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Law Enforcement career questions

This is a discussion on Law Enforcement career questions within the Law Enforcement forums, part of the Armory category; I'll apologize in advance for my rambling, my brain is going a million miles an hour right now. Skip to the bottom if all you'd ...


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Old June 3rd, 2011, 12:47 PM   #1
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Oak Park, MI
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I'll apologize in advance for my rambling, my brain is going a million miles an hour right now. Skip to the bottom if all you'd like to do is read my questions, but my ramblings may answer some of your questions.



About 2 years ago I posted a question on another forum asking if I should skip finishing my Manufacturing Engineering Technology degree at Central Michigan University to join the Police Force, the overwhelming response was to finish. So with some thought and a push from my parents it was decided that finishing my degree would be best, and I could then decide what to do. Well, I graduated May 7th and Law Enforcement is still looking like what I want to do.



I've been applying for jobs in Virginia and will start looking at North Carolina. I'm choosing these locations because they are where my girlfriend, soon to be fiance, can find employment. They are also great locations if I decide Law Enforcement isn't for me, as they are flooded with Engineering positions.



Right now I've got a bachelors of science in Engineering Technology with a specialization in Manufacturing. I've spent some time talking with people in the field and over the last year or two and have slowly come to the realization that I'm not entirely sure it's what I want to do, being stuck behind a desk that is. I want a job where I feel I can make a difference. Now I know a lot of you are going to say that the people you help don't acknowledge what you are doing for them and it's not a "rewarding" job. I think I will feel differently, and here is why.



Two summers ago I was working as a cashier at Walgreens, it was a warm sunny Sunday afternoon and all was normal. It wasn't a job I looked forward to, but I knew it was only temporary and I worked with a couple friends including my younger sisters boyfriend. One persons actions would soon change everything. I had just checked someone out and was placing their money in the drawer when I heard something I will never forget, "Give me all the money in the register or I'll kill you". I looked up to see a shiny revolver pointed directly at my face. At that very moment my heart sank and thoughts of everyone I loved, things I'd left unfinished, the children I hadn't been able to have yet, and what I'd done with my life ran through my head. I packed up the money in a plastic bag and handed it to him. Jason Kid was his name, and he's got a face I will never forget. I ran away from the front counter as he instructed me to do. As soon as he walked out the doors I picked up the phone and tried to dial 911...unfortunately the phones at Walgreens don't allow outside calls so I just paged over the intercom for a manager. He called the police and they were there in seconds. I've never been happier to see someone in my life. I gave them a description while they looked over the security footage. He went on to rob a number of other stores and was eventually caught, I went to trial identified him...blah blah blah. The important part of the story is that when the police showed up there was no one I wanted to see more and so I know, people do appreciate them for the job they do. This incident is one of the reasons I feel compelled to join the force.



A second reason I think the force would be a good option for me is it will make my parents proud. Both my mother and father were Police Officers, but gave it up when I was born. I'd like to think I've got some "street experience" as my mom kept her beat until she started to show and had no choice but to tell them...LOL. They both want me to do what makes me happy so I'm not worried that they'll think I'm nuts for not becoming an Engineer.



Another reason I'm really considering this is that I think it will be a challenge for me. I know the job isn't as exciting as people think it is, there is a lot of time spent behind a desk, but the few moments you get where your heart is pounding through your chest are what I live for. I'm an adrenaline junky in every way. I'm good at Engineering, but it's really boring to me and I don't have any sense of accomplishment when I finish a project or design.



I do believe my love for guns and shooting has some impact on my drive to become a Police Officer, but it is most certainly not a major driving force for my decision.



Now, what I want to do is basically use my Engineering degree as proof that I can be taught and apply to become a Police Officer.



A little on topic background right before the questions:

-I'm 24 years old and currently live in MI.

-I'm in good physical shape, I play hockey and exercise.

-A few speeding tickets are the only negative marks on my record.

-I've applied for Law Enforcement jobs in VA and will soon be looking at NC.



QUESTIONS:

1. How does my 4 year degree look when applying for Law Enforcement positions in VA and NC?



2. Do I really have a chance at making this happen?



3. Are there actually Law Enforcement jobs available in VA and NC?



4. I've seen that a written test is required before being hired and entering the academy, what exactly is this test on?



5. Should I include information about my Michigan CPL on an application?



6. Am I crazy?



Feel free to give me your opinions and advice and thank you in advance for your replies.



Also, if you'd like to keep it private you can PM me too.
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Old June 3rd, 2011, 12:59 PM   #2
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: oakland county
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Join the army as military police for 3-5 years than go civilian police.



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Old June 3rd, 2011, 01:03 PM   #3
 
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Originally Posted by hanny76 View Post
Join the army as military police for 3-5 years than go civilian police.



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Ah yes, I knew I forgot something. I can't join the military, I've got scoliosis and I'm hypoglycemic. If not for those two conditions I would have joined out of high school.
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Old June 3rd, 2011, 01:30 PM   #4
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I'm not in law enforcement so I can't answer most of your questions, but I do think it was very smart getting your degree as many police departments require that to be hired now.



Congrats and good luck from another MAC alumni (Northern Illinois University)!
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Old June 4th, 2011, 02:37 AM   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reyno2ac View Post
QUESTIONS:

1. How does my 4 year degree look when applying for Law Enforcement positions in VA and NC?



Any degree shows that you are smart and can finish what you start.



2. Do I really have a chance at making this happen?



Yes.



3. Are there actually Law Enforcement jobs available in VA and NC?



Yes.



4. I've seen that a written test is required before being hired and entering the academy, what exactly is this test on?



Hmmm, in NC there is no such test. If you go with a larger agency they may have some tests that would indicate your education, ie English and Math skills, but you should do fine. Otherwise LEO's here go through BLET at the local community college.



5. Should I include information about my Michigan CPL on an application?



If it asks the question then yes. I don't think they do and it shouldn't have any bearing on your application.



6. Am I crazy?



Yes. Be a fireman. No one wants to see the po-po pull up in front of their house. The shit has truly hit the fan and they all think you are either 1) a detective from a Law & Order episode that will have their casesolved and ready for trial in 45 minutes or 2) a CSI agent that can find fingerprints on brick walls.



Firemen only respond when their house is on fire or their cat is up a tree...you know, they do all that feel good shit which makes them feel all happy.



Ive been in LE for 16 years...been sued once for 20 million; been involved in 1 gunfight; had an in custody death; been thru 5 SBI investigations (only 2 of which were actually involving me...the other 3 involved an in custody death and 2 other officers involved in a gun fight and I happened to be working and responded...thus I became entwined inthe investigation).



Think any fireman have ever had all that happen to them? Nope. Plus they have a better schedule and usually have a business on the side which allows them to have more cash.



Feel free to give me your opinions and advice and thank you in advance for your replies.



Also, if you'd like to keep it private you can PM me too.
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Old June 4th, 2011, 04:54 AM   #6
jdh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reyno2ac View Post
Ah yes, I knew I forgot something. I can't join the military, I've got scoliosis and I'm hypoglycemic. If not for those two conditions I would have joined out of high school.




Both of those conditions can cause you problems on the pre-employment/pre-academy physical. Check before you start the application process. Different agencies have different standards.
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Old June 4th, 2011, 05:05 AM   #7
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I would choose North Carolina if the choice is between North Carolina and Northern Virginia. Disregard the rest of this post if you aren't limited to Northern Virginia. Don't get me wrong, I live in Northern Virginia and love it, but the cost of living is very high. I have an EE degree and worked as an engineer here for three years before going to law school and becoming a patent lawyer (so that I could live comfortably and support a family). I'm tied to the area, but if you have the choice you should think about moving where you'll get the most bang for your buck. Money (relative to the cost of living) doesn't buy you happiness, but it can reduce the amount of stress in your marriage.



And congratulations on getting engaged soon.
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