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Thinking about law enforcement

2654 Views 5 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  mlammers
Hey guys.

lemmie start by saying im 20 i run my fathers business and i make a decent living but im not going anywhere. Recently thought about attending college, but have yet to find a feild that interests me and im not going to force myself into something. The military has always appealed to me but i have a few reservations about the current state of the world that have caused me to relenquish my interest in joining the armed forces. I still feel the need to serve my country though, so i have fostered a growing interest in law enforcement. I realise LE plays a huge role in our country and i feel its every bit as noble a calling as the military. Maybe with my love of shoot i could one day find myself filling a spot as a sharpshooter . I dont know what the point of this post is aside from im at a crossroads in my life where,while im doing well and i am content, i dont see my life going in any direction. i just wanted to hear some of your thoughts. I know everyone at some point finds themsellf in the same position i am in, i figure you guys could give me some good advice.

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LE is good. If you're a capable shot, go for a Tactical Team (SWAT) and go in as a Sniper.
Sit Wait And Talk

Scatch Maroo
AK said:
LE is good. If you're a capable shot, go for a Tactical Team (SWAT) and go in as a Sniper.
after your on SWAT, if they HAVE a sharpshooter position and feel your EXPERIENCED enough for it tehy will train you to be one
you will probably be a patrolman first before you become swat but i cant say how every department does things

I'm going into law enforcement myself, finishing up my batchelor's in criminal justice right now. I might be able to provide some insight.

Essentially ALL of the college classes that deal with criminal justice are the exact same. Once you've had one or two, you've had them all, and just have to repeat until you have 120 credits.

Further, most criminal justice classes are unbelieveably easy. I think CJ beats psychology as the easiest major. Don't let that influence you too much of course, but don't fail to try because you think its too hard.

Here in Central Florida, the standard practice in LE is once you get off your training period, you have to spend at least 2 years as a patrolman before you can even try out for the more specialized positions. Also, if you want to go SWAT, be prepared to do any position.

Promotions require higher education, you need an associates to make Sergeant, and a batchelor's to go Lieutinant or higher. I would stay away from Sheriff's departments initially because of the greater politics.

Finally, although 20 years to retirement and fairly good benefits is nice, the pay isn't that great, around $30,000 a year to start here. If you're comfortable where you are now, and make good money etc. consider very carefully before you go down this road. Few professions give you a chance to save lives though, and that should be very fulfilling.

Just my .02
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I am a 14yr LE Officer. I have been with my current Dept for almost 12 yrs. I have been in patrol the entire 12yrs, and just had the first opening for SGT come up(will find out next month). I have 3.5 yrs college(GHPD hired me out of college, and I have not finished, probably dumb on my part but work gets in the way). Be prepared for long hours, bad days off, no selection of your shift, and lots of political infighting.

The pay is not bad, where I work, my wife stays at home and raises two kids, and we are not starving, we have two nice cars, a boat and I can still buy my toys. Pay does start at around 37K for us and goes to a top of 57K before the percs after 3yrs. The percs include holiday pay, longevity after 5 yrs, good pension(10%of pay goes to it from your check), good benefits, and knowing you have the chance to make a difference in peoples lives, even if they dont know it at the time.

As far as SWAT goes, at CPD most guys have about 20yrs on before they get there. At my DEPT I have been pushing for a limited SRT and Sniper program for about 7yrs, and it is just now starting to get going. I love LE work, and would recomend it to anyone who is willing to put up with the BS that goes with it, but all jobs have that.

Just like with any job really look hard before you leap. I sold everything I could, to pay for my first academy, and then worked for free for 18 Mo. It was worth it, since it got me where I am now, but you must decide for yourself how bad you want it.


Know your enemy and yourself and you need not fear the outcome of a hundred battles-SunTzu

Practice does not make perfect, PERFECT PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT-OSP Drill Instructor
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