myself. I don't think that with the incredible amount of homework involved, that I could pull it off. At least not well. I don't know your age. Me, I was 18 when I entered the Regular Army MP. I had extended to make Drill Sgt. There I was, a 23 year old DI. Then went to LASO at age 23. My advice for military LE would be to not mess with the guard or reserves. Go in either the Marines, Army or Air Force, straight up. acclimate yourtself to the rigors of split shifts, dicipline, etc. Then pursue youe LE career. Once you have finished out your probation period, you can return to the guard or reserves.

what2be
06-11-2009, 7:23 PM
It will be difficult to do yor weekend duty while going to an academy. While they will comply with the laws to protect reservists and guard, and they really try to support it, you will be swamped with study work and class assignments. You can easily fall behind and start failing tests, which could lead to washing out. I have a deputy that works for me and his reserve unit was very accomodating and excused him while he was in the academy. He had to make up the duty after graduation. His C/O was also LE so that helped a lot.

It doesn't matter which academy you go to in the state in one respect - they're all hard - they're supposed to be that way! Of course, everyone will say the academy they went to was the hardest, that's just a matter of pride. :D

Good Luck

Just out of curiousity, whats your honest opinion of the CR police academy up here in Eureka, Ca? When I went back in 91, it was full of cadets from the bay area, and was known to have a excellent program.

I heard a few years after that it went downhill quite a bit, but there was a restructuring in the late 90's and I have heard it was more of a militarized format now. Is it still well regarded or what have you heard?

Ron-Solo
06-11-2009, 9:24 PM
No experience with the CR academy.