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Old 01-04-2012, 17:06   #1
UrbanOps
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Guide me through my career

I will try and make this short and sweet. First off, I started in the reserve program after graduating the academy at the office that I'm currently at. They then approached me about working in the jail. I was told this is the best and quickest way to get a full time road patrol position, even better chance than reserves. So I took it. They were also going to allow me to commission my K9 which is a huge deal to me.

A few months after I took the jail job, they tested for patrol. I was in the top three, actually #2. They ended up hiring a reserve. I was told I would have been chosen if he didn't have so much experience. Fast forward a couple of months, that individual did not work out due to medical reasons. They then hired the #3 guy whom was a Cpl at the jail. This infuriated me, but I did not make that known. I will add that he did not make it through FTO at another large city agency close by and tested at our office 7 times for patrol.

Currently, my significant other works for said large city agency as a dispatcher. A coworker there, who is the wife of a smaller town chief, told me to apply as they were hiring in this small "suburb". The pay is about $8,000 less per year, no take home car and would be relatively boring (I think).

In my area if you want any action and excellent experience you work where i'm at, or for the large city agency that has high turnover and poor leadership.
Would you take a pay cut, but be able to work the road? Or, hang out where you were at and keep getting hosed?

There are a few other major things going on at our agency but I will not mention those things as that would divulge too much information on a public forum. I will also add that this is an election year i.e. possible commmand staff change.
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Old 01-04-2012, 18:16   #2
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in patrol, you are only as "bored" as you want to be.
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Old 01-04-2012, 18:24   #3
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How about a little more context on timeframe? I see "few months" and "couple months" used .... Are we talking about less than a year this has all taken place?

If so, chill a little IMO. Also ... Honestly ask yourself why you were not chosen over #3. How has your job performance been in corrections role? Honest reflection is always good.


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Old 01-04-2012, 18:25   #4
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in patrol, you are only as "bored" as you want to be.
I will add the population is at approximately 6000 and 4.5 sq miles. It's basically one big neighborhood with two golf courses. It is the typical golfing type community.
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Old 01-04-2012, 18:32   #5
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How about a little more context on timeframe? I see "few months" and "couple months" used .... Are we talking about less than a year this has all taken place?

If so, chill a little IMO. Also ... Honestly ask yourself why you were not chosen over #3. How has your job performance been in corrections role? Honest reflection is always good.


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I've been in the jail less than a year.

Honestly, NOBODY understands why he got the patrol position. A lot of people think he got it as a "put up or shut up" kind of deal. He is an ass kisser and i'm not at all. I feel work performance should far outweigh brown nosing.

As far as my work performance, I'm one of the very few out of 130 jail staff that is commissioned. One of the few that can actually articulate a situation well in a report and I'm one of the few that always makes 100% on performance reviews. I've never been written up. While he has lost his Cpl stripes twice in the 3 years he's been there.
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Old 01-04-2012, 18:32   #6
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It is very common for LE administrators to not take a decent jailer or dispatcher out of their current position and put them on the road.

Is it fair? no, but its the way of the LE world. I have seen it over and over again.

Put in at another agency. Your experience will benefit you at a new agency, not keep you where your at.
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Old 01-04-2012, 18:41   #7
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in patrol, you are only as "bored" as you want to be.
I disagree with this statement. There have to be people out, and about, to be proactive. Doing business checks and vehcile partol often are borin.
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Old 01-04-2012, 18:48   #8
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I dont blame them for not puting you on the road. If there arent many comissioned, and your so high speed at your job why would they want to loose you? I'd hang on to a person like that as well. If being on the road is your goal, it sounds like you will have to jump ship.

Take home cars are great, but not allways as good as it seems....I wouldnt use that as a mark on the pro or con side of the list personaly, it's a little of both.

Pay cuts suck, but I would rather make a little less and do the job I want to do than the other way around. If you can afford it that is. If not depending on your work schedule you might be able to pick up a part time job somewhere to make the differance, atleast untill you promote or change agencies again.

That being said, getting your feel wet on the road and getting through FTO is the first step. After you gain some experiance and knowlege you can always test with the patrol side of your current agency again. With out the corrections side holding on to you it doesnt sound like there would be a reason not to take you. It might be your best move.

Besides, like packsaddle said, patrol is only as boreing as you make it. You might not be getting dispatched to bank robberies, gang-banger shoot outs or high speed pursuits......but even small comunities have the tasty suicide now and then, the occasional fender bender and, in your case, drunk golfers. There is ALWAYS something you can be doing in patrol. Even if it's just watching your radar flash 35 all day long lol.

Last edited by Central Texan; 01-04-2012 at 18:53..
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Old 01-04-2012, 19:09   #9
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Old 01-04-2012, 21:22   #10
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If there arent many comissioned, and your so high speed at your job why would they want to loose you? I'd hang on to a person like that as well.
The rest of Texan's post is food for thought. But the above post may be your problem. If you're doing a good job at the jail, and they can dangle you along with future promises... then there's little incentive to give you a commission/road assignment.

Not saying for sure this is the case with your agency. But often it's the squeaky wheel that gets the next dab of grease.
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Old 01-04-2012, 21:38   #11
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Don't put all your eggs in one basket. Get on with an agency where you can be the police. Like another poster said, patrol is a lot of what you make of it. There's guys at my agency who makes can make a dozen stops a day and not get a single arrest and then there are guys who make only a few stops, but get 1 or 2 arrests a day. The more time you spend bettering yourself as an officer - the more effective you will be on the street.

If you want your original agency - keep working at it. You might have a better shot once you have a year or two on the road....just stay in contact and make sure to keep dropping in now and then.
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Old 01-05-2012, 07:06   #12
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Originally Posted by Central Texan View Post
I dont blame them for not puting you on the road. If there arent many comissioned, and your so high speed at your job why would they want to loose you? I'd hang on to a person like that as well. If being on the road is your goal, it sounds like you will have to jump ship.

....

My guess is that it may be this. Out of curiosity how old are you and how old were the two that were picked over you?
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Old 01-05-2012, 07:46   #13
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I have found those statements similar to..."being a Reserve/Corrections Officer/Whatever is the best way to get hired on patrol" is the most misleading thing that can be said to an aspiring officer. While I agree that it is a good avenue to earn experience, I think it is better for the person to chose it for experience rather than taking it in-lieu of the position they're applying for. I was told that same thing with the local reserve program and went through three of their hirings while serving there a year. They would claim they were going to have hirings open to reservists only or hire mostly from their reserve pool, and they did exactly the opposite. And we all busted our butts. In my later Sheriff's interview for patrol deputy at a different agency, I was asked if I would consider working in the jail to get more experience. 'No thanks', I said, 'I want to work the road.' They hired me anyway.

And who knows why they do that. Maybe they'd rather keep a good officer working for free and save them on the back burner in case hiring pools become stagnant. Maybe it's a test of your own commitment to your chosen career path.

This answer probably won't help you in your given situation, but any other would-be officers would be wise to avoid accepting a sideline to what they want for some fake hint of a promise that they will get hired faster.

My advice to you, Urban, would be to test as many places as possible, get hired, build up road experience as a career officer, and then begin applying as a lateral to the departments that you want to work.

Good Luck
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:51   #14
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I wouldn't be bailing after being passed over twice in 5 (-ish) months. Stick with it, talk to your superiors and inquire about why you were not hired, things you can do to be more marketable, and what your honest chances are.

You are going to have a lot of instances where things don't go your way over the span of a career. You can't walk away every time, or you won't have a career.

Give it some time, if in a few years you are still in the same boat, then start exploring other options.
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Old 01-05-2012, 09:59   #15
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First, for your own sanity... stop trying to figure out why someone else got hired instead of you. You'll drive yourself crazy, and when it's all said and done - it really doesn't matter because you can't get that job anyway, since it was filled by someone else. I've been down that road. Thankfully I made it to my dream job (which I didn't realize was my dream job until I had some perspective) after 9 years of spinning my wheels at my first agency and testing without success at a bunch of others.

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Would you take a pay cut, but be able to work the road? Or, hang out where you were at and keep getting hosed?
Only you can answer that question for yourself, which may be a financial matter. But go where you will be happy. If that means being police somewhere, then DO IT and that will likely also give you an advantage (being an experienced officer) if/when you decide to move elsewhere later on. Don't stay working at a place that infuriates you. Even if you DID make it to patrol, it sounds like there would probably be management issues that would quickly cause that greener grass to turn brown.
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Old 01-05-2012, 10:07   #16
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Originally Posted by UrbanOps View Post
They were also going to allow me to commission my K9 which is a huge deal to me.
I can't believe no one else has asked you this, so I will. What the heck does this mean? You have a dog that they are going to train for K9 work?
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Old 01-05-2012, 10:14   #17
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I can't believe no one else has asked you this, so I will. What the heck does this mean? You have a dog that they are going to train for K9 work?
I was wondering about that, too. Almost reminds me of Gecko45, to an extent........
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Old 01-05-2012, 12:05   #18
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My guess is that it may be this. Out of curiosity how old are you and how old were the two that were picked over you?
I'm 27 (will be 28 next month) and the one that was hired second is 25. The individual that was hired first was in his early 40s. When I was called and told they were taking him over me, I was told the only reason they were taking him was because of his 19 years experience. When I discovered who it was they hired, I am related to him. His 19 years experience isn't really the truth. He hasn't worked in the LE field for over 5 years and 2 years prior to that he was security at a casino. He has simply been licensed for 19 years Not saying he lied to the agency in any way, just the deceptive answer I was given as to the reason for hiring.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WilyCoyote View Post
I have found those statements similar to..."being a Reserve/Corrections Officer/Whatever is the best way to get hired on patrol" is the most misleading thing that can be said to an aspiring officer. While I agree that it is a good avenue to earn experience, I think it is better for the person to chose it for experience rather than taking it in-lieu of the position they're applying for. I was told that same thing with the local reserve program and went through three of their hirings while serving there a year. They would claim they were going to have hirings open to reservists only or hire mostly from their reserve pool, and they did exactly the opposite. And we all busted our butts. In my later Sheriff's interview for patrol deputy at a different agency, I was asked if I would consider working in the jail to get more experience. 'No thanks', I said, 'I want to work the road.' They hired me anyway.

And who knows why they do that. Maybe they'd rather keep a good officer working for free and save them on the back burner in case hiring pools become stagnant. Maybe it's a test of your own commitment to your chosen career path.

This answer probably won't help you in your given situation, but any other would-be officers would be wise to avoid accepting a sideline to what they want for some fake hint of a promise that they will get hired faster.

My advice to you, Urban, would be to test as many places as possible, get hired, build up road experience as a career officer, and then begin applying as a lateral to the departments that you want to work.

Good Luck
The main reason I believe this to be true is there are only a few deputies, detectives, etc that have NOT worked in the jail. 99% of those were hired by the previous sheriff. The average time that was spent in the jail was about 3 months.

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Originally Posted by scottydl View Post
First, for your own sanity... stop trying to figure out why someone else got hired instead of you. You'll drive yourself crazy, and when it's all said and done - it really doesn't matter because you can't get that job anyway, since it was filled by someone else. I've been down that road. Thankfully I made it to my dream job (which I didn't realize was my dream job until I had some perspective) after 9 years of spinning my wheels at my first agency and testing without success at a bunch of others.



Only you can answer that question for yourself, which may be a financial matter. But go where you will be happy. If that means being police somewhere, then DO IT and that will likely also give you an advantage (being an experienced officer) if/when you decide to move elsewhere later on. Don't stay working at a place that infuriates you. Even if you DID make it to patrol, it sounds like there would probably be management issues that would quickly cause that greener grass to turn brown.
I am my own worst enemy. In my mind, I try and figure out all the flaws and fix them. When i'm struggling to find any that amount to anything, I begin to take it way to personal and think there is some ulterior motive.

Another issue I struggle with is I have always been self-employed and still am. I am/was a fair employer. I never deceived anyone when it came to a position. I'm pretty cut and dry; black and white. I always have reason for everything that was done and that was explained to the parties involved. Being self-employed is the only way I was able to start my career in LE, otherwise I couldn't function financially.This profession is all I've ever wanted to do. I got so burned out with my business that I wanted to do something "for me". I turned over the majority of my tasks to my employees, cut a lot of clients and my dream has come true (almost).

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I can't believe no one else has asked you this, so I will. What the heck does this mean? You have a dog that they are going to train for K9 work?
That means that I have a dog awaiting certification from the state canine association. My dog is still in process of being trained and when he's finished (February-March) they have allowed me to get him certified and then commissioned by the county. The majority of the dogs around here are officer owned and/or donated.
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Last edited by UrbanOps; 01-05-2012 at 12:12..
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Old 01-05-2012, 13:21   #19
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I know we have hired people because the sheriff has not hired people from the jail. Mostly it is Spanish speakers because they are rare to have in the jail. If you are one of the few people who have it together in the jail they may not want you to leave. They might want to have an adult minding the store.
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Old 01-05-2012, 16:37   #20
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I am my own worst enemy. In my mind, I try and figure out all the flaws and fix them. When i'm struggling to find any that amount to anything, I begin to take it way to personal and think there is some ulterior motive.
I get it, I went through a lot of that too. You've just got to be able to let it go, and a good way to do that may be to get out of that department if there is indeed another agency where you could be hired. When it comes to these hiring scenarios, you will probably never get that cut-and-dry answer you are looking for (if you seek out all the reasons you might have been passed over for hire)... there are just too many factors and too many people involved in the process, that you cannot control. It's not meant to be at this time, for some reason. You'll probably realize why much later in your life/career, and be glad you were passed up! Don't get tunnel vision and keep an eye out for any other doors of opportunity.
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