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  #41  
Old 09-26-2013, 12:47 AM
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Oakland, San Jose, LAPD, LASD all hire massive numbers and its a numbers game. You see a lot and learn a lot from them, more so than smaller agencies. Sacramento PD & County Sheriffs do a lot of hiring but even they are highly competitive and extremely hard to get on, even for a lateral.

Again you might want to think twice about Oakland, San Jose, LAPD, LASD and then lateral to one of the agencies you have previously applied for.
Last I heard San Mateo PD would't look at you without a 2 or 4 year degree. Its a numbers game, keep going.
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  #42  
Old 09-26-2013, 1:49 AM
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I'm guessing Spanish language skills and various psychology course work, or job exp as security in a psych ward or halfway house, or volunteering with "at risk ghetto youth" would go a lot further than kickboxing and various MMA.

If you want to tell them you want to 'serve the community' it might be nice to have SOME example of you actually doing that, not to mention picking up some personal recommendations from various 'community leaders'. In other words, some serious asskissing for a few MONTHS, if not years.

I knew a guy in high school who became a cop, and now I know why he was doing all sorts of dorky things as a senior and after.
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  #43  
Old 09-26-2013, 11:04 AM
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Great advice
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  #44  
Old 09-26-2013, 6:47 PM
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Though I havent read every post, on a quick scan through I didnt see any mention of the CHP. We do happen to be hiring at the moment. I would give serious consideration as, judging from your original post, you would seem to be a good candidate.

Just a thought. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions.

-Stick
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  #45  
Old 09-26-2013, 6:54 PM
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A lot of good advice on this thread. I was in your same shoes not too long ago. What you are experiencing is normal, especially coming from the private sector. All the questions they ask are targeted. Being a law abiding citizen, I sure wasn't use to detectives and agents challenging me as Ive never been on that side of them before so it definitely caught me off guard. However, your self-analysis and lack of ego will serve you very well. You will get there, just takes time so keep that in mind.
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  #46  
Old 09-26-2013, 7:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rollaspeed1 View Post
My work experience may be working against me:
For the past 2 years I had been a Relationship Banker, although licensed by SEC, which has nothing to do with what's preferred. For like 6 years prior to that I did wireless sales, which, again, doesn't bring much to the table.

Don't sell yourself short. MAKE your experience work for the department to which you apply! Here, let me make up a fake example to go along with the work experience you mentioned. When they ask you about your experience, you can say something like:


"I currently work for ABC Bank as an SEC licensed Relationship Banker. With all of my personal clients combined, I manage over $2 million dollars worth of personal banking portfolios. This is a testament to my trustworthiness and responsibility - two qualities which are important for officers. Prior to that, I spent 6 years with XYZ Wireless as a Sales and Tech Representative. Now, the reason I mention that is because I understand that your department has recently launched the Patrol Unit Surveillance Systems in department vehicles. Those systems use the same GSM technology I worked with during my time at XYZ Wireless. This allows me to quickly adapt to the changing technologies at the department."


Get it?


BK
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  #47  
Old 09-26-2013, 8:41 PM
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Originally Posted by BigStiCK View Post
Though I havent read every post, on a quick scan through I didnt see any mention of the CHP. We do happen to be hiring at the moment. I would give serious consideration as, judging from your original post, you would seem to be a good candidate.

Just a thought. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions.

-Stick
CHP does not guarantee that I'll work in my division, I think. I had made my life here, I have my mom to take care of, I own a home in Concord. So I can't really get up and leave SF Bay Area/Sacramento area... Unless I am wrong?
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  #48  
Old 09-26-2013, 8:43 PM
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[QUOTE=
"I currently work for ABC Bank as an SEC licensed Relationship Banker. With all of my personal clients combined, I manage over $2 million dollars worth of personal banking portfolios. This is a testament to my trustworthiness and responsibility - two qualities which are important for officers. Prior to that, I spent 6 years with XYZ Wireless as a Sales and Tech Representative. Now, the reason I mention that is because I understand that your department has recently launched the Patrol Unit Surveillance Systems in department vehicles. Those systems use the same GSM technology I worked with during my time at XYZ Wireless. This allows me to quickly adapt to the changing technologies at the department."
BK[/QUOTE]

I really like that. Thanks!
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  #49  
Old 09-26-2013, 9:12 PM
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LE is very competitive to get into. While, I do encourage what Badkitty said.

The fact remains that you are competing with lot's of veteran's right now. Majority of these Iraq war vets, Afghan, etc.. didn't necessarily intend to become LEO's. For instance my friend NEVER wanted to be a LEO, but because of his service he is awarded preference points

Another thing, you really have to offer something appealing in order to get hired a MAJORITY of the time. If you worked as EMT, Paramedic that's considered a useful asset.

If you were a police explorer, you're pretty much groomed into LE.

Some times they do utilize the " whole person concept", for instance you could have a perfectly clean background and still be DQ'd. Happened to my friend, he applied for Ventura County Sheriff's. He'd ride his motorycle all the way from San Diego to go through the process. During his background packet they DQ for " lack of life experience" reason he was told in person" You have crap penmanship, I can't read your life bio".

Another words they can nit pick you, if they really want you they'll let you know...

It definitely helps to know people also, nepotism exists regardless of what they say. Don't be fooled by the statement " equal opportunity employer"..
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Last edited by Tacit Blue; 09-26-2013 at 9:18 PM..
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  #50  
Old 09-26-2013, 10:58 PM
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Originally Posted by rollaspeed1 View Post
This is the logical way to go, but I don't have the means to quit working for 6 months and at the same time pay $6K for the academy. Otherwise, I would. It IS the right way.
I am not a LEO but I DO hold a POST Level 1.

I have been a Code Enforcement Officer for the past 13 years, but that ended in March of 2012 when I was laid off.

It started when I needed my PC 832. I had so much fun and I did want to get into law enforcement that when Riverside CO. Sheriffs offered a POST Level 2 I took it. Then that was fun too, but POST Level 1 was offered next. I took it as well and then they announced that Module D (all of the PT that is in POST) was being offered but only in Victorville and that killed it for me. I did not want to drive all that way after working and on the weekends. My car kinda sucked anyways.

I took my POST classes through Riverside Community College at Ben Clark Training Center. They were supposed to open the doors to be a reserve officer but I had gotten sucked into code enforcement with a local small city and instead just enjoyed the ride. These college classes were offered on weeknights, like Tuesdays and Thursdays and then on the weekends and lasted about a month or two each. All of the shooting and physical stuff (like beating up the dummy with the PR-24) was done on the weekends. I really enjoyed myself. The guys that ran the show were class acts and that was where I got a lot of positive police contact. They were really cool.

I think that it could have been possible that had I applied for a Reserve officer and gotten picked up, then I was cleared to be out on my own. Now I am not saying that that was what I wanted, but it is nice that taking these classes and the time invested would have helped me a lot. And it did not cost me 6k to do it.

I think that if you started with your 832 and then worked your way through to level 1 then applied for a reserve officer in several cities, you could get hired on, work a few days or more a month like they ask for free, soak up all that you learn, do a good job then plug away at the positions that they offer that you could be a LEO in a couple of years maybe.

Someone please correct me if I am wrong, but it seems that if you go into the oral interview after being a reserve officer you will already have some honed answers for some of their scenarios perhaps and if you stay in shape that is great, you already have your foot in the door and you are already one of the good guys so that might even put you above others. I COULD BE WRONG, I am NOT a LEO but damn I wish that I had stuck with it because being a CEO turned out to really suck in the end.

You could also become a CEO and work as a reserve officer as well and then get almost double exposure to the environment. Being a CEO you could network into the department for your city possibly so when you go for an interview they might already know you from either reserve or CEO and interactions. I heard folks talk.

When I went for CHP (3 times) I was told that the entire STATE is your jurisdiction so when you get out of the academy you can be put anywhere they need you. I dunno if that had changed, but CHP aint too bad either. I hope I aint outta line here, but many LEO might have something against CHP and CHP seems to have something against all other LEO. I think it was perpetuated in the pretesting orientation where Baker told us all that people that are not good enough to get into CHP will get picked up by other smaller agencies where they will go on to be social workers with a gun. Meanwhile, as a CHP you do not need to write reports on all of your contacts all day, you patrol, issue cites, make arrests and demonstrate safe use of the roadways (and other tasks as assigned). Lol. That really sticks out when I think back to it.

Last edited by stilly; 09-26-2013 at 11:08 PM..
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  #51  
Old 09-27-2013, 2:29 PM
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PC 832. I might just do that. Thanks, Stilly for an awesome write up!
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  #52  
Old 09-27-2013, 3:13 PM
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Put yourself through an academy and apply outside of the bay area. If you get picked up at another department do a few years there and lateral over. I put myself through an extended academy, worked full time during school, and had a job offer before I graduated. I applied to a few different departments and was able to choose where I wanted to go. I did not have any military experience or a college degree at the time I was hired. Its all about what you put into it.
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  #53  
Old 09-27-2013, 3:47 PM
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I've followed this post and the OP needs to realize a few things about this business. First, it's not like applying for Microsoft or a private business. For entry level, prior experience generally is not needed and many agencies only require a high school diploma or GED so the applicant pool is large. It's a slow process and without an academy certificate it is more difficult as many have posted. There are many applicants with academy certificates who can't get a job. Some may have background issues or just don't make the cut and some are pretty squared away.

It requires a lot of compromise and sacrifice to get in. Once you're in and pass probation, your all set. There were many good suggestions here and you said you would not consider some and it may be the right choice for you but they are good options to increase your chances of getting hiring.

I came from a non-LEO family and knew nothing about LE and did not know any cops but needed a job back in the late 80's during a recession. Affirmative action was the law and being white excluded me from the few positions available. I decided this is what I wanted to do but not for the canned BS reasons most say such as helping the community. I needed job security after coming from a dying industry and wanted a job which was difficult to master and was challenging. I saved money to make my house payment, got in shape (cardio stuff), got rid of my girlfriend, and put myself through the hardest academy to see if I could handle it. I put my best foot forward and graduated 4th in my class out of 70 cadets, most were not affiliated (aka: unemployed). I applied everywhere including putting interest cards in every agency so in the event there was an opening I would be notified. Because I ranked high in my class and was mature and humble, the staff liked me and I got interviews (this was work, not luck). It still took me a 1 1/2 years to land a job and I took the first job offered which was a state university cop job where there were initially 350 applicants for one position. Deciding whom to work for was not an option, as I would take any job offered to me to get my foot in the door. The pay sucked but it got me in and three years later after performing well for the agency, I lateraled and doubled my pay. Almost 25 years later and and three agencies later, my only regret is not doing it at a younger age.

Having sat across the table from many applicants such as you on oral boards and sizing applicants up during tough times when no one wanted to be a cop to times like now when jobs are tough because of the amount of applicants including laterals moving around, you would be very surprised what DQ's someone. I've had applicants who passed everything but there was something I just didn't like about them and that was enough to give them "you made the list" letter but would never be hired.

The point of all this is the process is long and competitive and you need to make sacrifices and compromises to get your foot in the door. Only about 1 out of 100 or more who ever apply, make it through the process. Nepotism, and friends in the business goes a long way which I did not have and it sound like you don't either. There is good input in this post and you should consider all aspects of LE including, campus cop, correction officer, code enforcement, and even dog catcher to get your start. Even working for a city or county in any capacity gives you one up on the outsider when applying. Your title of needing help ASAP indicates you are frustration but if you want it bad enough, understand the process better and how the game is played.

Good luck

Last edited by Caddis; 09-27-2013 at 3:50 PM..
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  #54  
Old 09-27-2013, 5:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rollaspeed1 View Post
PC 832. I might just do that. Thanks, Stilly for an awesome write up!
PC832 satisfies the basic level requirement for all CA LEO, however you are not able to become an officer of any kind with this. You will be allowed to work as an armed guard for an agency or in the private sector.

National Guard has started to require that their Guardsmen obtain the PC832 Arrest, Search, and Seizure and PC832 Firearms Familiarization certs in order to assist local LE in drug enforcement and what not.

You will need to complete Modules III, II, and I to be qualified as a CA LEO. The Reserve Officer levels III, II, and I each require the POST Module respective to their ranks. To be a full LEO or on call, you need to complete the entire academy. Most agencies do not accept Reserver level III Officers as level II offers more bang for the buck.

Please keep in mind that although the PC832 courses are included in the Modular Format, they are not transferrable to the Modules i.e. you need to complete each Module as a whole.

I am going through this process myself, have made lots of mistakes, and wasted lots of time. There is no longer Modules A, B, C, etc... either, but they are still recognized and will be accepted with referesher courses.

Try any local community college that offers CA POST Modular Academies and go from there. Research and determine which Modules they offer as some will not offer Module I and others will only offer Module I. You may need to hop around schools for a bit. The Benefit to this is CA POST Academies apply as college units towards a degree.

Side note, the 24 hr PC832 Firearms Familiarization course is acceptable as an exemption to the 16 hr CCW course, however I'd check with your local issuing agency for verification. You will still need to qual with each weapon though.

PM me if you need some help through the current process. My Academy starts in December. GL

Last edited by anbu_yoshi; 09-27-2013 at 5:04 PM..
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  #55  
Old 09-27-2013, 6:51 PM
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This ^^^^^ it worked for me... it's a long journey and I wish you luck.



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It all depends on the state.

In some of the coastal smaller states you can get hired on as a reserve within 30 days. Once the Chief sees you motivated and making your way through OJT they will foot the bill to send you to the State Police Academy. Once you graduate there, then you go back to your small town and start working. I knew a guy that was a husband of a woman that worked for me get hired on and sent off to the academy within 60 days. A lot faster than if you really want to go with California.

California it takes way too long IMO. I am one that probably wouldn't wait that long.

Also military will be ahead of you so keep that in mind also.
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Last edited by Endless; 09-27-2013 at 6:56 PM..
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  #56  
Old 09-27-2013, 11:16 PM
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Originally Posted by rollaspeed1 View Post
I am in SF Bay Area. I've applied to a number of smaller agencies hiring 1-5 candidates. Santa Clara, Mountain View, Fremont, Alameda, Pleasant Hill, Plus like 2 more I can't remember.
You better try to remember, if you make it into backgrounds you will have to list all of them.

Btw did you try contra costa sheriff? They are in your area and they do a decent amount of hiring.
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  #57  
Old 09-27-2013, 11:37 PM
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Originally Posted by anbu_yoshi View Post
PC832 satisfies the basic level requirement for all CA LEO, however you are not able to become an officer of any kind with this. You will be allowed to work as an armed guard for an agency or in the private sector.

National Guard has started to require that their Guardsmen obtain the PC832 Arrest, Search, and Seizure and PC832 Firearms Familiarization certs in order to assist local LE in drug enforcement and what not.

You will need to complete Modules III, II, and I to be qualified as a CA LEO. The Reserve Officer levels III, II, and I each require the POST Module respective to their ranks. To be a full LEO or on call, you need to complete the entire academy. Most agencies do not accept Reserver level III Officers as level II offers more bang for the buck.

...
Yes. I agree, but also, another way to look at it in laymans terms, If you ONLY do PC832, you are now qualified to join the Sheriff's Posse and assist on search and recover operations once you join (as a volunteer) This is considered LEVEL III.

At Level II You can put on a uniform and ride along with other officers as a reserve officer.

At Level I you can ride along by yourself because you are qualified to. HOWEVER, they aint just gonna turn the keys over to you and say go get em. I am fairly certain that ANY agency would require you to have an FTO for who knows how long, and eventually you might be able to ride out by yourself and nobody will be the wiser that you are doing it for free. But look at all of that experience you get and familiarity with the job. I think that THAT could give you an edge when it comes to getting hired.

Please note too, my information is 2000 old. I started this all in 98/99 and just had a lot of fun with the Post classes. I want to take another 832 as a refresher to see if I can group better. And of course, if they offer 832 with firearms, TAKE THAT. It is a lot of fun taking a class that requires you to bring a pistol and then they show you how to clean it and all afterwards. Our group got some funny looks with the gun choices they brought.

Another benefit to taking these classes- Networking. You meet a lot of guys/girls there and Maybe I got lucky, but the guy I met in my 832 just happened to be a Building Official and after the class was over he called me up one day and invited me to work for him. THAT is why I ended up not going more towards LEO, because it was fun being a CEO. I got to use the police range and shoot whenever, I had a lot of access. Many guys in there have connections. Get to know a few, make some new friends and who knows what will come of it.

This is no easy way to become a LEO by any means. I hope I did not make it sound like that, but I do recognize that it could be a way to make connections that might help you get in if not by people then by exposure and experience.

Too bad you are not closer to Riverside County. Perris is gonna be looking for a new ACO soon. VERY soon. They have not flown the position, but getting in and being able to get that experience is nice. I am thinking of calling them up, but then again, I am a computer guy and I want to be a computer guy, no more code or animal control.

GL.

Last edited by stilly; 09-27-2013 at 11:42 PM..
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  #58  
Old 09-28-2013, 12:36 AM
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The times have changed so much that the advice my LEO friends give me aren't very accurate as far as the process goes.

The PC832's alone do not allow you to be a Level III Reserve Officer. Module III consists of more than just PC832's and even if you took the other courses separately, you'd still not be qualified.

I have asked these and many other questions directly to CA POST as well as multiple agencies in my area. Module III = Reserve Level III qualified at the minimum. I believe that this is also listed on the website.

I do not believe that volunteers require courses as they are not considered as Reserve Officers. Reserve Officers get paid for their mandated hours and are formal CA LEOs. There are actual volunteers, but they are a different class and are not "employed" by the agency nor are they sworn in.

Currently:

Level III = Uniform, badge, gun, under supervision of Level I or full time, very limited duties. Very unlikely to see an arrest situation. Protected under LEOSA, have LE "perks" via unions, orgs, and CA exemptions.

Level II = Same as Level III, but with more functions and duties. Still unlikely to see an arrest situation but I'm sure you're more exposed.

Level I = Basically a full time LEO without the benefits and have limited hours.


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Originally Posted by stilly View Post
Yes. I agree, but also, another way to look at it in laymans terms, If you ONLY do PC832, you are now qualified to join the Sheriff's Posse and assist on search and recover operations once you join (as a volunteer) This is considered LEVEL III.

At Level II You can put on a uniform and ride along with other officers as a reserve officer.

At Level I you can ride along by yourself because you are qualified to. HOWEVER, they aint just gonna turn the keys over to you and say go get em. I am fairly certain that ANY agency would require you to have an FTO for who knows how long, and eventually you might be able to ride out by yourself and nobody will be the wiser that you are doing it for free. But look at all of that experience you get and familiarity with the job. I think that THAT could give you an edge when it comes to getting hired.

Please note too, my information is 2000 old. I started this all in 98/99 and just had a lot of fun with the Post classes. I want to take another 832 as a refresher to see if I can group better. And of course, if they offer 832 with firearms, TAKE THAT. It is a lot of fun taking a class that requires you to bring a pistol and then they show you how to clean it and all afterwards. Our group got some funny looks with the gun choices they brought.

Another benefit to taking these classes- Networking. You meet a lot of guys/girls there and Maybe I got lucky, but the guy I met in my 832 just happened to be a Building Official and after the class was over he called me up one day and invited me to work for him. THAT is why I ended up not going more towards LEO, because it was fun being a CEO. I got to use the police range and shoot whenever, I had a lot of access. Many guys in there have connections. Get to know a few, make some new friends and who knows what will come of it.

This is no easy way to become a LEO by any means. I hope I did not make it sound like that, but I do recognize that it could be a way to make connections that might help you get in if not by people then by exposure and experience.

Too bad you are not closer to Riverside County. Perris is gonna be looking for a new ACO soon. VERY soon. They have not flown the position, but getting in and being able to get that experience is nice. I am thinking of calling them up, but then again, I am a computer guy and I want to be a computer guy, no more code or animal control.

GL.

Last edited by anbu_yoshi; 09-28-2013 at 12:39 AM..
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  #59  
Old 09-28-2013, 10:24 AM
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Do what you can to improve yourself. Take mulitple practice tests to improve your ranking.

Practice oral boards. Most interviews are basically the same. Be able to tell them who you are without being cocky and why yiu want to work for the dept, answer the situational questions while thinking outside the box. Answer the ethical questions putting yourself and the dept in best of light and conclude the interview with why you'll be an outstanding Leo for the dept.

Good luck
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Old 09-28-2013, 12:51 PM
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I come from the federal service, and that is a lot different, but recruiting and hiring there have some parallels with real law enforcement. The interviewers are looking for trainable applicants, and actively weeding out applicants who already know everything. They are much more concerned with your decision-making skills and your ability to listen and to learn than with the size of your muscles.

Are you thick-skinned enough for a little brutal honesty?

(If not, law enforcement might not be your best fit, by a long shot!)

You have been out in the work force for a while, but you have an unimpressive work history to a law enforcement agency. Sales and (relationship?) banking are not going to get you much positive attention, and that matters.

You are pushing thirty, and still well short of earning a degree. A degree which is not going to be exciting to a police agency, anyway.

It's good to be healthy, but some law enforcement agencies would be somewhere between concerned and suspicious of the Muay Thai and gun business. Many departments have more Tactical War Killers In Tight Black Tee Shirts than they want. Law enforcement is more about what's between your ears than unarmed combat.

Your language skills might be attractive in some of the larger city departments, and certainly in some of the federal agencies. (Most federal agencies require a four-year degree, unless you have some rare and much needed skill.)

I'm not sure how much use a business degree is to a law enforcement agency, but an accounting degree is a much different story. You might consider checking out switching majors. Accounting is pretty boring but a monkey can earn that degree if the monkey has a good work ethic.

Whatever you do, don't try any of your sales techniques on an interview panel! Those folks are probably very adept at sniffing out B.S., and if you try to sell them a dead cow, they are not going to like it, or you.

You might spend a few bucks on one of these trial interview counselors. They will run you through a few mock interviews, and then give you a dispassionate, objective assessment. They will often see things that you cannot.

Good luck, and have a Plan B. A tough economy and many looming five-alarm pension crisis's are making the road as tough as I have ever seen it.
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Old 09-28-2013, 9:16 PM
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I come from the federal service, and that is a lot different, but recruiting and hiring there have some parallels with real law enforcement. The interviewers are looking for trainable applicants, and actively weeding out applicants who already know everything. They are much more concerned with your decision-making skills and your ability to listen and to learn than with the size of your muscles.

Are you thick-skinned enough for a little brutal honesty?

(If not, law enforcement might not be your best fit, by a long shot!)

You have been out in the work force for a while, but you have an unimpressive work history to a law enforcement agency. Sales and (relationship?) banking are not going to get you much positive attention, and that matters.

You are pushing thirty, and still well short of earning a degree. A degree which is not going to be exciting to a police agency, anyway.

It's good to be healthy, but some law enforcement agencies would be somewhere between concerned and suspicious of the Muay Thai and gun business. Many departments have more Tactical War Killers In Tight Black Tee Shirts than they want. Law enforcement is more about what's between your ears than unarmed combat.

Your language skills might be attractive in some of the larger city departments, and certainly in some of the federal agencies. (Most federal agencies require a four-year degree, unless you have some rare and much needed skill.)

I'm not sure how much use a business degree is to a law enforcement agency, but an accounting degree is a much different story. You might consider checking out switching majors. Accounting is pretty boring but a monkey can earn that degree if the monkey has a good work ethic.

Whatever you do, don't try any of your sales techniques on an interview panel! Those folks are probably very adept at sniffing out B.S., and if you try to sell them a dead cow, they are not going to like it, or you.

You might spend a few bucks on one of these trial interview counselors. They will run you through a few mock interviews, and then give you a dispassionate, objective assessment. They will often see things that you cannot.

Good luck, and have a Plan B. A tough economy and many looming five-alarm pension crisis's are making the road as tough as I have ever seen it.
That was extremely accurate and very well put.
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Old 09-29-2013, 9:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Khromo View Post
I come from the federal service, and that is a lot different, but recruiting and hiring there have some parallels with real law enforcement. The interviewers are looking for trainable applicants, and actively weeding out applicants who already know everything. They are much more concerned with your decision-making skills and your ability to listen and to learn than with the size of your muscles.

Are you thick-skinned enough for a little brutal honesty?

(If not, law enforcement might not be your best fit, by a long shot!)

You have been out in the work force for a while, but you have an unimpressive work history to a law enforcement agency. Sales and (relationship?) banking are not going to get you much positive attention, and that matters.

You are pushing thirty, and still well short of earning a degree. A degree which is not going to be exciting to a police agency, anyway.

It's good to be healthy, but some law enforcement agencies would be somewhere between concerned and suspicious of the Muay Thai and gun business. Many departments have more Tactical War Killers In Tight Black Tee Shirts than they want. Law enforcement is more about what's between your ears than unarmed combat.

Your language skills might be attractive in some of the larger city departments, and certainly in some of the federal agencies. (Most federal agencies require a four-year degree, unless you have some rare and much needed skill.)

I'm not sure how much use a business degree is to a law enforcement agency, but an accounting degree is a much different story. You might consider checking out switching majors. Accounting is pretty boring but a monkey can earn that degree if the monkey has a good work ethic.

Whatever you do, don't try any of your sales techniques on an interview panel! Those folks are probably very adept at sniffing out B.S., and if you try to sell them a dead cow, they are not going to like it, or you.

You might spend a few bucks on one of these trial interview counselors. They will run you through a few mock interviews, and then give you a dispassionate, objective assessment. They will often see things that you cannot.

Good luck, and have a Plan B. A tough economy and many looming five-alarm pension crisis's are making the road as tough as I have ever seen it.
Thank you. That is all very true.
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Old 09-29-2013, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by anbu_yoshi View Post
The times have changed so much that the advice my LEO friends give me aren't very accurate as far as the process goes.

The PC832's alone do not allow you to be a Level III Reserve Officer. Module III consists of more than just PC832's and even if you took the other courses separately, you'd still not be qualified.

I have asked these and many other questions directly to CA POST as well as multiple agencies in my area. Module III = Reserve Level III qualified at the minimum. I believe that this is also listed on the website.

I do not believe that volunteers require courses as they are not considered as Reserve Officers. Reserve Officers get paid for their mandated hours and are formal CA LEOs. There are actual volunteers, but they are a different class and are not "employed" by the agency nor are they sworn in.

Currently:

Level III = Uniform, badge, gun, under supervision of Level I or full time, very limited duties. Very unlikely to see an arrest situation. Protected under LEOSA, have LE "perks" via unions, orgs, and CA exemptions.

Level II = Same as Level III, but with more functions and duties. Still unlikely to see an arrest situation but I'm sure you're more exposed.

Level I = Basically a full time LEO without the benefits and have limited hours.
Looks like a few things have been changed around. I think I was specifically told that a level III was ONLY allowed to be a volunteer with the Posse, and yes, could get the uniform and all, but I do not think any guns were involved.

Definitions must have been modified a bit clearly. Guess I should be happy with my level 1.

Hey look at the bright side though, At least with a PC 832 you can still go buy a handgun without having to take the stupid BFSC test.

When they talked about the reserve officers in my classes (kind of like recruitment for Corona and RSD) they had mentioned that there were some reserves that worked almost as much as regular officers, and they still did not get paid, but I think Corona was paying like $100 a month at the time, where many other agencies were not paying much.

That was what got me also wanting to go further. By taking the POST classes and obtaining my Level 1 I could get some real time exposure to being a LEO and seeing if I would like it, but I kinda of strayed and got wrapped up in other things.

Oh and YES, I think I recall them saying that a level I could supervise a level II or III. Or two level IIs could be out or something. I forgot the particular details. Still a lot of fun to be able to do that though.


For clarification. When I say volunteer, I mean, you are not getting paid. That was the whole thing with the reserve officer program I thought, you get to play cop, but not get paid like one. So yes, you DO have to try out, go through background, go through psych (prolly) and physical and then once through I think maybe an interview and you are let on. Riverside CO Sheriff's are to blame for my inaccuracies They made it sound like a party all the way through. They also said that there was NO cap on age for being a reserve with them. At the time they had a 70 yr old RO. I dunno if that was true or not, but why would they lie.

Last edited by stilly; 09-29-2013 at 11:12 AM..
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Old 09-30-2013, 4:20 PM
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not that it matters much in this thread, but IIRC the PC832 or even being a FULL BLOWN police doesn't 'qualify' you as private lowest level 'guard'.

Oddly enough, 'real cops' must take a BSIS 'rent a cop' class even if they want to do 'warm body' type security, and get a BSIS 'guard card'.

Go figure.

I guess someone at BSIS doesn't feel his dept can be disregarded or something.
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Old 10-01-2013, 11:04 AM
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Thank all of you for all of your help. I see much more clearly now.

1. I'm applying to large departments I chose not to apply to before, Oakland and San Jose.

2. Once I figure out the schedule issues I'll start making arrangements for extended academy.
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Old 10-01-2013, 5:54 PM
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Interesting. Cop here since 1981.

My first question is; did you take an aptitude test and it reports you have an aptitude for police work?

The second is do you understand seniority? You will be on the worst shift with the worst days off for many years in most places. Next you have to graduate a police academy, not everybody does. You will do a FTO program, I was the FTO for 7 years and I terminated 7 trainees in that time. So academy graduation does not guarantee anything.

After that you need to work and be smart.
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Old 10-01-2013, 6:43 PM
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I did not take any aptitude tests. I just made a decision to go into the field.

I do understand that I'll be stuck working s$@t hours for a while but that's the sacrifice I'm willing to make to serve my later years.

Ideally, after a few years, I'd like to upgrade to detective work if my capabilities allow me.
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Old 10-01-2013, 10:01 PM
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Interesting. Cop here since 1981.

My first question is; did you take an aptitude test and it reports you have an aptitude for police work?

The second is do you understand seniority? You will be on the worst shift with the worst days off for many years in most places. Next you have to graduate a police academy, not everybody does. You will do a FTO program, I was the FTO for 7 years and I terminated 7 trainees in that time. So academy graduation does not guarantee anything.

After that you need to work and be smart.
I took one of those my senior year of highschool, "Hind sight is 20/20", had I taken their advice I'd probably be a lot happier by now with the progress of my career. I love... Ok enjoy my current job, and working to better peoples lives as well as other challenges it offers since I've promoted quickly such as training and overseeing certain aspects we encounter in the field, however it is still just a job not a career anyone takes serious or I can see myself retiring from.

It described me as an "Analytical thinker" and recommended a list of jobs all in law enforcement from game warden to police officer to prison warden. Like a dummy I didn't come to my senses for another 8 years!

To the OP, locate a career center you may discover something else you had no idea you would be suited for or interested in.

Last edited by Just-in; 10-01-2013 at 10:03 PM..
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Old 10-01-2013, 10:15 PM
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I took that aptitude test in high school and I used to think it was a load of BS. It gave me 2 possible career choices: Forrest/Park Ranger and Doughnut Machine Operator. Now that I am thinking about LE it makes sense. lol
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Old 10-02-2013, 1:51 PM
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I will get right on it.
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Old 10-02-2013, 2:51 PM
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You want to be a detective/investigator as opposed to a street cop. Let me suggest that you apply to the Federal Bureau of Prisons as a CO. (Much easier to get in than a State LEO position) Complete your training/one year probationary period. then lateral transfer to your choice of Federal Agency such as DEA, ATF, CPB etc....to many to list. Lateral transfers with the Feds is the ticket. I would spend the year with the BOP completing the BA at a school like National where you can tailor your schedule or online courses.
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Old 10-02-2013, 3:18 PM
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You want to be a detective/investigator as opposed to a street cop. Let me suggest that you apply to the Federal Bureau of Prisons as a CO. (Much easier to get in than a State LEO position) Complete your training/one year probationary period. then lateral transfer to your choice of Federal Agency such as DEA, ATF, CPB etc....to many to list. Lateral transfers with the Feds is the ticket. I would spend the year with the BOP completing the BA at a school like National where you can tailor your schedule or online courses.

If he goes this route then CA POST is useless to him. You'd have to be hired by the agency of choice before the training begins and that's a whole other ball game. The 6 - 12 month hiring process is super long and even more so now that the Gov is shut down at the moment.
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Old 10-02-2013, 4:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Boblaw View Post
You want to be a detective/investigator as opposed to a street cop. Let me suggest that you apply to the Federal Bureau of Prisons as a CO. (Much easier to get in than a State LEO position) Complete your training/one year probationary period. then lateral transfer to your choice of Federal Agency such as DEA, ATF, CPB etc....to many to list. Lateral transfers with the Feds is the ticket. I would spend the year with the BOP completing the BA at a school like National where you can tailor your schedule or online courses.
In all due respect, I don't know about this.

There are circumstances where federal law enforcement agencies are limited to laterals from within the fed LEO community, but those lists are extremely competitive. Border Patrol applicants usually have language skills, and transfers from other federal agencies often have already completed some of the required fed training, making them cost effective. There tend to be a lot of veterans on those lists as well. Lateral transfers are not automatic.

A degree from National U is a degree, but it puts the applicant towards the bottom of the list.

While lateral apps within the federal gov can be a viable path, the Bureau of Prisons is one of the worst places to start. There is a reason those jobs are more available than others within the federal system.

Prestigious agencies like the DEA get some great applicants. You need to shine, not just get over the wall.

I think the best card the OP has is his language skill. With the proliferation of Eastern European organized crime, he might be better served looking to agencies that are heavily engaged in high-level organized crime, large metro departments serving cities with big Eastern Euro populations, or more realistically one of the immigration enforcement spin offs that absolutely drool over (qualified) applicants fluent in a less-than-common language.
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Old 10-02-2013, 4:46 PM
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A good start Join the military and or look into a corrections officer job. It worked for me.
Good luck
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Old 10-02-2013, 5:27 PM
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This is the logical way to go, but I don't have the means to quit working for 6 months and at the same time pay $6K for the academy. Otherwise, I would. It IS the right way.
Most schools offer the level 1 POST as a night school. It takes a few years but you can get your cert that way. Start your reserve request early, most departments take 6-9 months to complete a background investigation.

If one department turns you down try another. If law enforcement is your dream, there is a way
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Old 10-02-2013, 5:33 PM
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Originally Posted by rollaspeed1 View Post
I did not take any aptitude tests. I just made a decision to go into the field.

I do understand that I'll be stuck working s$@t hours for a while but that's the sacrifice I'm willing to make to serve my later years.

Ideally, after a few years, I'd like to upgrade to detective work if my capabilities allow me.
How many years will you work if you do not promote. I am always counseling guys/gals who are upset. The job you got hired for is "officer/deputy" you did not get hired to one day be chief/sheriff or K9 cop, motorcycle cop or helicopter pilot. From my first academy class in 1981, you know 100% did not make it to retirement. I really doubt 20% even made it to the 20 year mark.

Son, the tough news is not a few years but 15 to 20 years. On my 20th year I was still cleaning up the backseat from vomit, piss, poop, etc. It is what it is.

Last edited by Che762x39; 10-02-2013 at 5:38 PM..
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Old 10-02-2013, 5:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Just-in View Post
I took one of those my senior year of highschool, "Hind sight is 20/20", had I taken their advice I'd probably be a lot happier by now with the progress of my career. I love... Ok enjoy my current job, and working to better peoples lives as well as other challenges it offers since I've promoted quickly such as training and overseeing certain aspects we encounter in the field, however it is still just a job not a career anyone takes serious or I can see myself retiring from.

It described me as an "Analytical thinker" and recommended a list of jobs all in law enforcement from game warden to police officer to prison warden. Like a dummy I didn't come to my senses for another 8 years!

To the OP, locate a career center you may discover something else you had no idea you would be suited for or interested in.
I concur. Mine was police officer, military officer and high school principal. Now I am looking for a high school.
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Old 10-02-2013, 5:49 PM
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Originally Posted by ECG_88 View Post
I took that aptitude test in high school and I used to think it was a load of BS. It gave me 2 possible career choices: Forrest/Park Ranger and Doughnut Machine Operator. Now that I am thinking about LE it makes sense. lol
Exactly. One trainee I terminated during FTO turned out to be a great fireman. A female I terminated, BS degree, 170 IQ and a super gym rat, could not figure out how to write a ticket or what a traffic violation was. From what I hear, she is doing well in the post office.
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Old 10-06-2013, 9:07 PM
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I am not a LEO, but I do work for the fire dept, so oral interviews are somewhat familiar territory. I have never tested for a LE job, but I imagine the process is pretty similar. Having said that, take my advice for what it is worth to you. Just reading your original post, I see two things that jumped out at me that could possibly be hindering you. 1) The attitude that your work experience is holding you back. Instead of saying " I only have been a relationship banker, or I have only been a wireless salesman", work on telling an interviewer why you are the best damn wireless salesman this side of the Mississippi. There are plenty of things that those jobs bring to the table that you just need to learn to sell to interviewers. These days, departments are going to teach you what they want you to know. Most places would rather hire the guy who has perfect attendance, and great dependability, great attitude, and personal responsibility to take pride in your work over the guy who has taken all of his classes and done nothing but eat and breathe law enforcement since graduating high school. Second, I see that you aspire to be a detective, which is awesome, you should always have aspirations to move up and take on more challenges and responsibilities. But one mistake that I see people make in interviews is that they appear too eager to move up and one day run the department. Don't forget that you are applying for an entry level position, a grunt, the boots on the ground. It is very easy to pick out that guy who thinks he is overqualified for the entry position and wants to run before he learns to crawl. Be sincere in your answers and learn that fine line between being confident yet humble at the same time and you will be golden. Good luck

Last edited by tinman1975; 10-06-2013 at 9:10 PM..
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Old 10-07-2013, 9:07 AM
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Those are great tips, tinmam! Thanks
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