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12-19-08, 08:14 AM
I am currently gathering my information so that I can apply at both departments. I realize that they each have pro's and con's and I still plan on applying to both but I am getting alot of negative feedback about Arlington and it is begining to concern me since that is the one that appears to be the more likely department I will end up working for.
First off, yes, I realize that Arlington is not civil service. Yes that is a big negative, however the pay scale is closer to my current standard of living and would be an easier transition for my family.
The only problem that I have found in Fort Worth is the lower pay starting (which is a big deal) and public perception is generally negative (though that is not a factor for me personally).
SO... my questions are actually... how is Arlington to work for? and What are yall's professional opinion of these two departments?
(and yes these are the only two PD's I am considering at the moment)
Arlington has always had a reputation for no discretion. Even writing other officers, officers spouses etc. I have friends on that department as well and the command staff is as political as any other. I have been told of riffs within the department as well, but that is like any other department out there. Arlington is going to face an uphill challenge with the addition of the new stadium. They will not have enough officers to work the event and all that it entails. If pay is your primary concern you may be entering the wrong profession.
Ft Worth has a reputation for taking care of business and being backed by its command staff.
I recommend looking at the big picture and not just a pay scale. One is the size difference and varying social classes within each city. Obviously one will be busier than the other. There are other benefits that make up for a couple of thousand yearly difference which will show very little on your bi-weekly paycheck. Retirement plans, service incentive pay, language & education pay are a few. Look at the pay steps and how often. Look at what they top out at and how fast. You also should consider your interest in police work. Do you want to be busy and have a lot of transfer assignment and promotional opportunities or work for a smaller department with less opportunities. Weigh the types of divisions available as well like narcotics, SWAT, K9, Mounted, Detectives etc.
If it were me, I'd choose Ft Worth because I already work for a big city and the smaller one would probably bore me. I like the excitement, opportunites and work load.
01-15-09, 06:46 AM
Thanks for the response!
I did a ride-in with both cities and while I enjoyed both and learned alot I could definately see how Arlington would be much more restrictive in most things.
As for the "not enough officers for the stadium"... I absolutely agree with that and according to the officers that I talked to, they will not be adding any additional officers to accomodate it either. They get officer "slots" based on an officer/crime ratio and unless more calls are generated in the city, they are stuck with the amount of officers they have.
You could always look in to Mesquite :)
Our pay scale is very competitive with Arlington and Fort Worth. Its worth taking a look.