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  #1  
Old 01-25-2013, 7:31 PM
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Talking Self Sponsored P.O.S.T.

Hello all,

I have a few questions about going into P.O.S.T. and being self sponsored.

1. I'm torn between 2 schools at the moment. And was wondering if anyone has any experience as a self sponsored cadet at these schools. I would also like to know Which departments sends there officers here.

The schools are:

San Bernardino County Sheriffs Regional Training Center which is through San Bernardino Valley college.

and

Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center which is through the Riverside Community College District.

So far I like everything Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center has to offer but I don't like the idea of having to provide my own gear. Well I do, just can't seem to afford it. FAFSA is only giving me about 2k for the program. So I pretty much have to cover the rest. And I'm going to be going in full time if that matters. I like the idea that I can buy a handgun now and be proficient/comfortable with it throughout at my career starting from the academy. But most stores around my area seem to have a restock waiting period of about 3 to 4 month thanks to the whole scare ban situation.

Which brings me to my next question.

2. Do most departments allow officers to carry non-department issued firearms? Or Will I be forced to be comfortable/proficient with the ones the department issues me. I don't know if it matters but I don't like the idea of training with a firearm for so long only to have to switch to another one. I'm still new to guns and have received only enough training to become a qualified armed security guard.

My current age is 24 going on 25 in June. Not sure if age matters.

My last question is how successful will you be on getting hired by a department with a P.O.S.T certificate at this current time? I know a few departments are hiring like Pomona and Riverside. I failed both P.O.S.T. written exams and have a waiting period of about 3 to 6 months to take the next ones. I figured during this time I would just sponsor my self to keep ahead of everyone else. Seeing as the next classes will start in a month or so.

Thanks.
-C.T
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  #2  
Old 01-25-2013, 7:43 PM
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Make sure you understand the entrance requirements from the college before you commit. At SBVC you had to pass a college level proficiency test with a minimum score prior to registering for the SBCSO academy.

I would choose the closest academy to your home. I would also look at the freeway issues getting to those locations. i.e. the 215 going to the SBCSO academy was a nightmare the last 2 years since it was under construction.

I had to leave 2 hours ahead of class to make sure I would make it on time. I came real close to being late. This is roughly a 30 minute drive for me under normal conditions. Trust me, you do not want to be late.

If your going fulltime, make sure your well funded, if you don't have what is needed for the day, your going to get the boot for being unprepared.

On another note, I know the RSO Academy offers a PT/Get-Ready type of course via RCC. You might want to try that to get a feel for what you are getting into.

You might... not... like it...
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  #3  
Old 01-25-2013, 7:52 PM
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If you can't pass the basic POST employment exam, you might want to re-think your career goals. The academy is much harder academically. Add in the stress and physical training, and you will be behind the curve. If they don't provide a firearm, you will need your own before you can start the firearms training.

Every department is different in the type of firearm they issue and/or authorize.

Before starting any academy, I recommend that you review some of the basics that you will need to be successful, such as English grammar and composition, and of course, physical conditioning.
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Old 01-25-2013, 8:05 PM
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Getting hired with an academy cert is no easier than not having one. It does show a bit of commitment though. I have a friend who instructed at one of the re-cert courses. She has had people in the classes on multiple re-certs. As far as firearms go it really depends upon the department, but I can assure you that no department is going to allow you to carry something they don't have on an approved list.

I don't want to rain on your parade but I do have to be honest, if you haven't passed the basic P.O.S.T. exam you are going to be in for a shock at the academy. They don't have time to waste on people who don't test well. It will seem like you will spend more time taking tests than anything else. You will only get a couple chances to pass each test. You don't pass you don't move on end of story. Make sure you are as prepared as you can be academically, and prepared to devote lots of free time to study, before you commit. Once you are there there are very few do overs.
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Old 01-25-2013, 8:08 PM
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Unless you have special skills or a college degree you are low on the list of qualified applicants.

Also, your background needs to be really clean with a stable history.

On another note, and I do not mean to be harsh, but you mentioned you failed the POST entrance exam twice. In the academy. the LD's and academic testing, not to mention the writing you will have to do, is about 20 times harder. That POST entrance exam is the minimum level to move forward into the academy.

I might recommend that you get an AA degree in Police/Criminal Science first, maybe a sociology degree to get some kind of credibility. Also, volunteer some time somewhere to show how you are vesting yourself in the community. Personally I would recommend getting a BA/BS degree in something you like first. Maybe volunteer at your local PD

At the last SBCSO PT test about 2500 people showed up. So if you pass that test, what sets you above all of these people when you go to the interview/background process?

Agencies are looking at the whole picture that is "you", that POST RBC cert is just a small part of that picture. It just means you met the minimum education/testing requirements to enter into the next phase of law enforcement.

================================================== =======
My last question is how successful will you be on getting hired by a department with a P.O.S.T certificate at this current time? I know a few departments are hiring like Pomona and Riverside. I failed both P.O.S.T. written exams and have a waiting period of about 3 to 6 months to take the next ones. I figured during this time I would just sponsor my self to keep ahead of everyone else. Seeing as the next classes will start in a month or so.
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Old 01-25-2013, 8:20 PM
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Many departments are hiring at the moment, and a POST certificate will definitely help during the hiring process. Make sure that you take the practice post exams online BEFORE you take your next test. The T score might not seem like a big deal now, but many agencies look at it as a starting point for your education. Worry about the firearms stuff later, right now you need to focus on academics it seems. Once you are in the academy there are very few chances to fail a test and remediate it. I believe in my academy if you had under an 80% score overall you would not pass.
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Old 01-25-2013, 9:09 PM
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In the academy, you get two attempts to pass each leadership domain. Two failures, aka "Double Tap", and you're done.
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Old 01-25-2013, 9:29 PM
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Really great help guys. Thanks for all the input. I'll keep everything in mind.

And to answer a few questions. It's been awhile since I last hit the books and was last in school. I was told the test was simple so I thought I would be able to remember a lot of things, but it turned out I wasn't really prepared. And I wasn't able to study much due to short time. I've been stuck with working temp jobs and working low hours as a security guard to be able to finance my self into a new career. After about a few years I manage to save up to 12k. (And I also have FAFSA) I have enough for the general cost. But I was looking more into the long run and getting my AA/BA degree in law as well. Riverside seems to have a FAST TRACK program that will fit this need so I'm leaning more to it. As for the tests, I failed the riverside department test due to being a airhead and taking someone else advice into thinking it was easy. But forgot that he was currently going to school so he didn't have to brush up on anything. The second time I took the test was around December of last year. I had a horrible flu and wasn't able to reschedule for the Pomona police department so I went ahead and tested anyways seeing as it would just be marked as a no show/fail

I'm currently taking the Introduction to law enforcement class's at Ben Clark and will be finished with the classes soon. So far, I have no issues with them.

I also aced the test for San Bernardino valley college assessment test. And I did well for the physical agility test. However, out of the 40 people that showed up, I didn't make the top 10 on the list (was 12 on the list) and was put on the reserves in case someone drops out. Everyone ended up showing up so I'm trying again for this year. They made it clear that departments have priority in the school and only have so many seats open for self sponsored cadets. I also passed the P.O.S.T. written exam for the Ben Clark school this month.

I still have enough time to decide which school I want to go to and just want to hear if one is better then the other, or if its just a matter of which ever one seems more covenant, distance wise. I hear that Orange County academy was one of the top ranked schools. But wasn't sure if that was from people who were being bias about it.

Thanks again guys. You've been really helpful.

My ultimate goal is to work as a detective. I know I have to put in a few years as a cop to reach this goal and I would need at least a BA in some field involving law. So like I said. I might go with riverside after all to get my BA in law with the fast track program they have.

My record is very clean. No felonys, no arrests. However, I did file bankruptcy 2 years back after I lost my job. It was during that time that I felt it was time to change careers. I personally felt culinary wasn't much of a passion. I just really loved food but not enough to make a career of it. I've always been passionate about law enforcement. I just never bothered because my family, girl friend, etc felt troubled about me working such a dangerous job. They also felt very strongly about firearms in general thinking people only buy them to commit crimes, etc. It took some time, but they started to be supportive about it. I just wished I Ignored them and started doing all this once I hit 18 rather then ranking up a 50k debt in a AA degree in Culinary. Not to mention the school seemed more like a scam. Anyways that's some history if it clears up anything.

Last edited by C_T; 01-25-2013 at 9:52 PM.. Reason: Adding a few things.
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:14 PM
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I would also like some insight on the pros and cons about this line of work. I've talked to a few police officers but never really had the time to sit down and actually talked. I know I would be seeing some really crazy stuff, and that I gotta have a really strong stomach to handle this kinda of work. I know this job can be very stressful and time consuming as well. But I would like to hear it from you guys. Do you guys enjoy your time as a LEO? Where you passionate about joining? Or was this just a career? Can you actually enjoy your life with a family while having such a career? I apologize if I'm getting too personal. I just want to know what I should expect, and whats to be expected of me if and when I do start this career.
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:47 PM
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They will look at the bankruptcy since it is so recent, so be prepared to explain why it occurred. As far as your choice of majors, what exactly do you mean you want to obtain a B.A. in "law." If you are referring to a Criminal Justice degree, you might want to rethink that. Unless you are applying for a le job with the Feds, pretty much every active and retired leo here have recommended not to do it when the question has come up.

Per one member who works for the Feds (don't recall the agency and he posted a year or two ago), a CJ degree is actually desirable for getting on with some of the Federal agencies (you'd have to check which ones).

If you decide on a CJ degree and you go locally and either don't make it or decide it isn't for you (and people do just that while in the academy), then you are stuck with a CJ degree that will probably not serve you well in looking for another career.

My B.A. was in History because I did well in it and was going into law school, with the goal of entering the FBI. I ended up in local le and the degree helped not only entering at a higher salary, but also obtaining my P.O.S.T. certificates sooner.

Public Admin., Business, English, etc. are all good majors that should serve you well in getting hired and promoting, all things being equal.

I would recommend, as was said, taking practice tests, remedial English if you have any difficulties with grammar, spelling or punctuation. Report writing is an important part of le and if you cannot write a good report, you will not make it off training.

My former dept. will return you to your last assignment if you fail training due to report writing problems. You have one year on your own, to remediate. You will be sent out to another station on your list at the end of the year. If you don't make it this time for any reason, you have two choices: 1. Resign. 2. Demote to a Custody Assistant position. The latter is not sworn, no gun, probably 1/3 of the salary (I could be wrong on that as I've been retired for almost 10yrs.) and working custody of some sort for the rest of your career.

Lastly, I enjoyed my time as a leo despite my many surgeries and having to retire medically before I wanted to. Was I passionate about joining. Hell yes. It took me awhile and a lot of tests due to the competition. When you end up in the top 5 or 10 a number of times and they only hire one and you are number 3 or 5 and you are 7, it takes time to get hired.

As far as a family goes, I would not have the one I have if I hadn't been a leo. I met my future wife at the hospital she worked at. She was my physical therapist aide (at the time) for one of my work related injuries. Almost 32yrs. of marriage, 3 kids and 10 grandkids; so yeah, you can have a family and enjoy both them and the career.

Good luck.
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retired View Post
They will look at the bankruptcy since it is so recent, so be prepared to explain why it occurred. As far as your choice of majors, what exactly do you mean you want to obtain a B.A. in "law." If you are referring to a Criminal Justice degree, you might want to rethink that. Unless you are applying for a le job with the Feds, pretty much every active and retired leo here have recommended not to do it when the question has come up.

Per one member who works for the Feds (don't recall the agency and he posted a year or two ago), a CJ degree is actually desirable for getting on with some of the Federal agencies (you'd have to check which ones).

If you decide on a CJ degree and you go locally and either don't make it or decide it isn't for you (and people do just that while in the academy), then you are stuck with a CJ degree that will probably not serve you well in looking for another career.

My B.A. was in History because I did well in it and was going into law school, with the goal of entering the FBI. I ended up in local le and the degree helped not only entering at a higher salary, but also obtaining my P.O.S.T. certificates sooner.

Public Admin., Business, English, etc. are all good majors that should serve you well in getting hired and promoting, all things being equal.

I would recommend, as was said, taking practice tests, remedial English if you have any difficulties with grammar, spelling or punctuation. Report writing is an important part of le and if you cannot write a good report, you will not make it off training.

My former dept. will return you to your last assignment if you fail training due to report writing problems. You have one year on your own, to remediate. You will be sent out to another station on your list at the end of the year. If you don't make it this time for any reason, you have two choices: 1. Resign. 2. Demote to a Custody Assistant position. The latter is not sworn, no gun, probably 1/3 of the salary (I could be wrong on that as I've been retired for almost 10yrs.) and working custody of some sort for the rest of your career.

Lastly, I enjoyed my time as a leo despite my many surgeries and having to retire medically before I wanted to. Was I passionate about joining. Hell yes. It took me awhile and a lot of tests due to the competition. When you end up in the top 5 or 10 a number of times and they only hire one and you are number 3 or 5 and you are 7, it takes time to get hired.

As far as a family goes, I would not have the one I have if I hadn't been a leo. I met my future wife at the hospital she worked at. She was my physical therapist aide (at the time) for one of my work related injuries. Almost 32yrs. of marriage, 3 kids and 10 grandkids; so yeah, you can have a family and enjoy both them and the career.

Good luck.
I'll go with English seeing as my grammar could use some work and seeing as I will be using it almost non stop. Thanks for the insight. Really encouraging!
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Old 01-26-2013, 6:11 PM
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CT,

What kind of shape are you in now? The first month of a full basic academy is usually very demanding in PT, we'll actually the whole thing is. But people find it easier as time goes and they slide into the routine and structure of the academy.

The first couple of day's your body will be pushed very hard in PT. ( weeding Out recruits) It is very important to be top physical shape, and not just slide by with the agility exam minimums. I would invest in cardio extensive programs like Insanity, all the PT in the academy is ' cross fit' or ' functional movement' types. Anything involving endurance is good.

Just doing push ups and running may be enough, but you'll be suffering. If you want to enjoy it, I'd do insanity or crossfit before going the academy. Infact one of our highest scoring recruits in PT was a Army reservist who did the insanity program before the academy. He excelled at mostly everything, he cited his success to that program.
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Last edited by Tacit Blue; 01-26-2013 at 6:18 PM..
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  #13  
Old 01-28-2013, 8:08 AM
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To the original questions:
* Both the academy programs you listed are quality at least looking from a county away.
* If you are self sponsoring, go to the one with the shortest commute. You'll need to use all of the time you can when you are away from the academy.
* Departments may prefer grads from certain academies but it is not a significant barrier across the board. Departments will put recruits in different academies depending on timing/availability.
* Being an academy graduate will get you on a shorter stack of applications than being entry level/recruit. But as said above there are applicants with 4year and advanced degrees, military service and/or laterals applying as well. Academy graduate means you are 26 weeks closer to getting in a car and there is no risk of you dropping or getting dropped in the academy compared to a recruit.
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Old 01-28-2013, 8:59 AM
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There is a lot of good advice here, let me ad my $.02...
Be in shape and make sure your academics don't fall off. You will stand a better chance of getting picked up by a department if you can finish in the top 10 overall. That's a combo of your LD scores, PT, firearms, etc.
I would recommend closer to home for commute purposes. I was late one time and I wouldn't recommend it
If you don't get picked up right away, apply to be a reserve at a local agency. It could give you an inside track to getting picked up full time.
As for the job, I started by going through a reserve academy and working in that capacity. After about a year, the Chief recommended I go through a full time academy and/or module D. I chose the academy...
I love the job, both patrol and investigations. Good luck!
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