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Posted: 12/25/2006 9:50:38 PM EDT
i was wondering what i should put on my job application: police officer or otherwise.  what can i apply for to get the department to pay for the academy.  Do i even need to apply or should i just apply at the police academy?
Link Posted: 12/26/2006 2:32:06 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TheBigAR2003:
i was wondering what i should put on my job application: police officer or otherwise.  what can i apply for to get the department to pay for the academy.  Do i even need to apply or should i just apply at the police academy?

It is all according to where you want to work. In some agencies they will only hire you and send you through their academy. Others will hire you only if you have already completed the academy. Still others will hire anyone while giving preference to those that have already completed the academy. That way they can put you straight on the streets instead of waiting 3-6 months for you to complete an academy. It saves them time and money.

Many sheriff departments will only hire you as a jailer/correction officer and then you have to do a certain amount of time (I think two years is about standard) until you can apply to go to patrol. Other agencies require you to have a college degree or at least two years in college before you apply but really not very many.

Do you want to work for a city police department, county sheriff, state police or federal agency? You need to decide what kind of police agency that you want to work for and then go from there. You might go from a city police department that only requires a GED to most federal law enforcement jobs that require at least a bachelor's degree.
Link Posted: 12/26/2006 11:32:58 AM EDT
i wanted to work for a city police department.  i have an associates degree, speak spanish, have experience in martial arts. i have high hopes to join the swat team or another tactical team.
Link Posted: 12/26/2006 2:59:01 PM EDT
Check out the city departments in the area that you want to work and see what they require. If most of them require you to go to a police academy on your own, then go enroll and get your certificate. In a way, it is just like any other technical school. You get the degree/certificate but it does not make you a cop. You still have to apply but now you have the requirements to be an officer immediately. That way they can hire you and put you straight into patrol. I think that most smaller agencies would tend to put you on the street and into the FTO program immediately and larger agencies would more likely have some type of internal academy or orientation before you get into the training program. If you can find an agency that will hire you first and then send you to the academy, that would be the way to go but I think all but the larger agencies are getting away from that and opting for the cadets to put themselves through. It all depends on your area.

Agencies have their own way of hiring. You could be a 10 year veteran cop and then join a large department and they might send you back to the academy just like you were a rookie cadet. Others will be glad that you have experience and put you on patrol immediately. That is why you need to see what is common in your area.

If you already have a two year degree and speak spanish, I would think that you could get hired fairly easily if you do not have any issues. It just depends on whether you need you to put yourself through the academy or if you can find an agency that will do it for you. You will have to do the research on that in your area. The issues that will keep you from being hired are things like prior drug use, bad traffic record, criminal history, background check that shows you have a short temper, money problems, mental problems, not having the ability to read and write effectively, etc.

As far as SWAT or any other specialty (detectives, dog handler, supervisor, traffic units, narcotics, gang units, etc), each agency has their own rules for experience. I think that the most common time is two years minimum on patrol to gain experience. Some larger agencies that have enough manpower, it might be more like 5 years of experience. Basically everyone has to do their time on the streets gaining experience and learning how to be a cop. If you do a good job, then you can move on to other areas besides patrol.
Link Posted: 1/2/2007 5:47:33 AM EDT
It looks like you live in Missouri.  The Missouri Highway Patrol is always hiring.  They pay for you to go through the academy.  The academy is 6 months long.  You have to stay in their dormitory, but you get 3 squares a day.  So if your smart you can make decent money while in the academy.  

If you want to work St. Louis or Kansas City  or surrounding areas, you would have no problem being assigned to those areas.  You join the HP SWAT team you need at least 3 years on before you can apply.  There are 4 SWAT teams throughout the state.  

The HP pay is very competitive with St. Louis and Kansas City.  
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