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12/11/2018 1:58:31 AM
Posted: 11/12/2018 7:18:29 PM EST
Good evening,

Ive been a professional technician for about 7 years now. heavy duty diesel work both while in the .Mil and since being out. Ive had this itching in the back of my head that police may intrigue me. Ive never really had interactions with Pd outside of a few buddies that do the line of work. Aside from some slim similarities between Pd work and .Mil I don't really have much experience in the subject. having my post 9/11 GI bill I can take the BLET at no cost to my self.

Would you as a 25 year old vet get into police work? or would your experiences steer you elsewhere? Id like to know why you loved or hated it. Or why you continue to love or hate it
Link Posted: 11/12/2018 8:01:44 PM EST
It has to be for you. Bear in mind, most people who go into LE quit within about 5 years. The bright side for you is, if you decide it's not for you, you always have another career to fall back on. You are young so you have plenty of time to build a retirement in law enforcement.

Go do some ride alongs to see if it might be something you're interested in.

Despite the vocal naysayers, if you work in a supportive area in a good department, the job is actually pretty good.
Link Posted: 11/12/2018 8:06:04 PM EST
Link Posted: 11/12/2018 9:14:24 PM EST
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Originally Posted By ColtRifle:
It has to be for you. Bear in mind, most people who go into LE quit within about 5 years. The bright side for you is, if you decide it's not for you, you always have another career to fall back on. You are young so you have plenty of time to build a retirement in law enforcement.

Go do some ride alongs to see if it might be something you're interested in.

Despite the vocal naysayers, if you work in a supportive area in a good department, the job is actually pretty good.
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"if".
Link Posted: 11/13/2018 3:37:42 PM EST
Depending on what part of the state you're in, the starting salary may be uncomfortably low. The county I lived in is starting certified patrol Deputies around $27,000 per year. The county I worked in started at around $29,000 and they were desperately trying to keep the guys they had, let alone hire anyone new.
Link Posted: 11/13/2018 4:46:16 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Gilly:
Depending on what part of the state you're in, the starting salary may be uncomfortably low. The county I lived in is starting certified patrol Deputies around $27,000 per year. The county I worked in started at around $29,000 and they were desperately trying to keep the guys they had, let alone hire anyone new.
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I’d undoubtedly take a hit on pay. The only people that come close is Cmpd and I don’t know if I’d work for them. Heard from a 30 year guy that Charlotte likes to play the buddy fucker game. And I’m not about that
Link Posted: 11/13/2018 5:36:20 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Ridgedaddy:

I’d undoubtedly take a hit on pay. The only people that come close is Cmpd and I don’t know if I’d work for them. Heard from a 30 year guy that Charlotte likes to play the buddy fucker game. And I’m not about that
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I have 2 military buddies that work for Greensboro PD and they seem happy.
Link Posted: 11/13/2018 8:05:23 PM EST
I was 25 when I started and came in after being out of the Army for 2 years. This was back in the ‘90s.

I’m a sergeant now in one of the “top 4” cities in NC with less than 5 years to go.

I would stay away from the larger departments in progressive areas The only reason that I, and others like me, are still here is because we can’t afford to go anywhere else and start over.

On the other hand a lot of guys with 5-10 years have left my department for smaller agencies with less BS and a population that supports them.

This is a great job when the Mayor, City Hall, and the public support you. If they don’t it’s a hostile work environment that sucks your soul away.

TL;DR. Yes you can do it at 25. Choose your employer wisely. Right now the employee can afford to pick their job. We are hiring anyone that meets mininum state standards and still can’t fill a 40 man class.
Link Posted: 11/13/2018 8:38:59 PM EST
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Originally Posted By RobNC:
I was 25 when I started and came in after being out of the Army for 2 years. This was back in the ‘90s.

I’m a sergeant now in one of the “top 4” cities in NC with less than 5 years to go.

I would stay away from the larger departments in progressive areas The only reason that I, and others like me, are still here is because we can’t afford to go anywhere else and start over.

On the other hand a lot of guys with 5-10 years have left my department for smaller agencies with less BS and a population that supports them.

This is a great job when the Mayor, City Hall, and the public support you. If they don’t it’s a hostile work environment that sucks your soul away.

TL;DR. Yes you can do it at 25. Choose your employer wisely. Right now the employee can afford to pick their job. We are hiring anyone that meets mininum state standards and still can’t fill a 40 man class.
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what city is this?
Link Posted: 11/15/2018 9:01:23 PM EST
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Originally Posted By SCIF:
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I will second this, but if you really want to be a cop, do some ride alongs with the department you want to apply with. See how they interact with each other and what the morale is like.

Next I would look at moving to a better job market. Im shocked at how little guys are paid in that area. Job satisfaction means shit when you struggle to put food on the table and keep the lights on.
Link Posted: 11/15/2018 10:30:26 PM EST
I did an enlistment in the Navy working on jet engines. I cross trained into base security and decided to get out and go to a PD. Just finishing 22 years on. I think I only "worked" a few days. I generally like the work but dont consider much of my worklife as "real". Although, in 2000 a guy tried to kill me and a few bad calls have some saying I have a touch of ptsd. Cant count how many times Ive nearly been run over. My PD starts at 65k and guys with 7 years on regarly make 105k.

Do a few ride alongs. Look for departments that have very low turnover and provide ongoing training. Look for a department where you can move around to specialty assignments like patrol, traffic, detectives, emergency services etc. Ask around who to apply for and what departments suck. Be willing to shut your mouth, listen, and work hard to get a good reputation wherever you end up. Lately we hired a bunch of guys who dont think they have to do traffic stops, work OT, and even cried when they found out they didnt get day shift thier first year. Lol

Do not catch the negativity bug. Its a cancer withing some agencies and if not stomped out quickly can cause entire shifts or departments to suck.

Good luck
Link Posted: 11/16/2018 7:13:08 AM EST
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Originally Posted By ThatGuy91K:
Next I would look at moving to a better job market. Im shocked at how little guys are paid in that area. Job satisfaction means shit when you struggle to put food on the table and keep the lights on.
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This.
I would also say, after reading GD and Team threads about ridiculous health insurance premiums, that you should try and find a PD that provides health insurance as part of the retirement package.
Link Posted: 11/18/2018 10:59:57 PM EST
PD job is not for everone. You have to be able to deal with the public's bullshit and not let people pushes your button (everyday). It's not hard work, just use common sense and be humble (don't power trip). It's a very good job with a real chance of retirement. You can make good money as you progresses through your career. Start in a small department, get all your certification and then choose another department you want to retire with.
Link Posted: 11/19/2018 11:29:22 PM EST
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Damn you SCIF, just once could you an extorris let me be the first to say be a hose dragger????
Link Posted: 11/19/2018 11:30:45 PM EST
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Originally Posted By feudist:
"if".
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Originally Posted By feudist:
Originally Posted By ColtRifle:
It has to be for you. Bear in mind, most people who go into LE quit within about 5 years. The bright side for you is, if you decide it's not for you, you always have another career to fall back on. You are young so you have plenty of time to build a retirement in law enforcement.

Go do some ride alongs to see if it might be something you're interested in.

Despite the vocal naysayers, if you work in a supportive area in a good department, the job is actually pretty good.
"if".
And it is not only a big damn if, it is a risky one.

Back in the 90's the average tenure of a chief was five years. Sheriffs have elections every four. SO you are never more than a few years away from a change for the worse.
Link Posted: 11/19/2018 11:37:38 PM EST
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Originally Posted By paddymurphy:

And it is not only a big damn if, it is a risky one.

Back in the 90's the average tenure of a chief was five years. Sheriffs have elections every four. SO you are never more than a few years away from a change for the worse.
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Glass half empty much?

I've seen both. Change from shitty chief/sheriff to good and good to bad. That happens everywhere in every job field. If you get a bad chief/sheriff and you can't put up with his/her shit....just apply elsewhere. No sense being miserable. Happened to me. Went from working for the best boss ever to the worst. I applied elsewhere and got hired by a department that pays better and has better working hours and equipment. If that good chief had stayed there, I would have too.

The job is what you make of it. If you are a miserable person, you'll be miserable no matter where you are.
Link Posted: 11/20/2018 1:22:34 AM EST
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Originally Posted By ColtRifle:
Glass half empty much?

I've seen both. Change from shitty chief/sheriff to good and good to bad. That happens everywhere in every job field. If you get a bad chief/sheriff and you can't put up with his/her shit....just apply elsewhere. No sense being miserable. Happened to me. Went from working for the best boss ever to the worst. I applied elsewhere and got hired by a department that pays better and has better working hours and equipment. If that good chief had stayed there, I would have too.

The job is what you make of it. If you are a miserable person, you'll be miserable no matter where you are.
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Originally Posted By ColtRifle:
Originally Posted By paddymurphy:

And it is not only a big damn if, it is a risky one.

Back in the 90's the average tenure of a chief was five years. Sheriffs have elections every four. SO you are never more than a few years away from a change for the worse.
Glass half empty much?

I've seen both. Change from shitty chief/sheriff to good and good to bad. That happens everywhere in every job field. If you get a bad chief/sheriff and you can't put up with his/her shit....just apply elsewhere. No sense being miserable. Happened to me. Went from working for the best boss ever to the worst. I applied elsewhere and got hired by a department that pays better and has better working hours and equipment. If that good chief had stayed there, I would have too.

The job is what you make of it. If you are a miserable person, you'll be miserable no matter where you are.
Nope. I just try to be realistic. I also like to give people an idea of the downside that most people don't know about and a lot of folks don't talk about in these threads.

That does not make me a miserable person, it just means I am going to give some one as much information as possible to make an informed decision.

As to find a new job, yes that is always an option. However, if you are 12 years in, with a pension, finding a new job has considerations beyond this guy is a douche to work for. Particularly if you live in an area where jobs with pensions, as opposed to retirement accounts, are hard to find. In some areas compensation (Pay, retirement, medical etc) can take fairly drastic swings and finding a new job may entail a lot of financial hardship.
Link Posted: 11/20/2018 10:24:10 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/20/2018 10:27:10 AM EST by ColtRifle]
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Originally Posted By paddymurphy:

Nope. I just try to be realistic. I also like to give people an idea of the downside that most people don't know about and a lot of folks don't talk about in these threads.

That does not make me a miserable person, it just means I am going to give some one as much information as possible to make an informed decision.

As to find a new job, yes that is always an option. However, if you are 12 years in, with a pension, finding a new job has considerations beyond this guy is a douche to work for. Particularly if you live in an area where jobs with pensions, as opposed to retirement accounts, are hard to find. In some areas compensation (Pay, retirement, medical etc) can take fairly drastic swings and finding a new job may entail a lot of financial hardship.
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So your answer to the OP was....be a firefighter. But, firefighters can also have good or mediocre or bad leadership.....just like law enforcement. But, just be a firefighter.

You are right that commands can change and go from good to bad or bad to good. In other news, water is wet.

Your concerns, while valid, apply to EVERY career field. Those issues are not even remotely unique to law enforcement.

If someone is looking to get into LE, I recommend you take whatever job is available to get your foot in the door. It's usually easier to get hired with some experience vs none....especially in states where you can't sponsor yourself through the academy. Then, you can talk to other cops in other departments and figure out which ones are the good ones to work for and which ones to avoid.

Pro tip.....the lower quality departments are always hiring. The best departments have waiting lists. Pay rate is not indicative of quality of department. Where I work, the best paid department can't get fully staffed, much less stay fully staffed. At their lowest point of morale, they had officers quitting faster than they could hire.
Link Posted: 11/21/2018 4:25:51 AM EST
I wouldnt waste my GI Bill on going through BLET. In fact, I wouldnt even come into the LE field nowadays.
Link Posted: 11/21/2018 2:40:27 PM EST
No way on God's green earth would I do it again.

Not only do you have to put up with a hostile political environment, the amount of crap from your co workers is stupid ridiculous.

There's always that one dude trying to take EVERYONE to jail, write citations, hassle folks, etc.

The fear/anti gun phobia runs high in many agencies.

It's not a brotherhood like some .mil units enjoy. It is a job. A paycheck.

People will always need mechanics. Heck, even law enforcement agencies.

If I were you, I would try to get as many certifications in the mechanical field as possible.....you can take your education with you.

I work for one of the largest sheriff's offices in NC.......pay is awful.

Most jobs allow a separation between your work life and personal life. Forget it when it comes to LE.

If I could go back, I would NOT do it again.
Link Posted: 11/21/2018 8:24:52 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/21/2018 8:25:30 PM EST by Extorris]
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Originally Posted By REAPER2502:
Most jobs allow a separation between your work life and personal life. Forget it when it comes to LE.
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I never had that problem but I do know some guys, including a relative of mine, who can't leave work at work. That's not really the job's fault though.
Link Posted: 11/25/2018 12:11:45 AM EST
Almost 14 years in here. Ignore the political climate and the ever increasing danger level of the field. If you want to do it, do it. I will say that if you are waffling now, then this may not be the best direction to take your life. LE won't make you rich by any stretch, but there are benefits that make up for it during and after the career.

My advice:

Get sponsored. It exposes you to agencies and their hiring processes. DO NOT sign any contract that ties you to one agency. If they are willing to pay you through school, the agency is desperate for officers for a reason. This is a CLUE. RUN!!!

The "B" in BLET is basic. Just enough to get your foot in the door. Get on with an agency that is pro-training and don't use them to learn and run off to "greener grass", this does not exist, craps on the agency, and makes you look bad.

Once hired, take as many classes as you can after your first six months. NCJA offers a slew of training and it's all good. More training means more tools to do your job better and create value with yourself.
Link Posted: 11/26/2018 10:52:34 PM EST
You should check out fire mechanic openings.

With larger departments you would do well.
Link Posted: 11/28/2018 8:58:39 PM EST
I wonder if the OP has spent anytime reading the cop threads that show up daily in GD?



Or thought about a situation like the Hoover, Al officer found himself in on Thanksgiving at a mall during an "Active Shooter" call?

He could very well be looking at 5 years in prison for doing his job.

This is not really a job you do to better yourself, anymore. It's borderline self destructive masochism. Or utterly cynical "Dental plan" calculation.

Neither seems healthy.
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