Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login
Posted: 3/28/2018 11:13:05 PM EDT
My 14yo son has been interested in joining LE in some aspect. Any advice on how he can get a better understanding of the path needed, to achieve that goal? How do I find a local mentor for him? Would like to keep him headed in the right direction.
Link Posted: 3/28/2018 11:19:53 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/28/2018 11:20:26 PM EDT by JonLSU]
You could contact the local PDs or SOs in your area and ask them if they have an Explorer program or something similar.
Link Posted: 3/28/2018 11:40:05 PM EDT
Explorer. But call the local department or county/state entities and talk to their recruiters. Find out what job fairs they will be at and bring him by to chat. Its worth finding out what the state requirements and standards are. Some places require a two or four year degree, others just want a diploma. Its just worth going through this information with him. He's years away from needing to make decisions. Probably, you and him could both go on ride alongs a few times as well.

Having said all of that, he should stay out of trouble, play sports, avoid drugs, and head either to college or the military after high school. Military is the best option as it opens a lot of doors on the federal side and many state entities also give hiring preference to vets. Plus he'll learn some useful skills.

Having seen a bunch of my friends go through this process, you just have to be patient, apply a lot of places, and understand civil service hiring procedures.
Link Posted: 3/29/2018 5:44:13 AM EDT
Vet the explorer program. Locally it turns out our explorer program was used by cops to fuck kids of both genders.
Link Posted: 3/29/2018 6:46:03 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/29/2018 6:48:37 AM EDT by Ubarad]
Very importantly, avoid a Criminal Justice degree. Degrees are becoming more commonplace for police jobs, especially the higher paying or more prestigious police jobs. I have never seen a police job require a specific degree and I've seen plenty of people with different degrees get promoted. Ideally he should get a degree in a solid fall back option since no matter how badly you want to be a policeman, after 5-10 years 99% loathe it, especially when you have a family and don't get to see them. A criminal justice degree is useless for pretty much anything else.

Military will give you civil service points, but not all jobs are civil service. Military service is not the job guarantee it was 20+ years ago, but it can help, mainly in very large city PDs. Plus civil service is still very easily worked around to hire who they want to hire anyway (typically political). You do have to be patient as most placed hiring 5 for example will have 4 political and one candidate sneaks in. Getting the initial experience is the tough part to get hired somewhere. In Pennsylvania you typically have to work multiple part time police jobs for about 5 years until you find something, but our state is archaic.
Link Posted: 3/29/2018 7:24:47 AM EDT
I was only an officer for a few years, in a small crappy department that paid nearly minimum wage. I moved on to other things due to being broke and hating the place.

If I had to do it again I would go to a larger big name department, like NYPD or LAPD. Do a minimum of ten years and transition to a Federal LEO gig. Do another twenty and retire.

I regret not doing so at the time.
Link Posted: 3/29/2018 3:02:41 PM EDT
If you can't dissuade him from actually going into LE, make sure he doesn't ever get a CJ degree.
Link Posted: 3/29/2018 6:10:01 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/29/2018 6:10:19 PM EDT by KML7201]
Absolutely do not waste one cent on a Criminal Justice Degree.
Link Posted: 3/29/2018 8:14:22 PM EDT
Military at 18. He might make it a career. If he still wants to get into LE, then he's out at 22, has learned life skills and leadership skills. He can then get into LE.

A CJ degree is fine if he ends up working in LE for a career. If he doesn't end up working LE for a career, (and most people quit in their first 5 years) then a CJ degree holds little value. Military experience will do the most for him.
Link Posted: 3/29/2018 8:18:50 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ColtRifle:
Military at 18. He might make it a career. If he still wants to get into LE, then he's out at 22, has learned life skills and leadership skills. He can then get into LE.

A CJ degree is fine if he ends up working in LE for a career. If he doesn't end up working LE for a career, (and most people quit in their first 5 years) then a CJ degree holds little value. Military experience will do the most for him.
View Quote
A degree in something other than CJ can help him get into a specialty in LE and would be a back-up if he finds LE unappealing.
Link Posted: 3/29/2018 9:38:12 PM EDT
Originally Posted By retroangles:
Would like to keep him headed in the right direction.
View Quote
That leads to the fire station.

Hopefully he picks something that pays better and has less stress than LE. Then if he wants he can reserve somewhere.
Link Posted: 3/31/2018 1:04:13 AM EDT
If he still wants to be a LEO when he turns 18, send him to EMT school. All the job skills and experience translates directly to being a cop.
Emergency driving.
Report writing
Radio ops and protocols
Contact with people in every physical and mental condition imaginable, drunks and drugs too, panicked, screaming irrational and dying in front of him.
Being inside the crime scene tape working with various agencies with various responsibilities.
Real and bullshit emergencies.
He will have verifiable proof that he can work in stressful environments and can adapt to changing situations,
He won't learn this stuff with a CJ degree working as a security monitor at a pre-school.
Every interview always asks what has the candidate done to prepare to be a police officer. He can say, "working as an EMT I have seen" or done all the above. He could also state that is already ahead as far as first respnder first aid as well. It is all about relatable work experience.
Link Posted: 3/31/2018 8:04:48 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/31/2018 8:08:03 PM EDT by dangerranger61007]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Ubarad:
Very importantly, avoid a Criminal Justice degree...
View Quote
This. My bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice is next to worthless. A lot of local agencies gave preference points just for having any degree. Most give preference points for military service. I've seen some state jobs specify a criminal justice related degree, but they are few.

Have a backup plan. I wish I had an accounting, chemistry, or engineering degree to fall back on if I decide I've had enough of this job or I get injured and can't do this anymore.

It took me awhile to get a job, even with the college and veteran's preference. There were a lot more applicants when I graduated college. 300+ applicants for one or two jobs was not uncommon for the suburb departments. The applicant pools have shrunk over the past few years, but don't expect to get a job right away.

At 14 though? Just stay out of trouble, pay attention in school, stay in shape, play sports.
Link Posted: 4/1/2018 5:56:33 PM EDT
Thanks for the info everyone!

He's a good kid,with a head on his shoulders. But things can change in the next five years.
Link Posted: 4/1/2018 10:19:27 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Mopseydocks6014:

If you can't dissuade him from actually going into LE, make sure he doesn't ever get a CJ degree.
View Quote
This, but really really try to convince him to be a hosedragger.
Link Posted: 4/2/2018 2:52:37 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ColtRifle:
Military at 18. He might make it a career. If he still wants to get into LE, then he's out at 22, has learned life skills and leadership skills. He can then get into LE.

A CJ degree is fine if he ends up working in LE for a career. If he doesn't end up working LE for a career, (and most people quit in their first 5 years) then a CJ degree holds little value. Military experience will do the most for him.
View Quote
Yep
Link Posted: 4/2/2018 8:56:59 AM EDT
Don’t do drugs or have police contacts. Don’t have shitty friends.

Go military or college but it seems in my area they are phasing out the military hires.

Get a degree in anything beside criminal justice preferably in a field that would interest him if he completely left LE work.
Link Posted: 4/3/2018 7:51:26 PM EDT
30 years ago this was a good occupation. I would not recommend it now.

Stay away from a criminal justice degree. It is a waste of time and money. A reputable police academy will teach anything a new officer needs to know. The one saving grace used to be the 20 years and out pension but nowadays that’s gone and the public, administration, body camera, BLM, de-escalation/no pursuit/social work/counselor/baby daddy horseshit has made this job not worth it. I hate to say it because it used to be an honorable profession.

Kudos to your son for looking up to the police but it really is not worth it. I have worked weekends for the last 15 years and wish I had had more time with my sons and that I had picked something else...
Link Posted: 4/5/2018 9:15:40 AM EDT
Link Posted: 4/8/2018 4:58:19 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/8/2018 5:06:08 PM EDT by Citadel-SC]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ColtRifle:
Military at 18. He might make it a career. If he still wants to get into LE, then he's out at 22, has learned life skills and leadership skills. He can then get into LE.

A CJ degree is fine if he ends up working in LE for a career. If he doesn't end up working LE for a career, (and most people quit in their first 5 years) then a CJ degree holds little value. Military experience will do the most for him.
View Quote
I would go further and say a CJ degree is never fine, it is totally unnecessary and doesn't help with a LE career either. When I was hiring, I would rather see a degree in something else honestly.

The best thing you can tell him is to consider every decision from this point forward with the idea of how it might effect a future LE career.
Link Posted: 4/8/2018 6:33:58 PM EDT
If he isn't, get him involved in fitness and a martial art like jujitsu.
Link Posted: 4/8/2018 7:05:18 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/8/2018 7:05:40 PM EDT by FedDC]
Get a master's degree is something not LE related. Learn to speak a language other than English fluently.

Have 2X the professional liability insurance that you would need.

Have cash on hand to support your family for 2 years while awaiting trial.

Private school for your kids as they will be targeted at public school.

Work at a dept that allows you to live wherever you wish...and well outside the city where you work.

Drive slower than you think you should.

Walk slowly when going into dangerous places and look more than you move.

Don't become a dirtbag, even though you are surrounded by criminals all day.

Be the Police where people want Police.

The pay sucks. Be ready to get out of it after 5 years and move on to another job where you can actually put your kids through college without loans.

Don't do things that end with you being hurt for life...

Good luck.
Link Posted: 4/8/2018 7:23:26 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Ubarad:
Very importantly, avoid a Criminal Justice degree. Degrees are becoming more commonplace for police jobs, especially the higher paying or more prestigious police jobs. I have never seen a police job require a specific degree and I've seen plenty of people with different degrees get promoted. Ideally he should get a degree in a solid fall back option since no matter how badly you want to be a policeman, after 5-10 years 99% loathe it, especially when you have a family and don't get to see them. A criminal justice degree is useless for pretty much anything else.

Military will give you civil service points, but not all jobs are civil service. Military service is not the job guarantee it was 20+ years ago, but it can help, mainly in very large city PDs. Plus civil service is still very easily worked around to hire who they want to hire anyway (typically political). You do have to be patient as most placed hiring 5 for example will have 4 political and one candidate sneaks in. Getting the initial experience is the tough part to get hired somewhere. In Pennsylvania you typically have to work multiple part time police jobs for about 5 years until you find something, but our state is archaic.
View Quote
Since I hire in the field, the first part is definitely true. Guys that do the whole LE explorer thing and think LE every waking moment actually look a bit kooky on paper. Better to just be a leader in whatever extracurriculars they choose, sports, JROTC, or choir. Pick business, finance, or public administration for a bachelor's and JD for post graduate whether the bar exam is pursued or not. Most of the successful LE people I know DID NOT pick the field at 14, we simply realized it was more fun than the prospect of sitting behind a desk all day. Of course I sit behind a desk all day now lol.

Capt. Czechers
Link Posted: 4/9/2018 7:21:39 PM EDT
Be a firefighter.... Speak from experience...
Huck
Link Posted: 4/11/2018 10:45:50 AM EDT
I see lots of replies recommending a career in the Fire Service.

I was in the FD full time and due to my schedule and a Chief willing to work around my schedule I was an officer for another city.

Now retired after a little over twenty five years of service I can tell you a few things. First is that both can get you killed. The age old (in jest) feud between the FD and the PD as to who has the better job, benefits, pay, etc is never ending. All that stuff depends on your employer and what they offer. Both are honorable professions, but supporting yourself and a family is what counts. The bigger the dept, the more benefits and pay.

The PD can get you killed quickly and the FD can kill you over time. Both have PTSD issues. Most PD fatalities are violent acts and vehicle crashes. Most FD personnel die after long term exposure from something they’ve encountered. Heart, lung, cancer, communicable disease, respiratory issues.

To get back on subject, my recommendation for more advanced education is Emergency Management and Administration. All the suggestions to make good grades in school, stay out of trouble and don’t do drugs is dead on. I would add getting him started in shooting sports. Three gun is popular. If he can be comfortable with firearms and learn to shoot safely, he will be ahead of the game if he gets hired and it’s qualification time.
Link Posted: 4/11/2018 10:58:20 AM EDT
don't smoke dope in high school ..............................................................
Link Posted: 4/12/2018 5:41:58 PM EDT
Don’t get a degree in criminal justice, do get one that can be used as a fall back plan (business, engineering, etc). If that’s not an option then the military would give him a good idea of the culture side of things.

Don’t do drugs (at least not meth/heroin).

In all honesty it takes a special person (aka stupid or crazy) to do this job and nothing can truly prepare you for it. Going into this job I had so many expectations for what it was going to be like only to find out it was a whole different animal.

Your son is only 14 and has plenty of time so I’d mostly just tell him to be a kid and gain that life experience.
Link Posted: 4/12/2018 10:03:05 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By acsnyde3:
Don’t get a degree in criminal justice, do get one that can be used as a fall back plan (business, engineering, etc). If that’s not an option then the military would give him a good idea of the culture side of things.

Don’t do drugs (at least not meth/heroin).

In all honesty it takes a special person (aka stupid or crazy) to do this job and nothing can truly prepare you for it. Going into this job I had so many expectations for what it was going to be like only to find out it was a whole different animal.

Your son is only 14 and has plenty of time so I’d mostly just tell him to be a kid and gain that life experience.
View Quote
Kids dream of things. I was thinking about my future when I was 14. By 16 I was certain what I was going to be doing. Sounds like the OP's kid has his head on straight. We need people like that in LE.
Link Posted: 4/13/2018 1:32:24 AM EDT
I would really encourage him to do anything but LE.
A degree not in criminal justice would be more worth his time as others have said.
Link Posted: 4/13/2018 4:35:08 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:
Fire department.
View Quote
Non LEO.

My point of view is from the outside which may/may not mean anything.

Years ago I might have considered a career in LE but not in this day and age. No way in hell.

It was bad enough when you had to deal with the garden variety thugs and thieves looking to make a dishonest buck but with the political winds blowing the way they are I'd say no way in hell.

(old age give me a longer perspective)

In the 60s and early 70s being a cop was miserable because of the anti war left etc. "Off the Pigs!" was a common war cry. By the mid 80s things settled down a bit but the pendulum has swung again and we're back to the old it's OK to shoot cops mentality.

Oh yeah, I'll bet one thing hasn't changed. More cops get hurt/killed responding to domestics than anything else. I didn't want to be a marriage counselor.

If you still want to be a cop in this day and age then you probably ought to get your head examined. I would choose a career in the French Foreign Legion LONG before I opted for LE. You know, kepi blanc, Beau Piccolo. THAT foreign Legion. The real one.

To those that protect and serve: I'm gonna have to call Charlie Chan or someone to even find a CLUE as to how you manage it without going stark staring bonkers. You have my utmost respect. I would be in the booby hatch after two months on duty.
Link Posted: 5/8/2018 7:29:49 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By KML7201:
A degree in something other than CJ can help him get into a specialty in LE and would be a back-up if he finds LE unappealing.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By KML7201:
Originally Posted By ColtRifle:
Military at 18. He might make it a career. If he still wants to get into LE, then he's out at 22, has learned life skills and leadership skills. He can then get into LE.

A CJ degree is fine if he ends up working in LE for a career. If he doesn't end up working LE for a career, (and most people quit in their first 5 years) then a CJ degree holds little value. Military experience will do the most for him.
A degree in something other than CJ can help him get into a specialty in LE and would be a back-up if he finds LE unappealing.
I concur...I would recommend something along the lines of computer forensics, we're using them more and more and the ones who are good are invaluable

and then there's a ton of money to be made in "cyber security" shit in the private sector if LE isn't his thing or he decides he wants to go private for the payday...
Link Posted: 5/9/2018 9:24:18 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/9/2018 9:27:51 AM EDT by NYresq1]
If he is absolutely sold on LE, tell him to get a 4 year degree first, then go for Fed LE. Some agencies are easier than other to get in the door, especially if you are willing to travel to a new location for the job. Border Patrol and Customs and Border Protection are always hiring, both are decent paying jobs, and once you are in the Fed LE system, its a little easier to transfer to a different agency.

I started in the NYPD and moved to Fed LE soon after. Just passed the 20 year mark in LE. If I had the chance to do it again in todays climate, I would have joined the FDNY and made a career there...

As mentioned above, the attitude toward police by the public and politicians is harsh and caustic right now, and I dont see it improving any time in the next 5 years or more. I wouldnt take a job as a uniformed officer today for any salary. The Feds see a lot less of the public agression than street cops, but its still there... Ask any ICE agent how they are treated when they roll into the hood...

But most importantly, make sure he gets a degree first. If he does 5 or 6 years in LE and decides to bail out, he will have a fall back and not be stuck there.
Link Posted: 5/11/2018 9:02:29 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/11/2018 9:04:35 AM EDT by Extorris]
https://www.ar15.com/forums/general/LEO - Would_you_encourage_your_children_to_get_into_LE_as_a_career?

Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Cjones124:
Don’t do drugs or have police contacts. Don’t have shitty friends.
View Quote
Don't have shitty credit or visible tattoos either.
Link Posted: 5/11/2018 9:17:55 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Extorris:
https://www.ar15.com/forums/general/LEO - Would_you_encourage_your_children_to_get_into_LE_as_a_career?

Don't have shitty credit or visible tattoos either.
View Quote
So if he tattoos his kid and runs up his credit cards, he can keep him from being a cop?
Link Posted: 5/11/2018 9:28:41 AM EDT
Originally Posted By retroangles:
My 14yo son has been interested in joining LE in some aspect. Any advice on how he can get a better understanding of the path needed, to achieve that goal? How do I find a local mentor for him? Would like to keep him headed in the right direction.
View Quote
WHY do you really want to do it?

Everyone THINKS it is a "Cool Job" from watching TV, but the day to day grind + todays second guessing P.C. B.S. would make you question the sanity of anyone who really wants to be a L.E.O. on the streets these days...
Link Posted: 5/11/2018 9:54:50 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By BigeasySnow:
So if he tattoos his kid and runs up his credit cards, he can keep him from being a cop?
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By BigeasySnow:
Originally Posted By Extorris:
https://www.ar15.com/forums/general/LEO - Would_you_encourage_your_children_to_get_into_LE_as_a_career?
Don't have shitty credit or visible tattoos either.
So if he tattoos his kid and runs up his credit cards, he can keep him from being a cop?
Best reply in that linked thread "I would plant dope on my daughter to DQ her from being a cop, were she ever so foolish".
Link Posted: 5/29/2018 8:06:18 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By rca2222:
I was only an officer for a few years, in a small crappy department that paid nearly minimum wage. I moved on to other things due to being broke and hating the place.

If I had to do it again I would go to a larger big name department, like NYPD or LAPD. Do a minimum of ten years and transition to a Federal LEO gig. Do another twenty and retire.

I regret not doing so at the time.
View Quote
You don't just transition to a FLEO gig.

Be careful about age ... the feds have a maximum starting age.
Link Posted: 5/29/2018 10:57:26 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By 12a10:

You don't just transition to a FLEO gig.

Be careful about age ... the feds have a maximum starting age.
View Quote
Must be hired before 37th birthday, unless you have active duty military, then you can credit that time for the age limit up. I think there is a max credit of 5 years, but not 100% on that...
Link Posted: 7/1/2018 6:11:57 PM EDT
I used to think I wanted to be a cop after the Corps. Then I became a Firefighter.
Link Posted: 7/5/2018 3:34:13 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:
Fire department.
View Quote
Beat me to it. My first station had 4 former PD.
I was on FD and PD lists - but I would have been a headline by now in PD
Prayers PD brothers - I do not miss the s***hole one bit.
Link Posted: 7/20/2018 7:40:42 PM EDT
Do anything else. This job sucks and is not what it once was. It will crush your soul and make you despise the world.

<——20 years working in the hood.
Link Posted: 8/1/2018 11:53:56 PM EDT
First advice - don’t do it.

If he goes to the hood, be prepared to see things he can’t imagine. Hell, today we’ve had 7 people shot in our city since 2pm. 2 dead, 2 critical, 1 serious, others will be fine. The day isn’t over. That’s not that abnormal either. I’m in a city of under 500,000 people too.

Grow thick skin. It’s fun protecting people chanting “pigs in a blanket, fry em like bacon” and other hateful anti cop chants.

I wouldn’t recommend the job anymore. I’ve had a blast in 12 years here. It’s changed a lot even since I started.

I could go on and on. Fire fighter is what I would have done if I were smarter.

My dad was a Leo for 38 years back when it was a better job.
Link Posted: 8/2/2018 10:10:51 PM EDT
We have had 14 people shot in the cowtown I work in since 2pm yesterday.
Top Top