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Knight
06-21-2009, 10:53 AM
Simple question, but a big one.

Is it better to put yourself through the police academy or to get hired and have the hiring dept. put you through?

Please let me know your experience on the matter, as well as what CA dept. you are using as a reference.

1911su16b870
06-21-2009, 12:17 PM
If you know that you want to be a LEO, the best option for you is to be hired by a department who will pay your way through the academy.

If there are any questionable (but not deal breakers) items in your background, many departments would want you to put yourself throught the academy as evidence of your commitment to becoming a LEO.

There are many PDs in the major areas of Los Angeles, and if you answered yes to the first item, apply to your top 5 and see what happens. Good Luck!

bluestaterebel
06-21-2009, 12:52 PM
If you know that you want to be a LEO, the best option for you is to be hired by a department who will pay your way through the academy.

If there are any questionable (but not deal breakers) items in your background, many departments would want you to put yourself throught the academy as evidence of your commitment to becoming a LEO.

There are many PDs in the major areas of Los Angeles, and if you answered yes to the first item, apply to your top 5 and see what happens. Good Luck!

Good advise. If you cant get into a department that has their own academy or will pay for your academy then put yourself through if thats what you really want to do. There are many smaller LE agencies that will take you and if you have put yourself through an academy, you will be more appealing to them.

Regulus
06-21-2009, 1:19 PM
As the others stated above, the best way to go would be to complete the hiring process with a city/county/state then let them pay for (and pay you while attending) your academy training.

If you can afford to put yourself through, right now may be an ideal time (given you have no obviously disqualifying background issues as it would likely be all for not). With the economy as it is, many smaller cities will find it attractive because they could save themselves months of payroll costs while you attend, as well as the cost of sending you through an academy, which from what I understand is not cheap.

I took the hiring --> academy route, but others I worked with did the academy --> hire route.

Another option may be to seek a Reserve position first. Reserve academy's can be done while you continue working a regular job (I believe). After a while as a Reserve Officer, the department you work with will likely select you over any other applicant, then send you to the regular academy without hesitation if/when you decide to go full time.

AT'sGCSRT8
06-21-2009, 2:18 PM
FWIW class for my academy starts on July 11. There are 52 people enrolled and all 52 are self sponsored. Our RTO said it is just a sign of the times as agencies are waiting for you to get done with the academy, to save money as Yahnet stated above.

Knight
06-21-2009, 3:24 PM
To clarify, I just received my BA and my record is spotless. I'm looking to join a smaller department in FarNorCal anyway, and I am signed up for the academy starting July 6.

My LEO relatives down south (Santa Monica), who are helping me financially on academy costs, are telling me that it is a mistake to put yourself through, but I believe that their experience is mostly from the larger departments who can afford to put potential recruits through their academy. I'm just trying to get a better idea of how different depts operate depending on the region/area.

I'll open up the topic a bit, and add that any other advice pertaining to getting hired in general is welcome. The merits of going reserve, as Yahnet mentioned, after the academy if no immediate job opportunities are available in particular would be appreciated.

Quiet
06-21-2009, 3:51 PM
A lot of smaller departments that can't afford to put new hires through an academy hire people who put themselves through a LE academy.

Was told that it shows you are more dedicated in becoming a LEO and not in it for the money/benefits, then someone being paid to go through an academy.

Couple of friends of mine that put themselves through the SBSO Academy were hired by LE agencies while they were half way through the academy. By them time they graduated, they had already cleared backgrounds for the LE agency that hired them. They also said there were recruiters for small LE agencies that trolled the academy classess looking for people puting themselves through.

696k
06-21-2009, 3:58 PM
Ok...
Based on my experience both in training and as a Tac Ofcr, I personally am impressed with any young warrior who does it themselves. It is very expensive for an agency to send a recruit through backgrounds with all the time and testing requirements. But many do and then have the recruit flame out day one at the Academy. And it does happen. More than you might expect. In todays cash strapped world smaller Depts are looking for motivated recruits who have shown the genuine commitment to becoming a LEO.

I'm in SoCal and many agencies use the big ones like LASD or LAPD academy. Those are self run and self funded in most respects. But many agencies have to pay long term big $ to send a recruit there especially if they are not local. Think about having to find living quarters for a trainee for 6 months of academy and that doesn't even begin to think about meals etc...

So putting yourself through an Academy shows any interested agency that you are motivated enough to go out and do it on your own. No doubt getting hired is best but not always an option.

As to the reserve issue. POST requirements for reserves is almost if not as stringent for a reserve (Level 1) as they are for full time. Go to the academy and get your certificate and it is good for three years...

Regardless of the path you take it is well worth it. I can't imagine anything else I'd rather do.

Best of luck.. we need more good Cops! :hurray:

bluestaterebel
06-21-2009, 3:59 PM
To clarify, I just received my BA and my record is spotless. I'm looking to join a smaller department in FarNorCal anyway, and I am signed up for the academy starting July 6.

My LEO relatives down south (Santa Monica), who are helping me financially on academy costs, are telling me that it is a mistake to put yourself through, but I believe that their experience is mostly from the larger departments who can afford to put potential recruits through their academy. I'm just trying to get a better idea of how different depts operate depending on the region/area.

I'll open up the topic a bit, and add that any other advice pertaining to getting hired in general is welcome. The merits of going reserve, as Yahnet mentioned, after the academy if no immediate job opportunities are available in particular would be appreciated.

I would suggets doing some research in the police departments you are intersted in and then apply directly. If they do not hire you because they cant afford to send you through an academy, then put yourself through. Do you have any specific depts in mind, maybe someone here can give you better info. You should not hae a problem in getting hired and put through on the Depts's dime

Cpl_Peters
06-24-2009, 12:29 PM
get hired then go through the academy. I know many people who went to the academy non sponsored and never got picked up.

ilbob
06-24-2009, 2:58 PM
curious-what does it cost to put yourself through the academy.

is there some kind of minimum standards they have for cadets paying their own way?

AT'sGCSRT8
06-24-2009, 3:11 PM
curious-what does it cost to put yourself through the academy.

is there some kind of minimum standards they have for cadets paying their own way?

They area all different but the one in Napa,CA that I am going to costs $2900. This includes uniforms and gear and a trip to the tolerance museum in L.A. The standards are the same for all cadets attending. It doesn't matter if they are sponsored or not.

Fire in the Hole
06-24-2009, 5:07 PM
When I hired on in 1980, on our first day orientation at the academy, which was a full-time, live-in dormatory and full academy, with all meals provided, We were told that it cost the tax payers $40,000 per cadet for 6 months.

code33
06-24-2009, 5:20 PM
Some info here:
http://theacademy.ca.gov/?p=flyer&c=1634


curious-what does it cost to put yourself through the academy.

is there some kind of minimum standards they have for cadets paying their own way?

The Bacon Eater
06-24-2009, 8:22 PM
Does anyone have any in LA area? LBPD offers a civilian academy, but im not sure if its post certified or not.

Regulus
06-24-2009, 9:19 PM
Here's two:

Rio Hondo College in Whittier (LA) (http://www.riohondo.edu/LEO/Police%20Academy%20Title%20page.htm)
Golden West College in Huntington Beach (OC) (http://www.goldenwestcollege.edu/cjtc/)

Both look to be P.O.S.T. certified/accredited.

1911su16b870
06-24-2009, 9:38 PM
Does anyone have any in LA area? LBPD offers a civilian academy, but im not sure if its post certified or not.

El Camino in North Torrance has a POST certified Level III/II Reserve Academy that runs 18 weeks.

El Camino Police Academy (http://www.elcamino.edu/academics/indtech/police/index.asp)

1911su16b870
06-24-2009, 9:39 PM
The Rio Hondo Class 192 starts next week IIRC...

The Bacon Eater
06-25-2009, 2:18 PM
Great news. I think this might be worth it for me. Thanks for the links guys

Ron-Solo
06-25-2009, 4:10 PM
Here's two:

Rio Hondo College in Whittier (LA) (http://www.riohondo.edu/LEO/Police%20Academy%20Title%20page.htm)
Golden West College in Huntington Beach (OC) (http://www.goldenwestcollege.edu/cjtc/)

Both look to be P.O.S.T. certified/accredited.

Rio Hondo is certified. So is Riverside Community College. It is run by the Riverside Sheriff's Department