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Posted: 4/2/2006 6:57:10 PM EDT
Ok, for most of my adult life (all 6 years of it) I kind of floated around not knowing what to do with my life, then in the fall of 2004 I got a job working armed security patrol in Salem, Oregon and realized that the Criminal Justice field was for me.

I moved to Charleston, SC because my family owns a house here but they are in the military and stationed in Florida so rent was free. I am finishing up my Associates Degree in Criminal Justice in December and will then be moving back to Oregon and probably applying with Salem and Portland Departments.

While going to school, I have been working at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center as a role player, and my GPA in school is 3.75

My question is: What can I do to make myself more marketable?
Link Posted: 4/2/2006 7:40:39 PM EDT
Are you a federal employee, by working as a role player at FLETC?

It sounds like your heading in the right direction. Consider extending school for another 6 months and getting your states POST certification handled if your state allows people to sponsor themselves into an academy.

The free rent at the parents should help you pay for an academy.

I got hired by a department a week after I graduated from the academy.

good luck!
Link Posted: 4/2/2006 7:43:45 PM EDT

Originally Posted By glocktastic:
Are you a federal employee, by working as a role player at FLETC?

It sounds like your heading in the right direction. Consider extending school for another 6 months and getting your states POST certification handled if your state allows people to sponsor themselves into an academy.

The free rent at the parents should help you pay for an academy.

I got hired by a department a week after I graduated from the academy.

good luck!


So approximately how much does it cost to sponsor yourself into the academy?
Link Posted: 4/2/2006 7:54:03 PM EDT
I'm not sure how POST works on Oregon..

In Colorado, AIMS charged $8500 when I looked.

I moved to TX and it was $850.

Make some calls and do some googling!
Link Posted: 4/2/2006 7:55:34 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/2/2006 8:29:13 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/2/2006 8:35:48 PM EDT by bigern]
Oregon doesn't pay for shit. Come North to Washington. Lots of hiring going on and pay is much better. And it's a state Academy so the agency hires you and PAYS YOU TO GO TO THE 19.5 WEEK ACADEMY!

After you've been with your agency for 2 years you are eligable to lateral to any agency in the state. You could even be a Fish and Game guy or a Gambling Commission dude. If you don't like your agency you could lateral or if you just got tired of on agency after 5 years you could move to anther, non-state agency, and keep your retirement because most are in the same pension plan.

Ask anybody who works in Oregon, there are good places to work there, but the pay is crap. I know a fella from there, who works with me now, and was riding with a municipal agency in Oregon and he had it pointed out to him that on that very evening there was ONE Oregon Highway Patrolman (or trooper, whatever they call themselves) working the whole western half of the state after midnight.

How's that for shorthanded?

Go North young man, go north.

My agency pays 20 bucks an hour starting out in the Academy. It's not cheap living here but a single guy can make ends meet no problem on that wage.
Link Posted: 4/2/2006 8:45:59 PM EDT
I like the sound of Washington, but I have SOooo much family in Oregon, I don't know. Something to think about definately
Link Posted: 4/2/2006 9:31:36 PM EDT
So the only thing to make myself more marketable is to pay for myself to go to the academy? Nobody has any other suggestions?
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 5:26:58 AM EDT
I have to agree with putting yourself through the academy because on every job posting I see, they always have "academy graduates preferred"

The next best thing I could say is make sure these deparments know your name, be in good shape and keep up with it.
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 5:30:14 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/3/2006 6:34:21 AM EDT by highdraglowspeed]
Get references from the guys at FLETC
Finish your BA degree
Apply where you would like to live and work.

Best of luck to you.
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 8:29:40 AM EDT

Originally Posted By NorthernBornRebel:
So the only thing to make myself more marketable is to pay for myself to go to the academy? Nobody has any other suggestions?



Check to see if Oregon agencies will hire you and then put you through the academy. If not, do what I did...

I wanted to come home to Florida and work in LE but most agencies require you to be certified FIRST. With my situation, this was not an option as the academy here is 5 to 9 months long depending on your schedule, plus I would have had to pay for it.

Solution... I got hired on in South Carolina by a Police Department, sent to the academy and paid the whole time, worked a little over 2 yeras, then applied for and got granted an exemption to the academy requirement here in Florida by FDLE. Took the State exam, applied here in Florida and got hire in just over 1 month of waiting with a few offers just after taking a job.

So far, sounds like you are on the right track. With some "full-time" experience under your belt (getting hired in SC is soooo easy) your a "shoe-in".

Good Luck...
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 7:02:30 AM EDT
Learn Arabic
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 12:42:48 PM EDT

Originally Posted By NorthernBornRebel:
So the only thing to make myself more marketable is to pay for myself to go to the academy? Nobody has any other suggestions?




Thats a good start.
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 4:33:41 PM EDT
I would apply at the big departments you want to work at, and until you are hired, find a part time job at a small town. In my area, that would be anywhere from 600 to 5000 people, and every small town around is looking for some part time po-lice. Some of these places will even sponsor you in the academy if you agree to stay for a certain period of time, one year for example. After working at a place like this for a year, you'll be ready to rock and roll at a big department.

If your like i was when i started, you've never really even sat in a police car. I was twenty-one years old and working on a friend's farm making seven bucks an hour, which i was getting tired of. I saw the ad in the newspaper for poice academy and signed up. In Missouri, the academy cost $2500, and i paid for it myself because i wanted a j-o-b so bad. Luckily, i got a job at a pretty dang good dept two weeks after i got out and i've never looked back.

But, to answer your question, the best way to make yourself more marketable besides putting yourself through the academy is getting some part-time experience. You need to get used to driving a police car where everybody's watching you all the time, time to get used to wearing a uniform and a vest, and time to get used to taking calls and doing reports. I'm convinced that the best way to do these is experience-experience-experience.

Good Luck
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