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I want to thank evryone in advance for answering my questions. I really appreciate your time and guidance. Thanks.
Background: I am 28 years old and for the last 3 years or so I've gone to college at ASU and worked in customer service call-centers. I presently work at one for a bank and I am tired of all the stupid, *****y people that work there. Generally, call-centers are flexible for working around a college course schedule, however, they are magnets for losers, college students, and brain-dead people, the people that call in ususally want everything and the impossible, and the work is unfulfilling and mind-numbing.
My friends all say I should become a police officer because of my demeanor and my appearance. I served in the US Army as a Telecom Tech from 97 to 02. If I wear my hair short, people say I look like a more muscular version of the cop from Terminator 2. My friends also say that police officers get kick-*** benefits and I should be able to take college classes in my off-time.
I've always considered being a police officer is a "real job", where once you were doing that, unlike working at a callcenter, you wouldn't have much time for going to school part time, or running a business or whatever else. So the questions are: Are police officers able to work their shifts and go to college 6 to 9 credit-hours per semester to pursue a degree? and, Are officers fresh out of academy able to do this? I would be willing to work evenings and graveyard shifts in order to do all of this stuff.
Also, what kind of opportunities do police officers have for moon-lighting in their off-time? What kinds of jobs do people want them for and how much can a police officer earn moon-lighting?
Thanks again for everything,
02-27-06, 07:00 AM
As far as college, for the most part yes, you will be able to attend college for the amount of time you are talking about. But, one thing to consider would be to finish FTO and any probationary period before continuing college.
Another thing that would probably be even better for a potential career in Law Enforcement would be to keep the same job you have (demonstrating a good work history) and completing college before applying as an officer.
As far as "moonlighting", it varies depending on the department. In my department all "off-duty" details are approved and sanctioned through the police department. Many of them are traffic related (for road construction or paving), some of them are security related, some of them the vendor just wants an officer to be visible as a deterrence (like at a mall or retail store).
If by "moonlighting" you are referring to a "bodyguard" type of arrangement or a private investigator arrangement - those would be conducted completely off-duty as a private citizen - not acting under "color of athority" (My department will NOT allow its officers to work in this type of capacity, even in their off hours.)
02-27-06, 07:03 AM
It will vastly depend on the dept. You should include depts you are interested in to get better answers.
My dept encourages officers to obtain further education. After 1 yr of service we are eligible for 100% tuition reimbursement for grades of A or B and 80% for C's. Several officers (including me this fall) are pursuing graduate degrees.
The degree/school has to be job related. Sergeant's with my dept have to at least have an associates and any rank above Sgt requires a bachelor's.
Taking on a full load of hours is difficult no matter what shift you are on as a LEO.
The moonlighting jobs can come & go. The average wage (around this area) is $25-$30/hr. Getting an apartment for 50% - 100% off doesn't hurt either. ;)
I've given you alot of info, but I want to also warn you that a job as a police officer isn't just some gig that you could do for a year or two when pursuing something else. Depts want career officers and not people looking to fill their pockets for a couple of years. My dept basically puts in $8k in training & uniforms for a new officer. You must sign a five-year contract.
It's difficult to juggle LE work and college at the same time, but it can be done. The best adivice would be to finish your schooling and then apply. Not only will the degree make you stand out as a more qualified applicant, you're not going to have to worry about those days where you have just worked a 12 hour midnight shift and then have to be in class at 8:00am.
I know a couple people from college who got job offers before they graduated and left college during their junior or senior year. Although they said they would go back to school and finish their degree, none have done it yet. Due to shift work and rotating days off, it's not an easy task.
At my department, we have lots of off-duty work available. It varies by agency, but here all off-duty jobs are booked through the department. A minumum hourly rate of $34 is paid to the officer, and depending on the job, some jobs pay more than that.
02-27-06, 10:33 AM
My friends all say I should become a police officer because of my demeanor and my appearance...If I wear my hair short, people say I look like a more muscular version of the cop from Terminator 2
This is great because there is a nationwide shortage of good looking police officers. :rolleyes:
When your at your first oral panel with a PD, please don't use the above line when they ask you why you want to be a LEO.
The advice given by everyone is spot on. The only thing I have to add is many reputable colleges are implementing online and distance programs. These have the advantage of allowing you to work an odd schedule and still be able to finish your degree during you time off.
02-27-06, 02:41 PM
Well, it can certainly be done, but it isn't an easy undertaking.
It helps with a 4/10 schedule like I have. If the department will work with you, you can schedule your classes 3 days a week and work the other two.
I go to Morehead State 3 days a week with 15 credit hours this semester. I'll let you know in a couple of years how it works trying to go to law school and work full time.
Just wanted to say thanks for the replies so far.
nole975, I didn't say I should become a cop because of my appearance and demeanor, my friends did. Although I'd like to think they have my best interests in mind, they know nothing about being cops. That is why I went on this forum and asked real cops about my concerns, not my friends.
scott715us brought up good points about how much in terms of resources his dept spends on new recruits and how they want people who are going to stay for awhile, not treating this as a temporary job. I guess the better questions to ask would be why should someone wish to become a police officer in the first place? What are the right reasons for becoming a police officer?
Thanks again for all your help and replies. Especially nole975, i think you are the coolest guy I've ever interacted with in an online forum.:cool: :rolleyes:
02-27-06, 08:46 PM
Thanks again for all your help and replies. Especially nole975, i think you are the coolest guy I've ever interacted with in an online forum
Nole795 is much cooler then nole975...and your welcome.