How old is to old to become LEO? [Archive] - Glock Talk

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bronc25
08-10-2011, 18:53
Tried to post this question in the cop talk but it won't let me. Just wondering what officers felt was the max age to become LEO. I have been in a different field for the past 10 years and due to events no longer wish to do it. My dad was leo and so was my grandfather and I told myself I wouldn't do it because of the kids, but now that they are older they understand more. I have several friends that are leo and have tried to convince me for at least a year to go for it, but have just now reached a point where it is possible with the support of family. So how old do you think is to old i'm 34, thanks in advance

stevelyn
08-10-2011, 18:56
Depends on the state. I had guys in their early and late 40s in my academy class.

W420Hunter
08-10-2011, 18:57
I am hoping 27 is not to old.

beatcop
08-10-2011, 18:59
You can do it at 34...the up-front age isn't the issue, it's trying to find a 20 yr retirement, so you won't be in LE in your 60's...do not want that.

There are other issues with the career, look into those. Shift work, health, negativity, friends...

as400guy1
08-10-2011, 19:00
Here in Illinois, I believe the age limit to enter an academy is 40. However, some municipalities put a limit of 35.

Rabbi
08-10-2011, 19:03
I was 33 when I started the Academy. While many were younger than I, some were older.

34 is nothing.

Rabbi
08-10-2011, 19:07
Depends on the state. I had guys in their early and late 40s in my academy class.

Yeah, all the touchy feely "you are only as old as you feel..." answers are great and all...but I think this question requires an answer. 45 and in tip top shape. (and most people at this age range are likely to be people who just retired from the military)If you look around you will see 35 is a fairly common cut off number for a lot of agencies. I understand that logic as well.

A 60 year old who is wise and fit can do this job....the question becomes, do they want to? There comes a point where the math catches up with you. (how old will you be when you can retire)

Some other considerations are...working for people younger than you and just getting started on the street when a lot of the people in your age range are burned out with the street.

Fastbear
08-10-2011, 19:09
Too old? What on earth are you talking about? If you want to become a Law Enforcement Officer get off yours and go for it. I applied when the 61st year was closing, went into city reserves and later moved over to the Sheriffs Office. Great job, have worked 8 out of the last 10 days or nights, 80+ hours in for the month. Work 24/7 call out or scheduled. Certified patrol alone, still a reserve and looking at 67 at the end of the year. You are not too old, do it.

ray9898
08-10-2011, 19:15
I have seen plenty in their late 40's do well and become fine officers. Early 30's will be a good portion of any academy class. The job does become tougher as you get older for patrol work though.

sigpro357
08-10-2011, 19:18
I'd say 95 wouldn't be too old. You could still do it at 95

Fed Five Oh
08-10-2011, 20:09
38 is too old to become a federal agent.

just a shooter
08-10-2011, 20:20
graduated my academy at 41..still kickin' ass.:supergrin:

prism
08-10-2011, 20:33
38 is too old to become a federal agent.


I think some agencies have an exception for veterans.


http://careers.state.gov/specialist/vacancy-announcements/dssa

http://www.atf.gov/careers/special-agents/

Agent6-3/8
08-10-2011, 21:12
34 is not too old at all. Depending on your overall health and physical fitness people up to their mid-late 40's are viable candidates. I went through a 30 week, tough, paramilitary academy with several guys that were 40+. Two were in their early-mid 50's, one was 48. All three are remarkable men to have completed the program at their ages. The 48 year old did exceptionally well. He's one of a handful of men I'd charge the gates of hell with. I consider him to be very much an exception to the rule.

The two guys in their 50's made it, but the physical pounding and sleep deprivation really took a toll on them. The biggest difference I saw between them and us younger guys was cognitively. Everyone was exhausted for the entire 7.5 months, but they got slower as the weeks passed and had a harder time picking up on stuff. The oldest one aged 10 years during that time period. They're both fine men and I espect the crap out of them both, but personally, I think they were too old.

If I had to pick a number, I'd say 45, unless you're in exceptional physical and mental condition.

ateamer
08-10-2011, 21:29
Once you hit your mid-30s, it can be a bit different, maybe tougher, making it through training. You have more years of habits to change. Things like never exposing your gun side to anyone, driving the "police way", anything that you routinely have done for your whole life but must now change. On the other hand, you are much more self-aware, have a great deal more experience dealing with people who aren't like you, are more patient and aren't as likely to stress out over little things.

1811guy
08-10-2011, 22:53
38 is too old to become a federal agent.

So is 37. You have to be appointed to the position BEFORE your 37th birthday.

Scott3670
08-10-2011, 23:05
I was 35 when I graduated the first of two academies I had to attend. Didn't finish #2 due to a serious knee injury.

MikeLadner
08-10-2011, 23:08
I went through the academy with a guy that turned 63 two days before we graduated.....

steyrsdad
08-10-2011, 23:32
Your good ! Go for it!!!

BobbyS
08-10-2011, 23:35
How many doughnuts can you eat? :supergrin:

prism
08-10-2011, 23:42
So is 37. You have to be appointed to the position BEFORE your 37th birthday.


not always.

some agencies have exceptions for some veterans. for example, the two agencies I linked to above.

Goldendog Redux
08-11-2011, 00:04
I am hoping 27 is not to old.

Seriously? 27 year olds are just getting used to having pubes.

bmylesk
08-11-2011, 00:28
its nice to know 40 isnt old...haha. but im only 27.

Santa CruZin
08-11-2011, 04:57
I went through POST when I was 23 and there were guys in the program in their forties. PT was hard on them. That said, I don't recall anyone washing out because they couldn't handle the physical stuff. Of course it's all ancient history to me - when I was 23 rocks were still soft.

Spiffums
08-11-2011, 05:04
I was 33 when I started the Academy. While many were younger than I, some were older.

34 is nothing.

One of my good friends went in the Air Force in his 30s just to get a better shot at a paid fire fighter job.

Jake Starr
08-11-2011, 05:49
Age isn't as much the issue as is can your body recuperate if you get injured. I know plenty in their late 30s, 40s and even some in their 50s do just fine. But their biggest concern was some physical injury during the academy.

1811guy
08-12-2011, 12:31
I think some agencies have an exception for veterans.


http://careers.state.gov/specialist/vacancy-announcements/dssa

http://www.atf.gov/careers/special-agents/

That is the only exception, and the applicant must still have enough full time in service to have a cumulative time in federal service of 20 years before his/her 57th birthday. For example, if a person applied at age 45 and had only 3 years of full time military service, the person would be ineligible.

CBDAVIS
08-12-2011, 13:00
In Oklahoma the maximum age for a state trooper is 42. Cities have different limits.

Lt Scott 14
08-12-2011, 13:09
Graduated from the Academy at 34. By 52, things had changed. Had hearing loss, glasses, knees pop in and out, basic good cardio, some weight gain. By 54, called it game over. I got to worry about seeing my kids grow, and start helping out the wife around the house.
Found an easy security job that allows me more flex in my life schedule. Hate the pay, love the job. Still going now at 59.

Glock45Lover
08-12-2011, 13:19
Retired from the Air Force at age 37. Graduated from the academy at age 39. Plan to retire when I'm tired of the job. Been at it almost 20 years and still love every minute of it. I think this job actually keeps your mind sharp and keeps you feeling young.

Join up at any age allowed, as long as you WANT to do it & are able.

johnd
08-12-2011, 13:21
Pshaw I got kids older than you. I became a state trooper in my 50s...sure it was tough and its tougher each year when it comes to the fighting requals etc but I get it done and have a reputation for being pretty good.
The most important thing to me is that it keeps me fit. I look 15 years younger than I am and I see my age peers with pot bellies and wheezing and moaning and thats not me. I look great in uniform and am proud this country let me do this.
The good thing is that I didnt need the money so never fell into the trap of endless overtime and special details to pay for the house and family things. The pay is irrelevent to me.
I love being a cop...everyone should be one and maybe being one later in life is the way to go, who knows

CBDAVIS
08-12-2011, 13:50
Retired from the Air Force at age 37. Graduated from the academy at age 39. Plan to retire when I'm tired of the job. Been at it almost 20 years and still love every minute of it. I think this job actually keeps your mind sharp and keeps you feeling young.

Join up at any age allowed, as long as you WANT to do it & are able.

My son spent 22 years as a MP officer. When he retired there was an ad in the paper for a police chief job and his wife said why don't you apply. He said have you forgotten the 2:00 a.m. calls I use to get. No, thinks.

Just a different take.

OldCurlyWolf
08-12-2011, 13:57
Here in Illinois, I believe the age limit to enter an academy is 40. However, some municipalities put a limit of 35.

until the feds get on them for age discrimination. 35 used to be the limit for the Texas Department of Public Safety, until some one filed a federal law suit. I was told when I was 45 that I wasn't too old to apply. BTW, I did have prior experience, which wouldn't have made any difference until the final phase of choosing cadets.

Cruiser1
08-12-2011, 14:16
I was 42 when I retired from the Navy. Went back to school and applied to 6 Federal agencies. Got picked up and went thru Quantico at age 45. I am now 60 and work as a private consultant for the same agency. Definitely slowing down but can still run and jump when I have too. Hard to beat contract work with the government. I work half the hours at twice the pay and spend less time out of the office. During my Military career I worked for several PDs and SDs on a reserve or part time basis as I was moved around the country and had previously attended the academy in San Jose, California. I am sure this background was considered in my initial selection. Many agencies local and Federal do have maximum age limits for applying but give waivers for Military service. Good Luck and don't let anyone ever tell you that you are too old for your dreams to come true.

Pepper45
08-12-2011, 15:27
I started as a reserve at 30, and hired full time at 35. The academy was rough, but it was merely two concepts that kept me going. I wanted it badly enough that minor injuries that I could ice and move on, I did, no matter how much it sucked. The other, I knew my physical limitations. I didn't push beyond them enough to get hurt. I didn't partner up with "that guy" in the academy who goes 100% in DT, when you're supposed to only apply 50% force. I practiced technique, not brute strength through DT, and partnered with guys who practiced the same way.

I will say this, I did feel a bit old. There were some 21yo wonderkids in my class, that set new records for the obstacle course, and could drink themselves silly every Friday night, and not feel it Monday morning. I naturally gravitated to some of my classmates who were older, had families, and shared some of the same life experiences as I.

I will say that if I didn't want it as badly as I did, I wouldn't have stuck with it. I'd have "rung the bell" about halfway through.

CAcop
08-12-2011, 16:46
Factors to consider when applying (works for any age to be honest):

1. Your physical condition: If you have been physically active and do not have to many injuries (such as bad knees, back, whatever) you should be okay. If you do have an injury that is or can be aggravated by PT or life in general you need to examine if it is really going to last. If you are out of shape, get in shape first then think about it.

2. The "activity" level of the department/agency you are applying to: I know at my city you better be in good shape because you will be run ragged. There is not much down time and you are worn out at the end of the day. This leads to officers getting hurt easily. We always have at least 2-3% of our department on light duty at any one point. This is not a department for someone who is 45 with a trick knee. Now just a few minutes up the road there is a city where the sidewalks roll up at 6pm. They spend most of their time pulling over cars and writing tickets. Mayberry.

3. How long do you plan on staying in?: If this is a post mil retirement gig where you can quit at any time things are different than if you going from selling cars to catching crooks. If retirement is based on age (like CA) then can you hang on until that age? If it is based on years (20, 30, whatever) then can you make it 20 years? What is the disabiluty pension like? In CA even with our "luxurious" retirements only 50% who retire have a service retirement. The other 50% go out on medical retirement.

4. What is it you want to do in LE?: Does patrol work sound like the bomb? Or are you looking to be a dective/agent? You better plan that up front. Don't join a 10 person department thinking you are going to be able to sit in an office much. Flip side is don't join a Fed agency if you want to work the streets.

5. Can you go back to what it was you did before if you don't make the cut?: Not trying to be a dick but not everybody makes it. We loose about 10% of our entry level people in the academy. We loose about 15% in FTO. Never mind the fact we only have 3-5% pass through the hiring stages and we take just about anyone who meets the minimum standards.

The Fist Of Goodness
08-12-2011, 19:14
I don't remember the exact details, but a few years ago (early 90's), a retired FBI agent who was in his late 60's decided he wanted to be a Philadelphia cop. He applied, went through the screening, and was denied a job due to his advanced age. He sued the department for age discrimination, arguing that if he was physically able to meet the standards (IIRC, he was an avid marathoner) age shouldn't matter. After a few years of legal battles, he won.

So, at the age of @ 72, he started the academy. He was one of the top students in his class, right up until he dropped dead of a heart attack during PT.

The Fist Of Goodness
08-12-2011, 19:18
I don't remember the exact details, but a few years ago (early 90's), a retired FBI agent who was in his late 60's decided he wanted to be a Philadelphia cop. He applied, went through the screening, and was denied a job due to his advanced age. He sued the department for age discrimination, arguing that if he was physically able to meet the standards (IIRC, he was an avid marathoner) age shouldn't matter. After a few years of legal battles, he won.

So, at the age of @ 72, he started the academy. He was one of the top students in his class, right up until he dropped dead of a heart attack during PT.

One of the unintended consequences of this lawsuit was that city employees with 20+ years of time would apply for the academy, and if accepted, would work for two or three years and then retire, with all of their city time converting to the police pension. In a few cases, applicants retired while still in the academy.

Trigger Finger
08-12-2011, 19:52
"Officer get off yours and go for it. I applied when the 61st year was closing"

You became a police officer at 61? What kind of academy did you have ? Nothing but written exams and one mile walks.

I went through my academy at 21 years and it nearly killed me. Combat wrestling, choke holds and a five mile run up Cardiac hill were daily warm ups before five hours of classroom training!

The max age at that time was 32 years old, and I don't know of anyone who graduated at that age!

Patchman
08-12-2011, 20:07
I don't remember the exact details, but a few years ago (early 90's), a retired FBI agent who was in his late 60's decided he wanted to be a Philadelphia cop. He applied, went through the screening, and was denied a job due to his advanced age. He sued the department for age discrimination, arguing that if he was physically able to meet the standards (IIRC, he was an avid marathoner) age shouldn't matter. After a few years of legal battles, he won.

So, at the age of @ 72, he started the academy. He was one of the top students in his class, right up until he dropped dead of a heart attack during PT.

Under federal law, age discrimination is illegal but there is an exemption for Public safety jobs (LE/FF, etc...). However in the 1990s (IIRC, from 1995 to 1997/1998 (?) or so), the exemption was not extended. So basically, for those three years or so, there was no age limit for LEO/FF under federal law. And if there was an age limit provision under local law, it was also overridden.

So basically, there was a 3-or-so years window (from 1995 to 1997/8), where LE agencies could not use age as a factor for hiring (or not hiring).

Since then, the exemption has been put back into place and public safety agencies can use age as a hiring criteria. If they choose to. Many agencies have chosen not to, realizing that older LEOs bring certain additional values to the job.

The Fist Of Goodness
08-12-2011, 22:12
Under federal law, age discrimination is illegal but there is an exemption for Public safety jobs (LE/FF, etc...). However in the 1990s (IIRC, from 1995 to 1997/1998 (?) or so), the exemption was not extended. So basically, for those three years or so, there was no age limit for LEO/FF under federal law. And if there was an age limit provision under local law, it was also overridden.

So basically, there was a 3-or-so years window (from 1995 to 1997/8), where LE agencies could not use age as a factor for hiring (or not hiring).

Since then, the exemption has been put back into place and public safety agencies can use age as a hiring criteria. If they choose to. Many agencies have chosen not to, realizing that older LEOs bring certain additional values to the job.

I'm going completely from memory about this incident, but there being some kind of legal loophole does sound familiar. I was trying my darnd-est to get a LEO job at that time, and Philly was one of the departments I applied to (my father and brother were cops there). As a result, I followed this story.

VA27
08-12-2011, 22:49
We had a guy who hired on when he was 44 (retired Army) and he put in 20 years.

I was 27 when I went to work.

mrsurfboard
08-13-2011, 11:51
I think some agencies have an exception for veterans.


http://careers.state.gov/specialist/vacancy-announcements/dssa

http://www.atf.gov/careers/special-agents/

NJ is like that. Normally 35 is the cut off, but you can deduct your military service from that number.

freeride88
08-15-2011, 17:01
I started the academy at 31 and didn't feel weird at all. We had two 47 year old trainees - one male, one female. They both excelled. Go for it.

fran m
08-15-2011, 18:32
I'm 44, in decent shape, work in patrol and SWAT also an FTO. Still run and work out. I have 24 in, start my 25th year in late August. Don't feel as good as I did even ten years ago. Grateful for a good schedule and plenty of time off.

I had 14 in at 34, If you need 25 years to full retirement you'll be about 60, not too many people stay til this age. We have one old Sgt that is 64. He is the oldest in the dept of about 140. He should go, he is too old.

Get going if that is what you want. Your age is going against you now. Consider how shiftwork, working holidays and usually lower pay at your careers infancy will affect(sp?) your family. Does your wife support this decision?

Public sentiment is against the public worker now, this may not be the best time to get in now.

There is more to it then simply age.