Could I Qualify as a LEO?


October 16, 2007, 12:04 AM
Hello to everyone. This thread is aimed mostly at law enforcement officers and retirees. I値l try and keep things brief.

It has been nearly 2 years since my college graduation, and for the majority of that time I have worked temporary office jobs while trying to break into film and television writing. Well, two years in and I知 pretty much NO closer to my goal. I知 seriously considering hanging up my pen and stepping into the real world.

So I知 seeking the advise of current and past LEOs to see if they think I知 a candidate for police work, given my various factors.

-24 years old
-195 lbs
-Run the 1.5 mile in about 17 minutes
-Pushup and sit-up requirements are no problem
-Weight lifting requirements no problem
-College Graduate: 3.4 GPA

Now I need to loose some more weight and shave some time off my run, but I think I can get the physical reqs in order. Likewise, the pistol/shotgun qualifier seems like it would be a breeze due to my love of target shooting and familiarity with firearms.

I do wear glasses. You never see cops with glasses anymore. They池e a weakness in an attack situation. I壇 need to do something about that, lasik or contacts.

Anyhow, just seeking gentlemen in the know whether you think I fit the bill for a normal recruit. I know quite a few LEOs prowl this board, just seeking some input.


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October 16, 2007, 12:23 AM
If you have never been convicted of a felony, and a legal citizen you should qualify.

My first suggestion to anyone wanting to get into Law Enforcement is "GET A REAL JOB"! One where you don't get into trouble for actually doing you job. One where a bunch a key board commandos don't think you are part of the NWO. One where the politicians you work for won't throw you to the wolf's for a few extra votes.

However that said the first time you save a life, or make a difference, there is no turning back.

If you are serious, get away from L.A.!

October 16, 2007, 12:47 AM
Cops are usually seen as the bad guys these days. Fire fighters, on the other hand, are usually seen as good guys.

Buddy of mine wanted be a cop, then changed his mind citing the above. Now he's a fire fighter.

Give it some thought. You'd probably meet the req's for either.


October 16, 2007, 12:48 AM
If I do go the LE route it will be in Texas, not out here in California.

Not a chance.

San Antonio or Austin, Texas.

October 16, 2007, 01:07 AM
Key to becoming a LEO is your personality traits in an interview and your background. Make you 1.5 time more like 14 minutes too. 24 is still young. You have a lot of time to prepare.

October 16, 2007, 01:15 AM
I am 21 and in worse shape than you and I am in the LEO application process so far I have breezed through things. I will need to loose some weight for my Physical Agility Test but all in all its alright. Many LEO departments are hurting big time for recruits out here in Oregon its getting down right easy.

October 16, 2007, 01:53 AM
Depends on where you are appling to be a LEO. Different states have different standards.

You do need to be able to pass a background check and a credit check.
Mishandling your credit/finances is a sure way not to get hired and fired if you are already a LEO.

In CA, there are 4 levels in POST (Police Officer Standardized Training).
PC832 = First level. Required for certain jobs, such as corner & animal control.
Level 3 = Second level. Prereq is PC832. Required for certain jobs, like prisoner transport.
Level 2 = Third level. Prereq is Level 3. Required to be a reserve LEO.
Level 1 = Fourth level. Required for full-time LEO.

When you graduate from a LE academy you will have your POST 1 certificate.
You can also take each level individual and many people do this if they are puting themselves through LE training.

Believe it or not, CA POST is considered the best in the USA and someone with any type of CA POST will be a more desireable recruit when applying in other states. You might want to keep that in mind and might want to get some CA POST certifications before you move to TX.

Besides getting your PC832 certification makes you exempt from needing a HSC when buying a handgun in CA.

Danus ex
October 16, 2007, 01:56 AM
Glad I'm not the only 24-year-old having a rough go of it in the job market. I finished a master's degree in technical communication in June, and it seems as though it was a waste of time. I get contacted by recruiting firms with contract technical writing work almost every day, but all of my research was on interaction design and that's where I'd like to work. I can't imagine two years of trying to break into my chosen field. I don't know why everyone's so afraid to give a new guy a chance.

October 16, 2007, 02:14 AM

Link to CA peace officer selection standards.

October 16, 2007, 02:30 AM
Who cares what your run times are?

To put it bluntly:

Are you honest?
Are you dependable?
Do you have good references and would your neighbors want you to look after their home, elderly Grandma and household pets if they had to leave for an extended time? Can I leave my wallet open with $2,000 in it while I'm gone and find it still there when I get back?

Honesty, integrity lack of drug usage and a definate lack of a criminal "history" are the important things. You can be taught the rest.


October 16, 2007, 05:02 AM
I was actually wondering this same thing myself. I match the same basic stats as Strike Fire (little heavier though)

What I'm wondering, in addition to what everyone's said, is what are they looking for? I'm confident I can at least make it into an interview, but what should I say? I don't want to say "I'm a rabid gun nut" ('cause I'm not rabid) but I want to express my strong desire to be an LEO without coming across as crazy. So, what works? Just stick with stereotypical "I've always wanted to be a cop....I believe in helping people and justice" etc.? I mean, all of the above is true, I'm not going to lie, but I am curious which points to emphasize to increase my odds.

Strikefire, I'm not trying to hijack your thread, but I had the same types of questions as you, and I figured that responses to these questions would be helpful to you as well.

October 16, 2007, 05:58 AM
I have helped a few candidates to appear before their oral boards. Here is what I said in front of mine:

"This is a career I have wanted since I was 8 years old. I feel that I would be in my element here; I have felt that since working as a Reserve Officer. In my lifetime, I have done nothing better, nor shall I do anything as important as this job."


October 16, 2007, 09:27 AM
If its what you want, go for it. Don't expect everyone to gush over your decision though. Policing is a necessary task in our society, but if you want to be loved and appreciated, you are going into the wrong business.

You will be acting as an agent of some government entity. Lots of times that government entity will be doing things that have a negative impact on the average citizen. You will be the point man in this situation enforcing the will of government against the citizenry, so naturally enough, some people will blame you personally. Most of us won't hate you for it personally, but it is not easy to seperate you as a person from you as the agent acting on behalf of government.

October 16, 2007, 10:40 AM
I'd say you're overqualified. Most departments don't require a college degree. Mine does, and we're still one of the lowest paid departments in the state :rolleyes:

October 16, 2007, 10:51 AM
if you don't mind me asking........

where is your station located??

what type of college degree is required to work there??

2 year? 4 year??

what is the base starting salary out there??

October 16, 2007, 11:02 AM
I don't want to hijack the thread but i have a quick related question. I was looking at majoring in criminal justice and thought being a detective would be a good job for me, but I've been told that it's mandatory you start as a patrol officer ifrst. But others have told me it isn't true. So what's the deal with that?

October 16, 2007, 11:17 AM
I think, pdowg, that each department has different procedures for special duties (detective, swat, k9, etc). Some depts require that you put in x years before applying to special details. I'm not familiar with any that don't, but they could be out there.

Phil DeGraves
October 16, 2007, 12:10 PM
If you are breathing, and don't have a felony conviction, you're in. You will have to shave some time off the run though.

October 16, 2007, 12:11 PM
You sound like you'll be ok if you can shave 3 minutes off the run time. Requirements here are 14 minutes for the 1.5 mile. And I know where you're coming from. I've been trying to get myself in shape... well a shape other then round, for the upcoming county exam. Got a long way to go and only 2 months to do it. Best of luck to you

October 16, 2007, 02:11 PM
14 minutes?

I'm moving to where y'all are at. The time here (for my age bracket) to pass the PFT is 12:57, or something. It's under 13.

October 16, 2007, 03:26 PM
My department doesn't have any requirement for running. However, at the state Criminal Justice Academy you have to run. You start out the first week running for 15 minutes at your own pace. By week 4 you have to do formation runs - 3 miles. They split you into groups by physical ability, and the lowest group is a joke. I despise running and I didn't have a problem with it.

October 16, 2007, 03:47 PM
Yeah, I guess I should have far as I know, the department I'm interesting in applying to doesn't have quals themselves, but the Maine CJA requires a PFt, and the 1.5 mile time to qualify is the 12:57.

October 16, 2007, 03:50 PM
Be ready to have a great background check investigation!

Go to your local PD and go on a ride along before you make your decision.

Personally, I'd suggest you apply for the Sheriff's Dept. Training 5 years in jails will straighten you up!

October 16, 2007, 04:04 PM
Tennessee POST requires 1.5 mi in 14 minutes, for a passing score. To earn a 100% is 9 min for 1.5 mi. I did not score a 100.

SG Merc
October 16, 2007, 05:03 PM
Move to Wisconsin; they'll let anyone be a LEO ;)

October 16, 2007, 05:39 PM
You should probably check with the department before you commit to lasik. I'm not sure how it is in police departments, but i think if you try to go into the military after getting lasik surgery you have to wait a couple of years at least to make sure your eyeballs don't pop out or something. Also as much as i love this site, theres another one, that could possibly help you with more specific questions, particularly for what state you'd like to be in.

October 16, 2007, 05:44 PM
Bit of advice- if you want to run faster, run with people, not alone. Secondly, just jump into running faster, it will suck for a week, but if you are relatively in shape, you will get used to it after a week or two.

October 16, 2007, 05:47 PM
your run in NY (I know not applicable is in the 11:50's) I love being a cop...been one for 4 years wouldn't change a thing.

October 16, 2007, 06:34 PM
It's been a while, but I don't think you could pass the PT exam in the Army with that pace. But like MakAttak said, get out and run with people. Find a marathon training group starting up and go with them, it's fun and will make you drop those pounds you want to lose quickly. Plus you will probably have the time to do this before any class starts.

October 16, 2007, 11:51 PM
Cops are usually seen as the bad guys these days. Fire fighters, on the other hand, are usually seen as good guys.

Yep, that is the common conception. Fire is an inanimate object and never is a bad thing to extinguish. But there is always somebody that thinks EVERY person is great and their life is worth something- even if it is a mass murder's on death row.

You know why God made Cops? So firefighters can have a hero to look up to! :D


October 17, 2007, 01:27 AM
if you want to get your running time down, and greatly improve your fitness, check out great exercise regimen, very detailed information on how to do the excercises. watch their videos on each exercise you have to do.

October 17, 2007, 01:47 AM
Move to Wisconsin; they'll let anyone be a LEO
Is it?

October 17, 2007, 01:58 AM
My B.I.L. was promoted from inside:

*Turn-key at 18 years old (2 years)
*Dispatch (2 years)
*Graduated top of class at the State Police Academy and hired on as Road Patrol (15 years)
*Detective (3 to 5 years)
*Retired and has private investigating firm.

I sure do miss the ride-alongs. Wow, great times!


October 17, 2007, 02:05 AM
Nevermind, I'll just send out a private message rather than hijack a thread.

October 17, 2007, 09:27 AM
The Border Patrol is hiring like crazy. Most likely you'd get AZ, eastern CA, or NM.

The requirements are online and LASIK is an option if you don't already meet the vision minimums.

October 17, 2007, 09:56 AM
I'd be glad to help you answer any questions you have about becoming a LEO, Strikefire83. Send me a PM anytime.

However, I would hunt out more informative forums or resources when asking such a question.

LEO topics on THR always spiral out of control. Sometimes its a good thing for conversation and debate, but most of the time it turns into something ugly. Take any advice you heed here with a grain of salt. If your gonna be a cop, youre gonna wanna be cynical anyway. haha.

October 17, 2007, 12:26 PM
If your gonna be a cop, youre gonna wanna be cynical anywayIs there anyone here who is not cynical?

October 17, 2007, 12:32 PM
Is there anyone here who is not cynical?

I'm not cynical, the world is just falling apart...

October 17, 2007, 01:01 PM
Strikefire: you may also want to consider trying a sheriff's department. In texas, they are ususally looking for more mature individuals, and are a little more leniant on the physical requirements to get in. They will get you in shape in the academy.
PM me if you want anymore info.

Good Luck.

October 17, 2007, 02:12 PM
Strikefire: you may also want to consider trying a sheriff's department. In texas, they are ususally looking for more mature individuals, and are a little more leniant on the physical requirements to get in. They will get you in shape in the academy.
PM me if you want anymore info.

One Saturday a few months ago, I was watching some reality show that followed a group of new LASO cadets through the academy.

one guy was a 45 YO dude who had bypass surgery the year before. they booted him out for lying about the surgery after he had an angina attack during physical exertion.

I was surprised that any police academy would take a 45 YO in the first place or accept someone without a physical exam.

Grandpa Shooter
October 17, 2007, 02:25 PM
Here in Az you would need to fit the PD's guidelines as to affirmative action requirements. I won't go into detail 'cuz you all know what that means. If you meet AA, and you are physically fit, if you pass the background check, if you pass the polygraph, if you pass the psych work up, if you pass the written exam, if you are willing to start a hazardous job for $28k, if yur family doesn't have you commited (just a joke to lighten this up) and you can get through the academy, and if your training officer gives you approval after your OIT period, then and only then, would be eligible to be a Law Enforement Officer.

I'd check out the AA requirements first. If you don't fit cause you are a light skinned male, it's probably the same reason you haven't got what it takes to meet the company's AA plan.

Now don't jump my s**t on this. You know I'm telling the kid the truth.

October 17, 2007, 02:35 PM
I've been a cop for five years and I'm with poster #2.

If you want to do this job, you had better REALLY want to do this job. If you're considering it as a passing thing you'll hate it and possibly end up a suicidal alcoholic, and God knows we have enough of those running around already.

Whether you really want to do it or not is a quesiton you need to answer to yourself. You can tell others how you feel all you want but dealing with criminals, victims, liars, and the scum of the earth every day can wear on you and will end up revealing whether you really were cut out for it.

A lot of people utterly despise cops, and more than a few will try to kill you for no other reason then because you wear a badge. A few weeks ago someone on this board made the comment that I should stomp kittens. Ironically I found it IS very relaxing.

Did I mention a really sick sense of humor is a big plus?

October 17, 2007, 03:21 PM
A few weeks ago someone on this board made the comment that I should stomp kittens. Ironically I found it IS very relaxing.
I thought only BATF agents were allowed to stomp kittens.

October 17, 2007, 03:36 PM
Being a LEO is the last thing I'd want to do, but I have the ultimate respect for those who do. Good luck.

October 17, 2007, 03:39 PM
papachuck.....why is that??

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