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Posted: 9/30/2004 6:29:05 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/30/2004 6:34:57 PM EST by MrKasab]
What are the requirments and any disqualifacations to become a cop? I have a
High school diploma
4 years army, honorable discharge
smoked pot once in high school, it was a school issue, not a law issue
No physical disabilities
No mental issues
No arrests
Is the pot incident going to hurt my chances of becoming a cop? It was now 7 years ago and it was in school. The local PD may have been informed but they did not get involved. Also, is it just me or is Sherrif's departments more likely to be serving high risk warrants and all that high speed stuff than city/town cops or state police and what are the differences? Thank you in advance.
Link Posted: 9/30/2004 7:27:15 PM EST
You're gold, pot 7 years ago? haha as long as you weren't dealing or doing it regularly its fine
Link Posted: 10/1/2004 7:07:06 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/1/2004 7:35:22 AM EST by NorCal_LEO]
Originally Posted By MrKasab:

What are the requirments and any disqualifacations to become a cop? I have a
High school diploma
Good, a few PD's do require 60 units now, but I think most are still a HS diploma

4 years army, honorable discharge
Bonus points on civil service tests, also good if your MOS was LE/Medic but not required at all
smoked pot once in high school, it was a school issue, not a law issue
Shouldn't even be an issue.

No physical disabilities
No mental issues
No arrests
Perfect

Is the pot incident going to hurt my chances of becoming a cop? It was now 7 years ago and it was in school. The local PD may have been informed but they did not get involved.
See above.

Also, is it just me or is Sherrif's departments more likely to be serving high risk warrants and all that high speed stuff than city/town cops or state police and what are the differences? Thank you in advance.

The following is the way it works in CA in a nutshell, state to state it varies.

Sheriff is the county entity responsible for the jails, courts and patrol in unincorperated areas. Sheriff's dept does all patrol in some counties (rural areas) and no patrol in big cities that cover the entire county proper. Sheriff's main duty is to run the jail system. Our Sheriff's unincorperated patrol does not handle vehicle accidents. Some counties are sheriff/coroners (self-explanatory)

Contract cities hire Sheriff's deputues to act as police officers for towns that have not yet hired/trained their own force. These officers wear police officer uniforms but remain sworn deputies.

The police are the sworn officers responsible for LE in incorperated areas. Police investigate vehicle accidents in their jurisdictions. Larger police and sheriff's depts have special "high speed" units and handle all phases of LE work including dope, K9, air, boats, motors, warrants, gangs, swat, dive teams, harbor/river, bomb, etc etc etc...

Metro Police departments are merged police and sheriff departments (as in Las Vegas)

State police used to handle state builings and courts. In CA our state police were absorbed by CHP. CHP do state wide traffic enforcement. Most states (PA included) call their highway patrol "state police" and use them for all state buildings/traffic enforcement. They also have special units like any other LE agency such as dignitary protection, homicide, dope and fatal auto accidents.

Local marshalls are officers of the county or state courts that serve processes and warrants.

School police handle state universities and campuses.

Etc... there are cops for every conceivable agency and specialty (Harbor, lake, shore, transit, train)


Good luck if you choose to apply.


Link Posted: 10/1/2004 7:30:24 AM EST
MrKasab,

I see you are from Pa. To become a local officer in Pennsylvania the criteria is varied. One thing helps is to already be Act 120 certified. Same with the sheriff's offices.

To join the Pa. State Police here are the qualifications : PSP Qualifications


It's just you, the sheriff's offices in Pa serve some warrants. Not a whole lot. They mostly serve writs of execution (ie sheriffs sales, non emergency PFA's and what not). The sheriffs offices are usually used for prisoner transport and court room security. When an out of state department has a warrant for an individual that they want back in their state, usually the PSP is contacted or if the municipality that the individual is in they may contact that municipality. Many times they still contact the PSP.


Don't sweat the pot smoking incident. Probably about the best thing you could do right now is stay out of trouble and get some college credits under your belt.
Link Posted: 10/1/2004 7:35:59 AM EST
By the way in Pennsylvania the State Police are responsible for all law enforcement in any town or municipality that does not have their own police department . It's a big state and a lot of area, you could be any thing from a highway patrol, to a city cop all in the same uniform. In the next few years quite a few retirements are expected. You might want to keep that in mind!
Link Posted: 10/1/2004 7:54:26 AM EST

Originally Posted By MrKasab:
What are the requirments and any disqualifacations to become a cop? I have a
High school diploma

For most departments, this should be fine. Some larger departments will require college credits though.

4 years army, honorable discharge

Honorable military experience is almost always a plus.

smoked pot once in high school, it was a school issue, not a law issue

This should not be much of an issue with most departments.

No physical disabilities

Good.

No mental issues

Good.

No arrests

Good.

Is the pot incident going to hurt my chances of becoming a cop? It was now 7 years ago and it was in school. The local PD may have been informed but they did not get involved.

Most departments are not looking for "choir boys" necessarily. There are some departments that have a "never used" policy though, so be prepared to look somewhere else. Whatever you do, do not lie about it on your app or during any other part of the hiring process.

Also, is it just me or is Sherrif's departments more likely to be serving high risk warrants and all that high speed stuff than city/town cops or state police and what are the differences? Thank you in advance.

I am not familliar with Pennsylvania, but in Virginia it depends on a couple of things. If there is no police department, then the Sheriff does it all. If there is a police department, then the Sheriff handles civil process (and subpeona service), courtroom security and the jail but does not do criminal stuff (i.e. patrol the streets, handle 911 calls and criminal warrants). Also, in my jurisdiction, we have a regional jail authority. They run the jail and transport prisoners to and from court. The deputies handle the holding cell area of the courthouse and are in custody of the inmates until turning them back over to the jailers. My department has a SETT team (another fancy name for swat) that does high risk warrant service. Any other warrant is handled by the patrol officers.

Good luck and keep trying, even if you get rejected by a few departments. Most guys I know didn't get hired by the first department that they applied with.


Link Posted: 10/1/2004 8:15:07 AM EST

Originally Posted By MrKasab:
What are the requirments and any disqualifacations to become a cop? I have a
High school diploma
4 years army, honorable discharge
smoked pot once in high school, it was a school issue, not a law issue
No physical disabilities
No mental issues
No arrests
Is the pot incident going to hurt my chances of becoming a cop? It was now 7 years ago and it was in school. The local PD may have been informed but they did not get involved. Also, is it just me or is Sherrif's departments more likely to be serving high risk warrants and all that high speed stuff than city/town cops or state police and what are the differences? Thank you in advance.



It depends on the hiring climate of the agency, and the politics. Regardless of your final position on a hiring list, if they NEED to hire a woman, minority, or person with some degree, brother, sister, uncle of someone on the force, mayor's family, city council, etc. I know this happens in CA. Amplify this by how few spots are actually available. You can go through the process several times, be in the top ten every time, and have the agency hire people below you on the list. I know, I've seen me do it.

Your mileage may vary, this can be your reality.
Link Posted: 10/1/2004 2:45:55 PM EST

Amplify this by how few spots are actually available. You can go through the process several times, be in the top ten every time, and have the agency hire people below you on the list. I know, I've seen me do it.




Is that a typo or are you admitting to driving top ten candidates to pulling their own hair out?LOL
Link Posted: 10/2/2004 7:58:18 AM EST
in my county, to become a Sheriff's officer.

you need 60 hours of College credits OR,
30 hours + 2 years Experience....

or honorable military duty.....

Control substances..... Must not have used in the last year 365 days.

must not have Delt, or transports large quantities ( felony quantity ) in the past 4 years.

as for me, I fall under the 30 hours and 2 years XP...

the academy accounts for 36 credit hours. and while im doing that i'm employed as a CO for 2 years, then i will put in a transfer request to, patrol or other.
Link Posted: 10/5/2004 11:54:06 PM EST
it helps to be a little insane
Link Posted: 10/6/2004 12:23:27 PM EST
Forgot to mention, I have a couple of tattoos on my arms, includdding forearms. Nothing extreme or offensive though. What is the deal with that?
Link Posted: 10/6/2004 2:11:11 PM EST

Originally Posted By MrKasab:
Forgot to mention, I have a couple of tattoos on my arms, includdding forearms. Nothing extreme or offensive though. What is the deal with that?



Nothing outwardly offensive or Aryan etc....not a problem. We have plenty of guys with LOTS of tats and even a few guys who are completely sleeved. No big deal. They're all fine officers.
Link Posted: 10/6/2004 2:30:40 PM EST


Originally Posted By OneRobertFour:
We have plenty of guys with LOTS of tats and even a few guys who are completely sleeved. No big deal. They're all fine officers.



Sleeved cops I wonder what the bad guys think
Link Posted: 10/12/2004 7:36:54 AM EST
If the dept. doesn't require college, from what you say your golden. Can you articulate, and how's your writing skills. Your not mental? Greatest low paying job on earth. Good luck and don't get discouraged. Get a study guide and I would suggest talking with a recruiter of a department you would be interested in. If they have a website, study it first. Understand the departments core values, philosophy, and structure. Go on ride alongs if available. While on ride along be a sponge. It's really a great job. It took me a year to get hired and then 6 mos. of academy before I hit the streets in FTO. FTO was hard in that you are graded daily. Stay in good physical shape. Make sure your finanaces are clean. And stay sharp. Wear an interview suit. Your trying to package yourself as a product/ someone who they want on the team. You have to stand out without standing out. I hope that makes sense. In other words you want to have your poop colated.
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