Law Enforcement Career options for 2007 College Graduate?


PDA






LoadAmmo
January 7, 2006, 03:19 PM
Hey guys, I was hoping a few of you LE Gentlemen on THR could give me a few pointers in the right direction.

I'll be graduating with about a 3.0 (I'll try my best to get my cumulative GPA to 3.0) with a Bachelors in Justice Studies. I'm going to be looking at 50k loan debt :eek: by the time I graduate in middle to late 2007, so I'm hoping for a job starting around at least $15/hr and within a year or two making $20/hr and future prospects of $25/hr. I'll need to support my small family of wife and child, so being a local correctional officer for $12/hr won't do it.

I'm thinking mabye DHS Border Patrol. I'm willing to work in the private industry, local, state and federal law enforcement. I'm not too big on being a Patrol Officer but if I have to do this for a year I will. Not interested in DEA to be specific, but I'm very open on what are good/great career potential choices. Give me some advice! :D

My background is 3 years in unarmed security, 1 year working for a Fortune 400 IT corp, and 3 months armed security. I'll be 26 years old by the time I graduate, with no criminal history and a poor financial history - got married a year ago and made some bad economic choices, I'm hoping to fix my credit around 2008 or 2009.

No political or family connections to grease me into a job, I'm pretty much on my own here. I speak very basic spanish, but in a year hope to have my Spanish up a few levels.

Who will be hiring in 2007?

Thanks!

If you enjoyed reading about "Law Enforcement Career options for 2007 College Graduate?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
WT
January 7, 2006, 03:47 PM
http://www.nypd2.org/html/recruit/policeofficer.html

thumper723
January 7, 2006, 04:19 PM
Ever consider the USCG or Military?

You could go to OCS (or service equiv), get paid as (I think) an E-5 while you are there (3ish months), get commissioned as an Ensign/2nd LT.

Monthly Pay for an Ensign is about $2416 Base, $1100 Housing Allowance, and$185 BAS (food). Housing Allowance is variable based on local market. I used Jacksonville, FL.

Annual that is $44,100, of which $13,200 is not taxed. There are regular raises for both promotion and longetivity.

I have been commissioned for 4 years (Currently a Navy LT/O-3) and take home a decent amount.

I had $104,000 in student debt when I graduated from GMI. It was tight when I was an Ensign, OK when I was a LTJG, and we are doing quite well since I made LT.

My wife became disabled about 4 months after we got married, and we have owned our own home since I was an Ensign. We live within our means, but are comfortable.

Not a recruiter, but it is something to think about. Also, most state agencys look favorably on Military Experience when you get out. Time in service counts towards retirement from a Federal Agency..

thumper723
January 7, 2006, 04:20 PM
Oh yeah, almost forgot, from the day you get sworn in, health care for your family. Dental is so-so but Tricare is better than most HMO's. Most I ever pay is $3 for a couple prescriptions the base pharmacy doesn't carry.

LoadAmmo
January 7, 2006, 04:30 PM
Oh yeah, almost forgot, from the day you get sworn in, health care for your family. Dental is so-so but Tricare is better than most HMO's. Most I ever pay is $3 for a couple prescriptions the base pharmacy doesn't carry.

thumper723, thanks for your post and information... 100k debt! :eek:

Yeah I'm considering the United States Air Force. I'm taking the Intro to Air Force class next Semester and I'll see how I handle the weekly Group Labs.

I'm nervous about boot camp though, I can run about 2 miles and not much more.

SIOP
January 7, 2006, 04:31 PM
Postal Inspector.

TarpleyG
January 7, 2006, 07:52 PM
Keep on with school and get you degree in law. Otherwise, you won't make any real money.

I'm nervous about boot camp though, I can run about 2 miles and not much more.
Most PFTs for LE require better physical fitness than this...most. Not saying you can't do it but you need to start running more and doing more training in general.

Oh, and welcome to THR ;)

Greg

SamlautRanger
January 7, 2006, 07:54 PM
Military would be your best option.

Fly320s
January 7, 2006, 08:32 PM
Please don't join the military or a police department or even a grocery store "for the money." Do those things only if you truly want to. If you are there for any other reason, then you are short changing yourself and your coworkers.

If you want a job in law enforcement start looking now. You will be better prepared for when you graduate if you start now. Go talk to some cops. Start in your local area and work outward. Get on the internet and search for police jobs all over the country. Look for a job where you want to live. NYPD pays pretty well, but you can't support a family easily in NYC on a new-hire cop's salary. Money isn't the Holy Grail.

Do you want to be a city cop for your entire career? How about federal... FBI, ATF, Secret Service, FAM? Look into what they want in a new recruit.

If you do choose the military, make sure you know what you are getting into. You might be required to do 6 years active duty for some commisioned positions.

Hope it helps.

GRB
January 7, 2006, 08:50 PM
Try to get your GPA above 3.0 to at least 3.25, if you need to take extra classes that are easy A's in order to do so. Then apply for the position of Criminal Investigator/Special Agent with any federal law enforcement agency. You mentoned DHS. Many DHS special agents automatically go up to the GS13 grade level after several years. This would mean an income substantially greater than what you want to make to support your family. Most hire at the GS5 or GS7 level or equivalent (some use a system other than GS - General Schedule and this will soon change for all federal agencies).

Go to this site http://jobsearch.usajobs.opm.gov/advanced_search.asp, type 1811 into the Series Number Search Field, in the Pay Grade field click on GS-5 and GS-7 (entry level positions are usually 5 or 7), click appropriate area in the Applicant Eligibility Field, click By Date in the Sort Results By field, click Detailed in the View Description Field.

If you followed my directions to the letter, this should result in giving you all the federal criminal investigator positions now open to you in the GS-5- GS-7 level throughout the United States. Keep checking on a regular basis - every week. Some open for short times only. Right now, without prior federal civil service time, there would be three position announcements.

Lone_Gunman
January 7, 2006, 08:57 PM
Maybe you could get a job opening other people's mail or wiretapping for the Dept of Homeland Security.

GregGry
January 7, 2006, 09:07 PM
Most PFTs for LE require better physical fitness than this...most. Not saying you can't do it but you need to start running more and doing more training in general.

The typicall police requirment in both Wisconsin and ILL, is running 1.5 miles un under 13 to 14 minutes. Other typical requirments is being able to bench press 54 to 98 % of body weight, climbing a 6 foot wall (many departments use 4 foot walls), and many other such things.

I am graduating with a degree in criminal justice in december of this year, and I already am setup for recruitment as of fall. I am really shocked to hear about some of the costs that some of you have paid, I am going to have my degree out the door for under 10K. This is regular small class rooms (25 or less students) with ex police officers from my state teaching courses. I get as much hands on experiance as I want, my teachers know what they are talking about, and I even got helped in landing a job.

When it comes to police work, you have to know what your getting into. Its not like the shows on tv. Most of your job revolves around paperwork in some form, and dealing with idiots that never learn. One thing about the internet age that I think is bad, is that people take courses online, and never really get to see what its like to be in the field of police work. The online programs don't teach you what you really need to know, and they don't expose you to the police culture. Because of this a lot of people are shocked to find out that what they got themselves into is nothing like CSI. The funny thing is that in my first class in police related classes (intro to criminal justice), 75% or so of the students wanted to be something along the lines of a CSI. They asked me "is that all you want to be" when I said I want to be a street cop. Thoes students typically didn't last more then 2 semesters.

LoadAmmo
January 9, 2006, 09:20 PM
Try to get your GPA above 3.0 to at least 3.25, if you need to take extra classes that are easy A's in order to do so. Then apply for the position of Criminal Investigator/Special Agent with any federal law enforcement agency. You mentoned DHS. Many DHS special agents automatically go up to the GS13 grade level after several years. This would mean an income substantially greater than what you want to make to support your family. Most hire at the GS5 or GS7 level or equivalent (some use a system other than GS - General Schedule and this will soon change for all federal agencies).

Go to this site http://jobsearch.usajobs.opm.gov/advanced_search.asp, type 1811 into the Series Number Search Field, in the Pay Grade field click on GS-5 and GS-7 (entry level positions are usually 5 or 7), click appropriate area in the Applicant Eligibility Field, click By Date in the Sort Results By field, click Detailed in the View Description Field.

If you followed my directions to the letter, this should result in giving you all the federal criminal investigator positions now open to you in the GS-5- GS-7 level throughout the United States. Keep checking on a regular basis - every week. Some open for short times only. Right now, without prior federal civil service time, there would be three position announcements.

Thanks for the post Glenn! :)

LoadAmmo
January 9, 2006, 09:22 PM
Please don't join the military or a police department or even a grocery store "for the money." Do those things only if you truly want to. If you are there for any other reason, then you are short changing yourself and your coworkers.

If you want a job in law enforcement start looking now. You will be better prepared for when you graduate if you start now. Go talk to some cops. Start in your local area and work outward. Get on the internet and search for police jobs all over the country. Look for a job where you want to live. NYPD pays pretty well, but you can't support a family easily in NYC on a new-hire cop's salary. Money isn't the Holy Grail.

Do you want to be a city cop for your entire career? How about federal... FBI, ATF, Secret Service, FAM? Look into what they want in a new recruit.

If you do choose the military, make sure you know what you are getting into. You might be required to do 6 years active duty for some commisioned positions.

Hope it helps.

I appreciate the information Fly320s.

I honestly couldn't and wouldn't work a Big City job. I'd prefer rural or small City size at the most. Federal or State it doesn't matter with me, but probably not with the old 3-letter Agencies.

I'm uncertain I'd want to lose my freedom by joining the Air Force, but this will be an option too.

LoadAmmo
January 9, 2006, 09:25 PM
The typicall police requirment in both Wisconsin and ILL, is running 1.5 miles un under 13 to 14 minutes. Other typical requirments is being able to bench press 54 to 98 % of body weight, climbing a 6 foot wall (many departments use 4 foot walls), and many other such things.

I am graduating with a degree in criminal justice in december of this year, and I already am setup for recruitment as of fall. I am really shocked to hear about some of the costs that some of you have paid, I am going to have my degree out the door for under 10K. This is regular small class rooms (25 or less students) with ex police officers from my state teaching courses. I get as much hands on experiance as I want, my teachers know what they are talking about, and I even got helped in landing a job.

When it comes to police work, you have to know what your getting into. Its not like the shows on tv. Most of your job revolves around paperwork in some form, and dealing with idiots that never learn. One thing about the internet age that I think is bad, is that people take courses online, and never really get to see what its like to be in the field of police work. The online programs don't teach you what you really need to know, and they don't expose you to the police culture. Because of this a lot of people are shocked to find out that what they got themselves into is nothing like CSI. The funny thing is that in my first class in police related classes (intro to criminal justice), 75% or so of the students wanted to be something along the lines of a CSI. They asked me "is that all you want to be" when I said I want to be a street cop. Thoes students typically didn't last more then 2 semesters.

You make some great points. I've worked alongside some small-City patrol officers before and would describe most of what they did (as well as what I was doing as a FakeNBacon) as babysitting bad behaving adults.

chrisTx
January 9, 2006, 10:37 PM
Postal Inspector.

if you want an arsenal of all the coolest weapons you could ever imagine in your malibu, the USPI are the way to go. you don't f' around with the mail.

student loan debt is not bad debt. some agencies don't care about degrees. i think a 3.0 puts you down on the pole as far as those agencies that do require a degree. it's not bad, but there are a LOT of qualified candidates with well above a 3.0. with a 3.0, you're going to start as a patrol officer working midnights with tuesday and wednesday off, unless you land a 12 hour shift, for at least 2 years.

i honestly don't think you're ready for a law enforcement position yet. starting a career in the police field takes a world of sacrifice. i don't see that you're ready to make those yet. it took me 4 years to get to a point where i could work a normal shift with weekends off, and i still had holidays i was required to work. i have 9 years full-time and almost 6 months now in private industry and as a reserve. i got a 3.7 while working midnights and rotating late evening shifts.

there are relatively small agencies that pay close to $20 an hour around here. good luck to you, but be prepared for some hard times ahead. it's not just something you jump into head first. even your FTO time will require rotating shifts and weekends. kiss holidays goodbye for a while. i'm telling you like it is because i've been through it.

rero360
January 10, 2006, 12:25 AM
Ever consider the USCG or Military?

You could go to OCS (or service equiv), get paid as (I think) an E-5 while you are there (3ish months), get commissioned as an Ensign/2nd LT.

Monthly Pay for an Ensign is about $2416 Base, $1100 Housing Allowance, and$185 BAS (food). Housing Allowance is variable based on local market. I used Jacksonville, FL.

Annual that is $44,100, of which $13,200 is not taxed. There are regular raises for both promotion and longetivity.

I have been commissioned for 4 years (Currently a Navy LT/O-3) and take home a decent amount.

I had $104,000 in student debt when I graduated from GMI. It was tight when I was an Ensign, OK when I was a LTJG, and we are doing quite well since I made LT.

My wife became disabled about 4 months after we got married, and we have owned our own home since I was an Ensign. We live within our means, but are comfortable.

Not a recruiter, but it is something to think about. Also, most state agencys look favorably on Military Experience when you get out. Time in service counts towards retirement from a Federal Agency..


you actually get paid as a E-6 while going through OCS, my old roommate went through it while we were on active duty and I think he still has to do his OBC some time this year, we were E-4s and they gave him a new id card that said E-6 on it, I told him to pony up for more of the rent seeing how he was making more money, he never did, although he did buy most of the booze we drank

anyways, good luck with the job hunt, I'm in the same boat, hopefully graduating in spring of 07, unless I get to go to the sandbox, then it'll be 08. keep us updated on how you make out

Wllm. Legrand
January 10, 2006, 12:53 AM
I've come to believe that those people who WANT to be police, should not BE police.

I know, I know..."I want to give something back", or the "..serve my community."

Doesn't wash. People who WANT to be police want the moral high ground and the imprimatur of the State. Someone once suggested that police should be drafted from the pool of the citizenry. I thought that idea was a stroke of genius.

Want to serve your community? Get a job outside of GOVERMENT. Get a job or create a business in which the public has a CHOICE to do business with you. Get a job or create a business where people trade with you voluntarily. And raise your kids to be critical thinkers.

THAT'S giving something to the community.

Fed168
January 10, 2006, 01:20 AM
If you choose this route, you will be assigned to a patrol squad. Don't knock patrol- it is pretty much where you learn your job, area, how to be around people.

UWstudent
January 10, 2006, 01:24 AM
cops are boring.. im joining the SEALs upon graduating from UW. i got about 25 credits left (mostly electives) and i'll be just turning 23 with a BA in politics.

i'll let u guys in how hell week went :D

If you enjoyed reading about "Law Enforcement Career options for 2007 College Graduate?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!