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Old 04-28-2012, 10:22 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Some questions abut becoming an officer

Note: this is not about police K9's; just general policing. Mods feel free to move if necessary.

Years ago I was seriously considering applying for a job as a police officer. I excitedly shared this with my husband and he told me flat-out that he hated cops and if I became one he'd divorce me.

Now it looks like he's divorcing me anyway. If we can't work this marriage out, I want to apply. I feel like there are worse things a compassionate, fair, yet tough and physically strong woman can do with her life than serve and protect the community. I feel like a person of character and integrity can make a bigger difference as an officer than, say, working in a cubicle. My grandfather was a sheriff's deputy an my uncle is a retired detective. They are/were good men who are/were proud of their jobs. Unfortunately my uncle is entering early stages of Alzheimer's so I'm limited in how much I can talk with him about this.

Some questions for those of you who are officers or have family members who are:

1) Any thoughts on my becoming one?
2) I realize it's very difficult to get in. How difficult?
3) Any other words of wisdom you have would be appreciated.
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Old 04-28-2012, 10:26 AM   #2 (permalink)
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1. If its what you want to do go for it!

2. It can be pretty difficult. I'm not sure about where you live but taking the civil exam. Any police academy usually takes people who score about 90% and pass the physical portion.

3. Go for it! If its what you really want to do there should be nothing that should be able to stand in your way!
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Old 04-28-2012, 10:29 AM   #3 (permalink)
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First of all, I'm sorry to hear that your husband is willing to end the marriage. But if that's what happens I think it's great that you'll have the opportunity to do things you've always wanted to do, even if it's just out of necessity. My nephew is a police officer in Minneapolis and he loves it! Like you, he's a very kind and compassionate person with a strong desire to help others. Also like you, he's very physically fit and is on the SWAT team. He went into that career after serving in the National Guard which undoubtedly helped. Good luck!!
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Old 04-28-2012, 10:33 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks.

The civil service exam I'm not worried about. After taking trig, pre-cal, and upper level science there's no standardized test I can't pass. I was getting ready to take the exam to get into graduate school, so I'm not too worried.

The physical requirements are all stuff I do in my own workouts regularly anyway.

I've never even had a traffic ticket.

What I'm really worried about is my spotty job history. Dh makes good money and when I tried to work it full-time it caused fights, so I didn't. I have long unemployment gaps and some part-time jobs I took for fun and pocket money. I can explain it in person, but it looks bad on a resume' or application.
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Old 04-28-2012, 10:35 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm in a long process to try for 1 spot here in foley. I took a pt test with 41 others and had to do 25 pushups and situps in 1 min. Then a 1.5 mile run in 15 or less. It's all go or no go based not who does the best. The hardest part they told me is the polygraph and they will lose 85% on that and background investigation. Then a written test and a oral board Is last. All sounds easy but in reality is all hard with 41 others. That's just how it goes here not sure bout your state or county but after its all said and done you are joining a tight knit team with rewarding benefits and job helpIng others. Good luck hope you get a chance to follow your dreams.
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Old 04-28-2012, 10:41 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emoore View Post
Note: this is not about police K9's; just general policing. Mods feel free to move if necessary.

Years ago I was seriously considering applying for a job as a police officer. I excitedly shared this with my husband and he told me flat-out that he hated cops and if I became one he'd divorce me.

Now it looks like he's divorcing me anyway. If we can't work this marriage out, I want to apply. I feel like there are worse things a compassionate, fair, yet tough and physically strong woman can do with her life than serve and protect the community. I feel like a person of character and integrity can make a bigger difference as an officer than, say, working in a cubicle. My grandfather was a sheriff's deputy an my uncle is a retired detective. They are/were good men who are/were proud of their jobs. Unfortunately my uncle is entering early stages of Alzheimer's so I'm limited in how much I can talk with him about this.

Some questions for those of you who are officers or have family members who are:

1) Any thoughts on my becoming one?
2) I realize it's very difficult to get in. How difficult?
3) Any other words of wisdom you have would be appreciated.

I went to school to become a police officer and after I finished my first year I decided that it wasn't for me...there are some questions that you need to ask yourself on certain situations and how you think you could deal with them if they happened. My teacher was a police officer, so we got to hear stuff that happened in "real" life and not just out of the books.

1. Will you be an officer where you live and know people? This can be good or bad, but where I was living at the time there were lots of gangs and I knew lots of the kids and if there was a shooting, could I deal with knowing who got shot or who did the shooting? Could I go to either set of parents and break the news?
2. This was a big one for me and a true story...a seven year old girl is raped/molested by her uncle, but the evidence is he said/she said and the uncle walks....can you in this situation not want to do some serious harm to a person that hurts a child? As a police officer you have to walk away
3. Can you handle the political side of things...my teacher always told us that no matter how much you thought you could change things, this isn't happening if someone higher then you don't want it to change. It almost makes one feel helpless and robot like.

If you can handle all three of these situations plus a ton others then being a police officer is for you In most places you'll have to pay for the application, fill it out--its a very long application and very detailed...your whole life will be on that application. Then if accepted you still have the physical, back ground, medical/psych evaluation, etc. Good Luck
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Old 04-28-2012, 10:53 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Emoore - I work with many police officers (I am a public health nurse). I really like and admire the ones at work. The concern I have is the job market here in Michigan really stinks for cops. I would make sure to check into that carefully in your state. Many of our police officers work part-time as security guards making minimum wage because they cannot find full-time work as a cop. The other thing I have heard is that it is better to get a bachelor's degree in criminal justice because then you have the option to become a state police officer, or work for the sheriff's dept. And you could also go on to the FBI, which would be super cool. But again that is just here in Michigan so I would check your state regulations.
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Old 04-28-2012, 10:55 AM   #8 (permalink)
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And I was just recently on the FBI website, and if you have any interest in that I would try to double major in Criminal Justice and Computer Science. Most of the jobs listed want computer experience. I was looking into it because my 19-year-old has an interest in FBI, like most boys his age. He watched too many episodes of 24. We call him Jack Jr.
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Old 04-28-2012, 10:56 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaneyB View Post
Emoore - I work with many police officers (I am a public health nurse). I really like and admire the ones at work. The concern I have is the job market here in Michigan really stinks for cops. I would make sure to check into that carefully in your state. Many of our police officers work part-time as security guards making minimum wage because they cannot find full-time work as a cop. The other thing I have heard is that it is better to get a bachelor's degree in criminal justice because then you have the option to become a state police officer, or work for the sheriff's dept. And you could also go on to the FBI, which would be super cool. But again that is just here in Michigan so I would check your state regulations.
Yes, this is very true. There are age restrictions too
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Old 04-28-2012, 10:58 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Yeah, going back for another bachelor's really isn't an option. The ones around here say they want either a Bachelor's degree, military service, or at least 60 hours of college courses. I have a B.A. in psychology.

Police around here make pretty good money, it's just hard to get in from what I understand.
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