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Posted: 5/5/2005 3:11:29 PM EST
I currently live in Northern Illinois, but grew up in central Wisconsin. My wife recently received a very good job offer in Arizona. The job offer would allow us to relocate to the Flagstaff, Phoenix, or the Scottsdale areas. I am not sure if I should move my family and need some help.

I am 32 and have been a LEO for the past nine years. How hard is it to get LEO jobs in Arizona? What do departments pay out there? I work for a local agency of about 30 officers. What departments are good, or bad. My qualifications are good, but will need to work on my physical fitness.

My family enjoys boating, water-skiing, fishing, and shooting. I know nothing about Arizona. What should I avoid, what is a good area to live or bad. I would be looking to live in a middle to middle/upper class housing. Tell me about the gun laws as I do not want to give up any of my guns (But from what I heard Arizona is gun friendly).

Basically, tell me everything.

Link Posted: 5/5/2005 3:36:00 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/5/2005 3:58:02 PM EST by sysop]
Rough ballpark of pay here in the Phoenix are for LEO's on Patrol is starting around 30 to 35k, more with a good resume less if you work for Department of Corrections or Maricopa County Sheriffs Dept.

Funny, last time I checked AZ had the most boat owners per capita than any other state in the US. There are quite a few lakes that are about 2-4 hours away from Phoenix and fishing is a very popular pass time here. There is also a healthy amount of small game and predators to hunt but hunting big game with a rifle and some with bow requires you to get picked in a sort of lottery to get the appropriate tag.

AZ is very gun friendly and a Class III State. Open carry is legal without a permit and anyone that passes the 16 hour course, test, simple range qualification and FBI background check can have a CCW.

Shooting is allow on any public land as long as you are 1/4 mile away from an occupied dwelling, paved road or natural wildlife water tank in the desert regions and there are several indoor and outdoor ranges around the Phoenix area including Ben Avery's the largest gun range in the US.

Feel free to IM me if you have any more specific questions.

PS: I am not a cop. I saw your post in the active topics. I may not be entirely correct about the salaries. I am aquainted with several LEO's here in the Phoenix area because I worked at a couple of gun stores here in the area for over 7 years.
Link Posted: 5/5/2005 4:10:15 PM EST
Thanks Sysop. What kind of towns are Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Flagstaff? Are they all about the same? Any one better than the other? Know of any good suburbs to look for houses? I know really nothing about Arizona and am now doing searches on the net to get a clue. I'm pritty sure of one thing, it's not like Chicago.
Link Posted: 5/5/2005 7:00:03 PM EST
Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, Chandler, Peoria, Glendale, Sun City and others are all in one metropolitan area in the lower desert. It gets very hot here in the summer but mercifully the summers are a very short. To me, having grown up in the Midwest and living in the Phoenix area it's like we have only two seasons, Summer and not Summer. In the dead of what others consider to be winter, occasionally the temperatures will drop below freezing at night.

Flagstaff however is roughly 360 miles north of Phoenix on the Mogillon Rim elevation about 6000'. It is the 3rd largest Metropolitan area in AZ. Lots of pine trees, scrub oak and all four seasons including blizzards and bitter cold.

As far as the Phoenix area suburbs are concerned, each municipality in the Phoenix Metro area has it's good area's and bad areas so I really can't help you a whole lot there but I can tell you to avoid purchasing a home in south Phoenix, south central Scottsdale, anywhere near the Arizona State University in Tempe, Tolleson or Gila Bend.

The home sales here are in a kinda bad way right now, it is a sellers market but it still isn't as bad as trying to buy a house in CA.

Indeed, Phoenix is not like Chicago. The most noticable difference is the smell or the lack of the smell. I was in downtown Chicago for four miserable days last year for IBM techincal training and I hated it. The people were generally nice enough but the smell and the constant wind convinced me that I do not want to go to Chicago again.

The smell in Chicago wasn't quite as bad as the smell in Detroit which I hear is not as bad as the smell in New York City but the constant wind more than made up for that.

I hope this helps.
Link Posted: 5/5/2005 8:32:50 PM EST
I'm a phoenix cop. I just got off my probationary year after 11 years in the Army. Phoenix has the best "package" of any agency in the state, pay, benefits, retirement, etc.... Plus they are so desperate for people that they are taking lateral transfers from out of state. Go to the "American Police Beat" website and look in the jobs section where you'll find the Phoenix add. Being a big department though they do have their share of bullshit politics. hope this helps a little.
Link Posted: 5/5/2005 8:59:49 PM EST

was I even close on the salary range for PHX PD?
Link Posted: 5/5/2005 10:12:13 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/5/2005 10:13:26 PM EST by Cellblock_CQB]

I'm in Prescott, about half way between Phoenix and Flagstaff. PHX in a larger metro area as was stated earlier. Flagstaff is a college town. . .nuff said there.

As for your LEO status if you're certified in IL. you might be able to challenge the AZPOST requirements and gain your AZ cert. without going through an Academy. At any rate look around at different areas of the state. I hear Border Patrol area going to be adding to their numbers here, if that's your gig. Also there are a lot of boats and the Park Rangers(federal) handle a lot of that.

If I can be of any help please IM me and I'll e-mail you.


Edit: Your wife a Nurse, Huh?
Link Posted: 5/6/2005 7:11:21 AM EST

Originally Posted By sysop:
It gets very hot here in the summer but mercifully the summers are a very short.

I have to disagree with the statement our summers are short. 100 degree plus days are possible (and likely) from late April to mid October. I live and work in Phoenix. Every summer I swear I'm moving north to get away from the heat. One day last summer I had a thermometer with me at an accident scene - 131 degrees on the asphalt. It is cooler if you get off the asphalt or find shade, but it's still hot. Your vest doesn't help matters any.

Alright, enough negativity. Arizona is a great state. From your options of cities I would choose Flagstaff. You have 4 true seasons. It snows, but not like the midwest. Flagstaff is great for outdoor activities like hiking, hunting and shooting. I don't know much about Flagstaff PD, but did look at testing there once. Make sure you can run at high altitude (7000 ft) to take their test.

If you want boating you're better off in Phoenix or Scottsdale. There are 7 lakes surrounding Phoenix so you're never far from at least one of them. Most areas of Scottsdale are more upscale than the rest of the metro area, but home costs are generally higher there also.

Most of the agencies in Phoenix are hurting for manpower right now. Below are some links to the HR sites for several of them.

Scottsdale PD
Maricopa County Sheriff's Office
Phoenix PD
Glendale PD
Chandler PD
Peoria PD
Arizona DPS (Highway Patrol)

There are many more agencies in the Phoenix area, some very large, some very small. If you have more questions let me know.
Link Posted: 5/6/2005 9:44:22 AM EST
Thanks to everyone for the info. I still have a lot of homework to do on this. It's hard to pass up my wife's job opportunity. She would be making more in Arizona than our combined income in IL. She wants to make the move bad. She even said I could be a Mr. Mom for a while. We are doing some searching on home sales to get a better picture.

My dream job would be to do some kind of boating law enforcement. Not much of that around here, but how about in Arizona? How does one challange AZPOST requirements? I have am certified and have good list of training that i have gone through. Most of it is investigative, juvenile, and tactical training. I have been a juvenile detective (aka Kid Cop) for thenlast four years. I do not speak Spanish, and I do not think the Border Patrol is really me. However, I do not know much about what they do.

Link Posted: 5/6/2005 9:59:10 AM EST
[Last Edit: 5/6/2005 10:01:42 AM EST by arizsig]

Check the link above for Peoria PD. They have a page linked that describes the process to challenge AzPost.

If you want to be a boat cop look into Maricopa County. They are the primary law enforcement for the lakes around Phoenix. They have a Lake Patrol division and a Trails division. Lake Patrol is just what it sounds like - lake patrol. In addition they patrol the Salt River area (tubing and general drunken debauchery ) and some of the remote recreation areas, camp grounds etc. The Trails division is primarily responsible for working in the County parks. Some of them bleed over into the lake areas (especially Lake Pleasant).

MCSO Lake Patrol
MCSO Trails
Link Posted: 5/6/2005 11:42:30 AM EST
If I had to do it again, I would hire on with AZ DPS. You can transfer to any duty station in the state over time, if you hate one area it's only a two years away from a move. They are now hiring laterals at the Officer II pay rate as well.

Flag is where I hunt deer and elk (when the GF Dept. chooses to let me) and I grew up near there. I love the area, not the people.

Link Posted: 5/8/2005 5:01:24 PM EST
Just back in from Wisconsin. I shot at a nice range near Wausau. Picked up my boat from storage. So, what are the people i n Arizona like? How do you describe the life style (fast or slow paced, friendly or not so friendly)
Link Posted: 5/10/2005 8:03:22 AM EST
It all depends on where you are. Parts of north Scottsdale are very elite and snobish while parts of south Phoenix are gangland. The rural areas tend to be more friendly and laid back. Overall, I'd say people will generally leave you alone if you want, but will talk and be friendly if approached.

I've noticed very few people know their neighbors in the Phoenix area. I think this is partly due to the climate and the way houses are built here. Most subdivisions don't really have a front porch to speak of, just a garage door facing the street. People come home, pull into their garage and close the door. Not much chance to talk to the neighbors. Most backyards are surrounded by block or wood privacy fencing. Also, few people spend any time outside in the summer because it is too hot. Even at 11:00 at night it will be over 100 degrees.

The pace of life is about the same here as anywhere else, except traffic. Traffic flows fast in Phoenix. I'm always amazed when I travel to other states that people drive the speed limit or close to it. Here, it is only a starting point. 55 in a 40 is common. You will get run over if you don't keep up.
Link Posted: 5/12/2005 6:33:54 PM EST

Originally Posted By sysop:

was I even close on the salary range for PHX PD?

Yeah, I think it starts at 35k.

If you are already certified in another state you can lateral to Phoenix PD and go through a 2 week "post Academy" where they get you up on AZ law to get your AZ post certification. Cant hurt to call and actually talk to someone in the recruiting office they'll know alot more than the dudes on this forum.... No offense meant dudes
Link Posted: 5/13/2005 2:15:37 PM EST
Cant hurt to call and actually talk to someone in the recruiting office they'll know alot more than the dudes on this forum.... No offense meant dudes

In the works.
Link Posted: 5/23/2005 6:42:48 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/23/2005 6:44:14 PM EST by moosemcnally]
Bucky, I am one of the Federal Park Rangers LE that can tell you a little bit about Lake Powell in Northern AZ (2hrs north of Flag) Email any questions you might have. Anything I can do to help is yours.

I am on duty right now, and have to start on a use of force report cuz I just tasered my first customer, in the water no less.

WORKED LIKE A CHARM and most certainly saved his behind and the health of my crew.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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