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  1. Deadmeat is offline
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    Posted On:
    6/02/2008 7:28pm


     Style: Mixed Martial Arts

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Attention: LEOs

    For quite a while now I've felt that my current job isn't right for me anymore - that I've taken a lot of valuable insight and experience from it, but that it may be time for me to move on soon. As I've been sitting around, thinking about options for the next phase in my career, one prospect that keeps popping into my mind is joining the the state or federal police service.

    I deal a fair bit with police officers as part of my work, and have generally come away with a strong sense of respect for the officers I have met. I also train four nights a week at the local PCYC (Police Citizens Youth Club - kinda like a YMCA, but run by the state police service).

    The purpose of this thread is for me to get some perspective directly from LEOs about life as a police officer. The officers with whom I've spoken in real life have been pretty enthusiastic about it, but generally came off sounding a little bit too much like an advertisement.

    Do you enjoy your job?
    What are the "up" sides of law enforcement?
    What are the negatives?
    What are your working conditions/pay/etc like? Are they fair?
    What's it like being in Law Enforcement, and would you recommend a career in that sector?

    Obviously there would be differences internationally, but any perspective would be informative.

    For reference purposes, I'll briefly profile myself:
    * 25 years old, 181 cm, 86kgs (6'0", 190lbs), high level of fitness.
    * Male
    * Completely Clear Criminal History
    (I possess both a blue and Yellow Card, which in this state are certifications of passing criminal history screenings - mandatory to work in the sector in which I'm currently employed.
    * I have a degree in Psychology
    * I'm a senior manager at a Private, Charitable Acquired Brain Injury Rehabilitation Unit
    * I have participated as a specialist consultant in the government's S.C.A.N. (Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect) team, in cases where acquired brain injury has been involved.
    * I teach challenging behaviour management to residential care staff at several aged care facilities, and have hosted a behaviour management workshop at the P2 psychiatric ward at the local Hospital
    * I run a crisis management program within my current workplace, where we take on clients referred by the State Disability Service (government) with severe challenging behaviour issues due to dual diagnoses (ABI + Mental Health issues)
    * I have been a part of the Attorney General's Youth Justice Offender Conferencing Program since it's inception three years ago.
    (Interventions aimed at helping "at risk" youth avoid jail by involving them in community activities, and showing them first hand the severity of their action's consequences - i.e. brain injury, incarceration, etc).

    Basically, I'm a civic minded person, with a clean record. I'm in great shape (currently close to the fittest I've ever been), and have extensive experience dealing with challenging behaviours and cognitively impaired individuals. I'm pretty confident I meet the necessary requirements.

    Another issue that I must raise is the fact that I'm engaged to be married next year. What kind of stresses does an LEO career place on a marriage? I believe that during training/induction/recruitment/whatever, you are separated from your loved onces, and have no say over where you go once you begin active duty. That is a drawback for me.

    Also, what are the career paths open within the police force?


    If you've made it this far, thanks for taking the time to read that wall of text ^^^^^
    I appreciate any input you might have.
  2. Jon H is offline

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    Posted On:
    6/02/2008 8:23pm

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: Beginner in BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I answered in the original post you made...
  3. Deadmeat is offline
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    Posted On:
    6/02/2008 8:40pm


     Style: Mixed Martial Arts

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon H
    Depending on what type of law enforcement job you chose this might be the biggest problem you'll face. Your background and work history should help you rise in the ranks fairly easily if that's what you want to do and if you apply yourself.

    I have been in Federal law enforcement for almost 25 years now. I first started when I was 22 years old and I'm eligible for full retirement next April at age 48. Manditory retirement, in my case, is at age 57 so I can stay another 10 years if I chose to and retire with about 35 years on the job.

    Shift work, with constantly changing schedules, can cause a great deal of problems in a relationship. Unless you have a very understanding and patient spouse this can ruin a marriage in no time. I have gone through two divorces myself in the last 16 years. Call backs for court duty, uncontrollable overtime assignments, and details to other locations for extended periods take a lot of time away from your family. It's not a 9 to 5 type of job, if that's what you're used to doing this can be quite a change. I've been away from home, working at other locations, for up to 8 months at a time.

    Pay is dependant on where you are and what type of LEO job you're doing just like anything else in the private sector. I make a fair amount of money for what I do and can't complain about pay at all. The variety of duties can be great and training and special assignments can be very rewarding. I've spent part of my career teaching law at our academy. I have also taught pursuit driving and other courses as well. I have worked in patrol boats around the Caribbean and on the mounted unit (horse patrol) in Texas. I've had the opportunity to train with the FBI SWAT team and with Navy Seals.... The list could go on and on.

    All in all in been a great career choice for me despite the two divorces. The friendships and camaraderie among LEO's is outstanding. I know officers here and in many other countries and would be welcome in their homes as they would be in mine. Pay is good and I'm not wanting for anything even though I'm far from rich (child support is a killer). Retirement is going to be great but I still don't know when I will make the decision to do it.

    I wouldn't change jobs for anything!
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon H
    I answered in the original post you made...
    Yeah thanks mate. Excellent information. Exactly the kind of thing I was requesting.

    Thanks again.
  4. Wounded Ronin is offline
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    Posted On:
    6/02/2008 9:35pm

    supporting member
     Style: German longsword, .45 ACP

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    How's your eyesight? I think some depts have a minimum uncorrected vision standard. I don't believe it's a big deal but you wouldn't want to make all kinds of arrangements only to have things fall through because of vision.
    “nobody shoots anybody in the face unless you’re a hit man or a video gamer.” - Jack Thompson
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Th...%28attorney%29
  5. milwaukee cop is offline
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    Posted On:
    6/02/2008 9:42pm

    supporting member
     Style: Kempo-Goju Karate, BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    you want a department that has a union. the jod is thankless, so you have to be self motivated and have a high threshhold for bullshit.
    people lie to you every day, see the most negative, childish, boorish, and petty behavior from people, in an endless display of man's inhumanity to man.
    you live in a glass bubble, are held to a higher standard, hated by those you have sworn to protect.
    your family worries every time they hear on the news that a cop got hurt. you could get hurt, you could die.
    all for the pricely sum of $35000 a year.
    you could be a plumber, a lawyer,a carpenter, even a firefighter. when you go home your done. A cop is still a cop even when his shift ends. you swear an oath to uphold the law, and are obligated to do the right thing( that is, if your word means anything)

    maybe you could make difference(not), day in, day out, the street keeps grinding out the filth, and you get to clean it up.
    oh, you will make good arrests, and good cases, and put people away, but it never ends, ever.
    the street is always there. it becomes a marathon to retirement. I honestly dont know why I continue, I must be crazy to want to go patrol. something about being the guy to step up and run to danger, when everyone else is running the oppisite way, speaks to the paternal protector inside me.
    thats just kind of how I feel about my jod, at this stage of my life.
    16 years till retirement.
  6. milwaukee cop is offline
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    Posted On:
    6/02/2008 9:43pm

    supporting member
     Style: Kempo-Goju Karate, BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    crap, i honestly had that in paragraphs!!
    16 years till retirement.
  7. Deadmeat is offline
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    Posted On:
    6/02/2008 9:52pm


     Style: Mixed Martial Arts

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Good Point.
    My vision is ok. I don't wear glasses. Slight astigmatism affecting my right eye, but nothing major. I'm not sure exactly how I score, but I will look into it.

    Here's the South Australian Pre-entry guidelines. I'm in another state, but they should be roughly equivalent:

    Taken From: http://www.sapolice.sa.gov.au/sapol/...quirements.jsp

    Pre-entry requirements
    Citizenship
    You must be an Australian citizen or hold permanent residency status.

    Personal qualities
    You must be of excellent character, honest, dependable, self-confident, tolerant, understanding, highly motivated, culturally sensitive and committed to community safety and service. Some current or previous involvement within the community is desirable.
    If you have a previous criminal history or serious traffic offences you should discuss these matters with the Recruiting Section before you apply.

    Communication
    You must be able to receive and relay information accurately and within urgent time demands.

    Age
    Applicants must be 18 years or over before commencing the cadet training course. Mature age people are encouraged to apply.

    Driver's licence
    You must hold an unrestricted or probationary class 'car' driver's licence. Experience in driving both manual and automatic vehicles is essential.

    Health and fitness
    You must be medically and physically fit and will have to undertake medical and fitness examinations. Applicants 35 years and over will be advised by the Police Medical Officer to undertake an electrocardiogram (ECG) at their own expense before they can participate in the physical agility testing PDF (7KB).
    Fitness Training Information PDF (21KB).

    Eyesight
    You must have a minimum of 6/9 vision in each eye, either with or without visual aids.

    Education
    You will need the South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) with eight units at Stage 2 level graded at C standard or higher. Two units must be chosen from the arts/ humanities/ social and cultural studies subjects. You will need to provide documentary evidence of both the SACE and the Record of Achievement.

    You might also be considered for selection if you can demonstrate or produce evidence of an ability to cope with the academic aspects of recruit training and subsequent demands of police duties.

    Keyboard and Computing skills
    You need to have basic computing skills PDF (86KB) and be able to demonstrate a typing speed of at least 30 wpm with 98% accuracy. You will be required to demonstrate your computing skills and typing competence as part of the computer competency assessment during the selection process.

    First aid
    You must have a current Basic (or Essential) First Aid Certificate.
    The following organisations run first aid training courses:
    • St John Ambulance Australia (SA Inc) (08) 8306 6900
    • Australian Red Cross (08) 8293 9200 or 1300 367428
    • Royal Life Saving Society (08) 8234 9244
    Please make sure that the course you do covers bleeding control and cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
    Officers I have spoken to indicated that corrected normal vision is acceptable, and I knwo several constables who wear glasses.

    I'll look further into it though. Thanks.
  8. Deadmeat is offline
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    Posted On:
    6/02/2008 10:01pm


     Style: Mixed Martial Arts

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by milwaukee cop
    you want a department that has a union. the jod is thankless, so you have to be self motivated and have a high threshhold for bullshit.
    people lie to you every day, see the most negative, childish, boorish, and petty behavior from people, in an endless display of man's inhumanity to man.
    you live in a glass bubble, are held to a higher standard, hated by those you have sworn to protect.
    your family worries every time they hear on the news that a cop got hurt. you could get hurt, you could die.
    all for the pricely sum of $35000 a year.
    you could be a plumber, a lawyer,a carpenter, even a firefighter. when you go home your done. A cop is still a cop even when his shift ends. you swear an oath to uphold the law, and are obligated to do the right thing( that is, if your word means anything)

    maybe you could make difference(not), day in, day out, the street keeps grinding out the filth, and you get to clean it up.
    oh, you will make good arrests, and good cases, and put people away, but it never ends, ever.
    the street is always there. it becomes a marathon to retirement. I honestly dont know why I continue, I must be crazy to want to go patrol. something about being the guy to step up and run to danger, when everyone else is running the oppisite way, speaks to the paternal protector inside me.
    thats just kind of how I feel about my jod, at this stage of my life.
    Wow. 35k a year? Here in Aus the Police Service pays better.
    http://www.police.sa.gov.au/public/d...d.jsp?id=19141

    South Australia Police Annual salary structure
    Cadet $37,493

    Probationary Constable $43,536

    Constable $44,470 with annual increases to $51,007 during 8th year of service

    Senior Constable $54,323 with annual increases to $60,390 during 6th year of service

    Senior Constable First Class $54,323 with annual increases to $61,254 during 7th year of service

    Brevet Sergeant $55,323 with annual increases to $62,254 during 7th year of service

    Sergeant $62,331 with annual increases to $68,209 during 5th year of service

    Senior Sergeant $71,076 with annual increases to $75,277 during 5th year of service

    Inspector $90,917 with annual increases to $97,167 during 4th year of service

    Chief Inspector $99,846

    Superintendent $100,968 with annual increases to $108,421 during 4th year of service

    Chief Superintendent $114,557

    Commander $118,627

    Shift allowances are paid in addition to normal salary.

    Also, you paint a picture of a thankless job. Thanks for your honesty. It's things like this that I need to consider.
    Last edited by Deadmeat; 6/02/2008 10:05pm at .
  9. Deadmeat is offline
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    Posted On:
    6/02/2008 10:05pm


     Style: Mixed Martial Arts

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Also, I'd have to add that, regardless, working as a police officer would entail a significant pay cut for me, at least initially, which is another consideration whilst looking at buying a home and getting married, and perhaps starting a family.

    But I am interested in helping the community, and am sick of working to fix problems after they've already happened (i.e. brain injury and trauma, and youth crime).

    I would rather be able to act directly at the source, although I'm not naive enough to think that I would make a significant difference, at least I would feel like I'm contributing to the solution.
  10. Wounded Ronin is offline
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    Posted On:
    6/02/2008 10:52pm

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     Style: German longsword, .45 ACP

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    The best thing to do re the eyesight issue would be to look up the requirements of the specific dept. you're applying to. The reason I bring this up is because I happened to learn recently that the Las Vegas, NV police require 20/40 uncorrected vision for officers who wear solid lenses. I guess that's in case your glasses get knocked off in an altercation.
    “nobody shoots anybody in the face unless you’re a hit man or a video gamer.” - Jack Thompson
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Th...%28attorney%29
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