Switching Careers to Law Enforcement

veneratio

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I am curious if anyone has quit their regional and began a career in Law Enforcement. If you have, any pros or cons to doing it?
 

rickair7777

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I know of lot of ex-cops who fly for the regionals...

If you're going to do it, try for federal. Or LAPD if you want to make big money and aren't afraid of getting shot at and shooting back.
 

Amish RakeFight

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At least you can look forward to a decent pension, but I gues that depends on what dept. you get hired into.
 

veneratio

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Most departments where I am located have a pension after 20 years, and you start off about 55k and much more with overtime. I was just looking at different options and was curious about the QOL in law enforcement.
 
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I know of some captains who claim to deny jumpseats for some pretty stupid reasons.

That's sort of like being a cop?

True or False?
 

PA44Jockey

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I can tell you in Northern Kentucky and in Cincinnati that departments are actually cutting back sworn officers due to state budgets hurting so bad. I imagine this is true in lots of states.
 
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Budget hurting, or politicians afraid of losing their jobs, so they try and save money by cutting necessary government jobs?
 

Salukipilot4590

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Budget hurting, or politicians afraid of losing their jobs, so they try and save money by cutting necessary government jobs?
That makes total sense!

Right?
 

psysicx

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Check out officer.com/forum. Its got a lot of good info.
 

HighFlyer5532

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I would definately recomend trying for a big city department, they usually have more opprotunity for advancement and they hire in great numbers. While there are good departments all over the country I would strongly consider looking at the ones out west (LAPD, Las Vegas, Phoenix, San Fran PD, LASD, Annaheim, ect). Most of the big departments out west work either 3/12's or 4/10's, have good training, room for advancement, and good pensions ect...also working a compressed schedule gives you time to teach on the side or maybe pick up some contract work.

Speaking of LAPD, they are in a big hiring mode right now. Starting pay with a college degree is $62,000. They also have a pretty good flying unit that includes 16 helicopters and a king air. Good luck!
 
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Hawker800

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Spent 26yrs. in the LE business. There are pros and cons for both small and large agencies, as well as state vs federal. Large ones do pay better but promotions usually take longer and the competion for those slots can be heavy. Alot depends on the QL you are looking for. Retirement plans can differ but 20yrs is usually the norm with age being a factor. State and federal jobs usually require transfer and TDY assignments a few times during the career. PM if you need more info. Good luck with your decision.
 

LAFrequentflyer

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Go federal...Less than a year from military retirement and am already looking at GS-13 positions with DHS. Its not a flying job, yet. I hope to get into one of the many emerging federal / state UAV pilot programs that are not / do not require you to be a law enforcement officer. Just a line UAV pilot.

Lots of stuff out there. PM me if you want the name/number for a good KSA / federal resume writer. IMHO, its money well spent if you get the job.

Best of luck.

-LAFF
 

Captainzero1

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A former student of mine who I consider the best pilot I have ever flown with gave up his flying career with a regional to be a cop in Atlanta. His new wife thought it was safer than flying and brow beat him into it. Last I talked to him, he seemed happy.
 

rickair7777

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A former student of mine who I consider the best pilot I have ever flown with gave up his flying career with a regional to be a cop in Atlanta. His new wife thought it was safer than flying and brow beat him into it. Last I talked to him, he seemed happy.

ATL??? Nobody died in 121 these last two years...can APD say the same???
 

KCSO780

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I did it and very happy I did. As some have said, there are many variables. Lots of pro's and con's. One thing is for sure, the job is not for everyone. I work for a Sheriff's Department in Southern Cal. I made 122k for year 2008 and 133k in 2007. This of course is whoring myself out for overtime. My salary is 78k with no O.T., but it is impossible to avoid overtime completely. If I wasn't an O.T. whore I would probably make around 90k. I have Medical, Dental and Vision insurance. Our retirement is considered 3% @ 50. You can retire at the minimum age of 50 and get 3% of your salary for each year of service. I do not pay into my retirement plan as my contribution is paid 100% by the department. All of these things are of course negotiated by our union. Unlike most pilot unions, LE unions are very strong. I work 10 hour shifts with three days off.

If you still want to fly, go to a large Dept. as most have Air Support Units. Most have both fixed wing and rotors. I came into my unit with my fixed wing cert's of course. Dept. paid for all of my rotor. Spend most of my time flying MD500 or OH58. Expect some time working the streets before going to a specialized unit though. Took me about 6 years to get my foot in the door at Air Support. Very competative.
 

DC8Driver

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I am a retired Caif. PD officer. Top step patrol officer $115,000.
But remember you have to be able to do some unpleasant things. Dead bodies, bleeding people, drug addicts, car crashes with multiple injuries.

There is no smell like a 5 day old dead body in an RV during the middle of summer.

Can you knock on someones door and tell them their son/daughter has been killed in a traffic accident?

You earn every penny believe me. But, it was the best job I ever had....I was made for that job. I got hurt bad and now I fly airplanes.
 

sqwkvfr

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I don't know if this is a problem for the OP, but one of the reasons I left law enforcement is the uncorrected vision requirements that many departments have. I couldn't meet them and I can't wear soft contacts.
 

nightfr8er

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Being in LE is definitely more dangerous than being in any kind of aviation. I was a city cop for 8 years. The quality of life is much, much different. You'll be home every day, but working 8 to 10 hour shifts. Some departments rotate shifts - then you'll be on a regular day schedule 1/3 of the time, and not see your family much when you're on afternoons, or much on the 3rds. If you don't like being up all night, 3rd shift will kill you. If you get permanent shifts, then contstant 3rds (11pm - 6am) will kill you too. Permanent 2nd, you'll never see your kids. They come home from school when you're going to work, and will be asleep when you come home.

The emotional stress of the things that you deal with - child abuse, spousal abuse, people mangled in car wrecks, shootings, fires - is not something to be taken lightly. Cops have one of the highest divorce rates out there.

You'll probably have to work most holidays too. So forget travelling to see family most holidays.

It can be very rewarding, though, too. Taking bad, mean nasty people off the street is a great thing. Helping people sleep better at night when they're afraid, and hear noises in their houses or yards is a good thing too.

If you really want to do it, I would recommend a large city or federal agency where you have the chance to get off the street after a few years and start investigating or training. Nobody wants to be the first one though the door continuously when you're 45, 50, etc. Or grabbing people out of cars, wrestling with dudes on the side of the road when they're 20, 30 years younger than you.

Think long and hard about it.
 

trolleydriver

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I don't know how old you are but if you are going federal, there is an age limit of 37 years to start. It has to do with the federal law enforcement retirement. If you aren't in by 37 and don't have any federal law enforcement time in to offset the age limit, you're not getting in.
 
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