pointers on becoming a LEO

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I am currently trying to become a Police officer in Massachusetts. I know I have some unattainable things working against me but am looking for some pointers and feed back on things I can do to make my self a more appealing applicant. I never thought about being a LEO until about 7 years of working in the trades good job but not to sound cliché but I just got sick of going to work and making someone rich while not really feeling like I was making a difference.
Things I have that I think are positives.
1-Currently hold MA LTC-A and have an extensive background in firearms both shooting theory and hands on breakdown.
2-Working In the electrical field I was a foreman in charge of multiple people and had to work with people on the day to day solving problems personal and professional(I know this isn't like dealing with an unruly drunk or otherwise but it's what I have to work with).
3-Federal curio and relic’s license.
4-NRA certified pistol, home defense, home safety instructor and chief range safety officer.
5-I am signed up to get my EMT certificate in a month.
6-I have been for the past 2 years installing maintaining and monitoring surveillance systems.

The only thing that I can't really get is veteran status I have Celiac's disease which is a disqualifier for any armed services. I really appreciate any and all feed back I took the civil service last time around got a 92. I am also signed up for the Wellesley test coming in July and filed out my application for the Dighton openings. Thanks again for any help or direction.
 

Rob Boudrie

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Consider the feds as well. The Air Marshall's service is one place where they will react positively to your bringing non-leo firearms experience to the table (directly told to me by one FAM, plus I've seen enough active shooters* hired by that agency to believe it is real).

Municipal hiring tends to be exam based, with the town being allowed to select candidates from the top 2N-1 or 2N+1 (forgot which) persons on the exam list, where N is the number of openings. You'll have to do really well since you don't have veterans points, but it is still doable if your're the right age, motivated, and intelligent and fit.


* - In the positive sense of the word, that is :)
 
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Consider the feds as well. The Air Marshall's service is one place where they will react positively to your bringing non-leo firearms experience to the table (directly told to me by one FAM, plus I've seen enough active shooters* hired by that agency to believe it is real).

Municipal hiring tends to be exam based, with the town being allowed to select candidates from the top 2N-1 or 2N+1 (forgot which) persons on the exam list, where N is the number of openings. You'll have to do really well since you don't have veterans points, but it is still doable if your're the right age, motivated, and intelligent and fit.


* - In the positive sense of the word, that is :)

its 2n+1 for CS


For fed LEO - you will need a 4 yr degree or military/LEO experience.
Of those listed positives, probably the EMT cert will be the only help. Look at getting sponsored for the Reserve Academy, from there you cant go auxillary/part time.
 
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Yea I am looking at ways to get a degree just hard I am only 25 but have the wife the 1yr old and the 2k a month mortgage looking at night classes for it. I know MA isn't easy to get into I passed written and physical part of the Howard county test in Maryland but on the polygraph questionnaire I answered (the truth) that when I was 14 and 15 I smoked weed 25 times accumulatively and as a result the Maryland board wont certify me as a police officer the cut off is 20 times. I am looking at possible relocation and good states for options that would allow me to expand "the collection" and my career.
 
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wolf223

wanna be a cop really bad?

go down south. look for the BIG departments that hire "year round" vs. this racket they have here in MA. for a while, i considered going LE, but then a different job landed on my lap.

anywho, i know a couple ma**h***s that work in Hartford, CT... a couple guys went to staties in nearbye or farther states... i also have guys from my old units who went onto TSA (gay, i know), Reno, Border Patrol, Corrections, Sheriffs ect in various states.
 
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wolf223

Yea I am looking at ways to get a degree just hard I am only 25 but have the wife the 1yr old and the 2k a month mortgage looking at night classes for it. I know MA isn't easy to get into I passed written and physical part of the Howard county test in Maryland but on the polygraph questionnaire I answered (the truth) that when I was 14 and 15 I smoked weed 25 times accumulatively and as a result the Maryland board wont certify me as a police officer the cut off is 20 times. I am looking at possible relocation and good states for options that would allow me to expand "the collection" and my career.

sounds like you are pretty anchored to the commie wealth.

if i may, what do you do??? how much do you make???? and why do you want to be a police officer????

just like anyone else, i have personal friends who are Cops, Fire Fighters, Paramedics, Lab Geeks, ect... the job(s) can be thankless and stressful... just go talk to any cop anywhere....
 
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I'd have to say your best bet is getting a degree in criminal justice. If your that serious about it, take the night classes. It will take longer, but it can be done. Perhaps the job market will be better by the time you get your degree. Keep in mind that many of the LEOs that make the big $$ on details and overtime shifts end up with much less time at home with family.
 
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the job(s) can be thankless and stressful... just go talk to any cop anywhere....

Very true. Stress levels are very high, as is alcohol issues and divorce rates. I'm not saying this is true for all LEO, as a matter of fact it's far from the majority, but more than say a carpenter. It's not something I would want to do. The job doesn't pay well enough for the associated stress levels. I can't imagine dealing with the dregs of society on a daily basis is much fun. Think about the interactions most LEO encounter. Just about anytime someone calls the police there is at least one party associated with the call that isn't happy.

This is all my opinion and none of it is based on experience in the field.
 
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It is really not a deal about money I took a paycut since my last company went under but I make ok money 50k a year gross as an electrician. I know a couple of LEO's in MA not really the get advice from type not mentioning towns but not exactly the up and up kind more the here for a paycheck type. I am definatly not tied to the commonwealth me and my wife hate it here and moving wouldn't be a bad thing. I know that being a cop is pretty thankless but from the starting fulltime wage I saw for most states I could make the same money as I do. I know it is the idealist way but I really want a job where I atleast feel like I am making a difference in some way shape or form. It is looking more like moving is gonna be the likely answer and finding way to get a degree or find a state that doesn't require one.
 
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NYPD & LAPD often advertise-they prefer to hire out of state (LA I know is to minimize gang relations). A friend of mine got hired, over the phone, for the Alpharetta, GA PD-over the phone, based on military experience alone. He trained OJT down there for a year, then went to the academy. Check online for different PDs hiring out of state-thats probably your best bet.
 

GSG

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Of those listed positives, probably the EMT cert will be the only help.

My thoughts exactly. A lot of agencies will actually see your enthusiasm for guns as a negative thing, but something like medical training is a much more community friendly, PC type skill set. Guns are just another tool, an important one, but from an admin point of view it means a lot of liability and risk. Look all over this forum, clean use of force incidents get torn apart by desk jockeys with newspapers every day, a bad shoot from a trigger happy rookie is the very last thing they want.

Chances are you're not getting hired full time in MA in the next few years without some serious connections, but if you did get on part time in a tiny town where EMS is a long ride out the EMT thing can help, I know of one municipality in MA that requires their LEO's to be EMT certified. It'd also be a good job to fall back on with all the budget cuts and layoffs.

Get a 4 year degree and if possible being fluent in another language is a huge help

Move to another State, Ma is NOW and is going to be nearly impossible to get on anywhere for a while.

Yup.
 

Len-2A Training

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Pro-gun and knowledge of firearms is NOT looked upon as a plus by most chiefs. A good friend of mine was a manufacturer's representative for one of the very large gun manufacturers and when he joined the PD as a FT PO (he served as a Reserve PO with me for a number of years . . . and this was why he eventually got appointed FT), he was NOT allowed to get involved with firearms training or anything else firearms-related for a number of years. BTW, he's a shooter on a regular basis, I had sponsored him for gun club membership at two different clubs over the years. He is NOT a member of the regional LEC team (he'd be an excellent candidate).

CS severely limits your opportunities in MA. If you really want to become a FT PO, here are the two ways that I think you'd have a chance of success:

- Become an active Reserve/Special PO in a town that interests you. But make sure that the town actually uses their PT'rs for more than directing traffic at parades and churches.

- Go to GlockTalk and AR15.com and read/post in their police sub-forums. Lots of LEOs from all over the US and they can give you the info you need to successfully apply in other parts of the US and where to stay away from.

Good luck.
 

richc

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Yea I am looking at ways to get a degree just hard I am only 25 but have the wife the 1yr old and the 2k a month mortgage looking at night classes for it. I know MA isn't easy to get into I passed written and physical part of the Howard county test in Maryland but on the polygraph questionnaire I answered (the truth) that when I was 14 and 15 I smoked weed 25 times accumulatively and as a result the Maryland board wont certify me as a police officer the cut off is 20 times. I am looking at possible relocation and good states for options that would allow me to expand "the collection" and my career.

So you can't be LEO because you smoked pot 25 times, but you can be president. Where's the logic in that Obama???

WTF???
 

In God We Trust

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For starters, stop being so honest about your background. They don't do polygraph in MA and if you want to get hired tell them you NEVER smoked dope. MA is going to be a really tough nut to crack unless you are seriously connected. I know disabled vets that score high on the tests and still don't get picked up. Get your foot in the door with the sheriffs dept. and the dept of corrections if they run a test.

Really man, I hate to say it, but without the vet status, it is probably not going to happen for you in MA anyway. Vets always go to the top of the list and there are hundreds of vets coming home every week that also want to be cops and firefighters. Your BEST BET is to try NYPD. They are always hiring and you would have a good chance there. Bad part is that you have to live in one of the boughros and they start off paying slightly better than minimum wage. With a family that would be pretty tough for you unless you had a nice chunk in savings. There are actually NYPD officer that are legally collecting food stamps.

Another suggestion is that you join the Guard or Reserves and just forget to mention your medical condition. I don't know what it is, but if you can still perform your duties and not be a liability to your fellow soldiers, go for it. Times are tough and you gotta do what you gotta do! I took the CS test in MA for 10 years religiously and never got a card in the mail until I already had another job I was happy at. This is with vet status and scoring well on the test.

I don't want to rain on your parade man, but this is a job that EVERYONE wants. with the state of the state this is the worst time to even think about it. If you really want to help people out for a living and still make money, go to nursing school. Take the EMT / Paramedic class and do that part time also for some excitement. You could also try the Federal Prison system http://www.bop.gov/ as I think they are not as hard about the veteran thing. Also look into Border Patrol if you don't mind moving south. Good luck brother!
 
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wolf223

For starters, stop being so honest about your background. They don't do polygraph in MA and if you want to get hired tell them you NEVER smoked dope. MA is going to be a really tough nut to crack unless you are seriously connected. I know disabled vets that score high on the tests and still don't get picked up. Get your foot in the door with the sheriffs dept. and the dept of corrections if the runa test.

Really man, I hate to say it, but without the vet status, it is probably not going to happen for you in MA anyway. Vets always go to the top of the list and there are hundreds of vets coming home every weeks that also want to be cops and firefighters. Your BEST BET is to try NYPD. They are always hiring and you would have a good chance there. Bad part is that you have to live in one of the boughros and they start off paying slightly better than minimum wage. With a family that would be pretty tough for you unless you had a nice chunk in savings. There are actually NYPD officer that are legally collecting food stamps.

Another suggestion is that you join the Guard or Reserves and just forget to mention your medical condition. I don't know what it is, but if you can still perform your duties and not be a liability to your fellow soldiers, go for it. Times are tough and you gotta do what you gotta do!

[rolleyes]

wow.

to join the guard or reserves??? you realize we are at war... the deploymemts havent stopped...

just to get trained up (if he passes his MEPS phys) takes time...

i do this full time.. [rolleyes] and its hard enough. nevermind the guys that have been deployed, blown up and have thier lives altered... only to come back and be ridiculed by thier employers....

i can go on and on...

get a clue



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In God We Trust

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[rolleyes]

wow.

to join the guard or reserves??? you realize we are at war... the deploymemts havent stopped...

just to get trained up (if he passes his MEPS phys) takes time...

i this full time.. [rolleyes] and its hard enough. nevermind the guys that have been deployed, blown up and have thier lives altered... only to come back and be ridiculed by thier employers....

i can go on and on...

get a clue



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I have no idea what you are trying to say. Are you saying that my suggestion that he join the military was a bad one because he might get deployed, shot or blown up? I served in the military and have been through the employment hunt that he is currently in. I should also mention that the advice I am giving worked for me personally. Maybe YOU should get a clue and stop insulting people that actually know what they are talking about.
 
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I wish I could do the military but 1-Celiacs disease is on my medical records and 2-it is a food allergy and if I eat anything with gluten(a wheat protein) I get really messed up for a few days. I looked into it and gave myself the test to see if I would be able to handle having gluten and no way I was sick as a dog. I know that the pro-gun stuff doesn't bode well with most chiefs I kind of didn't finish my thought at first I am also interested in lab work and ballistics. I have done some research already and it is looking like a move is in order I really wanted to get some opinions on here before I really started looking at other states. I appreciate all the help this really is a good community resource for info on.........anything haha.
 
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wolf223

I have no idea what you are trying to say. Are you saying that my suggestion that he join the military was a bad one because he might get deployed, shot or blown up? I served in the military and have been through the employment hunt that he is currently in. I should also mention that the advice I am giving worked for me personally. Maybe YOU should get a clue and stop insulting people that actually know what they are talking about.

sorry, typing on a phone.

IF you served than you know the commitment it involves...

ask any colledge kid, drill, annual training, getting yanked out of school for operation rising water... playing catch up...

missing birthdays, anniversaries, deploying for a year, having to readjust to being back ect

again, lots of Guard and Reserve guys are LE, Fire, Bankers, Welders ect.. its two careers and its very demanding. family first is what they tell us, buts its mission first, then everything else...

to go guard or reserves for "employment" purposes is insane. [laugh] trust me, no one really cares about it and most WILL shy away because they know the guy will get deployed and cant work one weekend a month... ect




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GSG

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Pro-gun and knowledge of firearms is NOT looked upon as a plus by most chiefs.

Especially having a bazillion training courses under your belt; if you weren't trained according to the state's training standards and that dept.'s use of force policy (both of which are subject to change at any time), it means nothing.
 
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I am in the boat you are in and belive it or not i was an electrician as well. The firearms isnt really a plus only the EMT cert, however getting a CJ degree isnt a bad idea, i did that, but you should be warned that MA got rid of the PPCIP program(quinn bill) so it wont increase salary unless the cheif says so for "incentives". try taking a reserve academy and become an armed guard or auxillary and wait for the next CS, i know it sounds bogus but its what im doing as of now and it pays the bills and gets me noticed by PD's. Another choice like previously mentioned is to leave this crappy state or go federal, US Customs are hiring! i have an interview with them soon!
 

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For starters, stop being so honest about your background. They don't do polygraph in MA and if you want to get hired tell them you NEVER smoked dope. MA is going to be a really tough nut to crack unless you are seriously connected. I know disabled vets that score high on the tests and still don't get picked up. Get your foot in the door with the sheriffs dept. and the dept of corrections if they run a test.

. Also look into Border Patrol if you don't mind moving south. Good luck brother!

Way to start a career in LE, by falsely claiming things on the application. That's some real bad advice. He screwed up as a kid, he has to pay the price for it. I'm not sure of any federal LE that will look at him with that much drug use in his past.

To not mention it now would get ugly, he's already admitted to it. Investigators check for other applications and prior statements. These days ex-FBI/USSS/etc are doing the federal investiagations, even on the recurrent investigations they ask a LOT of questions.

I can say for certain, Border Patrol won't touch him.

I'm not saying people can't change, but the standards are set and the line has to be drawn somewhere.

Edited: To the OP: Start working on your grammer everytime you type something. Being able to write comprehensible reports is a huge deal. Yeah, I know I'm not the poster child for this, but I've already played the game.
 
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In God We Trust

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Way to start a career in LE, by falsely claiming things on the application. That's sosome real bad advice.
I have to disagree. The only difference between many cops and the guys that don't get hired is that the cops never got caught. We are talking about pot here now, not actual criminal activity or heroin. Just because a guy smoked some dope as a kid does not make him a bad guy. I would actually say having some life experience would make him a better officer that some squeeky clean college kid. I think if it's what he really wants to do with his life, then leave the past behind. It is a stupid standard and is not worthy of an honest answer anyway. One of the things they teach cops in the academy is that it's fine to lie to a suspect if it will get him to talk. It's cool if you lie FOR them, just not TOO them. Also, unless he was going for CIA or NSA, I would not worry about any of this coming up in a background check. I think you have too much faith in the government!

This is just my opinion so take it for what it's worth, but it looks like he has 2 choices.

1. Be honest about your youthful pot smoking and never get the job you want.

2. Lie about it and give yourself a chance.
 

weekendracer

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I have to disagree. The only difference between many cops and the guys that don't get hired is that the cops never got caught. We are talking about pot here now, not actual criminal activity or heroin. Just because a guy smoked some dope as a kid does not make him a bad guy. I would actually say having some life experience would make him a better officer that some squeeky clean college kid. I think if it's what he really wants to do with his life, then leave the past behind. It is a stupid standard and is not worthy of an honest answer anyway. One of the things they teach cops in the academy is that it's fine to lie to a suspect if it will get him to talk. It's cool if you lie FOR them, just not TOO them. Also, unless he was going for CIA or NSA, I would not worry about any of this coming up in a background check. I think you have too much faith in the government!

This is just my opinion so take it for what it's worth, but it looks like he has 2 choices.

1. Be honest about your youthful pot smoking and never get the job you want.

2. Lie about it and give yourself a chance.

Disagree all you want, perjury is perjury. You sign the bottom of the document stating that everything on it is in fact true. Now, we can have a valid discussion as to if it should have any relevance 10 years after the fact of a 14-15 yr old doing something stupid.

If he was 35 and doing that at 25, it would be a completely different situation in 'my' eyes as to whether or not he should be able to proceed. If he has in fact been drug free for 10+ years and was 14 when he did it, I think a little common sense should prevail. Simple fact that the number of people looking into LE work who have squeaky clean records are becoming the minority.

If you do lie, they can and I can tell you that they in fact DO, ask questions about you to people you don't expect. If they say "yeah, we smoked pot a while back" and you didn't answer truthfully, you are screwed, period. If you don't put it on one application, but do on another, there is a chance that someone will compare apps and see the differenece.

Believe it or not, I'm actually trying to help the guy out. Getting caught in a fib can end any chance of ever getting into LE work for the rest of his life.
 
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Consider the feds as well. The Air Marshall's service is one place where they will react positively to your bringing non-leo firearms experience to the table (directly told to me by one FAM, plus I've seen enough active shooters* hired by that agency to believe it is real).

Municipal hiring tends to be exam based, with the town being allowed to select candidates from the top 2N-1 or 2N+1 (forgot which) persons on the exam list, where N is the number of openings. You'll have to do really well since you don't have veterans points, but it is still doable if your're the right age, motivated, and intelligent and fit.


* - In the positive sense of the word, that is :)

I know ya said this before the information was available but FAM ain't a job for a guy with a family, IMHO. The hours are long and dull and you spend alot of time incommunicado with your loved ones. I was considering the Air Marshall program myself(I am already in the DHS) but it's more of a commitment than my life can handle right now.

FAMs are a very important link in our national security and I have nothing but respect for them, but I think they've got it pretty rough, too.
 

GSG

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If you do lie, they can and I can tell you that they in fact DO, ask questions about you to people you don't expect. If they say "yeah, we smoked pot a while back" and you didn't answer truthfully, you are screwed, period. If you don't put it on one application, but do on another, there is a chance that someone will compare apps and see the differenece.

Two things on this same note.

Most agencies nowadays require you to put down all the other departments you've applied to, and even if you lie and leave out one or two, the info is easy to get when checking your references, considering that the same references will be checked by both departments. BI's are experienced in this kind of thing, considering it's their whole job.

Also, if you somehow sneak yourself in by lying about something like that and it ever comes out (conversation with a co-worker, new fangled method of drug testing, etc.), you're done. To make things worse, you jeopardize every case you've ever testified in, investigated or even written a suplemental report for, because when they have proof that you lied before even starting the job, every con with a lawyer is going to want his case revisited on the grounds of Brady/Giglio.

It's worse than just losing a job, you'll make every one else's job harder when every case you've ever touched goes into the toilet, and all those criminals get to go free.

Getting caught in a fib can end any chance of ever getting into LE work for the rest of his life.

Yup. I'm linking below to a post I made on the subject.

What you're referring to is case law laid out by two Supreme Court cases, Brady v. United States, and Giglio v. United States, which modified and expanded the Brady decision. As it applies to this situation, if any witness, including a cop, has ever made false statements or lied in legal proceedings before, every time s/he testifies in a case this info must be provided to the defense. This is why law enforcement agencies won't hire anyone who's done this. (Some take it even further, Deputy Matthew Whitton was fired after his cute Bigfoot hoax, the department said that defense attorneys would bring up in every case that he'd lied very publicly, even though it wasn't in court).

To the OP, don't lie. If you're serious about a career in LE, do your research on the POST requirements for every state in the US. Some have lower standards than others, and those standards sometimes change.
 
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